Keying in Premiere Pro CC 2015

A while back I wrote about Utilizing a Green Screen. In that article I focused on lighting, shooting your scene and of course editing. Well, as with any software or program out there, Adobe has made changes to Premiere. With the update to Premiere Pro CC 2015, the garbage matte that was so user friendly when chroma keying a green screen is GONE! This was a very simple tool to use and made the process of keying a breeze. I was worried at first when I saw it was gone, even mad to be honest. Based on the threads I scanned through to find the new solution I wasn’t the only one. The good news is, the current way to key within Premiere Pro CC 2015 is just as easy, if not easier.

Let’s walk through the new steps on chroma keying green screen footage in Premiere Pro CC 2015.


1. Open Premiere Pro CC 2015 and import your desired footage and desired background.

 Note: Be sure to put the footage you are keying above the background footage/image in the sequence.

Keying Step 1


2. Make sure the footage you are keying is selected. In this case it will be 00212.MTS.

Keying Step 2


3. Open the Effects Controls and open the fx Opacity section. 

Note: This step is going to replace the garbage matte from the previous version. 

Keying step 3


4.  You are going to want to use one of the tools in the Opacity section to create a mask over your footage, trimming out what you want and don’t want. You can use whichever tool under the opacity section you prefer. You can use the ellipse mask, the 4-point polygon mask, or the free draw bezier. I will always opt for the free draw bezier as you have more control over it and it resembles the familiarity of the garbage matte. Use your tool to outline your footage, making sure what you want to remain on the screen is within the mask. If you are using the free draw bezier, make sure you connect the last point with the first point to create an entire connection.

Keying step 4.1

(Image with Opacity Mask using free draw bezier, points not connected)

Keying Step 4.2

(Image with Opacity Mask using free draw bezier, points connected)


5. Search for Ultra Key in the Effects and drag the effect on top of your footage you are keying.

Keying step 5


6. Open the Effect Controls and open the Ultra Key Section.

Note: Make sure your footage is selected in the sequence again.  

Keying Step 6


7. Take the eyedropper and select the dark green area on your green screen footage.

Keying Step 7.1


8. Go through the different sections within the Ultra Key and adjust the value for each section to your liking for the best result of your keying.

These will include:
Keying Step 8.1

Keying Step 8.2

Keying Step 8.3

Keying Step 8.4

Note: This process can take some time, so be patient with your adjustments. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in what you are working on that no adjustment seems to help. So if necessary, take a step away from the footage and come back later with a fresh set of eyes.

Let’s take a look at the original image and the original values of the Ultra Key sections.
Keying Original Image            Keying Original Values


Now, let’s take a look at the final image and the final values of the Ultra Key Sections.

Keying Final Image        Keying Final Values

What are your thoughts on this update in Premiere Pro CC 2015? Let us know in the comments below!

Audrey is a senior Instructional Designer with the Learning & Professional Development team at Northern Arizona University. She has a B.S. in Electronic Media and Film with an emphasis in Entertainment Management and an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from NAU. With her experience as a newsroom weather director and on-screen talent, as well as multiple years of experience teaching in a university classroom setting, Audrey brings a unique perspective to the LPD team.

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