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Working with Keys

I had a tough time deciding which chapter would include information about key effects. I chose this chapter simply because they perform similar to a title in the sense they are edited on their own track and a background track fills in their keyed out areas. That said, creating good solid chroma keys not only relies on Avid Xpress Pro but also on how well the footage has been shot.

Chroma Keys

Chroma keys are used throughout the film and television industry on a daily basis. Chances are you’ve heard the about the “blue screen” or “green screen” effect. These are effects where actors or your local weather person stands in front of large backdrops of color, usually blue or green. The color is removed and replaced with another piece of media, a still frame, a clip, or a graphic. The term chroma key refers to “keying” out a color. Avid Xpress Pro does not care which color you choose to remove. The reason that blue and green are so popular is due to their intense saturation. Although red is certainly also very saturated, some people have a red skin tone, thus making it hard to “key” out the color without removing portions of a person. In my experiences over the years, I have notice that keying out green is more common in television, whereas keying out blue is more common with the film industry. Before performing a chroma key effect, you’ll need some footage shot against a backdrop of blue or green.


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