Easy Green Screen Keying in After Effects

Adobe’s Jason Levine Shows How a Combination-Effect Preset Can be Your Gateway to Quick and Easy Keys from Green Screen Footage

After Effects bundles a few tools for green screen work. Likely the most referenced is the Keylight plugin, the Foundry’s robust keyer. Ae also has a lot of other choices for keying tools when working with green screen. So what then is the most quick and effective way to key a green screen in Ae?

Adobe’s Jason Levine shows that it is a combination of three tools. Many After Effects users may have missed that there is a pretty powerful preset for keying green-screens. The preset automatically puts down a Keylight effect, in addition to a Key Cleaner Effect and an Advanced Spill Suppression effect. With these three stacked effects, make pretty easy to knock out the green and get a good matte, really quickly. In fact, simply eye dropping color with Keylight will often do the trick, when using the preset.

Jason walks through using the preset and offers some tips while using a couple practical examples that challenge the key process with finer hair details. One thing that Jason doesn’t cover is that you don’t necessarily need to key the entire shot. You can save yourself quite a bit of headaches by making a garbage matte that will limit the amount that you need to key in the first place. This will take a bit more time with some simple roto-work, but in the long run will help focus the important parts of what they keyed needs to work on.