The beat . A blog by premiumbeat

November 20, 2011

Video Tutorials on Effective Chroma Keying in Pro Editing Apps

In this post, we’ve rounded up tutorial videos demonstrating chroma keying techniques in the most popular professional video editing applications.

For those unfamiliar, chroma keying, or “green screening” as it’s often referred, is the process of stripping out a solid color from your video image (thereby creating an alpha channel) so that it can be overlayed on another image or background.  Usually done with either a solid green or blue background, the quality of your key will depend on a range of factors including the on-set lighting setup, the camera (and camera settings) used, as well as the software and settings used to “pull” the key in post.

As editors, we can’t always control these first two factors and often must rely on our post software to achieve the best key possible.  Each of the applications below has built-in chroma keying functions, that offer a varying degree of settings and controls. For complex chroma keying and green screen work a compositing application such as Nuke, Smoke or After Effects may give you more precise tools.  However, for simple chroma key work the filtrs that come standard with Final Cut Pro, AVID and Premiere might be all you need to pull a clean key.

We’ve crawled the ‘net to bring you the following quality video tutorials that teach how to use the chroma key function in each of these applications.  Discover how to adjust the feathering, choke and spill settings to get clean edges and preserve detail and color. Chroma keying is not a cookie cutter operation!  Different footage will require different settings based on the conditions in which it was shot (and how it will be used in the final product). With the following tutorial videos you should quickly be on your way to being a chroma key pro!

Apple Final Cut Pro X
Earlier versions of Final Cut Pro
Apple Motion
AVID Media Composer
Adobe Premiere CS5
Adobe After Effects
The Foundry Nuke
Autodesk Smoke
Sony Vegas
Grass Valley Edius
Shooting a Chroma Key Setup


Legacy versions of FINAL CUT PRO:



Adobe PREMIERE (Ultra Key):

Adobe AFTER EFFECTS (Keylight):

The Foundry NUKE (Primatte):

Autodesk SMOKE:


Shooting a CHROMA KEY Setup:

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  • Waqas

    Just lekood at this support plan, interesting how it’s available for the HD9 and MP9 users only. Another example of how Avid is steering itself away form the “standard” personal/home studio aka. LE Protools user. I believe the writing is on the wall, they just wrote it with invisible ink.

  • WeActOnImpulse

    Vegas is good but the chroma keyer can be annoying.

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