Blackmagic Design is Convinced that Ultimatte 12 is the World’s Best Keyer

A year after acquiring the green screen removal specialist Ultimatte last year at IBC 2016, Blackmagic Design is launching a new key processor, Ultimatte 12, that they believe is not only the best keyer in the world, but  a design that will pave the way for the next generation of broadcas graphics.

Ultimatte 12 is supposed to improve its ability to process color and make background designs look the way they are supposed to, without messing with surrounding colors. It features “completely new algorithms and color science, incredible edge handling, greater color separation, amazing color fidelity and better spill suppression than ever before.” writes Blackmagic Design.

With augmented reality, like computer generated charts or graphics, becoming more of a necessity for live broadcasts, Blackmagic promises that Ultimatte 12 will provide a new realistic layer compositing mode that can add tinted objects on top of the foreground image and key them correctly. This essentially means that the object can transmit the colors seen through it, which other keyers sometimes struggle with. “Talent can even walk behind it and the tinted colors are accurately preserved, making the shot look completely realistic.” said Blackmagic Design.


Blackmagic also says that Ultimatte 12’s image processing algorithms, huge internal color space, and automatic internal matte generation will let it work on different parts of the image separately. “Fine edge detail is preserved where it’s needed the most, like on hair, and transitions between colors or other objects in the scene is completely smooth. Everything is handled by new math and sub pixel processing that’s designed for incredible quality and clarity in both HD and Ultra HD.”

Ultimatte 12’s color handling is supposed to be able to remove backgrounds without affecting other colors when doing so. It’s improved algorithms are reportedly able to remove green tinting and spill from anything; this includes shadowy areas and through transparent objects.

“Ultimatte 12 can retain and faithfully reproduce colors that are impossible on other keyers, such as a bright yellow dress in front of a green screen. Unlike other keyers, Ultimatte 12 delivers crisp clear, photorealistic images with vibrant colors that pop!” wrote Blackmagic Design.


Ultimatte 12 also is said to work with both a fixed camera and static background setup or an automatic virtual system set system setup and provide realtime pre-visualization for television and film productions that lets you see the virtual set while shooting against a green screen.

Users of Ultimatte 12 reportedly have that option to work in both HD and in Ultra HD, due to its 12G-SDI design, switching whenever they feel ready to use Ultra HD. Blackmagic says the keyer is compatible with pretty much all SD, HD and Ultra HD equipment as well, seeming to allow for production flexibility when it comes to equipment, meaning you most likely won’t have to go out and buy new equipment that’s compatible with the keyer.

Ultimatte 12 is operated with a touch screen remote, Ultimatte Smart Remote 4. This smart remote is said to have the ability to connect to up to eight daisy-chained Ultimatte 12 units.


“Ultimatte has been the world’s highest quality broadcast keyer for 40 years,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “We’re excited about taking this incredible technology to the next level! Ultimatte 12 is no longer just a simple keyer, it’s an Ultra HD realtime compositing engine designed specifically for the needs of today’s live broadcast, television and film production needs!”

Ultimatte 12 is available now for $9,995 and its Smart Remote is also available now for $3,855.

See for more details about Ultimatte 12.


Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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