HS: Bad chroma key

HS: Bad chroma key

Posted on 12. May, 2008 by in After Effects

If you haven’t used my Hotline yet than you have a chance to see how it works. Also you will learn how to key out a difficult footage.

Even at this small thumbnail image you can see how poor the quality Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags of the footage is. How do you key out something as nasty as this? Watch the tutorial to find out.

You also might like to know that this tutorial is made without any editing. One of my viewers – Bogdan from Chicago – requested this tutorial on his Hotline Session (that’s where the name of the tutorial came from). Fortunately I was also working on a simmilar case myself and I’ve planned to show it to you anyway, so here it is.

This tutorial uses Key Correct Pro – a set of plugins from Red Giant Software. If you buy them at Toolfarm using the provided link you will support me and this site, so please do. Key Correct Pro can be replaced with standard AE keying plugins, but it really makes the job easier. I recommend you at least take a look at them. If you like to follow this tutorial without them, than I suggest downloading my PixelSampler to get a better screen color.

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52 Responses to “HS: Bad chroma key”

  1. bogdan

    12. May, 2008


    This will be useful to a lot of people.
    Awesome tutorial as absolutely everything u have here…
    I suggest everyone watching these tutorials to suggest a solution to keep Mataannon healthy. He’s smoking too much and if he continues that way we will have no more tutorials soon.

    Thank’s G

  2. bogdan bucur

    12. May, 2008

    Another amazing thing I forgot to mention everyone: this guy is a genius…besides his amazing affx skills, he also created this interesting application that will replace the web cam over skype with his screen so you can actually see what he’s doing there on his computer (you can also full screen it and that is truly amazing)…he calls this the HOTLINE so try it out.

    I was live with him when he recorded this tutorial and saw everything 1st hand…I’m the chosen one :P

    I’m not going to mention the gear he’s building, like steady cam and crane for cameras, because u might just not believe me or think I’m advertising him. But anyway I had it on my heart so now u know who u’r dealing with.

    I got to say..i have a Lynda.com account and I prefer this guy for making all his things so engaging and entertaining in the same time.

  3. Vinnie

    12. May, 2008

    Alright, a fellow smoker!! I guess we are a dying breed. Anyways, awesome tutorial once again! Great to see how your mind works in solving problems, this was an extremely useful tutorial, Thanks again!

  4. John

    12. May, 2008

    I really hate your voice!!! and your accent, after a couple of minutes is very annoying…

  5. rakwel

    13. May, 2008

    a very usefull one!


    can u tell me where to find a website where i can download free things like trapcodes, andrew kramer things, etc..

    pls tell me where to download them. ive been looking for those in the net. it took me months looking for those free things and yet nothing happen.

    hope you can help me. thanks a lot!

  6. Maltaannon

    13. May, 2008

    @John – you can’t really blame me, I’m Polish. You can always turn off the audio and just watch the video. Besides I hope nobody forces you to watch my tutorials if you hate them that much.

    @rakwel – sorry dude. no can do.

  7. Karim Dehbi

    13. May, 2008

    john why the f*ck do you bother posting stupid reply like this
    i personally don’t have any problem with the voice but why you check the tutorial if it irritates you… it’s been the same unchanged voice since the beginning

    you sound like jealous person

    keep up the good work maltaannon!

  8. Shkaa887

    13. May, 2008

    OMG ITS LIVE !!!

    ha ha

    Very nice….could use this for a new vid I am working on…my green screen isn’t exactly ‘High-Class’ ;)

  9. Shkaa887

    13. May, 2008

    By the way…

    I think you should to more of these live tutorials because they make it a lot more interesting to see how YOU do it without having the tutorial written down somewhere.

    And SMOKING IS BAD !!! :)

  10. UmairVFX

    13. May, 2008

    @ john

    Hey if you hate this so why are you visiting here…

    Just watch and learn….

    don’t campier maltaannon with any one…. because every one have its one importance…

    for this tutorial nice tip dudes…

    looking forwards,,

    UmairVFX ;)

  11. Simon

    13. May, 2008

    Maltaanon, please ignore the idiots. You have some seriously impressive skills and I really appreciate you giving your time.
    Maybe you could branch out into the filming side as Bogdan mentioned it above?

  12. Simon Bonner

    13. May, 2008

    Thanks a bunch for this. I worked on about a gazillion aeroplane shots last year and wish I’d known about the offset effect then! Keyframing position while maintaining speed is impossible!

  13. Urt

    13. May, 2008

    Word, nevermind the morons pissing in their own backyard. You are truly talented and generous with your skills. Keep it up Maltaannon!

  14. Paul

    13. May, 2008

    maltaannon you did a great job, really! Yours tutorials stands on high class, but this is live and this is really good. Many peple (including me) have problems with keying but this can be solution for some of them.

    PS. What you say for a couple of beers together in Warsaw ;) ? I’m planning to go there soon as possible :)

    Keep working you’re doing great job!

  15. Maltaannon

    13. May, 2008

    Sure! Just write me an email and we’re sure to meet. Thanks for the invite.

  16. Frank C.

    13. May, 2008

    Nice work Maltaannon! Your tutorials are truly inspiring. Keep up the good work.

    @John. You are a moron!

  17. bogdan bucur

    13. May, 2008

    Listen John whoever u are…

    Go learn somewhere else or better quit learning with this attitude (isn’t it enough that all this is for free? You’re such an ungrateful MF).
    What makes Maltannoon interesting is the fact that he’s live and u can follow real situations and learn …I personally feel like I’m there next to him on the chair and discover things 1st hand.
    There is not prepared script in advance and perfect footage…
    I wish Lynda.com would have something similar (I have an account there and I got sick of hearing the same “professional rigid voice with no feeling”)

    And by the way…try learning some other language then English and then we will talk discuss accent…it’s probably the only one u know anyway

    I think his English it’s very good. Besides…a different accent it’s always nice…ask the girls .they like accents…

  18. bogdan bucur

    13. May, 2008

    i know it cause i have an accent to and girls love it lol :P

  19. LifesShort

    14. May, 2008

    i love maltaannon . dont get no ideas .. haha
    your the best , i really enjoy your stuff alot more then the cow tutorials or andrews tuts .. your on another level bro .. keep it up

  20. Mark

    14. May, 2008

    Hey my Genius-M, I know ur genius thats y I gave this name to u……….GENIUS-M…………hehehhehehehe.

    This is a very useful tutorial but I cannot hear any sound in this tutorial………..whether I’m doin anything wrong?

    whether this Hotline recording has any sound in it or I’m just waiting to hear the voice of my Genius-M……..hehhehehhe

    Plz clear me my Genius-M……………….thnx & gr8 tut.

  21. Maltaannon

    14. May, 2008

    The sound is there. Obviously you didn’t notice the discussion above – it’s all about the sound. Thanks for the kind words. Check your settings, speakers, and volume sliders – including the one in the video player. Cheers

  22. Mark

    14. May, 2008

    yup right, it was a driver file error, i got it reinstalled n now I can hear my Genius-M……….hehhehhe

    thnx for the suggestions…………It helped me out……….

    thnx Genius-M for a Genius tutorial………really very very helpful for color keying.

    Take care

  23. abe

    14. May, 2008

    You are one of the few who blazes trails for us not so sharp ones, I praise you, I Salute you and I owe you sir. Thank you Maltaannon.

  24. illd

    14. May, 2008

    This is so cool! Great Tut, I Love the interactivity-thing.

    Im surprised AE crashed at your machine, i thought mine is the only one :) What are you working with maltannon?

  25. Maltaannon

    15. May, 2008

    Custom (very very custom) build Intel Quad, 2TB Hdd Raid0, 2GB ram, Radeon 9600, WinXP. Something was wrong with my machine that day. It’s working just fine now.

  26. Josh Johnson

    15. May, 2008

    Thanks for all the tuts my 20 dollar donation was sure worth it!

  27. Xavier B.

    15. May, 2008

    Isn’t the Ati 9600 very old? (AGP) You must have one of those hybrid motherboards I guess. By the way I really enjoyed this live tutorial, I think you should do more in the future. It’s nice to know how others (especially the experts) resolve the problems as they occur.

  28. Maltaannon

    15. May, 2008

    Yes it is, but I never relied on the OpenGL. Each time I did something went wrong, even with Quadro. Adaptive Resolution I can trust. And yes… I think I’ll do those Live tutorials a bit more often. Cut’s a day from the production time.

  29. Tadas

    16. May, 2008

    Hey, I’m lazy to read all the comments maybe someone has mentioned that but the background moves in the wrong direction unless the helicopter flights backwards. :)

  30. Maltaannon

    16. May, 2008

    No. It actually moves in the right direction, because they are sitting with their back turned to the direction of flight.

  31. Phunchok Dorjey

    17. May, 2008

    It is really very wonderful tutorials that is beneficials to all of us video enthusiast people. Thanks for your video tutorials and please come up with more tutorials in the future.

    Phunchok Dorjey, Leh, Ladakh, India.

  32. jon

    18. May, 2008

    Really nice stuff Maltaannon. I really like your simplistic/clever approach. Do you use Primatte keyer? I’d like to see a tutorial on that one day if you do. I’ve had to work with some pretty bad screens lately(a lot worser than that copter footage) and used a combination of screen smoother + curves +primatte + matte choker to pull a decent matte. Maybe you can show the proper way to do primatte.

  33. Maltaannon

    18. May, 2008

    Oh. I’ve been through similar cases myself, and as you know, and back then there was no screen smoother. Besides you know that theres no universal way to do pull a decent matte other than shooting good footage.

  34. Fat Elvis

    24. May, 2008

    Your system may have crashed if you have multiprocessing on. With only 2gb ram running four cores it doesn’t leave much spare, the latest update for AE includes a switch in the multiprocessing dialog to allow you to select how many cores to use, I would suggest using 2, one for every gig of ram.

  35. Fuuss

    28. May, 2008

    I am rather a quiet admirer , but I love your tutorials , and for FREE , wow , speding your time for us geeks , that’s so cool , I send you a good cold beer here from Luxembourg ,


  36. mani04

    07. Jun, 2008

    Hello, I have just watched this tutorial-video and it’s very nice!
    Also your Hotline is really cool, which I have used some minutes before. ;)

  37. Bhacko

    11. Jun, 2008

    nice stuff

    learning more and more from you
    keep it up


    isn’t the chopper flying in the wrong direction cause of the expression? :)

  38. MortallicA

    16. Jun, 2008

    Hey I really like this tutorial.
    Man!!! You gave courage to continue editing!!!
    By the way… I’m 17 years old and I want to study about video editing with effects and stuff like this… how can I find the right school? I mean is this what we do called multimedia?

    I hope you can answear to my e-mail :)
    Thank you

  39. Ivan

    23. Jun, 2008

    Hi there Maltaannon and the whole crowd of fine FX artists you lead…
    Personally, I use Apple Shake and trough the years I´ve managed to pull (sort of) decent Keys… I really wish I´ve known somebody as talented as you, and with this nice attitude before… Sure I´ll learn After Effectts and maybe, maybe after tons of hard work I´ll manage it half as you do.
    Tx a lot for beeing here teaching us all there are ALWAYS an answer to your questions…

  40. Jake

    25. Jun, 2008

    Great tutorial! Answered a lot of questions, and told us about an awesome plugin! Thank you so much.

  41. Gabirell

    25. Jun, 2008

    George your english is awesome!
    Don’t bother about that guy. Maybe you should post a tutorial in polish just to shut his teenager’s mouth.
    Otherwise you can always pay a french lady to dub your tutorials…
    mmmm that sounds cool to me…
    Great job by the way… I had to key a horrible croma this week…
    it took me 5 days! imagine how i’m impressed with yours..
    Your work is brilliant!
    Keep on, buddy!

  42. wrathchild

    19. Aug, 2008

    well i got the url of this site some days back only…guess people have come faster here then me but m not late and the tutorials tht u ve put here…common man..u r the best…..i really love visual effects and ur tutorials r really cool and helps me to learn more ….cheers for maltaannon////

  43. d

    25. Sep, 2008

    thanks for all the free stuff maltaannon, your site has been in my secret arsenal for quite some time now. this tutorial is hilarious, especially the smoking bit, i really needed that laugh!

  44. Armir73

    25. Sep, 2008


    Your tut is very good, i like the ” documenrary” style live recording, with crash, mask problem etc.. Much close to real way of work with special case, than pefect video tuts that exclude inexpected problem that need to be fixed.

    Just a comment: the prematte edges mask in the first comp are still visible in the final comp, slightly but here, specialy on the blond guy shoulder dark pixel area!

    should increase the feather in this area. Unfortunatly After have not this possibilty as we can find in combustion mask, that allow to ajust the feather with sub edges mask.

    I find your voice pleasent, i don’t care about accent; frankly i find you speak pretty well. Myself i am french and noway my accent is ….

    The only thing count is the info!

    Sure this John can’t tell in right way single word in french or Polsk, so go to hell “Jean”!

    I support u, and thank’s a lot for all thos good tuts.

    best regards

  45. marko

    02. Nov, 2008

    Great tutorial. Very useful. You and Andrew Kramer are the best After Effects teachers. Big thanks from Kraljevo, Serbia.

  46. weinlenlyMamn

    17. Nov, 2008

    to: Admin – If You want to delete your site from my spam list, please sent url of your domain to my emai: stop.web.spam@gmail.com
    And I will remove your site from my base within 24 hours

    PS. As the previous address of an e-mail has been removed also all letters on it have been lost I is compelled to make this dispatch once again.
    PS2. To send url your site on an e-mail stop.web.spam@gmail.com is a unique way to avoid a spam from me. To write abuses to the various “stop spam” sites – it is useless.
    PS3. Your addresses of an e-mail are not necessary to me, you can create an e-mail through free service and send me yours url through this e-mail
    PS4. sorry for my bad English :)

  47. peo

    20. Nov, 2008

    so this isnt a place for step by step tutorial?

  48. Gabberim

    25. Nov, 2008

    Always watching u always want more!
    Greetings from Greece u are doing excelent work :)

  49. AS

    19. Feb, 2009

    John, it is very annoying to notice how you type. You don’t know how to use your punctuations well, your grammar is as low as a third grader, and you need to learn how to use your capital letters. Do you know how to spell douche bag?

  50. Parag Saple

    23. Aug, 2010

    hello, This tutorial is really useful.
    Plz let me know if you can arrange any interenship progarammes, would like to join one……… Will be really greatful ……..

  51. Gareth

    14. Jun, 2011

    Thanks for taking the time to share your know-how, a very informative tut, as always.

  52. Prince

    02. Mar, 2012

    Very Good Key