How to Edit Green Screen Pictures in Gimp


You can use the free graphic design program GIMP to edit pictures taken in front of a green screen. GIMP's "Color Picker Tool" and "Color to Alpha" capabilities make eliminating a green background a fast and easy process, minimizing the time and effort you need to spend on the initial stages of your project. After you have removed the background, you can continue to edit your picture in GIMP or you can save the file and open the photo in another editor.

  • Launch GIMP and open the picture you want to edit by clicking on "File" and "Open." Locate the image you want to work on, select it and press "Open."

  • Locate the "Color Picker Tool," shaped like an eye dropper, within the main toolbar. Click on any point within the monotone green background, and the "Foreground Color" box in the main toolbar will then feature the exact shade of green displayed in your picture. Click on the "Foreground Color" box and write down the HTML notation for that specific color.

  • Click on the "Colors" tab and from the drop-down menu select "Color to Alpha." A pop-up box will appear; click on the "From" color preview box. Input into the "HTML notation" field the green color code you wrote down and press "OK." Press "OK" again, and the "Color to Alpha" transformation will take place, deleting the green background and any similarly colored green pigmentation in the foreground.

  • Replace the missing green pigmentation in the foreground as desired. Click on the "Select by Color Tool" in the main toolbar and click on the now-transparent part of your picture. Locate the "Select" tab and click on "Invert" to highlight every non-transparent part of your image.

  • Insert a "New Layer" by clicking on "Layers" and "New Layer." Choose "Transparency" as the layer fill type and press "OK." Select the "Paintbrush Tool" located in the main toolbar and run your cursor over every part of the selection, replacing your foreground with the exact same color of green that you deleted from the original image.

  • Select the "Windows" tab and click on "Dockable Dialogs" and then "Layers" to view the layers toolbar. In the layers window, click on the thumbnail of your green layer and then click on the "Down Arrow" icon to lower your layer one step. This will place the green layer behind your original layer, restoring the look of green pigmentation to your foreground while keeping your background transparent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Save your edited picture using a unique file name in order to keep the original image unaltered.
  • To preserve the transparency in your picture, use a file extension such as ".png" when saving your photo rather than a type such as ".jpg," which does not support transparency.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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