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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?