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Get to Know Green Screen

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Kelly Chase
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December 21, 2021
Learn how to remove video backgrounds efficiently with our foundational AI Magic Tool.

Green Screen is the original magic tool that ignited Runway's path into changing the video editing space forever. It allows you to cut out selections from videos, a process known as rotoscoping. Most video tools for rotoscoping require painstaking frame-by-frame edits by manually highlighting the border of objects. With Green Screen, you're now able to create professional masks and cut object from videos with just a few clicks. From here, it's easy to swap backgrounds, duplicate your subject, or add unique visual effects — all within your browser. Here are some tips and tricks to getting started.

What kind of footage can I use?

First, let's import your footage. Runway accepts a wide range of video file formats, which can be viewed here. To achieve the best results possible in the least amount of time, we suggest sticking to clips with a well defined main subject, with still or smooth camera movements. It is not recommended to use clips with a busy or poorly defined background, of low quality, or where the subject is moving in and out of the frame frequently.

Remember, the quality of your original clip will directly influence the quality of the results.

How do I use Green Screen?

It's often the case that accurate results are possible in just a few clicks! Simply begin by clicking on your subject using an Include point, which will automatically generate a mask based on the technical data provided in the clip. If there are still more areas you'd like to include, continue clicking on different areas of your subject until the mask is satisfactory. For smaller details that may have been missed, take advantage of the mask refinement brush to fine-tune your selections. It's also possible to exclude unwanted areas using both the points and brush.

The AI model powering Green Screen is smart, and will be able to make a general prediction for future frames based off of the work you've done on the first. Be sure to scrub through your entire clip, making any necessary adjustments on the way.

What are my export options?

Runway offers a generous range of options for exporting, whether you're a novice editor or seasoned pro. Export in up to 4K resolution, with file format options of MP4, PNG sequences, or ProRes. These advanced formats allow for transparent backgrounds and true professional use. You're also able to experiment with Runway's unique multi-band export options, Depth Maps and Optical Flow, which are able to magically measure depth and motion in your video clips.

From here, the possibilities are endless! Add a custom background behind your mask, adjust brightness and contrast, apply unique effects, and more. The work that once took hours now takes seconds. Welcome to the future of video.

Get started today creating with Green Screen!


More of a visual learner? Check out this introductory Green Screen tutorial with all of the basic steps needed to create your first mask!

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