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Tutorial: Applying Effects to a Portion of a Image with Adobe Premiere Pro’s Track Matte Effect

This tutorial demonstrates how to apply an effect to a portion of a video image while leaving the rest of the clip untouched, and how to track that portion of the image throughout the duration of the clip, using the Track Matte effect in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Creating a Title to Use as a Matte

The next step is to create a title to use as the matte. At the top of the workspace, choose Title > New Title > Default Still, and press OK to choose Settings that match your clip. Next, in the titler, pick a shape that matches the shape of the region that you’re trying to impact in your video. In this example, I want to create a matte in the shape of an ellipse (Figure 3, below), so I’ll draw an ellipse over my daughter, as shown in Figure 4 (below Figure 3).

Figure 3. Choosing the Ellipse Tool in the Premiere Pro titler.

Figure 4. Drawing an ellipse around my daughter to create the matte. Click the image to see it at full size.

Once I’ve created the ellipse, I drag the title into the timeline put it in Video 3, just above the duplicate clip in Video 2, and stretch it out in the timeline to the full duration of the clip (since we’re applying the effect to the entire subclip from our original sequence). The title appears an ellipse over my daughter, but everything else is still in full color, as you can see in Figure 5 (below).

Figure 5. The ellipse over my daughter in the Program Monitor.

Applying the Track Matte Effect

Next, we need to apply the Track Matte effect to the top clip. You’ll find the Track Matte effect in Video Effects > Keying (Figure 6, below). Choose it and apply it to the clip in Video 2, which in this example is the top What - Flowers clip.

Figure 6. Choosing the Track Matte effect.

Next, in the Effect Controls panel, in the Matte pull-down, choose Video 3 to tell Premiere Pro that the matte (the ellipse we created in the titler) is on Video 3 (Figure 7, below).

Figure 7. Locating the matte in the title in Video 3.

So the matte disappears, but we still have full color, as you can see in the Program Monitor in Figure 8 (below). Nothing looks different.

Figure 8. The Track Matte effect (but no additional effects) applied.

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