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Keying out Black

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Robin lewisKeying out Black
by on Apr 11, 2011 at 5:27:58 pm


I am hoping to get some advice, I have a shot of a butterfly flying that in against a black background ( this back ground is not perfect but pretty close. I want to Key out the Black so i can have the butterfly fly across my AE graphic, what would be the best way to do this?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Keying out Black
by on Apr 11, 2011 at 6:05:32 pm

If there is NO black in your butterfly -- and I mean absolutely ZERO black, no black body, no black legs, no black antennae -- you can do it with a luma key, keying out darker.

If you can shoot again, you should trying it against a chroma key background; depending on the background color -- blue or green -- the butterfly should have no blue or green on it.

If you can't reshoot, I see no other option than to rotoscope -- not a job for the faint of heart, requiring oceans of patience and mountains of time:

I wouldn't even consider AE's Rotobrush. Not for the way a butterfly moves!

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Robin lewisRe: Keying out Black
by on Apr 11, 2011 at 6:28:52 pm

I seem to have left my cables for my drive at home so can not check it right now! It is archive so can not reshoot :-s Yet the butterfly is white and the body brown I was hoping I could get it to see black, maybe it was a hope too far.

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Dave JohnsonRe: Keying out Black
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 6:47:30 pm

This is basically the same as the Method Dave L. suggests and, therefore, has the same limitations (if there's no black in the butterfly, which seems unlikely) ... you can also an UnMult filter (like the free one from Red Giant that's primarily intended for use with older Lens Flares that don;t have premult capability built in).

It's hard to to day without seeing the image or the background you want it on, as well as the quality level you need, but in some instances a blend mode might even be sufficient for a quick shot.

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Robin lewisRe: Keying out Black
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 8:08:39 pm

Thank you all for your helped, It proved to be a hard one to do and as i am working on a tight dead line i have decited to animate a drawing of a butterfly instead. On that i have a new problem, the butterfly follows across a "s" shaped path I want this image to turn with the path rather than moving in an unnatural way. I have heard I can do this in a few clicks but unsure how.

Any thoughts


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Jim CollinsRe: Keying out Black
by on Apr 13, 2011 at 6:16:09 pm

You can orient to the path so the butterfly will always be orientated to line the same as you animate it along the path.


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