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11 Free & Easy Ways to Remove Background from Video on PC [2022]

Last Updated on Sep. 8, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Whether you're a content-creating hobbyist or a professional video editor, knowing how to remove background from video is an essential skill that can save both time and money. Is there anything worse than a forced reshoot because the background is all wrong? In addition to saving time and money, background removal tools like chroma key or masking are great for adding special effects to videos during post-production.

This article will review eleven of the best free video background removers, including our top overall pick, key features, pros and cons, and classifications. You can also check out our quick-read comparison chart if you're in a hurry. There are also step-by-step instructions on how to remove background from video and frequently asked questions. Let's get started!


Top 3 Software to Remove Background from Video Snapshot

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector - Best Overall Video Background Remover

PowerDirector is our top choice for video background remover. This award-winning, AI-powered video editor has thousands of effects and features, including chroma key, green screen, masking, blending, sky replacement, and overlays. Detailed Review >

Camtasia Logo

2. Camtasia - Best for Webcam Users

Camtasia is a screen recorder, video editor, and video background remover. Camtasia has a variety of ways to easily remove background from videos and webcam footage. Detailed Review >

Lightworks Logo

3. Lightworks - Best for Professionals

Lightworks is a freemium editor and video background remover. The software uses a chroma key tool or green screen to remove background from videos. Plus, Lightworks offers batch editing for ease of use. Detailed Review >

What Tools Do I Need to Remove Background from Video?

Any high-quality video editor will have a few options to remove background from video. However, the most popular methods for background removal include chroma key, green screen, and blending modes.

With chroma key, you film a subject against a solid-colored background (green, blue, purple, etc.), then remove the colored background during post-production. Once the solid color is transparent, you can add a new background video or image.

Technically, green screen editing is a form of chroma keying. However, chroma key works with any solid color background, whereas green screen tools only work with green backgrounds.

To remove video backgrounds, you can also use blending modes, which layer two images together to create a composite. Essentially, blending changes the way your footage looks by allowing the pixels of each layer to mix and merge.

Another option is masking to remove video backgrounds, which cuts out sections of the frame. Or you can use sky replacement if you want a better-looking sky.

11 Free & Easy Ways to Remove Background from Video on PC [2022]

1. PowerDirector - Best Overall Video Background Remover

PowerDirector Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

PCMag Rating: 4.5/5

Background Removal Tools: 5/5

Price: Free
*Premium version available for $4.08/month

Key Features:

  1. 3,000+ effects and templates
  2. Motion graphic titles
  3. LUT color presets
  4. 8 million royalty-free stock assets

PowerDirector is our best overall choice for software that will quickly and easily remove background from videos. It has an impressive range of tools for background removal, including chroma key, green screen, blending, masking, overlays, and even sky replacement. If you need some help, the software offers a gigantic tutorial library and blog you can reference with answers to all your editing questions.

PowerDirector also features an extensive range of powerful editing tools, templates, transitions, effects, and so much more. We're talking AI-powered tools like object detection, motion tracking, and speech enhancement. Also, PowerDirector has up to 7.6 times faster rendering in true 4K than the leading competitor.

Whether you're a weekend editing enthusiast, social media influencer, live streamer, or professional video editor, PowerDirector has everything you need and more to create unique and engaging content. You can remove background from videos easily using a variety of methods, earning it the top spot. If you need software with the speed, power, and capabilities to handle your most complex video editing jobs, PowerDirector has what it takes.

Pros
  • User-Friendly, streamlined interface
  • Lightning-Fast video rendering in true 4K
  • Regular updates
Cons
  • Stock library unavailable in free version

Get started and download PowerDirector for free by clicking on the button below.


2. Camtasia - Best for Webcam Users

Lightworks Interface

Image from The FRESH VAN ROOT.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

SoftwareHow Rating: 4.3/5

Background Removal Tools: 4.8/5

Price: 30-day free trial, then $299.99

Key Features:

  1. Royalty-Free stock library
  2. Upload directly to social media
  3. Speed adjustment tools
  4. Color correction

Camtasia is a basic video editor, screen recorder, and video background remover. With this tool, you can capture webcam footage with a green screen background, so you can put yourself anywhere you wish while recording webinars, gaming videos, YouTube videos, or computer tutorials.

You can use the video background remover for any type of video footage, not just webcam capture. Camtasia’s chroma key feature is very easy to use, just use the eyedropper to pick any background color for removal. There are sliders to adjust tolerance, softness, and hue, and to defringe the effect. There’s also a tool to invert the chroma key effect, so you remove the subject instead of the background.

Camtasia has a powerful, precise, and easy-to-use video background remover. It comes with lots of great tools for screen recording and webcam capture, but video editing tools are limited. It is also only available for a free trial and is expensive compared to the other video background removers on our list. We recommend Camtasia if you do a lot of screen recording, but for video editing needs, we prefer PowerDirector.

Pros
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Video background remover works well
Cons
  • Very basic editing tools
  • Expensive

3. Lightworks - Best for Professionals

Lightworks Interface

Image from Influencer Marketing Hub.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Tom’s Guide Rating: 4/5

Background Removal Tools: 5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $9.99/month for Create and $23.99/month for Pro

Key Features:

  1. Direct upload to YouTube
  2. Tilting and motion graphics
  3. Advanced transitions
  4. Stock music library

Lightworks has been in development since 1989 and is a popular video editor for Mac, Windows, and Linux users. It earns a spot on our “free and easy” video background remover list because its chroma key tool is easy to use. However, you'll have to spend some time learning the basic features and editing interface first, making this an easy choice for professionals, but not beginners.

Lightworks offers multiple color choices for chroma keying. We found the tool worked well, and there was a handy Remove Spill slider to fix any bleed. There were an impressive number of adjustments and tools to go along with the chroma key effect. This could intimidate beginners, but you really don’t need to use any of them to effectively remove background from video.

While Lightworks is a good choice for free software, its learning curve makes it more suitable for the experienced editor. However, the biggest downside of using the free version of Lightworks is the export restriction on videos to MPEG 720p. If you are looking for a free video editor with advanced features, but need something more beginner-friendly, try PowerDirector.

Pros
  • Robust free version
  • Chroma key tool allows easy background removal
Cons
  • Bit of a learning curve for beginners
  • Exports limited to MPEG 720p

4. VideoPad - Best for Windows Users

VideoPad Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating: 4.1/5

Background Removal Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium versions available for $70 for Home Edition and $129 for Master’s Edition

Key Features:

  1. 50+ visual effects
  2. Color adjustment tools
  3. Audio effects
  4. Title animations

VideoPad is our top video background remover for Windows users because the Mac version has fewer features and tools. VideoPad is suitable for beginners, and many Windows users chose this editor as a replacement for the now-defunct Windows Movie Maker.

To remove background from video with VideoPad, you don’t have to have a green screen. You can select the color you want to remove using a color picker tool. It comes with plenty of adjustments to fine-tune the effect, like feathering, fading, threshold, and brightness.

VideoPad has a user-friendly interface and an impressive range of editing tools, features, and functions for free software. If you're a beginner editor and only occasionally want to remove background from video, then VideoPad has the features you need. However, the free version has obnoxious notifications and limited editing tools, and the Mac version has even less. Plus, many users report that VideoPad's customer service needs improvement.

Pros
  • Great for beginner editors
  • Features chroma key and green screen removal tools
Cons
  • Free version has obnoxious notifications/ads
  • Advanced editing tools require a paid upgrade

5. Shotcut - Best Open-Source Video Background Remover

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

TechRadar Rating: 4/5

Background Removal Tools: 4/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  1. Wide format support
  2. Audio editing tools
  3. Effects and filters
  4. Blending modes

Shotcut is free software you can use to easily remove background from video. We think it is the best open-source option, beating out OpenShot, the other open-source video background remover on our list. Shotcut has more advanced tools than OpenShot, and its video background remover tools work better.

Shotcut’s chroma key tool defaults to green screen, but you can choose another color either by using the color picker tool on your video or by choosing a color from the color wheel. We liked that Shotcut offered both simple and advanced chroma key tools. The simple video background remover generally works well, and only requires one click, plus a slider for spill. If your video doesn’t look quite right, you can use the advanced chroma key tools for more precise adjustments.

Check out the website if you need help learning how to remove background from video with Shotcut. It has numerous tutorials, how-tos, and a community forum where you can ask other users for advice. There are some drawbacks to using Shotcut, for instance, you can't upload your clips directly to social media, and large-scale editing projects often cause delays and lagging. It’s also a little harder to use than some of the other video editors on our list, such as PowerDirector or VideoPad.

Pros
  • Updated monthly
  • No watermarks on final edits
Cons
  • Large videos cause delays/lags
  • Can't upload directly to social media platforms

6. Adobe Premiere Elements - Best for Keying Effects

Adobe Premiere Elements Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

PCMag Rating: 3.5/5

Background Removal Tools: 4.5/5

Price: 30-day free trial, then $99.99

Key Features:

  1. Time-Lapse
  2. Noise reduction
  3. Video stabilization
  4. Double exposure

Adobe Premiere Elements is a beginner-friendly version of Adobe Premiere, but its tools to remove background from video are no less impressive. To make a background transparent, you can apply a keying effect based on color (blue/green screen, non-red key, chroma key), based on matte (garbage matte and track matte keys), or based on alpha channel. If that sounds intimidating, beginners can use the Video Merge tool, which will automatically remove background from video.

This video background remover also has AI-powered tools, like auto reframing and automatically matching music to the length of your video. We like Premiere Elements for its video organizational tools, which automatically tag videos by facial recognition, place, and date.

Although it has some pretty advanced tools to remove background from video, Premiere Elements is lacking in other advanced features, such as multi-cam and 360-degree editing. It is also very heavy on computer resources and has slow rendering speeds. PowerDirector is a great alternative to Premiere Elements. It has the fastest rendering of any video editor on our list and comes with advanced features and organizational tools. And if you want a video background remover that is lightweight, we also recommend OpenShot or VSDC Free Video Editor.

Pros
  • Video background remover for every skill level
  • Organizational tools
Cons
  • High CPU usage
  • No free version

7. HitFilm - Best for Amateur Filmmakers

HitFilm Interface

Image from G2.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

TechRadar Rating: 4/5

Background Removal Tools: 3/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $7.50/month for Creator and $12.50/month for Pro

Key Features:

  1. Drag-and-Drop transitions
  2. Titles and subtitles
  3. Royalty-Free stock library
  4. Lighting and lens flares

If you're an indie or amateur filmmaker without a big budget for professional video editing, Hitfilm is worth a shot. The software offers numerous effects that mimic Hollywood cinema, like light swords, shockwaves, blood spatter, fire, and weather effects. While it's free to use, editors who want the full range of editing tools without a watermark will have to purchase add-ons or splurge on the premium version.

Hitfilm has several tools to remove background from video during post-production, including color difference, masking, green screen removal, and color correction via hue/RGB adjustment. However, we found the software's video background remover tools were not very user-friendly and required precise manipulation.

The free version of Hitfilm offers a few video background remover editing tools, but they're not the greatest, and using the color correction/RGB tool is challenging. However, most amateur filmmakers will appreciate the range of cinematic effects and editing features that Hitfilm offers for free.

Pros
  • Wide selection of Hollywood movie effects
  • Multiple tools for background removal
Cons
  • Video background remover isn’t beginner-friendly
  • Prone to random freezing and crashing

8. VSDC Free Video Editor - Best for Professionals on a Budget

VSDC Free Video Editor Interface

Compatibility: Windows

PCMag Rating: 3/5

Background Removal Tools: 3.5/5

Price: Free
*Pro version available for $19.99

Key Features:

  1. Wide format support
  2. Motion tracking
  3. Text animation
  4. AI art generator

Although all the video background removers on our list offer free versions or free trials, many have expensive premium versions. Beginners hoping to advance to more tools and features, or professionals on a budget will want something that won’t break the bank if they decide to upgrade. Like PowerDirector, VSDC Free Video Editor has a robust free version, and an affordable premium version.

Remove background from video quickly with VSDC’s HSL chroma key tool. Use the eye dropper to select a color to remove, then manually adjust the settings for more accuracy. There are several masking tools as well, such as inverted mask and clipping mask for even more precision. Unfortunately, the chroma key tool only works in the paid version. The free version will only remove a green screen.

We found the chroma key results were not as accurate in VSDC FreeVideo Editor as they were in other software higher on our list. Also, even though this video background remover is supposed to be beginner-friendly, the clunky workflow and interface made finding tools difficult.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Confusing layout
  • Crashes if using a lot of effects

9. AVS Video Editor - Best for Tutorials

AVS Video Editor Interface

Image from AVS4you.

Compatibility: Windows

TopTenReviews Rating: 3/5

Background Removal Tools: 3.2/5

Price:Free
*Premium versions available for $149/year or $279 for a lifetime license

Key Features:

  1. Screen recorder
  2. Color adjustment tools
  3. 300+ video effects
  4. Video stabilization

AVS Video Editor really wants first-time users to feel comfortable using their product. When you use this video background remover for the first time, you follow a series of prompts that teach you how to use every aspect of the software. Every prompt also links you to a tutorial video that will further explain how to use the feature. This long introduction to the product is helpful for newbies, but time-consuming for more seasoned editors who just want to get on with it.

You can use a chroma key effect, color picker tool, or color append tool to remove background from video with AVS Video Editor. Then adjust transparency or fade in and out of the effect. The amount of tutorials and support AVS provides comes in handy here, as the tool requires quite a few steps to correctly apply.

AVS Video Editor comes with tons of effects and transitions, but lacks advanced editing features, and only has one video editing track. Also, the software crashed a few times during our test, which was frustrating. For more reliable software, try PowerDirector or Premiere Elements.

Pros
  • Wide format support
  • Large library of high-quality transitions
Cons
  • Outdated UI
  • Only 1 editing track and no advanced tools

10. iMovie - Best for Mac Users

iMovie Interface

Compatibility: Mac

Creative Bloq Rating: 3/5

Background Removal Tools: 3/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  1. Picture-in-Picture
  2. Cinematic Mode
  3. Speed adjustment tools
  4. Magic Movie tool

iMovie comes free and is already installed on Mac devices, making it a quick and easy way to remove background from video for Mac users. It’s also compatible with your iPhone and iPad, so you can stop editing on one device and pick up where you left off on another.

The software uses masking controls and a green screen effect to remove background from video. An adjustment slider will change the strength of the effect, a crop button will isolate parts of the effect, and an eraser tool will clean up parts of the video that weren’t removed. However, to use the video background remover in iMovie, you need to record with a green or blue screen. There is no color picker or eye drop tool to isolate other colors.

We think beginners will love iMovie’s automatic movie-making tools, such as Magic Movie and Trailers. However, we found this video background remover was harder to use than we thought it would be for beginner-friendly software. Also, Mac users sometimes wait years for iMovie updates, unlike both Shotcut and PowerDirector, which are updated regularly.

Pros
  • Share videos across Apple devices
  • Free forever with no limits or watermarks
Cons
  • Limited video tracks
  • Infrequent updates

11. OpenShot - Best for Beginners

OpenShot Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

TechRadar Rating: 3/5

Background Removal Tools: 2.9/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  1. Scaling and snapping
  2. Color adjustment tools
  3. 40+ vector title templates
  4. 3D animations

OpenShot is a free and open-source video background remover and editor. It is slightly pared-back in terms of features, but that makes it simple for users with no video editing experience. It is also lightweight on computer resources and has an updated and pleasing interface, which is rare for an open-source video editor.

To remove background from video, you can use the chroma key tool. Choose a color on a dial or point to a color in your video to remove it. There’s also a Fuzz setting, where you can adjust the area and intensity of the effect. We didn’t like that the setting made you input a specific number, instead of offering a slider. It took a lot of trial and error to get our test just right.

OpenShot is a completely free, quick, and easy way for beginners to try a video background remover, even if they don’t have a green screen. That being said, in our test the video background remover didn’t work very well, even though we had a green screen. For a background remover tool that completely removes background the first time around, try PowerDirector.

Pros
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Nice looking interface
Cons
  • Video background remover isn’t very precise
  • Unstable, with frequent crashes

Best Software to Remove Background from Video Comparison Chart

Software OS Beginner-friendly Video Background Remover Tools Sky Replacement Advanced Editing Tools Free Download
PowerDirector Windows, Mac Yes Chroma key, green screen, blending modes, masking, overlays Yes Yes
Free Download
Secure Download
Camtasia Windows, Mac Yes Chroma key, green screen No No Download
Lightworks Windows, Mac, Linux No Chroma key, green screen, blending modes Yes Yes Download
VideoPad Windows, Mac Yes Chroma key, green screen, masking No Yes Download
Shotcut Windows, Mac, Linux Yes Chroma key, green screen, blending modes, masking No Yes Download
Adobe Premiere Elements Windows, Mac, Linux Yes Chroma key, green screen, blending modes, masking No No Download
HitFilm Windows, Mac No Green screen, blending modes, masking Yes Yes Download
VSDC Free Video Editor Windows No Chroma key, green screen, masking No Yes Download
AVS Video Editor Windows Yes Chroma Key, green screen No No Download
iMovie Mac Yes Green screen, masking No No Download
OpenShot Windows, Mac, Linux Yes Chroma key No No Download

PowerDirector vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Video Background Remover Tools

Chroma key, green screen, blending modes, masking, overlays

-

Sky Replacement

Yes

-

Advanced Editing Tools

Yes

-

How to Remove Background from Video

We're going to use PowerDirector to teach you how to remove background from video using blending modes and the green screen/chroma key. Just download PowerDirector below and follow these simple steps:

How to Remove Background from Video Using Blending Modes

  1. To remove white or black background from a video, add your main video to Track 1 on the timeline, then add the video with the colored background to Track 2, directly below the first clip.
  2. Left-click to select Track 2, then click Tools.
  3. Select Blending Mode.
  4. PowerDirector Interface - Tools
  5. In the pop-up editor, click on the Normal menu.
  6. For videos with white backgrounds, click Multiply. For videos with black backgrounds, click Lighten.
  7. PowerDirector Interface - Normal
  8. Click OK.

How to Remove Background from Video Using Chroma Key

  1. Add the main clip to Track 1 on the timeline. Then, add the green screen (or another solid color) clip to Track 2, directly below the first clip.
  2. Double click on Track 2 to open the PiP Designer.
  3. On the left-hand menu under Properties, scroll down to the Chroma Key section and click on the box to enable the effect.
  4. PowerDirector Interface - Chroma Key
  5. Select the Eye Dropper tool.
  6. Click on the solid color background you want to remove in the video using the Eye Dropper.
  7. Adjust Color Range or Denoise to your liking.
  8. PowerDirector Interface - Denoise
  9. Click OK on the bottom right to save your changes, and that's it!

For a more in-depth look at how to remove background from video, visit Green Screen Editing: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Download the Best Software to Remove Background from Video for Free

There you have it: eleven of the best free video editing software you can use to remove background from video. We also discussed standard editing tools to remove background from video, including chroma key and blending. With those tools, you can change your video backgrounds to anything you want: an urban city, a beautiful forest, even the surface of Mars.

Of the eleven editors we reviewed, it was clear that PowerDirector was the best overall video background remover. PowerDirector’s AI-driven software offers an enormous selection of basic and advanced editing tools, including blending, masking, green screen, chroma key, sky replacement, and thousands more. It also features lightning-fast 4K rendering, the latest format support, and a gigantic stock library. Ultimately, PowerDirector is one of the best professional video editors on today's market.

Download PowerDirector for free now and start creating.

Remove Background from Video FAQ

1. What Is Chroma Key?

Chroma key is an editing tool that lets you replace solid-colored video backgrounds with another video or image. You film the subject against a solid-colored background (usually green or blue), then remove the color in post-production by making it transparent.

2. What Is Video Masking?

Video masking removes an unwanted section, frame, object, or section of a video clip. For example, you could cut out a subject completely or blur it to lessen the distraction.

3. What Are Video Blending Modes?

Video blending modes layer two video clips to create one single composite. Blend modes change how the color information in the two clips interact. For example, it could lighten, darken, multiply, dissolve, etc., creating a single composite with your chosen effect.

4. What Is the Best Video Background Remover App?

The best video background remover apps are

  1. PowerDirector App
  2. Chromavid
  3. Green Screen by Do Ink
  4. Veescope Live
  5. KineMaster

For more information on the above video background remover apps, click here.

5. What Features Should I Look for in a Video Background Remover?

The top ten features you should look for in a video background remover are

  1. Chroma key
  2. Green screen
  3. Blending modes
  4. Video masking
  5. Sky replacement
  6. Video overlay
  7. Color replacement
  8. Intuitive editing interface
  9. AI-powered tools and effects
  10. Cross-platform compatibility

If you're looking for software to remove background from video that checks all of these boxes and more, we recommend PowerDirector. Download it today to get started!

6. What is the Best Video Background Remover?

PowerDirector is the easiest and best way to remove background from video. It offers many ways to remove or change your video’s background, as well as sky replacement, and object removal in case you only need to remove part of the background. Anyone can use these professional, high-quality video background remover tools because PowerDirector has a user-friendly interface and lots of guided edits and tutorials.

7. Is it Possible to Make a Transparent Video Background?

Using PowerDirector’s opacity slider, you can make your whole background transparent.

8. How Do You Remove the Background of a Video Without a Green Screen?

PowerDirector can accomplish a green screen effect without a green screen. It’s really about having a single-colored backdrop that doesn’t appear in the actor’s clothing, props, or anything you want to keep in the shot.

Green is typically chosen as the background color of choice because green doesn’t appear in any skin tones or natural hair colors. It’s also a bright color that is easy to avoid in clothing.

Using PowerDirector’s eye-dropper tool, you can simply click on the background color you want to be removed, and the video background remover will do the rest.

9. How Can I Change the Background of a Video on My Computer?

You can change your video’s background on your computer using PowerDirector. Follow the steps in the How to Remove Background from Video section above for a step-by-step guide.

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