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Make a color transparent!

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Greg Mulcahy
Make a color transparent!
on Apr 11, 2012 at 12:44:34 pm

This is probably a bit of a rookie request.
I am working on a video that includes some stuff from a graphic designer. He will be using flash to overlay some images and graphics etc, and exporting them for editing into my video.
If he chooses one block color that I need to replace with video, is there a tool that I can select that allows me to replace that color with video, like green screen? I haven't done any green screen work on Final Cut before. I will be able to corp some of his stuff as its straight edged, but there will be small animations with logos etc that need to be overlaid on to video. Can you help me? I am using Final Cut Pro 7.

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Chris Lehmann
Re: Make a color transparent!
on Apr 12, 2012 at 7:33:17 pm

What you are talking about is Chroma Keying and, yes, you can do that right in FCP7 by selecting the clip and going to Effects>Video Filters>Key>Chroma Keyer. Then select the color you want to key out and tweak the settings until it looks good. However, I wouldn't do it like this if you can avoid it. First off the default keyer in FCP is...well a little rough. It can be hard to get really good results from it without a lot of tweaking.

I'd have him export an image sequence in a format that supports transparency or an alpha channel. PSD or TGA would work, PNG should work as well. Open the first numbered image in QuickTime Pro or Motion and select the image sequence option, then export it into a ProRes 4444 file with colors set to "Millions+" and bring that into FCP. That way you get perfect transparency and little to no hassle.

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