How to Mask Video in Adobe Premiere Pro

Written by lanae carr
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How to Mask Video in Adobe Premiere Pro
(Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Premiere Pro contains a variety of tools that allow you to add special effects to your video. Masked video eliminates the background around an object in your video clip, making the object appear to be floating in space. This is a usual tool in creating a modern look for a range of interview-style videos. With Adobe Premiere Pro versions CS2 and later, you can create masks in your video using the Chroma Key feature.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Premiere Pro and click the icon labelled "New Project."

  2. 2

    Click the "Custom Settings" tab. Revise the Editing Mode to "Video for Windows." Enter "25.00 frames/second" for the Timebase, "320" horizontal and "240" vertical for the Frame Size, and "Square Pixels" as the Pixel Aspect Ratio. The Sample Rate should be listed as "44100 Hz."

  3. 3

    Click "File," then "Import." A dialogue box will appear allowing you the option to search for your video file on your computer. Locate the video file and click "Open." Your video clip will appear in the left project panel.

  4. 4

    Drag the video clip from the project panel down to the timeline under Video Layer 1. Click "Video Effects" in the bottom-left corner, then "Keying." Select "Chroma Key" from the drop-down menu.

  5. 5

    Drag the "Chroma Key" icon from the Effects panel and drop it on the video clip in your timeline. Adjust the Chroma Key settings by clicking "Window," then "Effect Controls." Changes you make are reflected in the image in the Monitor window.

  6. 6

    Select "Black" under the Color setting menu. Using the eyedropper tool, add a black fill colour onto the area of the clip in the Monitor window you wish to change. As you drag the eyedropper, parts of the background turn black. This indicates the colour to be masked.

  7. 7

    Release the mouse to sample the colour. Continue adding black fill colour until the entire background is masked. Click "File," then "Save" to save your video clip.

Tips and warnings

  • Always render your effects in Premiere Pro so you can review the changes in your Playback window.

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