Using green screen backgrounds is an easy and affordable way to quickly raise the production value of your next project without breaking the bank. By editing with Adobe Premiere’s Ultra Key tool, you’ll soon be adding all kinds of imaginative backgrounds to your films, from swooping aerials to deep sea diving.

The Ultra Key plugin only appears in recent versions of Adobe Creative Suite (CS5 or later). If you’re working with an earlier version of Adobe, check out our tutorial on editing green screen backgrounds with the Chroma Key tool.

This detailed video tutorial from Sonic Orb Studios should help you visualize the keying process, or you can read on below to view our step-by-step instructions.

How to Edit Green Screen Footage with Ultra Key

1) Import both the green screen footage and the footage you want to replace the green screen with into Adobe Premiere. (File>Import)

2) Place the video clip that will replace the green on the Video 1 Track on the Timeline.

3) Place the footage that contains the green screen on the Video 2 Track directly above the other clip.

4) Select the “Effects” tab next to the project tab where your imported clips are. Click on the arrow next to “Video Effects” so you expand the folder selection. Next, click the arrow next to the “keying” folder and drag the “Ultra Key” effect onto the video clip that has the green screen in it.

5) Using the “Effects Control” tab in the center of the desktop, expand the Ultra Key effect controls by clicking the arrow next to the effect.

6) From the Ultra Key controls, select the eyedropper icon and place the icon over the color box as viewed in the sequence monitor window in the upper right side of the Premiere desktop.

7) Expand the controls for “Matte Cleanup” found beneath the eyedropper control icon used in the previous step. Adjust the sliders for the “Choke” and “Soften” to fine-tune the key effect.

8) Save your project.

9) Render your project.

10) Save your project again.

It’s that easy to edit green screen footage using the Ultra Key tool in Adobe Premiere.

Explore these far-off places and dynamic motion backgrounds from our library to include in your next green screen project.

New York City Nighttime Flyby Sunset-over-field
exploding-particles color-formations


Find Green Screen Footage

Image credit: Sonic Orb Studios