New Sky Replacement

I’m pretty sure the next tutorial is going to be on advanced sky replacement.

We’re going out to film today, but here is an example on some behind the scenes footage. Notice the telephone poles on the left side still appear in front of the clouds even though they are small and nearly transparent. Using a procedural matte allows us to control the blending between foreground and backgrounds. This Matte generation can be used for so much more as well, I promise this will be a must see tutorial.

I figure it is about time to update that old tutorial with some new tricks and treats. Not even a single joke in that tutorial…

Sam Loya said he be in the tutorial but that it would cost 20M… All I had was a warm root beer, so filming begins at 4pm.

July 13th, 2007 @ 12:50 pm
Im first to comment! Sweetness. But I'm glad you're updating for the "new age" and all. Its good to bring back the classics and make them better. Always a build a better mousetrap.
July 13th, 2007 @ 12:58 pm
by default, tutorial 42 will be the answer to life, the universe and everything!
July 13th, 2007 @ 12:58 pm
This should be quite cool.
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm
Cant we get a tutorial on Sam's Method acting and the process he goes thru before he's roundly kicked around in your films?
Kyle Shields
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm
John Paite
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:07 pm
This will be pretty this the next tuts? when when when??
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:09 pm
Looks good.
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:15 pm
Dude sweet! I've been wanting to learn more about sky replacement. I think its a nice effect that can really enhance a shot. cant wait!
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:23 pm
I'll let Sam chime in on his methods, I can't speak for his genius.
Kyle Shields
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm
He probably just takes some pain killers afterwards, lol.
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:35 pm
Long time reader, first time poster :)

I have greatly enjoyed the tutorials and they have really helped immensely, both in solving particular issues, but also in helping me quickly grasp how to use AE.

I'm very much looking forward to this tutorial because I shot a short film last summer, but was unfamiliar with the camera and ended up blowing out the sky in every shot. I later shot some nicely exposed blue sky with soft fluffy clouds, but there were so many trees in the shots I couldn't figure out how to do a good replacement.

So, I'm really counting on you this time!! :)

BTW - if you want to see the film, it's here (6 minutes):
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:50 pm
That looks terrific. Very excited about this one, I have a feeling I'm going to be able to use it for a lot.
July 13th, 2007 @ 1:54 pm
Cool, thanks for tutorials Andrew, lately your site has been blowing up, congrats on that. I'm still waiting for that getting hit by a car tutorial though ;)

July 13th, 2007 @ 2:12 pm
Root beer good. Kramer even better.
Looking forward man:)

July 13th, 2007 @ 2:13 pm
Great, sounds really useful :).
July 13th, 2007 @ 2:15 pm
Hey Andrew, i see on ur reel the basball camp, whit thunder and bad clouds, this on dvd tutorial? and i question for u, is possible whit after effect create a big water waves?

July 13th, 2007 @ 2:18 pm
thanks, I loved the idea

but don't forguet the nigth effect ok??

can u also consider the idea to make some tutorials about
cinema special fx composition like last harry potter film wen they are fighting or super powers

(sorry for this coment, I know this is not a tutorial request forum)

sorry for the bad english too I'm a portuguease fan
thanks again
July 13th, 2007 @ 2:21 pm
Oh, Andrew, you are such an AE genius...I love you, man...cheese and a purely heterosexual, professional way, of course. :)

Can't way for the tutorial!!
July 13th, 2007 @ 2:33 pm
This is good news, I find the tutorials where you manipulate footage the most useful.
July 13th, 2007 @ 2:49 pm
Hi Andrew.

I have never used this cind of effect, but when i think about it, it is a pretty usefull effect. But is it possible if you can jus e-mail me with some pictures of some cool background i can use for a commercal i am going to make for the local TV-Station, like som grunge or ice texures. That would be great, if you dont mind me using them, by the way, the TV-station is in Norway, and it is pretty bad. He he, with your help it would be fantastic!!!! really!

But thanks anyway Andrew ;)
July 13th, 2007 @ 2:56 pm
Oooo, Superville is right :) This looks really cool.
July 13th, 2007 @ 2:57 pm
That's exactly what I was expecting for a sky replacement tutorial. I wanted to know how to remove the original sky from a footage and add another one, because it was kinda unclear to me how to do that and I've been wanting to do so for long, so it'll be a great if you could teach us how, so thanks in advance!
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:04 pm
I'm sure the 20 Mil would cover the hospital bills and perscription meds.
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:22 pm
nice one andrew

Gonna be cool to get some compositing tricks!
Dustin James
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:28 pm
That original tut. was the first I watched of yours.. its what made me find your site ~2yrs ago...


Can't wait to get it on my new PHONE! (not so subtle hint... hehehe)

@John Paite

I think Andrew is working on having a new tutorial every week on monday or tuesday...
Jacob Wall
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:37 pm
Number 42! W00t! Thats what andrew is going to be known 4. Number 42.

42 aka Andrew Kramer
Alexey Pekarin
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm
I wonder what Andrew will prepare for AK 47
Excuse my Russian humor
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:46 pm
Good idea Andrew!!! Give Sam what he wants. He deserves it after so many guns shots and explotion.
July 13th, 2007 @ 3:59 pm
Lol, does he work for free. Do you pay him in medical bills, lol. Give me a call anytime you need more crew or cast members.
July 13th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm
July 13th, 2007 @ 4:45 pm
nice one, i tried to do this a few weeks ago but failed, so it will be good to see where i went wrong.
July 13th, 2007 @ 4:49 pm
Can't wait!!! Are you going to revamp any other tutorials? Some more using action movie essentials would be very nice.
July 13th, 2007 @ 5:21 pm
Just got back from shooting. The footage should work well. This tutorial will be out soon.

Remember lets keeps this blog light and 'mind' our table manners.
July 13th, 2007 @ 5:25 pm
Looking forward towards this tutorial. I really enjoyed the last one but I never was to successful with your methods in Tutorial #1 when I applied your techniques to my own footage. That was about a year ago though so it'll be good to get familiarized with this process again. Looking forward to it.

forums ... ;p
July 13th, 2007 @ 5:31 pm
Awesome, I need this so bad :) You're the best Andrew!
Alexander Jansen
July 13th, 2007 @ 5:36 pm
I hope VCP releases some candy that I can buy for christmas, that would be aweeeesome. Also; Updating some old tutorials ain't a bad idea.
Keep it up Krame-nator (tihi), just had to rip that off!
July 13th, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

Hey Andrew you should make a donate page on your site.
July 13th, 2007 @ 5:58 pm
procedural mattes? i'm way jazzed to hear a tutorial's coming about that but are you still gonna do one on DOF mattes andrew?
July 13th, 2007 @ 6:15 pm
I'm truly looking forward to this, bigtime....
July 13th, 2007 @ 6:38 pm
Hey Andrew, This was my suggestion!

Thanks for taking it into consideration, can't wait!
July 13th, 2007 @ 6:58 pm
July 13th, 2007 @ 7:02 pm
I’m relasing a new movie I made yesterday with a few friends…
it includes a suitcase full of money, a limo, and 2 kidnappers…
Go to to see what happens!!!

Here are some links:

check it out!!
July 13th, 2007 @ 7:21 pm
easy on the spam ET... Let keep the blog relevant ; )
July 13th, 2007 @ 7:30 pm
cool andrew
cant wait!
July 13th, 2007 @ 9:06 pm
Hey it looks cool, can't wait 4 it. Thanx in adavnce.

Warm Regards
July 13th, 2007 @ 10:09 pm
Hey Andrew, you are the best in after effects
cant wait....
July 13th, 2007 @ 11:05 pm
Hey Everyone, We had a great shoot today!
Cant wait to see the final stuff!
July 13th, 2007 @ 11:19 pm
hey its Sam Loya!
July 14th, 2007 @ 12:15 am
It's great that Sams rise to fame here is all about how Ak beats the crap out of him... that and his ability to weld a light saber like no other.
July 14th, 2007 @ 12:39 am
Hello Andrew and everybody!
I had to replace sky in one of my oppening shots, it looked easy to do, but it wasn't. The picture vas slightly moving, it had sort of a little wiggle. Not only that I had to cover some new buildings with trees, couse the film was set in early 20th century. It was pretty tough to, I used motion track to match it with new sky and I must admit I'm still not to happy the way it looks.

This is why I am really looking forward to this tut, 'cause I believe is an common problem.

PS. I can't believe Andrew that you are 22 ... you are so young man. I would give you 32 :)
July 14th, 2007 @ 1:10 am
Hi andrew
will this be like in your reel where the stadium have different sky?
something like a stormy sky
July 14th, 2007 @ 2:10 am
Hahahah the warm root beer does it every time ;D
July 14th, 2007 @ 3:46 am
Hi there.
I've been watching your tutorials, and I must say I'm impressed. I won't spam your E-mail box so I'll write a thing or two here^.
First of all I would like to thank you for everything you done for me. I want to be a graphic and FX designer, and with your help I finally made some progress :D. Oh, there is so much I could write here, but it would be, erm... odd xD. So..., keep up with your work, you are really amazing... Well, I wish you good luck.
And thanks for everything :)
Some Guy
July 14th, 2007 @ 11:19 am
Cool! I've been waiting for this so long.
Check out some pretty nice sky replacement and color grading in the demonstration of Fusion 5:
It begins after approximately 40 seconds.

PS: I hope there will be a Day for Night Tutorial in the near future. Maybe you can use the same footage to show us the effect.

I promise this will be a must see tutorial.

July 14th, 2007 @ 11:49 am
cant wait, the last 1 was a bit poor lets say, i have tryed to use it, but as u mentuned here, some thin peaces get cut off, that is bad, especialy if there are many relevant peaces on that roof, argh ;)

keep up the good work

P.S. bottom pic is nicer IMO, 2 dark couds, but, that is just me.. ;)
Some Guy
July 14th, 2007 @ 1:13 pm
Andrew, how about a shot with replaced time-lapse sky from Real Clouds (I mean that sunset from the Real Clouds Promo) and a Day for Night at the end of the shot as an idea for the tutorial after this one. Some kind of a conclusion to the Sky Replacement Technique plus the Day for Night Technique with a smooth transition from day to night... That would be awesome!
Orc Master
July 14th, 2007 @ 4:08 pm
Wow, an updated sky replacement tutorial! That'll totally rock... Those matte techniques also seem useful for stuff like keying or cleaning edges on a mask. Really looking forward to it ;)

Also, please consider the day-to-night combination with the sky replacement; 'course, only if you want...

LOL, Sam will probably be happy that sky replacement is a safe effect... Is it? :P
July 15th, 2007 @ 3:49 pm
Cant wait. I actully requested you to do this tutorial in the request blog so I am excited its coming.
July 16th, 2007 @ 6:46 am
That is what I need: lucky me.
I wrote earlier about my camshots in a thick mist (fog) I had to mix up with some sunny scenes. Andrew, I have big expections to see how you will manage this new sky replacement. Thnx man.
July 17th, 2007 @ 5:50 am
why not just keylight? works exactly the same. clip black, clip white, etc
ore just make it grayscale with hue saturation and then curve the black and white.
and maybe a gaussianblur.
November 26th, 2010 @ 12:09 am
It's amazing how much a new sky can improve a shot.
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