How to Green Screen in iMovie

If you’re new to iMovie, you might not know how to work with a green screen.

Check out the video and screenshots below for a detailed explanation:


(video source: UMW NewMedia)

Setting Up the Background Image

First, open a new movie project and get your timeline ready. Then, drag the background clip down to the timeline.

01 Grab background image file from media bin and drag down to imovie timeline

Now you’ll notice that our photo has a little zoom effect.  

To turn that off, make sure the clip is highlighted and click on the adjust button. Make sure the little cropping tool is also highlighted and turned on. 

Click on the “Ken Burns” button to turn it off. Finally, click on the fit button, and it will bring in our image. 

02 Turn off iMovie Ken Burns Effect by going to Adjust, Click on crop icon, and choose OFF for style

We also want to make sure to check the mark here:

03 Check box on the left to confirm deactivation of Ken Burns effect in iMovie adjustments

Now you will notice that there is no zooming going on in our image.

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Adding the Green Screen Footage

Next, we’re going to click on our green screen footage and drag about five seconds or so of footage down towards the timeline. 

04 Select Green screen footage and drag into iMovie project timeline

Make sure to put it at the beginning of the timeline. 

Then, take the still image and drag it out to approximately the same length as our green screen footage. 

05 Drag still image out as far as long as the green screen footage

Putting it all Together

The real magic happens when we click on the green screen footage and go up to the adjustment area. 

Instead of the video overlay being set to cutaway, we’re going to choose green/blue screen.

06 Select Green Screen clip go to Adjustments and choose Green_Blue screen from Cutaway drop down

We click on that option and just like magic, our green screen disappears and I am now in a totally different place. 

If we play the video from the beginning you’ll see that I’m standing in front of a giant studio and waving to you.

07 iMovie green screen footage will now turn into a chroma key with background as the image layer

That’s how you create green screen effects in iMovie.


What did you think? Easy enough to follow? Let us know in the comments below.

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