K5 Computer Lab Lesson Plans

Free Chroma Key - Green Screen / Blue Screen Photo Editing

Green Screen / Blue Screen - Chroma Key Photo Editing Tutorial


When you take a picture with a green screen or a blue screen background, some photo editors have a feature called "chroma key" to allow you to replace the green or blue color with any background picture of your choice.


The photo editor used here is Paint.NET with a free plugin enabling the chroma key / green screen - blue screen cabability.




The chroma key feature has adjustable sliders to fine tune the amount of blue or green that is keyed out.


To use this in a computer lab or a technology class, install and test the photo editing program and chroma key plugin in advance.


Have a good green screen background setup with good lighting, a selection of background pictures, and a camera ready to go.




Example: The "Before" pictures shows some people in front of a green screen background. The "After" pictures shows the results of using the chroma-key feature to remove the green background and put a vacation picture in it's place.

Green Screen / Chroma Key Example


Things you will need:

1. Picture of yourself in front of a green screen background.

2. Paint.NET (A Free Windows application) (Download)


3. Free Green Screen / Chromakey plugin for Paint.net (Download)



Install Paint.NET.

Read the requirements, you may need to download an additional supporting program from Microsoft called the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 (Free). 


Free Green Screen Program.



Install the Green Screen- Blue Screen / ChromaKey Plugin

Once you download the ChromaKey plugin, unzip the file and copy the ChromaKeyPlugin.dll file  to the Effects folder of your Paint.NET program folder.

Here I've copied the plugin to the default Paint.NET program installation at  C:\Program Files\Paint.Net\Effects. If you had Paint.Net open, close it and restart it so it can find the plugin.

Chroma Key Plugin for Paint.NET



Place the following two pictures on your desktop:

Picture with a green screen background and a picture of your dream vacation location.
Open Paint.NET.

Paint.NET Green Screen



Drag and drop the VACATION picture onto the PAINT.NET canvas.

In the Drag and Drop dialog box choose "Add into layer(s)". Alternately, you add the picture from the menu bar: File > Open.

Green Screen Activity. Paint.NET Drag and Drop


Here is the result. If needed, adjust the size of the vacation picture or the canvas size from "Image" on the toolbar.

Chroma Key with Paint.NET Vacation Image



Drag and drop your green screen picture onto Paint.NET canvas

Choose "Add into layer(s)" in the Drag and Drop dialog box. Alternately, you can add the picture from the menu bar: Layers > Import From File.
On the menu bar choose Effects > Photo > Chroma Key.

Green Screen using Paint.NET example


Use the Chroma Key Slider to Remove the Green Screen Background Color

The ChromaKey dialog box offers sliders to adjust the amount of green color being keyed out. Adjust to suit your needs. Notice that there is an option to key out a blue background (blue screen).

Final result:

Paint.NET Chroma Key Final Result


Green Screen - DONE.


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