Chromakey with the Ultra Key effect

Online Tutorials

Karl Soule provides an overview of the Ultra Key effect on the Adobe website.

Tracy Peterson provides a video tutorial that demonstrates the Ultra Key effect on the Adobe website.

Will Head of MacUser shows tips and tricks for keying using the Ultra Key effect here.

For more information about creating key effects with the Ultra key in Premiere Pro, see this video by Video2Brain by Jan Ozer.

Eran Stern shows you how to use the Ultra Key effect in this tutorial.

Step by Step

The Ultra Key effect is GPU accelerated, for improved playback and rendering performance, in computers with a supported nVIDIA card.

  1. Apply Ultra Key to a clip or clips.
  2. In the Timeline, place the current-time indicator over a frame containing a key color.
  3. In the Effect Controls panel, select the desired options from the Output and Setting menus.
  4. Do one of the following:

Ultra Key effect parameters

Matte Generation

Transparency Controls the transparency of the source when keyed over a background. Values range from 0 through 100. 100 is fully transparent. 0 is opaque. The default value is 45.

Highlight Increases the opacity of light areas of the source image. You can use Highlight to extract details like specular highlights on transparent objects. Values range from 0 through 100. The default value is 10. 0 does not affect the image.

Shadow Increases the opacity of dark areas of the source image. You can use Shadow to correct a dark element that became transparent because of color spill. Values range from 0 through 100. The default value is 50. 0 does not affect the image.

Tolerance Filters out colors in the foreground image from the background. Increases tolerance to variation from the key color. You can use Tolerance to remove artifacts caused by color shift. You can also use Tolerance to control spill on skin tones and dark areas. Values range from 0 through 100. The default value is 50. 0 does not affect the image.

Pedestal Filters out noise, often caused by grainy or low light footage, from the alpha channel. Values range from 0 through 100. The default value is 10. 0 does not affect the image. The higher the quality of your source image, the lower you can set Pedestal.

Matte Cleanup

Choke Shrinks the size of the alpha channel matte. Performs a morphological Erode (fractional kernel size). Choke Level Values range from 0 through 100. 100 represents a 9x9 kernel. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 0.

Soften Blurs the edge of the alpha channel matte. Performs a box blur filter (fractional kernel size). Blur Level values range from 0 through 100. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 0. 1.0 represents a 9x9 kernel.

Contrast Adjusts the contrast of the alpha channel. Values range from 0 through 100. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 0.

Mid Point Chooses the balance point for the contrast value. Values range from 0 through 100. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 50.

Spill Suppression

Desaturate Controls the saturation of the color channel background color. Desaturates colors that are close to being fully transparent. Values range from 0 through 50. 0 does not affect the image, The default value is 25.

Range Controls the amount of spill that is corrected. Values range from 0 through 100. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 50.

Spill Adjusts the amount of spill compensation. Values range from 0 through 100. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 50.

Luma Works with the alpha channel to restore the original luminance of the source. Values range from 0 through 100. 0 does not affect the image. The default value is 50.

Color Correction

Saturation Controls the saturation of the foreground source. Values range from 0 through 200. A setting of zero removes all chroma. The default value is 100.

Hue Controls the hue. Values range from -180° to +180 °. The default value is 0°.

Luminance Controls the luminance of the foreground source. Values range from 0 through 200. 0 is black. 100 is 4x. The default value is 100.

* From Premiere Pro / Video effects and transitions reference