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For Independent filmmakers

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If you’ve searched, you know how hard it is to find advanced-level chromakey tutorials that cover how to key or fix footage with imperfect backdrops. Hollywood VFX studios do it all the time, but what about the indie-filmmaker or freelance VFX artist who can't afford a $10,000 Nuke license? I'll show you how to pull fine hair detail off of foldy, tracker-dot lined cloth using FREE software!

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  • Pull Detailed & Even Keys on Patchy Backdrop

  • Compensate Uneven Backdrops with Clean Plate

  • Procedurally Link Just TWO Mattes: Edge & Core


  • Generate Clean Plates or Shoot Your Own

  • Keyer Compares with Original for Precise Alpha

  • Great on Trackers, Folds, & Moving Cameras


  • Fix Bright/Dark Edge Outline WITHOUT eroding edge

  • Procedurally Synthesize Edge Color Pixels

  • Extend Edges for Motion Blur / Hair


  • Customized De-Spill with Manual Controls

  • Map Green/Blue Plate Pixels to Custom Color

  • Localize Spill Maps to Specific Areas (Hair, Clothing, Skin)



  • ​1A - Minimum Camera Requirements

  • 1B - Lighting Tips

  • 1C - De-Noising / Image Sequencing Footage


  • 2A - Resolve / Node-Based Compositing Basics

  • 2B - Basics of Chroma Key


  • 3A - Clean Plates - Locked Tripod

  • 3B - Create Clean Plate in Photoshop

  • 3C - Intro to Clean Plate Generator

  • 3D - Masking Unwanted Holes in Clean Plate

  • 3E - Paint Node Cleanup

  • 3F - Clean Plate Final Touches / Organization


  • 4A - Soft / Edge Matte

  • 4B - Hard / Core Matte

  • 4C - Combine & Clean Edge / Core Mattes


  • 5A - Custom De-Spill / Hue Curves Node

  • 5B - Combining Multiple De-Spill Passes

  • 5C - Advanced De-Spill / Mask Paint Node

  • 5D - Edge Smear Technique

  • 5E - Combining Color and Alpha Channels

  • 5F - Exporting from Fusion / Resolve


  • Compositing Tips / Tricks

Free Sample Course for After Effects

  • What are the Course Requirements?
    Basic to intermediate understanding of compositing (After Effects or similar) Computer meeting minimum requirements for DaVinci Resolve Software used is FREE and sample footage is provided I performed the course on a 2015 MacBook Pro quad-core i7 2.8GHz integrated graphics and 16 Gb RAM.
  • Does it work with Blue Screen too?
    Yes, this method is universal for green or blue screen.
  • Can this be done in After Effects?
    Certain skills WILL translate to an AE workflow, but there are a few key tools that don't seem to be available yet even from paid 3rd party plugins, specifically: Keyer that uses a Clean Plate - pulls cleaner alphas from uneven backdrops Unmultiply - advanced operation that assists in clean plate generation / edge smearing This course uses the Fusion applicaiton within DaVinci Resolve, which is a powerful and FREE ALTERNATIVE to the industry standard Nuke (which costs $10,000 for a license). GOOD NEWS is you can do your keying in Fusion, and export back to AE, much like using an external program for tracking or 3D, and then doing the final comp in AE. Also, if you haven't already. Check out my free sample course above to see which skills translate directly into After Effects.
  • Do I have to learn nodes?
    Short answer: Yes, but I promise it's worth it! Longer answer: After a few hours, I actually found nodes to be superior to layer-based systems, because they give you much more control and freedom over every aspect of the composite, and eliminate the frustrating nature of "pre-composing." Plus I found that working with nodes has actually made me better at After Effects because of the new perspective nodes gave me.
  • What about Orange Tracker Dots? Or Another Color?
    This method removes those too! Just requires 1 extra step which is covered in the course. In fact, while using trackers that are similar shades to your backdrop can be useful, many pro VFX supervisors opt for orange tracker dots to ensure a solid track even with motion blur, so knowing how to deal with those is key to any pro-level pipeline.
  • What about all my paid After Effects Plugins?
    I hear you! I've spent nearly $5k on AE plugins myself over the years. The good news is that keying is just 1 step in compositing, and you can easily pull the key in Fusion, and export your results for comping in AE with all your paid plugins. In fact, there's a whole bonus module in the course at the very end where I did just that: took our results and composited them in AE using my preferred plugins.
  • Do I have to shoot Clean Plates myself?
    Nope! You certainly can if it's an easy tripod-lock shot, or if you have access to a computer controled robot arm that can repeat the move exactly twice, but sometimes the camera move is handheld, or on a gimbal, and you can't recreate the move twice, so Resolve offers a Clean Plate Generator that allows you to make one if you can't shoot one.
  • Does this Method help with Motion Blur?
    Yes! The beauty of handling chromanance separate from alpha is that you can add back color data, and still use the alpha to maintain that motion blur without having to eat away at edge pixels.
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Thanks! We'll get back to you soon.

Instructor Pic.png



Hi There! My name is Len, and I'm a Los Angeles-based director and VFX nerd. My approach to tutorials is practical and real-world. I come at it as a peer, looking to help other filmmakers tackle creative challenges I've come up against on my real-life projects. This tutorial is exactly that: everything I learned trying to solve these problems myself for my fully-green screen music video. Using the actual footage I shot, I've broken down the process as I would to a colleague trying to get the same results on their own project.

As for my credentials, I have a MS in Entertainment Business, a BS in Film Production, and over 10 years of industry experience. I produce and direct shorts, commercials, and music videos in addition to freelancing with many of today’s top, award-winning Digital brands, like Microsoft, Funny or DieSMOSHDount Media, Philip DeFranco and SourceFed  and have produced hundreds of shorts, sketches, game-shows, and round-tables for them.

Copyright 2021

*Introductory pricing subject to change without warning. Timer is an illustration: may not reflect actual sale end-times.

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