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I am recording a video for an elementary school. Making a video of the children I would like to replace the background with some suitable scenes. I can't easily use a green screen and the budget is very tight. What software solutions are there?

I have a dual boot Ubuntu/Windows 10 machine so can use either OS.

The PC is a AMD Ryzen 5 3400G with 16 GB RAM.

The video quality does not need to be Full HD.

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  • On what operating system? Do you use Debian? On what computer (you probably need a powerful desktop)? Do you have coding skills? Then look into OpenCV.... See also GIMP Jan 17, 2022 at 7:05
  • So you are about to record the video, or have you already recorded the video? I understand you don't have a green screen. Do you have a different single-colored background? A white wall might work as well. Or, in school, maybe a black board? If budget is a thing, what are your PC specs, roughly? What quality do you want to record (FullHD)? Jan 20, 2022 at 13:05
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    @ThomasWeller I am about to. I could try to record it in front of a wall but I don't know easy that would be with kids in mind. My PC is AMD Ryzen 5 3400G with 16TB of RAM. I don't need it to be FullHD.
    – Simd
    Jan 20, 2022 at 13:32
  • Thanks for answering follow-up questions. Your PC seems good enough for processing Full HD videos. Jan 20, 2022 at 13:36

2 Answers 2

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+50

Try using DaVinci Resolve. To replace a background in this program:

  1. Load your video into the timeline (this can be done by dragging the video from the file manager into the timeline)
  2. Click the "Color tab" in the bottom row.
  3. Right click on the video in the node screen.
  4. Under "Window" click the pen icon.
  5. Trace the subject(s).
  6. Click the "Tracking" tab right above the window box.
  7. Click "play" to start tracking.
  8. Right click the node and select Add Node -> Add Outside.
  9. Finally, drag Gaussian Blur from the effects tab onto the new node!

Now this is probably super confusing, so I also found a video explaining this process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2h5thLneK0

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Aktually Zoom provides this possibility - even in the free version - to:

  1. Record videos
  2. Convert these to a format that is suitable for presentation in the browser - or alternatively stream the video directly
  3. Use virtual backgrounds, be it still pictures or other prerecorded videos

Even without green screen it's amazing what their smart background feature can achieve, despite being of somewhat lower quality of course. Just make sure that your clothing has a different color from your background.

As this is browser based, OS is of no relevance as long as you can run a current browser. On windows you also have the possibility to download a free desktop client and use that.

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  • How can I add a virtual background to an existing video using zoom?
    – Simd
    Jan 19, 2022 at 17:19
  • Sorry, I understood you wanted to add scenes from the existing video as background to a new one that is to be recorded. That would be possible with Zoom. However changing background of an already existing video is a different issue, and I'm afraid not solvable with zoom.
    – jf1
    Jan 20, 2022 at 7:46
  • From the latest comments, I also understand you do not only have one person but maybe one adult person and many kids. I am not sure whether Zoom can handle that well. It might be optimized for a single person only. @graffe Jan 20, 2022 at 13:39
  • @ThomasWeller Sadly I think you are right. Yes there will be multiple kids.
    – Simd
    Jan 20, 2022 at 14:10

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