How to make a Green screen and keying in AE

If you already have a green screen and want to go straight to the AE tutorial click here.

In this tutorial you will learn about different types of green screens you could use, setting up lighting and how to key in AE or other keying software.

Why Green? Green screen is a newer concept, whereas bluescreen is a old concept going back to when they filmed the original star wars. Green screen is easier for keying a person, because there isn’t much green in a person. In some circumstances blue is better, but we will be using green. You can use these same techniques for blue.

What you will need (all discussed below):

  • Green screen

  • Lighting

  • Software

  • Camera

  • Tripod

Types of Green screen you can make

Purpose made:

Purpose made muslin and plastic green screens are available online. They are going to be the best green for keying but are quite expensive. Below are other options you can use which are cheaper!You can by purpose made green or blue paint for keying, but it is quite expensive.


To find the correct colour I bought three sample greens for £1 each from the dulux website. I then painted a small block of wood with the three and chose the colour that I thought would be the best for keying. I thought Green Parrot 1 was the best suited for green screen. I chose Egg Shell as this is matte and not shiny like the other option. I bought the Dulux paint from B&Q but you could buy it form a hardware store which was about £8 for a litre, which was enough to cover the piece of wood I had.

Painting on a wall

If you have a wall that you don’t mind painting creates a very good green screen.

Painting on wood

You can use MDF wood which was about £5 (GBP£NaN) at B&Q. It was 2m by 1m and 12mm thickness. Wood is good for using as a floor green screen as it strong and won’t squash if you want to stand on it.

Painting on cardboard

I found an old big box, flattened it and painted my paint on that. As you can see for the image it rips quite easily but is more portable than wood.

Other options