Using Chromakey in Wirecast

Not having a good studio is quite common especially right now. But that's not necessarily the end of the world when it comes to being visually pleasing while live streaming. 

One of the things I love about Telestream's Wirecast is it's live Chroma Key feature. 

But what exactly do you need? I'm going to lay out just how easy it can be to use a green screen with Wirecast, and how this tool can really help push your live streaming content above and beyond. 

Step 1: Pick Key Colo

This step is as simple as using you mouse to select the color of your green screen. In the preview of the screen, you'll see the preview screen change. The gray and white checkerboard pattern is what the green screen tool has taken out. 

*I recommend selecting by the corners of the media to get the best results of this tool*

Step 2: Changing the Key Threshold

This tool helps adjust the key as best as possible. Wirecast uses a 0-100 slider which controls how little or how much adjustments need to be made. You can control this slider by moving it right or left depending on how your key looks. 

Step 3: Black Clip

I've noticed dark areas sometimes can get keyed out when they shouldn't be. This is because of how digital cameras work. So Wirecast made this tool to help control this. All this tool does is control how close to black the key needs to be. 

Ex: Often people have black hair that gets clipped out, or a black object. Slide the Black Clip slider between 0-100 to get the best result of they key. 


This tool is fantastic, but nothing can help more than getting good source materials. Here are three good tips when using a green screen on any application. 

1: Lighting

This is perhaps the most important part to any green screen. You MUST make the lighting as even as possible to help separate the subject from the green screen itself. On top of that, this is to make the green as even as possible all the way around. 

Telestream gave 3 things to look for:

  • "The background screen (green or blue) needs to be independently lit from other items in the shot.
  • Light the background screen evenly, with no shadows. The more evenly lit, the better the keying.
  • Light people evenly with no shadows. A fill light is very important. An office whiteboard may be helpful in accomplishing this."

2: Get a good camera

Using a cheap USB Web Cam might not have enough quality to get the key needed for your live production. 

There's no other way around it. Do spend money on getting a good camera like the Panasonic CX-10, CX-350, or any of the NewTek, PTZOptics, Panasonic, or BirdDog PTZ cameras. 

3: Not Live? Get the Highest Possible Quality Video

If what's going live is pre-canned, using the chroma key tool in WIrecast is still an option. My advice is to make sure the source material is of the highest quality possible. Make sure the High-Quality Video option is checked. This is located in the Advanced Preferences Panel within Wirecast. 

Following this steps and tips will make your chroma keying with Wirecast easy and professional. 

Not sure which version of Wirecast to get? Check out this clip from a Videoguys webinar to learn more!

Read the original article here!

Learn more about Telestream here!

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