Semi-Transparent Keying

I’ve been experimenting with some advanced chroma keying methods to specifically deal with reflections and subtle details like this car plate.

Often times we use keylight to get rid of everything that is green but in some cases we want to keep some of the reflections to make a shot more realistic. Some of these tips are quite noteworthy because the footage being used is from a Canon 5D which can be particularly noisy due to compression artifacts. Pulling a good key is already challenging enough but leaving in small details without flicker is even more problematic. I think I have figured out a few good methods and we even filmed another behind the scenes video to show how we setup the shots. Look for the video and tutorial soon.

POSTED:
3 years ago
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162 Comments

David
3 years ago
Andrew gets pulled over for drinking and driving. Police man confiscates 10, 6 packs of Coke.
sam
3 years ago
hey, andrew plz upload the tutorials,,,,,i need dude
mike
3 years ago
when? is so awesome
iZak
3 years ago
Steve Jobs 1955-2011. We will miss him.
    David
    3 years ago
    True, but random comment...
strangesponge
3 years ago
Recently been dealing with more subtle keying from a DSLR source too, neat video denoiser saved my ass big time. Interesting to see what techniques you guys have com up with
DaveW
3 years ago
I was under the impression the usual way to do this is to use glass to provide a much stronger reflection, to make keying easier? Then manually tone down the intensity of it.
3 years ago
I also need this
mohammad
3 years ago
ok nice tecknic
aftermathvfx
3 years ago
i can't wait to see the semi transparent tutorial, presently i've been experiencing alot of problem keying DSLR 7D footage...but this will help...thank Mr Andrew!
3 years ago
Hi Andrew can you tell what picture profile do you use when you shoot with a Canon DSLR?
Michael Reedy
3 years ago
why must i scroll ALL the way to the bottom of these mile long comments just to say... "Can't wait!!" Any tutorial by Andrew is and always will be entertaining and informative!
hitman
3 years ago
nice :-) need this tips
amrietok
3 years ago
Give us this video as soon as possible, our great teacher!!!
boulbadaoui
3 years ago
We are waiting for a new
Gaylor Maliya
3 years ago
I can not wait to see this tutorial!

can’t wait to watch it.
aj_steven
3 years ago
Dear Andrew Kramer,.
Thank you for all your tutorials, please never delete them,I would appreciate everything,your too kind giving your tutorials free,with your time and effort, I'll PRAY for you even if you don't know me.
Yours Truly,
Steven
masters3
3 years ago
when this tutorial is gonna out? :d
Mayowa
3 years ago
Many thanks Andrew.we look forward to it.
shady
3 years ago
Hey can you tell us what color correction tool you use, or if its just after effects then can you teach us about some advanced color correction techniques?
P.S .. that color correction you did looks awesome...
3 years ago
We've just shot a music video with a 7D and 5D, with a band in front on a massive wall of green screened TV'S...so I'm sure this coming tutorial will be handy.

I've been having trouble with keying the same footage from Adobe Premiere to After Effects CS5.5...tis annoying.

Keep'em up Andrew...you are awesome :)

Cheers
NicoSoftx
3 years ago
ME llamo Nicolas Carvajal y vivo en Colombia.

Es espectacular el hecho de compartir tu conocimiento. Que Dios te bendiga y te conserve para qu sigas tan magistral labor.

Felicitaciones y gracias nuevamente.
supun lankage
3 years ago
i all so need this tips
3 years ago
Stoked for this one!
3 years ago
Good work ! i have a work to do now!
wait my deleting scenes.
NEMESIScreator
3 years ago
I can't wait !
Chriskaar
3 years ago
Looks awesome!! :3
amy
3 years ago
cool.... I cant WaIt.....
gabriel
3 years ago
supa dupa stuff just
wolve
3 years ago
flawless without flickering or noise? this i have to see :O
3 years ago
I would like to see it !!

i am doing some experiment like that, but the difference(little one) is that i am not Andrew
:D


Where ir your 7D?
have u ever tried the panasonic GH2?
u should give it a try, but , i think u will prefer the color of canons when color grading.
3 years ago
My advise, stop using keylight and move on to Primatte, would probably save you few thousand hours from your life!!
John
3 years ago
I think the purpose of this was to inspire ideas. He pretty much told you how to get the semi-transparency in the video. It is a video to give you ideas for shots of your own.
Joe
3 years ago
can't wait to watch it. :)
SharkouS
3 years ago
Harry up Andrew i need it now ;)
JonMar
3 years ago
Where are your tracking points?
    John
    3 years ago
    I may be wrong but I believe they used 3d camera tracking for the swing shots
Anthony
3 years ago
Seriously guys I bet it is mostly linear color key! 100$ I bet!
Maidenman
3 years ago
This is just great. I just started to work with my greenscreen and here you are again with great news about new tutorial. Couldn't be better timinig!
3 years ago
Hey Andrew! I love you videos and everything about this site! You are really the reason why i kept up making videos! My biggest dream is to be a pro direction and live of what i love! My videos on my youtube channel are getting so much better thanks to you, mate! I wish you all the best and im sure i can say this for all of us - how can we every repay you!? You are creating experts! Keep it up Andrew and the rest of the VideoCopilot crew!
illd
3 years ago
challenging task. I would first denoise the material...Csnt wait to see the solution VCP style ;)
Matt
3 years ago
I've been shooting reverses & comping them in or using the same shot in reverse for reflections. This'll be quite a helpful tool!
3 years ago
GREAT!
I can not wait to see this tutorial!
3 years ago
This IS an important tutorial. Really it will work for any keyer, but I'm convinced Keylight is the best I've ever used.

Sometimes you REALLY don't want to push the key too hard.
It's COMPLETELY counter intuitive, but it's the right thing to do.

Basically it comes down to looking at the matte in Keylight when you're tweaking the key and instead of pushing it so that ALL the green is knocked out, you back off until you see what should be reflected in the window in the matte.

When you go back and look at the final output, you'll notice that now, there is a ton of green in and around the window. The supression in Keylight is VERY good and usually all you have to do is activate it (it's off by default) and select the proper color to supress.

Been doing greenscreens since Max Headroom (and even before that) and Keylight is the best I've used.
Luke
3 years ago
Got some dark edges going on around his nose... Can't see them on the plate - how would you remove them using this method?
Awesome
3 years ago
Hey, has anyone seen the website maxafter.com ? That dude totally copied videocopilot.net; the website designs, the way tutorials are displayed....
I don't like that ;(
What has Andrew Kramer got to say about it????? ;?
Jay
3 years ago
Can I vote for you as President? Fantastic that you share your knowledge....Great stuff!
Glynn
3 years ago
Awesome, Am looking forward to this. Have always wanted to know how this could be done so that you could key things out, but yet leave glass and reflections in the picture..
3 years ago
this is the man!
john
3 years ago
amazing! I tried to do the same with your screenshot
http://xmages.net/i/3116062
3 years ago
Really Awesome Andrew and mostly the reflection
SCOT
3 years ago
It would be very useful for me! hope you make it in short time!!!
3 years ago
Cool can't wait to see the tutorial.:)
riki
3 years ago
sweet!!! can't wait!
3 years ago
karet 20 baby
pls send me bb
Dan Allen
3 years ago
DSLR + chroma key = hell on earth.
Enough with the 5D, you were using the Sony F3 for the commercial. Steer clear my friend =).

Oh and 'Neat Video' is my best friend. Goodbye compression artifacts and noise.
    Anton
    3 years ago
    YOU ARE RIGHT !!!
    good cam + neat video = perfect key
Buwaneka
3 years ago
I sense something revolutionary is coming to the DSLR users...
3 years ago
Really dude !!!!!
How can you be sooo hi-tec... Is it even legal???
James
3 years ago
cool!Andrew, your works are always awesome!!
Metroeast
3 years ago
Great one to get tips on. Maintaining reflections while keying is so... Key lol
aamir
3 years ago
DEMON CAM TUTS!!!!!
Muhammad
3 years ago
Amazing stuff....keep coming

Can you please make a tutorial of falling down from a high floor and hitting the ground.

Or a car explosion. Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcPM6Ripbu8&feature=related
Steve_E
3 years ago
Ahhhhhh, long have I pondered these things...
looking forward to that video!
Les Galusha
3 years ago
Andrew, your results looks hauntingly familiar -- After Effects Keylight and the Optical Flairs Plugin. (SEE LINK)

http://www.vimeo.com/29336924

HERE'S A Simple GREENSCREEN Breakdown of a short film we shot In February 2011.
The film called "The Orderly", shot on a CANON 5D, contains a good 5 minutes of Greenscreen driving.

The results hold up on a theater screen projected with a HD Projector.
The noise/compression seems to be due to the compression from converting on VIMEO -- likely from the film-grain added to the footage.

Originally were hesitant to shoot this on the 5D due to compression/artifacts when pulling a greenscreen, but wanted to use specific lenses so went for it. I feel that ultimately with some TLC, I was able to get surprisingly good results, especially considering the loss of information with the native H264 codec.
3 years ago
Hey Video Copilot! This is some good stuff, but I'd really like to see some more tutorials from the "Demon Cam" promo.
wantedeffect
3 years ago
I dont have any car(((
Ted
3 years ago
I LOVE that you're using the 5D!
3 years ago
looks cool keep the tutorials and great ideas coming :)
Lalsinh zala
3 years ago
cool Andrew sir...!!.....i need this tutorial.....!!
3 years ago
I need this tutorial sooo bad! HELP! ;)
Miguel Carrera
3 years ago
Great! I've been looking for a tutorial on doing chromakeying work with HD-DSLRs!
Dan
3 years ago
Can't wait to see what you came up with
3 years ago
Drive Angry, Sam! Drive angry. Looking forward to the new tutorial, Mr. Kramer.

-Simon
Apo
3 years ago
Hi Andrew, U are my Idol :D
3 years ago
Perfect i need this tutorial for a future show !
LoveVC
3 years ago
hi master Andrew :)
this is cool, thx :D
Matt
3 years ago
YES!!! Exactly this i need.
3 years ago
thats going to be really useful. it seems as though you guys make a tutorial roughly at the time im thinking the same thing "how can i greenscreen through a window using my canon dslr" Get out of my HEAD!!!!!
3 years ago
To make Dark Resurrection (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQzOQI1Rdn0&feature=player_embedded) I tested all the plugins to do chroma key. The best solution that does not generate noise, and allows a semi-transparent, stable even at the edges is dvmatte pro (dvgarage.com). plugin which unfortunately is no longer supported. This forced me to use AEcs4 only to realize all chromatic keys.
jam
3 years ago
Im having trouble with shadows also.i hope shadows will work too.
adewizard2
3 years ago
Please, i need the tips for this effect
3 years ago
Cool! You are extra!
The real smithy
3 years ago
I know what you mean, keying with noisy footage is a pain.
3 years ago
Can't Wait For The Tut!!!
Derrick van Niekerk
3 years ago
Nice, looking forward to the BTS video and the tips.

thanks,
Derrick
Patrik
3 years ago
sory not RB but RG (red and green]
Patrik
3 years ago
One small tip for keying of DSLR.
Neat Video is very good tool for removing compression artefacts. And best solution of keying are using lumas from RB and lighness channels.
    Daniel Allen
    3 years ago
    I second that about Neat Video. I mentioned that too.
3 years ago
Looks great as always, just wondering though, a while back you said we could expect a few "demon Cam" tutorials based on its making and i havent really seen anything since the reveal video. Any updates?
3 years ago
Thanks Andrew.
You're right. Sometime, it's really hard to have a cool, realistic chroma keying.
Now, you seem to have THE solution!
Can't wait watching your tutorial...
3 years ago
This looks great, Andrew! It'd be very helpful :)
3 years ago
Very nice! BTW I prefer the shot without the reflection :)
Shuva
3 years ago
That's Cool.Waiting for the VIDEO..
Ian
3 years ago
I'm going to take a guess:

Don't key.
Use the greenscreen to create a matte precomp (outside.pre). Desaturate the green channel and Screen blend the result onto your background plate.
    OddWord
    3 years ago
    @Ian - Wow!!! What a great Idea. "A matte Precomp" I have to try it.

    I like your website, you did some AWSOME animations for NatGeo!!!
Rashed
3 years ago
and of course I am waiting . tut and your new blugin
klaus brandenburg
3 years ago
I really enjoy how you jump from topic to topic but what about your new plugin? Any confirmed date so far?
darrik baker
3 years ago
looks interesting! cant wait
3 years ago
Hi...AK !!!

I come from China!
You have many fans in our country.

We love your tutorials....
    Guilherme
    3 years ago
    I am from Portugal and i am probabily the only one who watch this amazing tutorials made by Andrew.
    Pedro
    3 years ago
    I am also from Portugal.Andrew has fans everywhere.
3 years ago
That's look Great.
(tutorial Please)
sing
3 years ago
Looking forward to your tutoial.
Glad to see Sam again,AK,I think you should let hime do more acting,and I like that guy.
Buwaneka
3 years ago
Wow...cool! Another great tutorial coming....
Theworst24
3 years ago
Awesome, can't wait.
Kazlyan
3 years ago
Yeah, I've always wanted to know how to do such a subtle keying. That will be very helpful!
By the way, Andrew, do you use any kind of additional camera software, like Magic Lantern or something else?
Joshua
3 years ago
sams been working out! :O
Sansar
3 years ago
Can't wait for the tutorial. Andrew plz share it soon.Thanks for all your tutorials.
Roo
3 years ago
This is going to be awesome!
maxi
3 years ago
wow, you are really so generous sharing all this tips with us...
3 years ago
Looking forward to it!!
3 years ago
Good job. We are waiting
AJ_21
3 years ago
Simply awesome.
Just one question, if you change the angle, and the camera´s lens is reflected, could you still apply this same technique?
Saludes desde Honduras y muchas bendiciones.(Greetings from Honduras and many blessings)
3 years ago
this will be very helpful. i've tried this numerous times. looking forward to this.
3 years ago
This is definitely helpful. I'm working on something similar which requires a tear from someone's eye to roll down their face and freeze. To shoot it I got a face mask used in theatre and painted it green. I then dripped water onto the eye and tilted the mask so it dripped. I would then composite this onto the actors face. Keying wasn't so bad but it practically leaves nothing behind as water is clear.
Anthony
3 years ago
Linear Color Key!!!!
3 years ago
Now that is impressive! I can't wait
Chris
3 years ago
The key looks really good in the picture. But people calm down... there is no "awesome" or "never seen before" thing its just daily work for a pro like Andrew Kramer.
3 years ago
Wow! That's going to be really awesome! I'm looking forward to see this...
Shawn
3 years ago
Thanks Andrew. I'm setting up my studio and will be putting a greenscreen in it. I've managed to chroma key in the past, but i'm always looking to improve my skills so i'll be looking forward to your tutorial. Thanks.
Tincho
3 years ago
Great! I need a tutorial for this!
3 years ago
Awesome, that would be great. I'm not a great keyer so I need all the help I can get.
Joni
3 years ago
Great! I need it, cause I had problems with flickering in chromakey these days
3 years ago
The infamous Quick Matte ?!! ;)
3 years ago
Not been having much success with chroma-keying even though I full green and blue screen backdrops and lighting set which should get good result but the backcloth colours always look washed out when transferring it to my PC I hope this will give me some better insight into what I'm doing wrong.
    Grant
    3 years ago
    What type of camera are you shooting on? and what are you doing in the "tranfer" process to your PC that would change the way a video file looks? Misunderstanding your color balance could be as simple as the wrong color settings on your cameras LCD. If you are completely in control of your lighting in a set situation the only thing you can blame is your own error.
    Rebecca
    3 years ago
    I'm using a Canon HF100 white balance usually set to auto and looks fine in the viewfinder but when I import to my pc in AVCHD format then it looks very washed out. I've no doubt it's because of my lack of knowledge on the subject thanks for your curt acknowledgement of my stupidity this is why I was asking question and not glowing with pride at my fantastic successes ;)
3 years ago
Excellent, I can't wait.
roger
3 years ago
kool is time:) thanks Andrew
dwaine
3 years ago
when is element 3d going to arrive?
Dan Wood
3 years ago
Awesome, thank you! I've been waiting for this!!
James
3 years ago
I have Panasonic sdr -45 and i can't deal with green screen....
it's cause a big consequence to me for filming
Dipo Dipe
3 years ago
what about Element 3D? hope u re almost done?
Edward
3 years ago
look at that epic face
Clayton Light
3 years ago
Hi Andrew,
I'm surprised to hear about the 5D compression artifacts. Can you elaborate?
Thanks,
Clayton Light
3 years ago
Good!
It's true that chromakeying has not evolved since a while.
And compressed images increased a lot.
But for me the most challenging is melting sharp and blurry key from The same plate. (like on the right of your image)
I always key the reflection separately.

Can't to know your way A.K !
    OddWord
    3 years ago
    @thierry - I think you should make some tutorials on your website, About building real models and green screens, and lens fx with cutouts and such.
    Everyone should visit thierry's website.
    3 years ago
    i hope you read : can't "wait" to know your way AK!
    My mistake.
    So sorry to not have the time to create a English version of my site.
    On some pages, i describe my job, sometimes the way i get it, or analyze the work more in depth .. but all in French..so too bad, i know :)
    Create a making of each time with my work (and i don't show all of them) takes time..And i try to make them clear.
    (And, has you can see, my english is not perfect)

    Of course, i thought of it, but i prefer to spend my time to try to write scripts (for animated movies). it's a long process, not professional yet, and take years to get a go.
    so wait and see...

    By the way, i have recently multiply the visit score of my site by 50, because of my reply few days ago.
    So it's proved... there is a VC effect ! ! :)
Alberto
3 years ago
woow very good .. just one question that has nothing to do with it but that is AFTER EFFECTS want to know why when I open parking after effects HAS CRASHED AFTER EFFECTS? or something ... nse if it is well written because use a translator ... I expect an answer I really want this much special effects .. lol sere as a graphic designer like you can give me an answer .. hehehe Bye:)
    Alec
    3 years ago
    ...what?!
LuiSerrano
3 years ago
Very interesting Andrew!!

I thinking about this... waiting the tutorial :D
Adam
3 years ago
I did that few days ago. I'm really curious how you made it.
Haggai Nwokolo
3 years ago
Am here on time although not the first. Andrew you are a good mentor... God bless u real good...
3 years ago
Very nice! Would this be with AE's built in tools or using 3rd party plugins?
Kyle Brosius
3 years ago
This is cool, but every time I see that Video Copilot is updated I'm hoping it's because Element 3D is available. Release date?
    Franco
    3 years ago
    I think in september but there's no date, we're waiting!!
    HURRY UP!!!
3 years ago
Awesome, I've always tried this and failed miserably. From the pictures above it looks great, much better than anything I've been attempting. Can't wait!
3 years ago
Always wanted to know more on how we could get small details like these back when keying. Looking forward to it :)
3 years ago
Nice. Transparency's always tough...
    Dzed Dan
    3 years ago
    my guess would be: added technics to extend the control of the alpha bias and "Magic Glass" tricks for realism in the glass reflections.
    Andrew you're a genius, thank you for your dedication ;)
Scooter
3 years ago
Wow!... that's gonna be, like, totally Awesome... Can't wait!
3 years ago
Cool Mr . Andrew ;) ... I'm waiting impatiently for this Tuto :)
3 years ago
Very interested in seeing this.
    Ninja Contra
    3 years ago
    I can't wait!
    Andrew, President of Awesomeness!!
3 years ago
Cool... i need this tutorial now! :D
    3 years ago
    me too =)
    grey corection too cool
    Tanner
    3 years ago
    Patience.
    sounds like perfect timing for me also! working on a project using stereo3D go pro cameras, will have to try and pull an acurate Greenscreen key for both the left and right cameras to match properly! Think your tutorial's really gonna help me!
    3 years ago
    Me too, I seriously need this... Can't wait!
    3 years ago
    Pulling Key's with the DSLR cameras are challenging
    deepak
    3 years ago
    same here....it's difficult to save a mirror effect..if u have a chroma with mirror...plz Mr. Andrew we need a tutorial for this..
    Simplysam
    3 years ago
    AM looking forward to getting this tuts. cos its driving me crazy not perfectly keying my subjects always. it annoying sometimes. :-)
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Plugins
Stock Footage