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After Effects Classic Course: Remove Color Matting

One of the tell-tale signs of a good composite versus a bad composite is the quality of the edges around the foreground layer. For example, it may contain some color contamination from the background it was originally shot against, which can prevent it from seamlessly melting into the new background you are trying to place it over.

A specialized After Effects plug-in that can help deal with this issue is Remove Color Matting. We demonstrate how to spot those bad fringes – as well as how to repair them – here:

 

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. You can either scan our page on ProVideo Coalition to see the other free movies, or click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Set Matte versus Track Matte

One of the most useful compositing features in After Effects is the ability to use the properties of one layer to create transparency (an alpha channel) for a second layer. To do this, many use the Track Matte feature that’s available in the Timeline. However, there is also an effect plug-in – Set Matte – which can also do the same thing. In this movie, we compare the pros and cons of each approach.

(If you are not already familiar with Compound Effects – which Set Matte is – see this post for more background.)

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. You can either scan our page on ProVideo Coalition to see the other free movies, or click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Set Channels & Shift Channels

Earlier this year, we talked about the Photoshop skill known as “ChOps” – Channel Operations, where you manipulate individual color channels to perform a series of specialized treatments. In that post, we focused on the Channel Combiner plug-in. However, there are two other plug-ins in After Effects that also give you access to individual color channels: Set Channels and Shift Channels. We go over those two in the movie below. (Spoiler: They’re generally not as powerful…)

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. You can either scan our page on ProVideo Coalition to see the other free movies, or click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Shadow/Highlight

In addition to creating motion graphics, we are both also into mixed media art, which often means trips through Photoshop to process imagery that will be part of our final works. We shoot all of our photos using Camera Raw (it’s the digital equivalent of the negative, compared to the normal JPEG which is the equivalent of a print from the corner drugstore). Two of our favorite parameters inside Photoshop’s Camera Raw dialog are Highlight and Shadow. The former rolls off the brightest areas without affecting the mid-point luminance of the image, while the latter lifts details out of the shadows of an image.

Well, After Effects has long had a Shadow/Highlight effect, which has probably been ignored by most video users because they don’t know what it’s for. It has long been one of our secret weapons to help correct poorly-lit footage we’ve been handed:

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. You can either scan our page on ProVideo Coalition to see the other free movies, or click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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Post Production PVC Experts

After Effects Classic Course: Color Stabilizer

While discussing color-oriented plug-in effects, one of the more common tasks we’ve covered is fixing color imbalances in an image. Well, what do you do if that imbalance changes over time? You can keyframe your changes to match the changes in the footage and hope you don’t get odd pulsing or flickering…or in some cases, you can get away with the automated Color Stabilizer effect:

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Solid Composite

In the previous post we showed you how to use a Solid layer plus Blending Modes to tint an image. Well, a clever plug-in developer decided to encapsulate this trick into an effect, and then extend what it can so. The result is Solid Composite, and it was one of our “secret weapons” when using After Effects as it allowed us to create film flashes, fade out a layer (including a powerful Expression that can do this automatically), and more. Here’s how to unlock its power:

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Tinting with Solids & Shape Layers

In the previous post we showed you how to use Photo Filter, which is an extremely easy color tinting effect. However, you don’t even need to use a plug-in to get this result; you can get the exact same effect using Solids and Blending Modes. 

For an advanced version of this trick, it is worth learning how to create Shape Layers. Shape Layers allow you to fill them with gradients, which allows you to tint the top and bottom or left and right sides of the image differently, or even introduce multiple color tints across an image. This is especially useful for enhancing skies. We show how to use both Solids and Shape Layers in the movie below:

This movie was previously created for our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Photo Filter

A couple of posts ago we were talking about using Colorama for tinting an image. If you are just trying to create a simple monochromatic color cast, you might view that as using a sledgehammer to open a sunflower seed. So let’s go to the opposite extreme and talk about one of the simplest color tinting effects (heck, one of the simplest effects, period): Photo Filter.

 

This movie was previously created for our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Colorama 3 – Color Cycling

One of the main reasons behind the creation of Colorama is to perform what’s known as “color cycling” effects. Although often associated with psychedelic animations, it’s actually an old-school technique often used in video games to add the appearance of animation to a portion of a still image such as water or the sky. Here’s how to create those effects in After Effects:

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

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After Effects Classic Course: Colorama 2 – Tinting

After watching the movie in the previous post, you should now be over your initial shock and fear of Colorama, and understand how it works. Now let’s put it to work, here as a very powerful color tinting tool:

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.