Advanced Green Screen iMovie Techniques

In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at how to refine our green screen iMovie image and get rid of imperfections.

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Check out the video and screen shots below for a detailed explanation:

(video source: UMW NewMedia)

Cropping the Image

01 iMovie green screen preview needs touching up_ background and color correction needed

We ended the last tutorial like this, and there’s several things wrong here. For one, we’ve got a piece of an old computer in the shot as well as this grayish highlighting in the corner caused by the folds of the green screen.

You’ll also notice that there are black bars on either side of our clip that ruin the effect by making it look like we’re in front of a picture. 

02 Black bars in background on Green screen preview in iMovie that we need to fix

We’re going to enhance some of the pieces of our green screen footage to make it look more realistic.

To do this, we’ll select the image clip, go to the cropping area and click “Crop to Fill”. 

03 Select Image in iMovie project_ go up to Adjustments_ click on Crop to Fill button

This takes a little bit more work but it creates an image that’s 16×9, or a wide screen image for our video. 

We can resize this and put it anywhere we want. 

04 Use mouse to move the crop to fill focus in iMovie Adjustments for green screening

If I like where it is, I can click on the check mark and it will quickly zoom out and give us the 16×9 ratio with the image filling the screen. 

imovie advanced green screen techniques, Click on check mark when satisfied with background keying position

You’ll also notice that there are no black bars.

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Adjusting the Saturation

Another thing you’ll notice is that the skin is a little bit washed out.

To give it more color, what I need to do is click on the green screen footage and go to the color correction icon. 

All I’m going to do is bring up the saturation. 

2013 imovie tutorial screenshot- Select green screen footage in i movie_ click on Adjustments_Color tool_ and adjust saturation level

You can also modify other contrast ratios but that’s all the color correction we need to do.

Cleaning Up the Clip

We’re still going to be working with our green screen footage, but this time, go to the connective clip. 

green screen imovie tutorial - simply click on connected clip button and adjust softness level

You can make some adjustments up at the top, one of them being the softness

We’re going to select the eraser and click down in the area where we’ve still got shadow.
It should erase all traces of shadow from the green screen fabric and sharpen the image overall.

08 Click on Eraser button in Clean-up tools and erase visible background shadows

To get rid of the old computer in our shot, we’re going to change the mask of our green screen footage.


Click and drag the bottom right corner inwards a little bit, making sure that we are keeping the selection touching the very bottom of the frame.

By skewing the mask a little bit, when we play the footage all of the imperfections will be removed.


If any of these tips helped you improve your green screen footage, let us know in the comments below!

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