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FCPX tutorial: How to edit Green Screen footage on your Mac

Follow this step-by-step guide and learn how to transport your characters to anywhere in the world with the brilliantly simple Keyer tool in Final Cut Pro X.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 3

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Featured
FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Sidebar
Want to film footage in a sunny holiday destination but don’t have the time or the funds?
With a Green Screen you can transport your audience to another world. Green Screen enables you to insert background footage after the foreground has been filmed. It’s commonly used in films – from big budget blockbusters right down to little indie flicks. Did you think Spider- Man could swing his way through the city without any help? You see Green Screen every day used in newsrooms and on weather reports. The colour green is used because it is considered to be one of the only colours which is distinctly different from the colour of human skin. No green screen? The colour blue can also be used. Let us show you how.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step-by-Step

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 1

Step 1: Create a new project

Select File>New Project. Give your project a name. If your Green Screen footage has its own event, choose its name as the Default Event. Click OK.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 2

Step 2: Insert clips

If you need to import your footage into Final Cut, choose File>Import From Camera or File>Import. Alternatively, you can drag clips onto the Timeline.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 3

Step 3: Effects pane

Click on the Effects icon. Choose the Keying option from the list of choices on the Effects pane. In the Keying section, select the Keyer effect.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 4

Step 4: Apply Keyer

Drag the Keyer effect on top of your Green Screen footage. The Green Screen area of your clip will turn black. Don’t worry if it’s patchy – we can fix this.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 5

Step 5: Open Inspector

Next, select your clip and click on the ‘i’ icon on the right-hand side to launch the Inspector. Click Video at the top of the Inspector pane.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 6

Step 6: Change the view

In the Keyer section, scroll down to the View heading and click on the Matte icon – the Matte icon depicts a white person on a black background.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 7

Step 7: Matte view

Your actor will turn white and your background black. Matte view helps expose ‘opaque’ holes – you want a solid background and a solid person.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 8

Step 8: Fill the holes

Holes? Navigate to the Keyer section of the Inspector and scroll to Fill Holes. Drag the slider to the right until any opaque spots have turned black or white.

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Step 9

Step 9: Replace Green Screen

Go to the Event Finder and drag your background clip underneath your Green Screen clip. This will replace the Green Screen with your background.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

FCPX - Green Screen Editing - Annotated