How to remove your background on video

Madeleine Dalton

Jul 7, 2023

Changing and removing your background on video is easier than ever. Virtual green screen software is a great way to transport yourself to any kind of space, real or imaginary, and give your audience an immersive experience to remember. If you’re interested in removing the background for your video, mmhmm can help.

What is a virtual green screen?

Green screen technology has been around for over 100 years. It was used to remove the background behind a subject and replace it with a different scene. You may have posed in front of one for a school photo so you could place your portrait against your choice of backgrounds.

Physical green screens, which are usually clunky, paved the way for virtual green screens. A virtual green screen is a digital technique that removes and replaces the background in a video, allowing you to transport yourself to any kind of space. Essentially, it simulates the effect of a traditional green screen without any of the hassle.

How do virtual green screens work?

Virtual green screens work through a process called segmentation or object detection. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how virtual green screen backgrounds work:

  1. Video capture: The software detects a video feed from either a built-in or external camera.
  2. Segmentation: The software uses artificial intelligence (i.e. machine learning) to detect objects of interest, usually people. The algorithms work to determine the edge of the object and create a matte (also called a mask in photo editing programs) which is the outline of the object(s).
  3. Background replacement: That matte or mask is used to superimpose the replacement background on top of the input (your video feed), with the object(s) of interest removed.

The success of a virtual green screen is dependent on the quality of the camera, lighting conditions, and computer speed. The better these three things are, the better the virtual green screen works.

What are the benefits of virtual green screens?

Here are some of the top reasons to use a virtual green screen for background removal.

  • Affordability: Setting up, transporting, and maintaining traditional green screens can be pricey, not to mention the extensive lighting setups that they typically require. With a virtual green screen, you just need background removal software and a camera.
  • Flexibility & mobility: Virtual green screens save you the time and effort of transporting a physical one. You can also create a professional-looking video background without a dedicated studio or clunky equipment.
  • Professionalism: Virtual green screens allow you to swap out your background for a clean and professional look. No one will know if you’re working from your kitchen or at the beach (unless the sound of the ocean gives you away). By replacing your actual background with a virtual one, you can create a more focused and polished experience.
  • Immersiveness: You can change your background in real-time to bring your audience into the experience. Let’s say you’re giving a demo on a new product for outer space—you can bring your audience into the galaxy with you to really sell it. By using a virtual green screen, your audience will feel more connected to your content and will remember the interactive experience.

How to remove the background from your video with mmhmm

To remove your background and replace it with a virtual one in mmhmm, make sure you choose the silhouette frame, which cuts your shape out from your background. Then, choose a virtual background from our extensive catalog. We have hundreds of options, still and subtly moving, separated into categories: serious, fun, inspirational, abstract, holidays, and colors.

Once you’ve removed your background and replaced it with a virtual one, try positioning yourself in different areas depending on the context of your content and the message you want to convey. If you’re giving that outer space demo, put yourself in a rocket ship and place your content in the sky next to you to create an experience your audience will remember.

With mmhmm, you can also set up each slide with a different virtual background to set the right tone for each moment, whether you’re presenting live or recording a video. Download mmhmm for Mac or Windows to try it on your next Zoom, Meet, Teams, or Webex call. Or, launch the mmhmm web app to try it in your browser now.