How to Key Green Screen DSLR Footage in Premiere Pro CS5

I was honored to create a tutorial for Fstoppers.


Almost from the start I have been following, yes I know it’s mostly a photography site and not about DSLR video, but actually it relates more to video than you think. If you ever watched some of their  featured videos like the one with the Iphone or even the Lee Morris wedding  photography video you will notice that not only do these guys take awesome pictures,  but they also create some awesome BTS videos as well.

Patrick Hall from Fstoppers contacted me and asked if I would create  a step-by-step green screen tutorial for Premiere CS5, and I told him I would be honored.

Just a quick disclaimer for those not familiar with me and my site, I’m an amateur and I show all the mistakes I make as I learn how to shoot DSLR video. That being said, I have been doing green screen work for about 4 years now, but I am totally self taught – so I am not a pro at this.

I use cheap halogen work lights for my setup. First up is my 250watt hair light which provides some depth by providing a nice rim light on my shoulder and hair, I made the barn doors out of sheet metal.

Next up is my 1,000 watt key light that’s high up and pointing through a window screen frame made from nylon stop fabric.  My fill light is set to 500 watts which is also using the same screen frame.

After that I have two work lights for lighting the green screen, and as you can see they do a bad job, one of these days I’m going to replace them with something better but since Premiere Pro does such a good job I’m not in a big hurry.

The green screen is 6 feet behind me and I am not casting any shadows on it.

Now that I have shot my footage I place the native DSLR .mov files on the Premiere timeline.

I like to do all my sharpening and color correction first and then I put in the Ultra Keyer, I have a new video card and the Mercury Playback Engine can handle the playback smoothly without rendering.

Watch the video below for the rest of the tutorial. I drank a little bit too much red wine tonight celebrating my birthday so I am not sure if any of this is readable. 🙂

Boulder Flat Irons from NCAR HDR First Attempt