Serious chroma keying: ultra

Recently released as a PAL version, ULTRA's primary advantage over competing tools is a proprietary technology called vector keying. This allows you to create high-quality chroma keys easily, even with DV25-based camcorders and less-than-perfect keying material.

The NTSC version's one-click key button has disappeared, so you'll find yourself having to adjust a wide range of settings, but ULTRA is pretty accommodating, and eliminates the need for expensive setups and stacked chroma key filters. The fact that you can do this in real time on a laptop would make it invaluable to off-site setups, eliminating costly retakes when footage proves to be unsuitable back in the editing studio.

But ULTRA isn't just a chroma key, it's also a compositor, and comes with a collection of 15 "virtual sets". These are backgrounds you can drop behind your keyed out clips, covering typical camera views with a range of themes, not to mention tracking moves and reflections/shadows. Where this differs from standard backdrops is that ULTRA lets you include video and stills as elements alongside your talent, holding them in place as you seamlessly pan and zoom around the set (a notoriously difficult thing to achieve with regular compositors). Sequences of finalised clips can be created without the need for additional software, but you can also export keyed clips with transparency channels for use with video editing software.

We'd like to see the crop tool replaced with a more flexible garbage matte, and a plug-in version would be nice for anyone with a preferred editor, but otherwise there's very little missing from this excellent chroma key compositor.

of how we used ULTRA to great effect on the Back To Basics video found on the PC World November CD.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laurence Grayson

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?