A simple sky replacement effect could have an enormous impact on the overall look of any of your videos, especially when done in a professional and creative manner. Of course, you won’t be able to turn each and every shot into an exquisite masterpiece of the craft and composition by solely using this simple post-production technique.
Yet, there are certain occasions when the extra hard work you put in the editing bay will be totally worth the effort. Speaking of great examples, here’s one in the video below produced by talented video editor Kyler Holland who will walk us through the magical world of sky replacement right away.
First and foremost, when you’re doing a night sky replacement just as shown in the video, it’s essential to pick a high contrast composition to be able to sell the effect more easily. You can also apply the filter to either a particular portion of the clip or the entire video depending on the situation.
After that, go to the Effects Panel in Premiere Pro CC, search for the Color Key filter and drag it onto the video you want to replace the sky with. Then, in the Effect Controls of the clip itself, pick the Key Color eyedropper and click a section of the sky that you want to replace. Тweak the Color Tolerance to the point where the selected surface gets completely black. To fine tune your key, you can further adjust the Edge Thin and Edge Feather settings.
Finally, all you have to do is to find a decent sky replacement clip and place it beneath your main video on the timeline. If you are still not satisfied with the results you get, you can adjust the brightness and contrast of your overall scene so that both elements in the final composition match seamlessly together. You can even apply further color grading changes to achieve a certain look and make your final piece stand out even more.
It’s also worth noting that you can create multiple color keys on the same video as well as mask your main subject in the frame if there are any visible spills existent in your image. Overall, it’s just a basic chroma keying technique that seems to work quite efficiently in a similar type of situations as you can replace virtually any surface in your composition as long as it consists of a uniform color that can be easily keyed out.