How To Add Cinematic Soft Black Margins (Vignette) To Your Video - Screencast Tutorial

Alpha Chroma Key Mask in Magix

As I've said in a previous tutorial, your job as a videographer is not to show reality. Reporters and journalists do that. And obviously an easy to use video editing software helps a lot.

Your job is to effectively deliver a beautiful lie. And for that you need to make your video look better. Yup, all those great scenery videos you see on YouTube are color corrected like crazy.

In this case, we're talking about adding soft margins (also called vignette) to your video for a better cinematic aspect. Here's how to do it:

Basically you need to add a white picture with gradient grey or black margins. You can create the image in most graphic software out there:
For your convenience, I bundled three images that you can download here.

Gradient Gray Margins for Chroma Key Alpha Mask

Then you just drag your image into the timeline of your editing software - in my case Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus - and overlay it onto your video.

The image will cover your video but that's when the Alpha Chroma Key kicks in. Available in Effects tab/Video Effects/Chroma Key.

You apply the mask effect to the image (not to the video) and the white part becomes transparent.

What this does is it sets the video to be shown in the white area on the image, while the grayish (black) areas will cover the margins of your footage.

So this is how you get that movie-like look. Pretty simple, eh?

You should look into your program coz this effect may have a different name in each software.

Over to you

Have any questions or remarks? Drop a comment and let's talk.

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  1. How do you do a proper gray key, i.e. where the white (or black) in the matte shows the pixels in the video clip, whereas the black (or white) makes them transparent - and the shades of gray in-between makes them semi-transparent?

    1. With an Alpha mask just as I've shown here. The white area shows the video while the edges cover the image gradually from transparent to full black.

      You can create the mask as you want in Photoshop or Inkscape.

  2. Salut Constantin,

    Am o problema la pasul Alpha. Ti-am urmat exact, toate indicatiile, insa dupa maximize, nu apare acest layer (imaginea descarcata de la tine) peste video. E ca si cum nu as fi adaugat nimic. De asemenea, nu se intampla nimic , chiar daca apas Alpha.
    Imi scapa ceva ?

    1. Hmmm... Vezi ca dupa ce dai Alpha tre sa ai o sageata pe segmentul care reprezinta imaginea. Da click pe sageata aia in sus sau in jos ca sa schimbe directia efectului.


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