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Green Keying in Premiere Pro

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Text outline of video below.

This guide is assuming you’ve shot a decent video with relatively good lighting. After you’ve set up your project and sequence follow these steps.

Mask Subject

  1. In the effects panel, find Opacity and click the Pen (Free Bezier) tool
  2. Scrub (move the play head slider left-to-right) to a frame where subject is using the most space (hands extended out or up, etc.).
  3. Outline subject by clicking around them (leave plenty of space around subject). Click and drag (while holding left mouse button down) to create an arc. These points can be moved once finished to fine-tune the outline.


  1. In effects panel, search ultra for Ultra Key effect
  2. Drag Ultra Key effect onto video clip
  3. Use eyedropper and select area of green that is best green color
  4. Switch Output to Alpha Channel. (Areas that will be visible are white. Shades of grey are partially visible. Goal is white (visible) or black (invisible).)
  5. Matte Generation Settings
    1. Transparency: Adjust as much as possible so long as it doesn’t effect your subject
    2. Shadows: Again, adjust as much as you can so that it doesn’t bit into your subject
    3. Pedestal: Cleans up background whites that are slightly visible. Don’t be too aggressive here.
  6. Switch Output back to Composite
  7. Matte Cleanup
    1. Adjust choke a little. This helps remove the border around the subject.
  8. Spill Suppression
    1. Increase desaturate up to the point just before subject begins losing color.
    2. Luma can help clean up blurred edges if there’s a lot of movement.

Updated on February 1, 2019

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