Social Media

How To Use The Green Screen On TikTok

The feature that lets you be wherever you want to be without going anywhere.

by Kaitlyn Wylde
Young woman preparing to vlog at home. Here's how to use the green screen effect on TikTok.
FG Trade/E+/Getty Images

Never was there a better time to master the green screen effect on TikTok than in a pandemic that has left you housebound for over a year. Thanks to a little bit of digital trickery, you can create the illusion that you are chasing waterfalls, swimming with dolphins, or even exploring outer space. Essentially, anything that you can save to your camera roll can become your new augmented reality, at least on TikTok. The feature is so popular, videos enabling the effect have received over 405 billion views.

Typically, a green screen effect involves, well, a green screen. The subject films in front of a green backdrop which it is replaced, via editing, with a different backdrop in post production. TikTok takes a lot of the technicality out of the effects process and does it automatically for you, so you don’t need to stand anywhere special and don’t need any editing skills. And while the effect isn’t always perfect, especially if you’re moving around a lot, it’s fun. It also has different options so that you can make the video look as real or as weird as you want.

Fantastical vacations aren’t the only practical use for this effect. You might have seen people stand in front of a screenshot so they can make commentary on it, or people rating old pictures of themselves. The possibilities are endless! Here’s how to use the versatile green screen feature on TikTok.

Pick A Backdrop

Though TikTok has a few pre-loaded backdrops to choose from, if you want a custom backdrop, you need to have it saved to your camera roll in order to upload it to TikTok. You can use screenshots, or photos or videos from anywhere, so long as they are in your Photos app.

Get Into Preview Mode

Open up TikTok and tap the “+” button on the bottom menu bar. From there, you will enter preview mode, which will give you a live view of whatever direction your camera is facing. Tap the “effects” button on the bottom left, and then the “Green Screen” tab on the menu bar. You’ll see that there is an entire library of green screen filters, offering different angles and effects.

Experiment With Effects

If you want to use your own backdrop, tap the “+” that appears above the effects library to open up your camera roll. From there, you can select the saved backdrop you want to use — it can be a photo or a video. Next, you can experiment with your backdrop and the different ways the effect can be used, plus preview yourself in the frame with it. When you’re satisfied with your setup, record your TikTok and get it in shape to publish.