Blue Screen vs. Green Screen: Which one to choose for your film

Wondering whether to use a blue screen or a green screen for your next project? 

The answer is not going to be straightforward, it is subjective. 

Approaching this question shouldn't be framed as a simple good versus bad scenario, rather, it's about making the right choice as neither is the substitute of the other. Just as a camera and a mobile phone serve different purposes, the key is to select the screen colour that aligns with your specific project requirements.

The selection of blue screen vs green screen depends on the circumstances of your shoot including camera, lighting, budget, environment, costume, hair colour etc. It’s all about what works best for your specific needs. 

So, it's better to rephrase the question from “Blue screen vs green screen- Which one is best” to “When to choose a blue screen over green screen & vice versa” for a more practical approach. After reading this blog, you'll gain a clear understanding of the distinctions between blue screen vs green screen video. This knowledge will empower you to make well-informed choices for your upcoming video production projects.

What is Blue Screen

A blue screen refers to a monochromatic background used in filmmaking and video production. It is part of a special effects technique called chroma key compositing. In simple terms, film editors replace the blue colour with a new image during post-production. This makes everything in the frame that isn't blue (like actors or elements of a set) stand out.

Blue screens have been widely used in the film industry for decades especially when computers took over. Film tools like optical printers used blue screens to switch backgrounds. However as technology advanced, green screens started gaining popularity in the digital era of visual effects. Despite the increasing popularity of green screens due to digitalization in recent years, both blue and green screens continue to be essential tools for filmmakers, each chosen based on the specific requirements of a given project.

Blue screen vs Green screen - When is one superior over the other?

As mentioned earlier, the decision of whether to utilise a blue screen vs green screen video is not a black and white thing. The choice hinges on multiple factors specific to your shooting circumstances. Several key factors include-

Color Luminosity :

Luminance, the amount of light a colour reflects, plays a crucial role in filmmaking . A green screen, with its higher luminosity, is preferable for daytime scenes, providing brightness and a well-lit appearance. 

On the other hand, if you are filming night scenes, a blue screen might be more suitable as its darker shade reflects less light, reducing colour spill during post-production.


Typically, when working with a digital camera, it is advisable to opt for a green screen. Digital camera sensors are inherently better at accurately capturing the colour green, making it the preferred choice for most contemporary film productions. This technological advantage is a key reason behind the widespread use of green screens in modern filmmaking.

Location set-up or scenery:

The answer to blue screen vs green screen video also depends on surroundings and the location set-up. If your shoot includes trees or grass, a blue screen might be preferable. For scenes with large bodies of water, a green screen is often recommended. Match the screen colour to the natural elements in your setting.

Costume and Hair Color:

The colours of costumes and hair worn by the actors play a crucial role. If a character wears green, a blue screen is preferable, and vice versa. Blond hair, for example, might be better captured on a blue screen due to its translucency.

Fine Details:

Don’t forget to consider the intricacies of your scene while understanding the difference between green mat and blue mat. For shots with close proximity between actors and the chroma key background, a blue screen is recommended as it tends to have lower luminance, reducing the risk of color spill.



The available budget for the production is a practical consideration. Green screens are often more cost-effective due to the prevalence of digital cameras that perform well with green hues. However, the specific requirements of a scene and the associated costs, including costume and set considerations, may impact the ultimate decision.

Why use green screen and why is it more popular than blue screen

A green screen, also known as chroma key, is widely favoured in film and TV production for its prevalence in modern technology. The chroma key technique involves replacing the green background with desired images or footage during post-production. 

Generally, green screens are preferred over blue screens for several reasons.

Firstly, blue screens tend to exhibit a more noticeable color spill, creating a thin line around the subject. This occurs when the screen colour spills onto the person or object being filmed.
Secondly, clothing and objects are more commonly blue than green. People are more likely to wear blue shirts than bright green ones, and if the items are blue, they may blend into the background when the instruction is to remove all blue or green from the image for background replacement.

Thirdly, with the widespread use of digital cameras in filmmaking, green screens prove to be more effective. Most modern digital cameras utilize Bayer sensors with twice as many green receptors as blue ones, making green screens a more viable choice for seamless integration.

Lastly, green screens require less illumination compared to blue screens, as green reflects more light, boasting a brighter luminance.  The need for less lighting means it's cheaper to use, making them a more economical choice. Thus, utilising green screens is a practical option for productions with budget constraints.

In conclusion, while there isn't a significant difference between green mat and blue mat, green mat tends to work better with the majority of digital cameras used in filmmaking today. 

Read Also: How to Create Videos with Special Effects Seamlessly

Key Tips for Shooting with Blue and Green Screens:

  • Ensure even lighting on your blue or green screen to prevent uneven color distribution.
  • Avoid elements in the frame matching the screen colour range, unless masked out in post-production.
  • Guard against color spill by using flags and modifiers to eliminate unwanted "halos" on people or objects.
  • Use separate lighting for the screen and other elements to prevent challenging shadows.
  • Explore tutorials and courses to perfect your chroma keying technique for limitless creative possibilities.
Future of digital platforms
Future of digital platforms

05 February, 2021


05 February, 2021


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