Understanding Chroma Key effect & Learning its use In VFX

Overview

It has been over a few decades since the use of green screens has taken a pace. Initially, this technology was said to be primarily reserved for Hollywood blockbusters and local news stations only but is now utilized by almost all the major YouTubers.

Back in the day, the process used to be quite complex. Things like the optical printers, film strips and more were required for adding a green screen effect. But thanks to the modern-day invention, all it takes now to add a green screen effect is roughly $30, a smartphone & a high graphic video editor.

Wondering why I have only been talking about the green screens? What’s so special about it?

It actually is a visual effect used prominently by the Industry these days known as “Chroma key effect”. If you haven’t encountered with Chroma Key effect before, go through my blog to get more insights.

What is the Chroma Key effect?

A chroma key is an effect that allows you to remove all of one selected.

The Chroma key effect has many names associated with it. It is known as colour keying OR colour separation overlay OR Green-screen OR the Blue-screen effect. This effect allows the user to easily remove the background. Chroma Effect is majorly used in the film industry, news channels, Television programs, studios and advertisement. Mostly Green and Blue colour is used in chroma effect according to film or video background. It can be either done in post-production or during the real-time recording.

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(Green Footage)

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(Output)

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Why only Green/Blue Colour?

The principle behind using the Chroma keying is because of the reason the colour Green/blue holds an opposite colour shade to our skin tone. Black and White colours too are used in chroma effect but only in the rarest of cases. If we used other colours like Red, Orange or any colour tone of them then it will be affected in human skin or clothes or other object which is important in video. That’s why we can not use other colour in chroma effect.

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List of Software which allows this effect

Mostly all video editors would provide you with this effect & some applications too provide you this effect in mobile. Just to give you a list, here are the famously used software using the Chroma Key effect.

  • Adobe After Effect
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Apple iMovie
  • Filmora
  • Camtasia Video Editor
  • Corel VideoStudio
  • Sony Vegas & more

Surely by now, you would be thinking on how exactly to use the Chroma Key effect?

How to Use Chroma effect?

It is very simple to use. You just need to follow these steps. Here I have used the Adobe Premiere video editor for chroma effect.

Step 1:

First you need a solid green or blue coloured background. Then open Adobe Premiere pro video editor and import your video footage and background according to your project. Then drag and drop footage into the timeline.

Note: Here you need to put your green/blue screen footage above your background footage.

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Step 2:

Then search “Ultra Key” in Effect box. You can also find like this: Effects > Video Effects > Keying > Ultra Key. And apply this effect into your green footage.

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Step 3:

Then you can find the ultra key effect into ‘Effect Control’ box. Here you need to just pick up the background colour of your green footage or blue footage. After picking up the color you can see your output.

That’s it 🙂

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Step 4:

Here you can see your output without green colour background.

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If you are a non-technical person and weren’t able to exactly visualize on how it actually works, refer to the video here.

Hope this blog has helped you to understand the concept of Chroma key effect.

GIF was taken form: https://giphy.com/

mm

Dhruvkumar Vyas Game Designer

Dhruv is working as a Motion Graphics and Video editor artist at Yudiz Solution Pvt. Ltd. He is always crazy to learn and implement new ideas on Animation and VFX.

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