Play video inside see-through letters or shapes using a track matte key in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Snowboarder shows through text “mogul in the wake” on a black background.

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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 “Mogul in the Wake” is for demonstration purposes only and is not intended to refer to any actual organization, products, services, or creative work.

To get started, create a new sequence containing your background clip on V1. Working in the Graphics workspace (Window > Workspaces > Graphics), choose the Type tool and type a title directly in the Program monitor. Choose a font that’s relatively fat or blocky, like some of the slab serif or grotesque typefaces. Alternatively, import a logo graphic from Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator (File > Import), merging all layers if necessary, or drag it over from the Essential Graphics panel if it’s in a CC Library. Adjust the scale and reposition the title or graphic so it obscures your footage — for now. The footage will show through the graphic later.

Blocky font is used to type the text “mogul in the wake” over a video of a snowboarder.

Switch to the Editing workspace (Window > Workspaces > Editing). Move the title graphic up to V3 (Option/Alt+Up Arrow) and drag its ends to match the length of the video clip. Drag a duplicate video clip (Option/Alt-drag) up to V2. Trim the original clip in V1 by dragging its right edge to about the one-third mark. 

In the Editing workspace, the text length is dragged to match the length of the video clip. Duplicate clip is 1/3 the length.

In the Effects panel (Window > Effects), enter track matte in the search field. Drag the Track Matte Key effect to the upper video clip (V2). While that clip is selected, set Matte to target Video 3 in the Effect Controls panel. As soon as you do this, the background footage will appear inside your letterforms and the area outside will be black — except at the start of the sequence when the identical footage in V1 fills in the black area, effectively camouflaging the title. (By default, the Composite setting uses Matte Alpha. If your imported graphic has no alpha channel, use Matte Luma instead.)

Track Matte Key effect is added to the upper video and background footage appears inside the text on a black background.

Right-click the right edge of the lower video clip (V1) and choose Apply Default Transitions to fade in the see-through title design over the video — like a stencil.

Apply Default Transitions is selected and video shows through the text, with the brightest part inside the text.

If you’d prefer the cutout title to appear first and gradually fade away to reveal the footage playing underneath it, then trim the clip in V1 differently by dragging its left edge to about the two-thirds mark instead. Right-clicking its left edge and choosing Apply Default Transitions will complete the fade-out effect you want.

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