How to Use Keylight 1.2 Plugin in After Effects CS6
If you need to key out the background in your footage using a green or blue screen, you can use the Keylight 1.2 plugin that comes with After Effects CS6. Keylight is a powerful keying tool that allows you to adjust various settings and parameters to get the best results. In this article, we will show you how to apply the plugin, select the color to key, and tweak the settings to refine your key.
Applying the Keylight Plugin
Before you apply the plugin, make sure that your footage is well-shot, with a good separation between your subject and the background, even lighting, no shadows, and no color spill. You can find some royalty-free stock footage online to practice with if you don't have your own footage.
To apply the plugin, import your footage into After Effects and create a new composition. Then go to the Effects & Presets panel and find the Keying subfolder. Drag and drop the Keylight effect onto your footage layer. You will see the effect controls in the Effect Controls panel.
Selecting the Color to Key
The first step is to select the color that you want to remove from your footage. This is usually the green or blue background behind your subject. To do this, use the Eyedropper tool in the Screen Color setting and click on a representative area of the background color. You will see that the color is removed and replaced by a black and white matte.
Tweaking the Settings
The next step is to refine your key by adjusting some of the settings in the effect controls. There are many settings that you can tweak, but here are some of the most important ones:
View: This allows you to switch between different views of your key, such as Final Result, Screen Matte, Status, etc. You can use these views to check how your key is looking and where you need to improve it.
Screen Gain: This controls how much of the background color is removed. A higher value will remove more color, but may also remove some of your subject. A lower value will preserve more of your subject, but may also leave some color spill. You can use this setting to balance between removing too much or too little of the background color.
Screen Balance: This controls how much of the red, green, and blue channels are used to create the matte. A higher value will favor green over blue or red, and vice versa. You can use this setting to fine-tune the color balance of your key.
Clip Black and Clip White: These settings control how much of the dark and light areas of your matte are clipped or removed. A higher Clip Black value will remove more of the dark areas, creating a cleaner matte. A lower Clip White value will remove more of the light areas, creating a sharper edge around your subject. You can use these settings to eliminate any noise or holes in your matte.
Screen Shrink/Grow: This setting allows you to shrink or grow your matte by a certain amount of pixels. A negative value will shrink your matte, creating a tighter edge around your subject. A positive value will grow your matte, creating a softer edge around your subject. You can use this setting to adjust the edge quality of your key.
Screen Softness: This setting allows you to blur or sharpen your matte by a certain amount of pixels. A higher value will blur your matte, creating a smoother edge around your subject. A lower value will sharpen your matte, creating a more defined edge around your subject. You can use this setting to adjust the edge smoothness of your key.
There are many other settings that you can explore in Keylight, such as Screen Pre-blur, Screen Despot White/Black, Replace Method, etc. You can experiment with different values and combinations until you get a satisfactory key.
Getting Your Serial Number
If you want to upgrade from After Effects CS6 to After Effects CC, you will need your serial number for After Effects CS6. You can find your serial number in one of these ways: