Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with green screen and chroma key footage


Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training

with Abba Shapiro

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Video: Working with green screen and chroma key footage

In this movie we're going to look at removing the green background using the Ultra Key filter. So if you take a look at our Timeline, we actually have two sets of clips. We have the nice easy one to work with, which was shot perfectly, and then we have a little more challenging shot. Let's start with the easy one, because I know that you are going to shoot your video perfectly. Now, what I want to do is I want to select the upper clip, which has the Narrator, which we shot on a green background, and I'm going to apply the Ultra Key Effect.
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  1. 56s
    1. What is Premiere Pro?
  2. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 42s
  3. 27m 52s
    1. Launching the application for the first time
      3m 27s
    2. A tour of the interface
      4m 55s
    3. Customizing the window layout and the interface
      7m 0s
    4. Exploring the different ways to drive Premiere Pro CS6
      4m 33s
    5. Understanding system configuration and the Mercury Playback Engine
      3m 17s
    6. Adjusting essential preferences
      4m 40s
  4. 40m 7s
    1. Importing files and folders
      11m 2s
    2. Importing card-based media
      6m 1s
    3. Capturing from tape
      4m 10s
    4. Organizing media
      12m 3s
    5. Reconnecting offline media
      6m 51s
  5. 21m 0s
    1. Basic editing overview
      4m 44s
    2. Previewing and marking media in the Project panel
      7m 11s
    3. Previewing and marking clips in the Source panel
      9m 5s
  6. 33m 38s
    1. Editing clips into the Timeline
      7m 56s
    2. Marking and targeting destinations in the Timeline
      2m 53s
    3. Moving clips in the Timeline and performing a swap edit
      4m 11s
    4. Adjusting edit points in the Timeline
      2m 6s
    5. Splitting clips using the Razor tool
      2m 16s
    6. Deleting clips
      2m 38s
    7. Performing an insert edit
      4m 14s
    8. Performing an overwrite edit
      3m 10s
    9. Dragging to a second layer to edit cutaways
      4m 14s
  7. 43m 16s
    1. Performing a three-point edit
      7m 23s
    2. Performing a replace edit
      3m 48s
    3. Targeting specific tracks in the Timeline
      3m 1s
    4. Linking and unlinking audio and video tracks
      3m 51s
    5. Performing roll and ripple edits
      6m 51s
    6. Performing slip and slide edits
      6m 42s
    7. Creating subclips
      4m 29s
    8. Locating and working with different versions of a clip using Match Frame
      7m 11s
  8. 42m 52s
    1. Taking control of your Timeline
      7m 57s
    2. Adding video and audio tracks
      5m 32s
    3. Performing audio-only and video-only edits
      4m 49s
    4. Changing track visibility and locking tracks
      5m 42s
    5. Rendering
      7m 43s
    6. Using the History panel to undo multiple actions
      2m 31s
    7. Creating keyboard shortcuts
      5m 35s
    8. Creating buttons
      3m 3s
  9. 23m 28s
    1. Working with audio
      5m 22s
    2. Adjusting audio levels in the Source Monitor
      3m 0s
    3. Adjusting audio levels in the Timeline
      10m 10s
    4. Adjusting the audio mix on the fly
      4m 56s
  10. 9m 4s
    1. Inserting markers
      4m 8s
    2. Snapping markers to each other
      4m 56s
  11. 29m 52s
    1. Working with stills
      10m 57s
    2. Moving on stills
      5m 54s
    3. Exporting and re-importing stills
      3m 47s
    4. Working with still and animated graphics with transparency
      2m 39s
    5. Working with layered Photoshop files
      6m 35s
  12. 20m 58s
    1. Changing speed and reversing a clip
      6m 22s
    2. Changing speed at a variable rate
      9m 10s
    3. Creating and using freeze frames
      5m 26s
  13. 28m 22s
    1. Using transitions
      9m 36s
    2. Understanding the nuances of transitions
      6m 24s
    3. Modifying transitions
      8m 37s
    4. Setting default transitions and applying multiple transitions
      3m 45s
  14. 36m 36s
    1. Applying and modifying effects
      4m 51s
    2. Applying presets and motion effects
      5m 42s
    3. Saving favorites
      3m 50s
    4. Understanding color correction
      4m 4s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      3m 23s
    6. Working with green screen and chroma key footage
      6m 36s
    7. Using the Warp Stabilizer to stabilize clips
      6m 27s
    8. Applying filters to audio
      1m 43s
  15. 27m 45s
    1. Creating static titles
      7m 8s
    2. Creating lower thirds
      10m 2s
    3. Creating a credit roll and crawls
      6m 41s
    4. Using Photoshop for titles
      3m 54s
  16. 20m 0s
    1. Introducing multicam editing
      1m 46s
    2. Creating a multicam clip with timecode
      3m 25s
    3. Creating a multicam clip using sync points
      4m 1s
    4. Editing a multicam clip in a Timeline
      4m 26s
    5. Refining a multicam edit
      6m 22s
  17. 9m 51s
    1. Exporting a movie
      4m 12s
    2. Sending to Adobe Media Encoder
      3m 44s
    3. Printing to video
      1m 55s
  18. 1m 22s
    1. Next steps
      1m 22s

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Watch the Online Video Course Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training
6h 59m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course introduces Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, using a project-based approach that introduces video editors to all the skills necessary to cut their own program. Using a short commercial project as an example, author Abba Shapiro walks viewers through a complete and logical workflow that begins with importing media, creating a basic rough edit, and then refining the cut with music and sound effects, transitions, visual effects, and titles. The course also includes troubleshooting advice, such as reconnecting offline media and using the History panel to undo multiple actions.

Topics include:
  • Customizing the window layout and the interface
  • Importing card-based media
  • Capturing media from tape
  • Marking and selecting the best takes from clips
  • Editing clips into the Timeline
  • Performing insert and overwrite edits
  • Performing more advanced editing tasks, such as 3-point editing, replace edits, and trimming using ripple and roll edits
  • Mixing audio
  • Editing more efficiently using markers
  • Working with stills and graphics
  • Creating speed changes on clips
  • Adding transitions and effects
  • Creating titles, credit rolls, and lower thirds
  • Demonstrating multicamera editing techniques
  • Stabilizing shaky footage
  • Exporting your final project to the web, mobile devices, and tape
Premiere Pro
Abba Shapiro

Working with green screen and chroma key footage

In this movie we're going to look at removing the green background using the Ultra Key filter. So if you take a look at our Timeline, we actually have two sets of clips. We have the nice easy one to work with, which was shot perfectly, and then we have a little more challenging shot. Let's start with the easy one, because I know that you are going to shoot your video perfectly. Now, what I want to do is I want to select the upper clip, which has the Narrator, which we shot on a green background, and I'm going to apply the Ultra Key Effect.

I'll go into the Effects tab and simply type in ultra, and there you go, the Ultra Key Effect, grab it, and drag it onto the video with the green background. Now, at first it doesn't look like anything happened. Well, if we take a look in our Effects Control panel, you'll see there's an Eyedropper, and I'm going to simply click on the Eyedropper and tell the application what I want removed. Boom, it was that easy.

If you shoot your video well, the Ultra Key will work with a single click. Now, if you need to push it a little bit, you can go ahead and underneath Setting, there is an option for Relaxed and Aggressive, so if I click on Relaxed, it won't try as hard, and you see that it doesn't really pull the key. And if I didn't shoot it that well, I can switch over to Aggressive, and it's going to really work hard to remove all the green. Sometimes it can overdo its work and so really the default is best.

Now, before we jump to the next clip, I want to show you what you are really ultimately trying to do when you create a green screen matte. I'm going to switch from Composite to Alpha Channel. So if the green screen matte is done perfectly, when you switch to the Alpha Channel, everything that's black is transparent, and everything that's white is solid. So this is where my Narrator will be solid, and I'll be able to see through the green to the background. I wanted to show you this because that's our objective on the next clip.

Let me go back, switch this to Composite, and move my playhead over to our challenging clip. The problem with this clip is is we didn't light it right. It's too dark here, it's too light here, and I have a really dark blob of green. So if I go over and drop on the Ultra Key on this clip and say, what do I want removed, what do I pick? If I pick the light area, well, I have this shadow here that's problematic, and this is not really translucent, see? When I look at my Alpha Channel, it's not pretty.

And if I go back, and I choose the darker area, it fixes that problem in this area here, but I have a big white blob. So I'm going to add one more filter to help me with this key, and that's a Garbage Matte. I'm going to go ahead for the moment and turn the Ultra Key off, so we are back to our original image, and let's go ahead and find the Garbage Matte in our Effects panel. Now, it's called a Garbage Matte because we're trying to remove the rest of the garbage from the outer edges of our screen.

Now, there's three different options: there's a Four-Point, Eight-Point, and Sixteen-Point Garbage Matte, which means you have that many points of control to draw your shape. For what we need here the Four-Point Garbage Matte will work perfectly, and you can probably figure out how the Eight and Sixteen could work to your advantage. I'm going to grab the Four-Point Garbage Matte and drop it also on the green screen clip. If we scroll down, we see the Four-Point Garbage Matte has been applied. By selecting it, I now see little dots in each corner that I can adjust.

And my goal is to simply drag this so that I can remove as much of the image as possible before I start my Chroma Key. Now, this would look great, but I realize as soon as she moves her hands, it's going to go off screen. So you need to be sensitive to where your talent might move if you create a Garbage Matte. I think we are pretty safe here. So the good thing is I removed that big dark blob and the shadow here, and now I can go back and start working with my Ultra Key and really focus on this small area here.

Now, to best do this I'm going to switch back to the Alpha Channel so I can see exactly what I need to remove. Remember, black is transparent, white is going to be translucent, or in some cases solid. So there's a few sliders I can work with here underneath Matte Generation. I can play with my Pedestal a little bit and bring that up, and you see it gets rid of some of it, but what I really want to do is start playing with my Highlights. And look how quickly I can get rid of that bright spot right there.

And now, if I switch back from my Alpha Channel to my Composite channel, it's a much cleaner key. Let's go ahead and hit Play and see what it looks like. As you see, with just two filters and a couple of sliders, I was able to turn a really challenging green screen into a really clean green screen. I want to add one more piece of information that I find really useful when working to create a really nice looking green screen, and that's at the very bottom of the Ultra Key filter, it's something called Color Correction.

Now, the point of this part of the filter is not so you can color correct your image, it's so that you can tweak your image so the foreground matches the background. Sometimes when people do a Composite, the background looks so different--it's such a different color, it's such a different luminance level--that you see it's fake. Here I can tweak it just a little bit to make sure that she looks like she really was over the background. Now, there's a little bit of irony there because she is actually standing in front of a graphic, so it's not necessary, but this is a really important final step to make your green screen or your key work.

So just to show you what happens, there I can play with her luminance, also work a little bit with the saturation, and remember, a little bit goes a long way. So the trick of getting a good key is use the Ultra Key filter and a Garbage Matte to remove the really hard stuff.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training .

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Q: The exercise files don't work for me. I get an error message stating the sequence(s) could not be loaded and it returns me to the Welcome screen. I am using the trial version of Premiere Pro and the correct codecs do not seem to be included.
A: All the required codecs are included in the trial version of Premiere. You just need to activate the trial with your Adobe ID. If you don't sign into Adobe, anything with MPEG compression will be unavailable. Signing resolves that issue and restores all MPEG-based support.
Q: I'm receiving the following error message from Premiere Pro. "This project contained a sequence that could not be opened. No sequence preview preset file or codec could be associated with this sequence type." How do I resolve it?
Additionally, when I try to create a project, I only have DV sequence presets available.
A: Solution 1: Deactivate, and then reactivate Adobe Premiere Pro.
Launch Adobe Premiere Pro by clicking the application icon. Do not attempt to load a project file. Choose New Project, then create a project. The settings you choose in this step are not important.
Launch Premiere Pro so that the Help menu is available. Choose Help > Deactivate. Then on the Deactivate, screen click the Deactivate button. On Premiere Pro CC Choose Help > Sign out ...Then sign back in. Launch Adobe Premiere Pro as you did in Step 1. On the Sign In Required screen, click the Sign in button. If prompted, sign in with your Adobe ID. The full list of sequence presets is reinitialized. Open the project the generated the error to ensure that it opens correctly. If you are still unable to open your project, contact Adobe Technical Support.
Solution 2: Re-create the Adobe Premiere Pro preferences and plug-in cache.
Get ready to press the Alt (Option) + Shift keys simultaneously. Launch Adobe Premiere Pro by clicking the application icon, and immediately press and hold the Alt (Option) + Shift keys. Continue to hold the Alt (Option) + Shift keys down until you see the Welcome Screen. Note: If the preferences have been reset successfully, the Recent Projects area of the welcome screen will be blank. (Holding Alt (Option) alone on launch will reset the preferences. Holding Shift alone will delete the plugin cache.)
Q: When I tried to open the exercise files for this course, the following message popped up.
"This project was last used with Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA), which is not available on this system. Mercury Playback Engine Software only will be used?"
What do I have to do to solve the issue?
Luckily, there is no issue. This is how Premiere Pro operates. "Mercury Playback Engine Software only will be used" is an indication that the machine that is being used does not have an approved/fast enough graphics card. However, all the files and media for this course will work just fine.
You can read more about the system requirements for Premiere Pro here and here

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