How To Get The Perfect Greenscreen Key

Learn how to get the perfect greenscreen key in Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro and Sony Vegas.

Video Transcript

This time on tips and tricks we’re gonna take a look at some of the keying tools you can use to do a Chroma key effect in three different software programs.

In Adobe Premier, step one is clicking on the video effects tab, open keying, and drag the Chroma key option on top of your video. It’s important to keep the video track that is being laid on top of the green screen above the video track that has the green screen. From here we open effects above the source window and click on the eyedropper tool. This tool picks up the color you want and uses it as the main plate to key over.

From here we have a few options for adjustments to create the perfect Chroma key. Similarity broadens or reduces the range of the target color that will be made transparent. Blend is a double exposure option that blends the clip you are keying out with the underlying clip. The higher the adjustment, the more the clips blend together. Threshold controls shadowing in the range of color that have been keyed out. The higher the adjustment, the more shadows are retained. Cutoff darkens or lightens shadows. Smoothing specifies the amount of anti-aliasing applied to the boundary between transparent and opaque regions. Basically this creates softer edges by blending pixels together, or sharper edges by disabling anti-aliasing. The last step is to crop out anything we don’t need by clicking effects and then going to transform, which allows us to cut out the left and then the right sides of the clip out.

When using Sony Vegas, first we have to go to video effects, click Chroma keyer, then green screen. Again we use the eyedropper tool to determine our transparent key color. The high and low threshold options adjust the luminance value of the key. Like smoothing in Premier, blur smoothes the edges by the amount of anti-aliasing being applied. To crop off the sides of our video, we simply went to tools, video, and then video effects/pan and crop. This allowed us to trim our video just like we did in Premier.

When using Final Cut Pro, we click on the video filters tab, then click key. Three areas for keying pop up: key on Chroma, key on saturation, and key on luminance. We can adjust the center on control to raise and lower the hue and saturation levels of the key. We can also do this by adjusting the color gradient scale. Also in the key on Chroma area is the width option, which adjust the top handles that allow you to select a larger and smaller range of colors that are keyed based upon the original color that was selected with the eyedropper tool. The saturation and luminance areas adjust the level of saturation and luminance that contributes to defining your key. Edge thin allows users to modify the keyed are by shrinking or expanding it, basically allowing you to control a grainy key by filling in the small gaps and adjusting the edges and borderlines. Soften takes out the edges, creating a smoother transition between the affected and unaffected parts of the image. This can also be adjusted by the bottom handles of the center on control. The bottom handles allow you to define the tolerance of your key.

No matter what software program you’re editing with, now you have the groundwork to get the job done. In our next segment we’re gonna look at even more tricks so we can max out what we just learned in this segment.

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