Adobe Premiere: How To Create Composites

Composites are a video effect that is created in post-production in a program like Adobe Premiere. It involves combining two video clips into one by either using mattes or chroma key.

Working with Mattes

Mattes can be used for many things but probably their most common use is to erase something from the frame. Let's say that you shot your video on a green screen stage but were forced to include a lighting stand for whatever reason. You can use a matte to cover up the stand and essentially erase it from your video.

Prepare the Timeline for the Matte

Before you can apply the matte we need to prepare the timeline. For this we need at least two video tracks. On track two we will drag the video clip that we shot on the green screen from the bin. On track one we will place the background that is going to replace the green screen.

Make sure that the video tracks are at their proper scales and position for the compositing to occur.

Add a Matte

Go into the effects bin and find the "Keying" section. There is an effect called "Four Point Garbage Matte." Drag it onto your video clip in track two.

Making the Matte Work

With the video clip on track two selected, go up to the "Source Monitor" and click on the "Effects Control Tab." Then expand the triangle next to "Four Point Garbage Matte."

You're going to concern yourself with the position of the matte. Play with the coordinates of the four points until your unwanted stand is covered up by your background plate. Make sure that the matte is not covering up anything else in the video.

Now that the stand is gone it's time to concentrate on the green screen.

Chroma Key

Chroma Keying involves replacing a solid color in the frame with a different image. In Adobe Premiere it is called "Color Keying" To apply it to your clip drag the "Color Key" effect from the "Keying" section of the "Effects Bin" and add it to you video on track two.

Expand the effect in "Effect Controls" and you will see an eye dropper. Click on the eye dropper and then click on part of the green screen in the clip. This is going to be the color that will be keyed out. Use the other controls in the effect to control how much of that color gets keyed out without taking anything away from the image you wish to keep.

Unevenly Lit Green Screen

You may need to apply the "Color Keying" effect a few times to the clip because if the green screen was unevenly lit then there might be several shades of green to key out.

Once you are finished keying out all of the green you will have a composite shot.

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