12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2016 9:00 PM by A.T. Romano

    How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac


      I'm finding it incredibly difficult to find any clear instructions on how to make a green screened background transparent in a video clip to display an alternative background image or video clip.  In the limited documentation I've seen the Video Merge effect is recommended but the controls for tuning the transparent areas are very limited.  One expert  mentioned using the Difference Matt but after about 30 minutes of confusion I had to give up.  I have to mentions that my 11 year old daughter can do this quite easily in iMovie even on her iPad but we are all totally dumbfounded as to how to accomplish this in Premiere Elements.

      Appreciate any advice.


        • 1. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          In the absence of Chroma Key, Green Screen Key, and Blue Screen Key, I suggest using the Difference Matte instead of Videomerge.


          You wrote

          One expert  mentioned using the Difference Matt but after about 30 minutes of confusion I had to give up

          Might I be the author of the how to to which you refer?



          If so, that how to is quite detailed. But, if you want, I will go through those steps step by step with you. And, we can do that referring to the specific image involved.

          I have gotten very positive feedback regarding that Difference Matte work, so I am eager to learn where the confusion sets in for you in those steps.


          However, since I did that work, I have found an alternative to Difference Matte and Videomerge for the Premiere Elements Mac user. The keying effect is called Non Red Key. Please consider the details in the following (if you have not seen them before)

          ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE: Non Red Key. What is it?


          Please consider, and then let us know of your Premiere Elements progress as your schedule permits.


          Thank you.


          Best wishes for the new year.



          • 2. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
            llhowles Level 1

            Thank you very much for your conscientious and thorough response.  I have tried all three methods on my Mac Book Pro achieving varying levels of success.  The Video Merge method seems to work the best; however, unlike the instructional material that uses static images of angels my motion video material produces hot spots on the screen with little static or fuzzy areas.  The Non-Red Key method was not able to remove all of the green and produced a semitransparent green hue to the entire background graphic when I adjusted for the optimal subject clarity.  The Difference Matt was by far the worst producing harsh slices of background and foreground visual elements.  I must mention that I did not include a video 3 layer of a pure green graphic because I did not have such an image and could not understand the reason for having it because the video subject on layer 2 had a green screen background.  I might also add that my green screen lighting is probably not as even and bright as those shown in the instructional materials, however, the Video Merge method came very close to achieving satisfactory results.  I believe with a few additional setting controls I could have reduced the fuzzy static areas.


            I have screen captures of each of the 3 tests and will attempt to attach them below.


            Overall, I would have to conclude that Premiere Elements 14 for the Mac is not up to the green screen task and I will probably be consulting my 12 year who uses iMovie and produces some pretty impressive green screen effects.  If you have additional suggestions I am very open to listening.


            Many Thanks.



            1) Video Merge


            2) Difference Matt  (I played extensively with the settings and this is the best I could get)


            3) Non Red Key (This is the best I could get without losing clarity of the subject's colors)


            • 3. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
              A.T. Romano Level 7



              Thanks for the follow up. Appreciated.


              Your Difference Matte results seen in the screenshot are unexplainable.based on the feedback I have gotten from other Mac users who have used that technique for their green screen projects. That Difference Matte result looks like the result that I would expect from Videomerge.


              Would you consider sending a sample of the video 1 content and a sample of the video 2 replacement background as a shareable link from Google Drive or Dropbox? You would be posting the shareable link in a public forum, so I am not sure if you would consider this idea.


              I would like to rule in or out factors involved in the quality of the product obtained.... related to files used, computer operating system, or other.


              What keying effects does iMovie have?


              Please consider the above. Very interesting question and results.


              Best wishes



              • 4. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                llhowles Level 1

                Thanks A.T. for the follow-up.  I would be happy to share with you my project files for all three of my tests, however, I'm a little apprehensive about making my Dropbox publicly available on a forum. Please feel free to email me at [private info removed by Moderator] and I can set up a shareable Dropbox folder for anyone on this forum to access my test files if interested.

                In addition, I had my daughter do a test using iMovie on the Mac with the same green screen video and the results were comparable to what I achieved with Video Merge in Premiere Elements 14.

                Many thanks.


                • 5. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                  A.T. Romano Level 7



                  My main interest is getting a look at the green background for your image of subject recorded against that green screen.

                  Would you consider posting that as a jpeg screenshot in your thread?

                  Just in case information  The specified item was not found.


                  I have observed that it is best not to post contact information in the replies in order to avoid unwanted nuisance (spam) to your contact information.

                  We can ask a moderator to remove that information from your post 4. In contrast, the posted screenshot or shareable link in the thread would not be classed as contact information.


                  Thank you for the information on your daughter's success with your green screen project in iMovie. What tool did she use there to key out the background solid color? Chroma Key? That is my choice in Premiere Elements Windows.


                  Please consider. I do not want to inconvenience you with my request. But, it would be interesting information for all those trying to decide on answers for Premiere Elements Mac and green screen projects.


                  Best wishes.



                  • 6. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                    llhowles Level 1


                    Here's a sample frame of the green screen video used in my project.  It was shot on an iPad.  I'm aware that next time I'll need to get more even lighting on the green screen.  Nonetheless, we managed to make the green transparent in iMovie (with my 12 year old daughter's help) using the Video Overlay controls.  The only problem was a slight grey outline around the subject's black border. I also noticed that there are additional controls in iMovie for isolating specific areas of the frame that need greater transparency, which I just discovered about 5 minutes ago and did not get a chance to use yet. 




                    There are a number of apps for the iPad that allow adding green screen effects to videos. One of these is called "Green Screen by Do Ink" but there a several others most of which are under $5.


                    Actually, my preference would be to all of this using Premiere Elements but right now it looks like that might not happen until perhaps the next upgrade for the Mac.  If you discover any other work-arounds please let me know. 


                    Appreciate your help on this.  And yes, it would be a good idea, as you suggest above, for the moderator to remove my contact email from post 4 above.  How do I make that happen?


                    Many thanks.



                    • 7. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                      A.T. Romano Level 7



                      Thanks for the photo posting, I will report back with my results as soon as possible.

                      It is just after midnight here, so I should have my results and comments posted in your thread by tomorrow morning. But, I may try to stay up a little later to

                      get some Premiere Elements keying done on that photo.


                      I am working on someone removing that email address. I am not a moderator, so I do not have access to taking care of that. If it is still there in the morning morning I will go to plan B.


                      To be continued....



                      • 8. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                        A.T. Romano Level 7



                        Here are the results...


                        With your green background and subject and Premiere Elements Windows 7 64 bit...


                        Chroma Key and Videomerge did the job of removing all of the green background.

                        Difference Matte could not remove all of the green background.


                        I took the photo that you posted into Photoshop Elements 14/14.1 and removed your green background and replaced it with a solid green color created by me in Photoshop Elements 14/14.1. Into the Premiere Elements project went the two images (as jpeg)....subject on my newly created solid green background and the other just the newly created solid green background that I created.


                        The Difference Matte results were excellent. For that matter, ChromaKey and Videomerge results were also good.


                        Based on those results, I am led to believe that Difference Matte is more sensitive to the nature of the green screen background than the other two.

                        Difference Matte






                        Background Layer (Video Track 1) Alone


                        Since the background in the Difference Matte example looked darker to me than the rest, I included a view of just the background alone.


                        I will look at this again later in the morning.



                        • 9. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                          BTW, have you tried just using Videomerge? It's the simplest way to key a video on a Mac.

                          • 10. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                            A.T. Romano Level 7

                            For those viewing this thread, please refer to whole thread instead of just last entry to get perspective on the thread topic.


                            See whole thread where comparison of Premiere Elements Mac Videomerge to Difference Matte and other started this whole discussion.



                            • 11. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                              llhowles Level 1

                              Many thanks AT.


                              I have a few questions and comments.


                              First, you used the Windows version of Premier Elements.   I don't believe some of the effects features are available on the Mac version such as chromakey.   Is this correct?


                              I'm unclear as to the reason why a green color slide is needed on the video 3 track.  Does the apply only when using the Differenice Matt?


                              In a motion video clip how wold I colorize my green background to make it more saturated and bright like you did.   I could see doing this on a slide in Photoshop and importing it back into the Premiere timeline but don't understand how I could do it with an entire video clip. 


                              So what do you recommend that I use for green screen effects in Premier Eements for the Mac?   Seems like the video merge may be the best option here?  However if the Difference Matt is an option is it because I did not put a blank green slide on video track 3 that produced the crazy results I got above?


                              thanks again



                              • 12. Re: How to do green screen in Premiere Elements 14 on Mac
                                A.T. Romano Level 7



                                Thanks for the follow ups.


                                I am strictly an Elements Windows user. So, I go with the Windows Only keying effects as well as the non Windows Only. ChromaKey, my favorite, is Windows Only.


                                In the Difference Matte, the video 3 track content is essential by the nature of the Difference Matte Effect....which is keying out the background based on a difference between background and background plus subject. If you did not put a green no subject image on Video Track 3, that is not Difference Matte keying.


                                What I do to get the background for Video 3...in Premiere Elements create color matte with color properties that represent the background which is created as uniformly as possible. See Expert workspace Project Assets and its Panel Option New Item/Color Matte and type in the properties to get the exact color. If I am also working in Photoshop Elements, I will create that Video 3 content there and import that into the Premiere Elements project.


                                Back in 2013, I wrote of my exploration of Color Matte and matching colors. It may be of interest.

                                ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE: Color Matte Color Matching Experimenting


                                But, if you have Videomerge working for you, then go with it. You will not need to create a Video 3 layer as in the Difference Matte way.


                                What has been described can be done for video as long as the subject is recorded on the same green background and that background is uniform. Lots of advice and how to for video green screen projects.


                                If I were a Premiere Elements Mac user, I would probably go with whatever gave me the cleanest subject...in my case, probably Difference Matte. If that could not do the job, then I would have to explore Videomerge. You could do the reverse - Videomerge first choice, Difference Matte a second consideration.


                                Lots of different approaches which are decided upon on a project to project basis.


                                Best wishes with your Premiere Elements projects. Thanks for the interesting topic.