TikTok’s green screen effect allows users to easily transpose themselves or objects onto different backgrounds in their videos.
However, sometimes the green screen fails to work properly, leaving parts of the original background still visible.
If your TikTok green screen videos aren’t turning out right, don’t panic – there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to get the effect working perfectly.
Why Your TikTok Green Screen Video Is Not Working
Before jumping into solutions, it helps to understand why the TikTok green screen effect can sometimes have issues.
Here are some of the most common reasons the green screen fails:
For the app to detect and remove the green background, the lighting needs to be bright and even.
If there are harsh shadows or dark spots in the frame, the camera has a hard time distinguishing the background from the foreground clearly. Always record TikTok green screen videos in a well-lit environment.
Wrinkled or Patterned Green Screen
The green backdrop needs to be a consistent, solid color without any wrinkles, folds or patterning. If the green material has any texture or shadows, the camera can mistake those areas for part of your body or clothing. Use a smooth, professional green screen if possible.
Blending of Green Clothing
If any of your clothing matches the green screen color too closely, those areas might accidentally get removed from the video as well. Avoid wearing green shirts, dresses, hats, etc. Anything green has the potential to visually blend in.
Quick movements and shaking the camera during recording makes it harder for the TikTok app to separate the foreground and background cleanly. Using a tripod or keeping the camera still while filming will lead to better green screen results.
Recording in Portrait Mode
The green screen effect works best on videos shot in landscape orientation rather than portrait mode. The wider frame allows the background to be detected and removed more accurately.
Outdated App Version
Like any app, TikTok is periodically releasing updates that contain fixes and improvements to features like the green screen. Make sure you have the latest version installed for optimal performance.
Technical or Connectivity Issues
In rare cases, technical glitches with the app or problems with your internet connection can also interfere with the green screen effect rendering correctly. Restarting your phone or TikTok app can help resolve temporary bugs.
Ensure your device meets TikTok’s minimum system requirements to run the app smoothly. Older phones may struggle with processor-intensive features.
If your camera exposure, focus, or other settings are not optimized, it could affect the green screen detection. Make sure your camera is set up properly before recording.
Low Storage Space
If your phone or tablet is low on free storage space, it can lead to laggy performance that disrupts the green screen effect. Try deleting unneeded files and apps to free up available storage.
With a basic understanding of what can go wrong, let’s go through some steps to troubleshoot and solve any TikTok green screen issues.
How to Fix TikTok Green Screen Video Not Working
Follow this detailed troubleshooting guide to get your TikTok green screen working perfectly.
These steps are also effective in fixing TikTok green screen video effects not working:
1. Check Your Internet Connection
To apply effects like the green screen, TikTok relies on a stable internet connection for rendering the video edits. Spotty WiFi or cellular data can disrupt the process. Before recording, make sure you have a strong signal.
On an iPhone, enable Airplane mode briefly then turn it back off to force your device to reconnect to the strongest available network. For Android, enable Airplane mode then re-enable WiFi/mobile data.
Ideally, use a fast wired connection if possible, or position your phone closer to the WiFi router. Verify you have a strong, consistent connection before attempting any TikTok green screen videos.
To verify the strength of your internet connection, you can use tools such as Google Fibre Internet Speed Test.
2. Restart the TikTok App
As with many apps, restarting TikTok can clear out minor technical issues that are preventing the green screen from working correctly.
To restart TikTok on an iPhone:
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the app switcher. Locate the TikTok app preview and swipe up on it to close the app fully.
- Now tap on the TikTok icon to relaunch a fresh instance of the app.
On an Android device:
- Tap the Recent Apps button, which is usually a square shape or 3 vertical lines.
- In the app switcher, swipe left or right until you see the TikTok app preview.
- Swipe up on the TikTok preview to close the app.
- Finally, tap the TikTok app icon to restart it.
Restarting the app will clear out any TikTok cached data or memory issues that could be preventing the green screen effect from working correctly.
3. Restart Your Device
Along with restarting the app itself, consider powering your phone or tablet off and on again. This gives the device a clean slate, which can resolve intermittent technical glitches affecting TikTok and its features.
To restart an iPhone, hold down the side button and volume down button simultaneously until the power off slider appears. Slide to power off.
For Android, hold the power button down and tap Restart when prompted.
Allow the device to fully shut down, wait 30 seconds, then power it back on. Now open TikTok and test the green screen again.
4. Check for App Updates
TikTok frequently releases new versions of the app which contain bug fixes and optimizations. The green screen issue you’re experiencing may have already been patched in a newer update.
Open the App Store on iPhone or the Google Play Store on Android. Search for “TikTok” and see if any updates are available for the app.
If you see an “Update” button, tap it to download and install the newest version of TikTok.
Once updated, open TikTok and try the green screen again. The issue may be resolved with the latest improvements.
5. Clear the TikTok App Cache
Over time, cached data and files can build up and start negatively impacting app performance. Clearing the cache gives TikTok a fresh start which may fix green screen issues.
Here are the steps to clear TikTok cache through the app’s settings:
- Open your TikTok profile and tap on the hamburger icon (☰) in the upper right corner.
- Tap on “Settings and privacy.”
- Choose “Free up space” under the “Cache & Cellular” tab.
- Tap the “Clear” button next to “Cache” to clear the cache.
Now when you retry the green screen, it should function smoothly without any cached junk interfering in the background.
6. Ensure Good Lighting
Proper lighting is crucial for any green screen effect to work correctly. The camera needs to clearly distinguish the green background from you and your clothing in the foreground.
When recording TikToks with a green screen:
- Film in a well-lit room, ideally using soft box lights or lamps for even illumination.
- Avoid shadows on the green backdrop. Side lighting can leave one part of the background brightly lit and other sections in shadow.
- Watch out for harsh overhead lighting that leaves dark shadows under your chin, arms, or clothing folds.
- If outdoors, don’t stand directly facing the sun, which creates high contrast and blows out the background.
- Turn on all available lights and consider using a reflector to fill any uneven spots. Proper lighting leaves no doubt about what’s foreground and background.
With bright, smooth, and consistent lighting, the TikTok app can easily detect and remove the green screen portion of the video from the rest of the frame.
7. Use a High-Quality Green Screen
For the green screen to be accurately detected, the backdrop needs to be an evenly colored, consistent green. Wrinkles, folds, shadows, or patterning on the material can confuse the app.
Ideally, invest in a professional-grade green screen backdrop designed for chroma key filming. These have a perfectly smooth surface and vivid green color.
If buying a real green screen isn’t in your budget, you can also improvise with alternatives:
- Tape up a flat green poster board or foam board from an arts & crafts store.
- Use a clean plain green bed sheet pulled tight (no wrinkles!).
- Green upholstery fabric from a fabric store can work well too.
- Paint a wall or cardboard a consistent green shade.
- Buy a collapsible green screen from Amazon for under $15-20.
The key is avoiding any texture, shadows, or inconsistencies that make separating foreground and background difficult. An evenly colored, smooth green surface results in flawless green screen removal.
8. Avoid Wearing Green Clothing
Similar to wrinkles in the backdrop, clothing that’s too close to the green screen color gets accidentally removed from the video. Before recording, take a close look at your outfit:
- Don’t wear green shirts, dresses, hats, or any vivid green accessories.
- Camouflage print and nature patterns with green tones can also get misidentified as the background.
- If you must wear green, make sure it’s dark emerald or blue-green, not the same bright green as the backdrop.
- Plain black, white, gray, or blue clothing won’t blend in with the green screen at all.
It takes the human eye half a second to distinguish colors and objects. For a computer algorithm, it’s much more difficult. Simplify things for the TikTok app by avoiding green outfit choices.
9. Stay Completely Still While Filming
When recording with a green screen, moving around too much while filming makes separating foreground and background more difficult. The green screen effect will render best if you stay relatively still.
- Mount your phone on a tripod or flat surface to avoid shaking or moving the camera angle.
- If handholding, brace your arms against your body to minimize camera movement.
- Avoid big gestures, dancing, or walking during the video.
- Keep your body movements small and infrequent.
Basically, pretend you’re a news anchor reporting in front of a green screen! Keeping movements minimal will result in the best possible green screen keying.
10. Record TikToks in Landscape Orientation
TikTok’s algorithm processes the green screen removal better on videos shot in landscape orientation rather than portrait mode. Recording horizontally provides more surface area of the green backdrop for the app to analyze too.
Before hitting record, double check that your phone camera is rotated to landscape:
- The longest edges of the camera frame should be horizontal, not vertical.
- Flip your phone sideways 90 degrees if needed.
- If recording hands-free with a tripod, position your phone sideways.
You can always crop the finished video vertically later if needed. However, recording in the landscape gives the green screen effect the highest chance of working properly during rendering.
11. Re-Record the Video
Despite your best efforts, sometimes the green screen effect just doesn’t cooperate the first time around. Before getting too frustrated, try recording your TikTok video from scratch.
- Set up the backdrop and lighting again from a blank slate.
- Consider moving to a room with better natural light.
- Use a different green screen material if possible.
- Change your outfit to something distinctly not green.
- Make sure your phone is updated to the newest TikTok version.
- Stay perfectly still during the new recording.
- Double check that the camera is in landscape orientation.
With ideal conditions, there’s no reason the TikTok green screen shouldn’t work correctly. Try recording a few takes until you get perfect results.
12. Free Up Storage Space
If your phone or tablet is running low on available storage, it can cause performance issues that interfere with processor-heavy TikTok effects. Removing unnecessary apps and files can help free up space.
- Offload unused apps you haven’t opened in a while.
- Move photos/videos to cloud storage or a computer.
- Delete old text messages and email attachments.
- Clear the cache and data of other apps you use infrequently.
Aim for at least 500MB – 1GB or more of free space for smoothest TikTok performance. The app needs room to store cached videos and data related to effects.
13. Reinstall TikTok
As a last resort, uninstalling and reinstalling TikTok can wipe the slate completely clean, which may resolve persistent green screen issues.
On an iPhone, hold down the TikTok icon until the shortcuts pop up. Tap Remove App then confirm deletion. Go to the App Store, search for TikTok, and reinstall a fresh copy.
For Android devices, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > See All Apps. Find TikTok, tap it, and select Uninstall. Open the Play Store afterwards and install TikTok again.
Run through the onboarding process once more when opening the app. Test out the green screen after the fresh install. This may clear up underlying software issues.
14. Double Check Device Compatibility
To use TikTok smoothly, ensure your smartphone or tablet meets the minimum requirements outlined by TikTok:
- iOS 10.0 or later for Apple devices.
- Android 4.4 or later on Android devices.
- At least 1.5GB of RAM.
- Strong and consistent internet connection.
Trying to run TikTok on an outdated or underpowered device can lead to performance issues that disrupt the green screen effect. Check that your hardware and OS meets the recommendations.
15. Adjust Camera Settings
Before recording your TikTok green screen video, check that your camera settings are configured optimally:
- Set camera resolution to at least 720p HD for sharpness.
- Enable Auto-Focus and tap to focus on your face.
- Adjust exposure so lighting looks natural, not too bright or dark.
- Disable beauty filters which can interfere with the green screen detection.
- Switch to the rear/main camera which often performs better than selfie camera.
With the right exposure, focus and resolution, the camera has its best chance at cleanly separating foreground from background.
16. Test a Different Green Screen
If you consistently have issues with a particular green screen material, try testing with a different green backdrop, such as:
- Alternative green bedsheet, fabric, or wall paint.
- Printed photography backdrop.
- Collapsible pop-up green screen.
- Large green poster board.
See if another green material results in better foreground/background separation. This can help determine if the issue lies with the specific green screen rather than TikTok itself.
17. Consider a Different Video Editor
As a workaround, you can record footage normally then apply the green screen effect during video editing using a third party app:
- Adobe Premiere Rush (paid subscription)
- FilmoraGo (free version available)
- VideoShow (free app)
- VivaVideo (free version)
Look for apps that support chroma key filters. Record normally in TikTok, then edit with the green screen effect applied in another video editor app before uploading.
18. Report Green Screen Issues to TikTok
If the problem appears specific to TikTok’s built-in green screen effect, consider reporting it as a bug via TikTok’s feedback channels:
- In the app, go to your profile, tap the 3-dot menu, then “Report a problem.”
- On TikTok’s website, click Report at the bottom and fill out the form.
Clearly describe the issue and provide screenshots as well as your device info. This provides valuable insight to TikTok engineers to improve the green screen feature.
With the right troubleshooting techniques, you can get flawless green screen results in TikTok. Start with simple steps like restarting your device, updating TikTok, and ensuring proper lighting and internet connectivity.
For best results, use a high-quality green screen backdrop and stationary camera. If issues persist, consider uninstalling and reinstalling the app, adjusting camera settings, or reporting the problem directly to TikTok.
With some diligent testing and tweaking, you’ll be creating awesome green screen videos in no time!