Chroma Keying for Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro is a type of video editing software that can do chroma keying effects. This is a really useful tool and is frequently used to combine an object or element shot in front of a green screen, and then change the background. As long as the lighting is good for the shot, then this is a very easy effect. The green color is frequently used because a bright green color is very different from any skin tones.

Step 1: Clean Image

The easiest way to do this effect is to start with as clean an image as possible. So, ensure that good lighting is used with the green screen and image. The photo should be the highest quality as possible. Lighting, eliminating shadows and minimizing reflections are all important. Try to have the subject as far away from the green screen as possible. Make sure that the lighting will match the final desired output.

Step 2: V1 Spot

Put the background that will be used in place of the green screen in the V1 spot. Turn off the V1 spot temporarily, but ultimately edit the green screen shot over the V1 spot. To turn off the V1 spot, select the V1 clip, and then hit the control and B key.

Step 3: Crop

Getting rid of as much of the background can make chroma keying easy. Crop the image so only a minimum amount of green screen is surrounding the image. It is easy to get rid of a few shades of green instead of many. Instead of cropping it, a matte can also be used to reduce a lot of the color around the image.

Step 4: Add a Matte

To add a matte to get rid of the garbage area around the actor or image, go to the filters tab, then matte, and then select the 8 point garbage matter. Create point controls in the viewer. The cross hairs of the points will be the frame for what to keep in the image and what will be contained in the matte. Do this for all 8 points, and then smooth out the edges.

Step 5: Chroma Smoothing

To do the chroma key effect, 2 different filters will be needed: a chroma keyer and a chroma smoothing filter. Select the clip that needs chroma keying, and load it into the viewer. Within the effects tab, go to filter, key, and then color smoothing. If the format is DV-NTSC, then choose the 4:1:1 filter. All of the formats will use the 4:2:2 color smoothing filter. The color smoothing filter will blur the channels that will smooth out any of the jagged edges that may occur with the subject.

Step 6: Chroma Keying

Once the smoothing is applied, the chroma keying filter can be used. There are 2 main interfaces for keying: numeric and visual. Both interfaces actually work in the same way. Click on the select color eyedropper, and then click on the green screen near the actor or object. A lot of the background should disappear. Hold the shift key down and keep clicking on the green areas to get rid of as much of the green background as possible.

Step 7: Fine Tuning

To get rid of any green screen around the image by fine tuning the matte, adjust the color saturation, color control and luma control to fine tune the map and get rid of the halo of the green screen.