favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects
In After Effects CC 2014 (13.0), we added a couple of new effects for cleaning up mattes created with color keying effects:
The Key Cleaner effect recovers detail from a scene keyed by a typical keying effect, including recovering detail from a keyed scene with compression artifacts.
The Advanced Spill Suppressor effect removes color spill on a foreground subject from a colored background used for color keying.
The Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects are intended to be used along with any keying effect that can provide the original RGB data as input (e.g., as the Keylight effect can using its Intermediate Result setting).
Brian Maffitt demonstrates the use of the Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects in this video on the Adobe website.
The Advanced Spill Suppressor effect has two methods for spill suppression: Standard and Ultra. The Ultra method is based on the spill suppression in the Ultra Key effect in Premiere Pro. The Standard method is simpler and requires less user input. In the majority of cases in our testing, the Standard method provides the better results, but the Ultra method can be useful for scenes in which the screen color is refracted through an object. If Standard doesn’t work for you, then try Ultra.
Tip: You can use an effect mask on the Key Cleaner effect to restrict the result of a wider Additional Edge Radius value (e.g., hair) without causing unwanted semi-transparent regions in sharper regions (e.g., shoulders/arms).
You can control the contrast in the alpha channel in semitransparent regions (along edges) with the Alpha Contrast property in the Key Cleaner effect.
The easiest way to apply these three effects is with the Keylight + Key Cleaner + Advanced Spill Suppressor animation preset:
1. Apply the Keylight + Key Cleaner + Advanced Spill Suppressor animation preset, which is in the Animation Presets > Image – Utilities category in the Effects & Presets panel. This adds the Keylight, Key Cleaner, and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects to the layer. The Advanced Spill Suppressor effect is turned off by default to allow you to sample the key color in the Keylight effect.
2. Use the Keylight effect’s Screen Colour eyedropper to sample the key color from the layer in the Composition panel. Adjust other Keylight effect settings as you normally would to get the best results.
3. Turn on the effect switch for the Advanced Spill Suppressor effect to remove color spill from the scene.
Note: If you use the Keylight + Key Cleaner + Advanced Spill Suppressor animation preset, the Key Color property is already linked with an expression to the Keylight effect’s Screen Colour property, so you don’t need to change it unless you want to use a different color for the despill process. If so, just disable or remove the expression.
To use a keying effect other than the Keylight effect, do the following:
1. Apply the keying effect to the layer.
2. Set the effect to the equivalent of the Keylight effect’s Intermediate Result setting, so that the keying effect gives the full RGB result without attempting to perform its own spill suppression.
3. Apply the Key Cleaner effect after the keying effect.
4. Apply the Advanced Spill Suppressor effect after the Key Cleaner effect.
Go ahead and try this out now in the current version. If you’re not already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can try the free 30-day trial. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.
If you want to let us know what your favorite changes in After Effects have been since After Effects CC (12.0), come and tell us here, whether your favorite change is a new feature, a bug fix, or a little tweak in behavior.