After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

Refine Matte


From:

After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Refine Matte

Back when I was demonstrating the new Roto Brush tool in After Effect CS5, I mentioned the Refine Matte section. This gives you a lot of additional power to clean up the edges of a matte. It basically does a motion estimation to see where the edges are moving from frame-to-frame. And then it will try to reduce chatter, noise, buzz, jitter in the edges. It can apply a motion blur to those matted edges, rather than being a hard edged matte, even when something is moving very quickly and is very blurred, and it can decontaminate background color from those edges.

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques
2h 37m Intermediate Apr 12, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Chris and Trish Meyer have been using After Effects since version 1.0 and have written ten books about the program, and they are always among the first to dive into each new version and discover what it offers to their fellow motion graphics artists. Chris takes you under the hood and explains how each new feature works in After Effects CS5. This course covers both the technical and creative implications of this latest release, including tutorials on the new Roto Brush tool and mocha version 2, blending modes, text options, and new and improved user interface elements in Adobe After Effects CS5. Numerous examples show the most efficient ways to use the new features and avoid potential pitfalls when applying techniques. Chris ends with a discussion of which users will get them most out of upgrading to After Effects CS5.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing After Effects' 64-bit system requirements
  • Mastering the new Roto Brush tool plus Refine Matte
  • Warping with FreeForm
  • Motion tracking with mocha version 2
  • Matting with mocha shape, including adding motion blur
  • Extruding in 3D with Repoussé
  • Importing RED footage
  • Using Color Finesse and updated blending modes
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Refine Matte

Back when I was demonstrating the new Roto Brush tool in After Effect CS5, I mentioned the Refine Matte section. This gives you a lot of additional power to clean up the edges of a matte. It basically does a motion estimation to see where the edges are moving from frame-to-frame. And then it will try to reduce chatter, noise, buzz, jitter in the edges. It can apply a motion blur to those matted edges, rather than being a hard edged matte, even when something is moving very quickly and is very blurred, and it can decontaminate background color from those edges.

So if you have anything bleeding in from the background or bleeding through a motion blurred section, you could remove that color contamination so you have a more pure composite. As it turns out, Refine Matte is not limited just to Roto Brush. It's a standalone effect as well that you can apply to any matte you create. For example, let me bring up this simple green screen example. Earlier in the shot this was pretty easy to key because the character's not moving at all, but as we get further into this shot where there is a lot of action, you can see there is a lot of motion blur and a lot of activity happening in this shot.

This would normally make it harder to get a good key, because you'd be worried about how do you deal with these motion blurred areas, how do you deal with these edges? You want this to be blurrier, and this, so just a simple feather amount is not going to cut it. Let's go ahead and key this and then play around Refine Matte. I bring up the old Keylight effect, which is still bundled with After Effects. It's a great keyed. Drag it on to my footage, take my Eyedropper and pick some green close to this action. Now Keylight does give me a pretty good start to the image.

But as I turn on Toggle Transparency, you see I've got some problems. The Key is not yet perfect. I got some partial transparency in those motion blur areas like his face. I would need to do a lot more work to help refine this key and make it look good. Let's go ahead and add to this Refine Matte. Drag that on, on top and bang! See how much better my matte is automatically? And not only that, look how it's retaining the motion blurred sections around these arms, around the head.

The key did a good job to begin with, but if I was to turn off Refine Matte's Motion Blur you can see there is some problems, some hard edges here and there. Using the Motion Blur section of Refine Matte helps preserve the partial transparency we want in those motion blurred areas. The other issue I have is with color contamination of the edges. This was shot against the green background after all. Let me pull this wider so you can read these names a bit better. If I turn off Decontaminate Edge Colors, you'll see I've got some problems with black and other colors creeping into these motion blurred edges.

When I say go ahead and decontaminate, now I've got nice partially transparent skin tones where his hand is moving fast instead of getting other colors such as black or green from the background mixed in. Now back in the Roto Brush section I went to these parameters in a little bit more detail. I'm not going to repeat myself here, but let me tell you it's just really nice to be able to simply spread or choke my matte, decide the amount of feathering, how soft I want to make it, reduce the edge chatter in case I've got a very noisy key or I have got a lot of film grain that's causing edges to be appeared to be chewed up.

You can just do a lot with Refine Matte effect after any matte, be it keyed, hand masked, rotoscoped by traditional means, whatever. So this is another wonder addition to the arsenal.

There are currently no FAQs about After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.