Using WMM to create a chroma key (GreenScreen / BlueScreen)

December 6, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Posted in Techy stuff | 31 Comments

Using Windows Movie Maker (WMM for short) for green screen projects, baring in mind you need to make sure your green screen is actually green, or blue screen is actually royal blue!

 I’ve used this technology with a ‘cornflour blue’ bed sheet and the effect, although it worked, was somewhat incomplete because of the light cast and the colour of the sheet. So before you start I have to recommend you get the right colour background, (which is more than likely available from fabric shops).

 Ok so down to the nitty gritty, depending on what version of windows  your running you may need to download an add on for windows movie maker 2 or higher.

There are three possible methods here, all depending on which version of movie maker you are running, although these steps may seem complicated, they are only a one off step in your movie making > honestly! promise!

Method 1

 The add on is called RehanFX shader and is completely freeware (no audit issues) < Download it here

Download it, install it, make sure you are using admin privileges. Although it says it runs on vista only it should work on the large majority of Windows XP SP 3 most schools are running. It’s really to do with the version of WMM your using (i would recommend the upgrade to 2 or 2.6 but not Windows Live Movie Maker, it lacks an abundance of features)

 (As i’m writing this i’ve just found out that the windows 7 i’ve been running for 8 months doesn’t come preinstalled with WMM, just downloading and installing it!)

 Once it’s installed you should be able to open WMM import your video with the blue/green screen AND import your video to become the back ground. (Make sure your in timeline view when placing them next to each other on the time line.)

 If everything has gone to plan when you visit the transitions tab you should find several extra transitions these being ‘blue chroma 1, 2, 3 / green chroma 1, 2, 3’ and several others. (don’t worry about the others for now.) All you have to do is place the background video on to the timeline first, then place the video with the blue or green background on second, apply the chroma transition between the two videos, then drag the second video over the first (as if you wanted to make the transition longer, you should see a blue triangle appear across the videos, this means the effect is in place. If you drag it too far the videos will simply switch places, if that happens just try again.) Play the preview to view your effect.

Method 2

 If the RehanFX pack did not work try installing

and use the same method of placing both videos on the timeline, adding the transition in between and drag over. And preview to see the effect.

 Method 3

1. Record your subject in front of a well-lit blue or green screen, and transfer the video onto your computer.

2. Highlight the following xml code: (

 3. Copy it, and paste it into notepad. Click File>Save As, and navigate to C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX. (If you don’t already have an AddOnTFX folder, right click then New>Folder.) In the drop-down “File type” box, select “All types”. Save the file as “bluescreen.xml”

4. Run Windows Movie Maker.

5. Import the video of your subject into WMM, and drag it down to the timeline.

 6. Find the picture or video you want to show behind your subject. Import it into WMM, and drag it down to the time line to the left of the video with your subject in front of the blue/green screen.

7. Now that your two video clips are in the timeline, go to your transitions and there should be one that says “Bluescreen”. Click it and drag it down to the timeline. Click the video of the bluescreen and drag it over onto the other clip. Don’t drag it to far because that will just make the clips switch places. Keep going until the blue triangle disappears, then go back just a hair. (It will make more sense when you try it)

8. Check out your preview and see if it worked.

9. Click File>Save Movie File to save your movie

Sorry if this seems rushed or incomplete, it was done in a very short space of time! I will try to add screen shots as soon as possible but off to bed now I’ve got school in the morning and it’s a new one! Gotta look good! :p

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  1. Hi James
    I have managed to get everything together that I needed and made a chroma key video clip. I am using Vista home. All was good and it played okay as a Movie Maker project file but as soon as I published to a video clip suitable for playing on the computer only the section that is a bit of “normal” layer video without the transition effect showed, the screen turned black where it came to the chroma key bit. I have had all sorts of problems getting to this stage – have been recording them for a blog post :-)

    I thought that instead of using the plugin I would try doing the code – nothing shows in the transitions for the code though – but as soon as I put that same bit of code into an old WMM on my netbook the transition showed up imediately.

    I am now totally stuck, do you have any ideas please?
    Kindest regards

    • I am trying to get this to work in WMM 6.0 on Vista and installed rehanfx but can’t get it to show up in my transitions? It just isn’t there! i’ve restarted and everything. Also, i’ve noticed RehanFX installs in the Program File (x86) but Movie Maker is in Program File. Help!!!

  2. Hello again
    I have now deleted the first set of plugins, added the second plugin and made the code transition.Nothing in the folder AddOnTFX can be seen when running WMM.
    I have tried all possibilities now but still failed. :-)
    I am feeling pretty useless now.

  3. Okay, so I tried to put in the code into a notepad document and save it into the Program File and so forth, where you told me to, and it says that i need special permission from the computer Administrator. I don’t know why it’s saying this though, because I am the administrator and I don’t know how to get it to work so I can do it. Could you please tell me how to enable it to let me save because I’d really like to be able to. :(

    • im haveing the same exact promlem :-(

      • *having

    • im having this problem to

    • You have to push ok on the permission thing and them you if don’t have a password wait a few seconds and a thing will pop up push ok and it should work

  4. Michelle, save the text doc to your docs or your desktop, then locate the place where you need to put it using normal folder view and move it there, the folder is protected if you try to save it to the location, so save it somewhere else then move it :) that should work.


    • It still won’t work though. I tried doing what you said just now but it still won’t show up :(

  5. I downloaded the pack from Method 2. I went to WMM 2.6, went to View Video Transitions, and it wasn’t there. :( HELP!

    • hmm, that seems strange and alot of people are reporting similar things? are you running vista or win 7? i think… now don’t quote me on this but vista and 7 can be quite a pain with this at the min, i think a new patch or update has come out which may stop it displaying? perhaps try entering the code into a blank text doc and saving it with the right file extension, try that? lol let me know how you get on :P

  6. i used method 3 becus none of the other methods would work for method 3 it keeps saying i dont have permissions???

  7. don’t know if anyone is still having this problem. but, the issue with it telling you you can’t save into the new folder. go to start > right click notepad, and click run as administrator. that will let you save it into the new folder.

    • Thanks
      I was still having that problem

  8. I got the transitions, but the problem is, when i drag it over and play it, it never shows like a blue screen. more like its fading..

  9. thanks :)

  10. “– that seems to be a great topic, i really love it ,~.

  11. If anyone is using windows movie maker 2/2.6 on windows 7.
    When Saving it go to Programs Files (x86)\ Movie Maker 2.6/2
    instead of Program Files\ movie maker
    but still do the AddOnTFX stuff
    It worked for me
    But will it work for u

  12. I have vista, this won’t really work

  13. I got the 64 bit version on windows vista, and for the transition it only fades, and when i add an effect, there is just black, what do i exactly need to do?

    • Hi bob. Sorry I’ve only just seen your post. I don’t tend to check back very often. I’m going to be honest with you when it comes to 64bit I’m not really sure. And now that windows has stopped providing support for the wmm package now it’s moved to a windows live package I’m really not sure. Have a look in the links section at rehanfx there may be an updated version to work with yours. Other than that I’m afraid I can’t help. :( sorry. James

  14. Where is the xml code???

  15. The fxarchive did not help. And I have the Rehan/XP version on Windows 8 HELP!!!!

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  17. ダンヒル+ね

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  19. hi, I’ve got the add-ons and they work (makes a change eh ?) my Q is, before I go buying loads of material for green / blue background will the effect last just a few seconds, as a transition, or is there a way of continous overlay (apart from repeating every few seconds?) Cheers and ta for all your efforts.

  20. Thankyou

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