Composite an otherworldly scene by blending footage in creative ways and using the Ultra Key effect in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Man sits in darkened room watching TV showing sci-fi movie ‘Voyage to the Ice Planet’ depicting alien landscape and UFO

Qué necesita

This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file. Any reference to “Voyage to the Ice Planet” is for demonstration purposes only and is not intended to refer to any actual organization, products, services, or creative work.

Starting in the Editing workspace, place your background footage on V1 in the Timeline panel. Landscape shots containing large areas of sky provide a workable, blank canvas for your creativity.

Adobe Premiere Pro shows the Editing workspace and wintry, mountainous landscape footage in the Timeline panel

Find a photo or video clip of an object that suits your alien landscape. Ideally, the object will be fully in view and isolated against a black or transparent background so you won’t have to mask it. Our sample uses the planet Jupiter. Place the footage on the track above the background video and adjust its Position, Scale, and Rotation values in the Motion section of the Effect Controls panel (Shift+5) until the added element fits into the scene.

Rectangular image of Jupiter on a black background is added to the sequence and scaled so it appears in a blank portion of the sky

Select the layer of the added object. In the Opacity section of the Effect Controls panel, choose a Blend Mode setting that merges it with the background. Your best choice may be Screen.

Screen blend mode is chosen in the Effect Controls panel to seamlessly insert the planet with the landscape

Now that you’ve established your background, consider adding an element in the foreground. Greenscreen footage works best for this. Place it on the top video track.

A green-screen clip of a UFO is added to the top of the sequence, obscuring the other footage below it

Apply the Ultra Key effect to the greenscreen footage. Click the Key Color eyedropper color picker and then sample the green in the clip to key it out, removing it from view. Holding Command/Control while sampling measures a larger color area and often provides better keying results. Depending on the evenness of the greenscreen in your footage, you may need to change Setting from Default to Aggressive to improve the keyed footage.

Ultra Key effect is added to the sequence and green is keyed out of the UFO footage

To check the quality of your key, change Output from Composite to Alpha Channel. Your keyed object should be solid white (opaque) and the background should be solid black (transparent). If you find any areas of gray, they will be translucent. Go back and change the Ultra Key settings to remove them.

Ultra Key output is changed to Alpha Channel, rendering the keyed object white and the background black

Depending on what your object is and what you want it to do, you could keyframe its Motion controls (Position and Scale in our example) to make it appear to travel through your alien landscape.

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Adobe Stock contributors: sergeyxsp1974, ianm35, naturalearth2, Artem

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