It never ceases to amaze me how magical many of the Adobe tools, features and techniques can be. One of my all time favorites is the Video Merge feature in Premiere Elements 7; one of five tools that is part of the Adobe Digital School Collection (ADSC). Video Merge as it’s called within Premiere Elements 7 is simply another name for a popular video technique often called Blue Screen, Green Screen and Chroma Key.
In this post on the Adobe Education Technologies Blog and with the help of our amazing Captivate 4 software, I will walk you through what basic gear you need to easily create great Chroma key video clips and then show you with one click how to actually make a Chroma Key (Video Merge) video for your movie projects using Premiere Elements 7.
Screen shot example above is two seperate video clips merged together using Premiere Elements 7 Video Merge feature.
What is Chroma Key?
If you’ve seen a TV weather report in the last twenty years or more you’ve seen a Chorma Key video effect in action; typically a weather man or woman (aka a meteorologist) standing in front of a swirling mass of clouds or furious moving images of a hurricane taken from a satellite’s time lapse series of photographs shot from hundreds of miles above your city or state.
Chroma Key simply boils down to taking two images, or in our case two separate video clips in which a color (usually a background color) from one image or video is removed or made transparent thusly exposing the image or video clip behind the first one.
I’ve created a Captivate 4 movie (link below) to show you what basic gear you need to get started and how to create your very own Chroma Key videos with Premiere Elements 7.
Before you get started learning how to make a Chroma Key, take a look at the finished example movie below called “Premiere Elements 7 Video Merge Example Movie.” This short movie (about two minutes long) of a teacher and her student talking about her student’s classroom project called Project Niu was shot with a portable green screen background and then merged with a video clip of Pacific ocean waves. Note every time you see the student and teacher you are seeing Chroma Key in action – a Video Merge in Premiere Elements 7. Teacher and student were never acutally at the ocean, they were in fact dozens of miles away from each other yet merged together with Premiere Elements 7′s Video Merge feature.
There are two example movies below. The first is the finished movie embeded below here in our blog which is hosted on YouTube.com. Note many school districts restrict access to YouTube so if you are unable to see the movie simply proceed to the link below it; this same movie is hosted with Adobe. Why have I hosted it on YouTube? YouTube is one of many ways Premiere Elements 7 can automatically upload and share your movie with the world.
Premiere Elements 7 Video Merge (Chroma Key) Example
Same movie as embedded one above but hosted on Adobe server. Click your browser’s back button to see next movie below after watching this one.
How to Create Chroma Keys with Premiere Elements 7
Please Note: This is a 23MB Captivate eLearning movie and will take a while to download – usually around five minutes or less. Click your browsers’s back button to return to the blog after viewing.
If you have any questions or comments about this topic, feel free to post them below here on our blog.
Happy movie making with Premiere Elements 7!
Richard John Jenkins