There are a lot of times when keying effects like the Ultra Key are great, but they really don't get the job done, such as this clip right here. We have a white background. We have some live smoke and an explosion being filmed in front of that white background. And Ultra Key just really could pull this off, but we can use blend modes, which actually are an easier way to get rid of flat colored background sometimes. What we have to do is select the top layer, the layer we want to remove the white background of, and go into the Effect Controls panel with that clip selected.
Open up Opacity, and we have the Opacity. We can adjust the Opacity here, but right below Opacity are our blend modes. These are ways that allow you to take this layer and blend it with the footage beneath it in different ways. Now it's a little beyond the scope of this training series to explain all of these blend modes and what they do. But suffice it to say, this first group removes light tones. It removes white and brighter tones. This group removes black and dark tones. This group, quite peculiar actually, removes 50% gray, that's midtone gray, and tends to brighten highlights and darken shadows.
These two tend to create very weird psychedelic effects. The final blend modes blend just what their name implies. For example, Hue would take the hue of the top layer, the blend layer, and blend that into the layers beneath it. Saturation would blend the saturation of the blend layer into the layers beneath it. So what I want to do is get rid of this whiteness here. So I'm going to choose Multiply. When I do, boom, it's just that easy. The white is gone. It takes away a little bit of the layer as well.
There is no control here, but with things like smoke and fire, oftentimes these blend modes get you where you want to go faster and better than a keying effect would. So now as we play this, we have a very cool little simulation. Nice little composite of this house appearing to kind of blow up. Really, a great look. The edges are perfect. It's just the white that goes away. It's a phenomenal look. It looks great. What we could do is add some color adjustment to the houses here, and some color adjustments to the smoke to make them look like they belong in the same scene a little bit more.
But for the time being, this is pretty awesome. Now one quick word here, this black smoke cloud is from detonationfilms.com. If you're independent filmmaker and you're looking for things like explosions and fire, bullet shots, blood spatter, that type of thing. If you're looking for good footage of that and you're looking for it really cheap, definitely checkout detonationfilms.com as seen in the beginning. If I double-click this here, detonationfilms.com, and they have really cheap, oftentimes free video clips like this that they give away for very cheap.
Sometimes, just a few dollars, really high quality stuff that you could use in your projects.
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