Foire aux questions

What are the Course Requirements?

  • Basic to intermediate understanding of compositing (After Effects or similar)
  • Computer meeting minimum requirements for DaVinci Resolve
  • Software used is FREE and sample footage is provided
  • I performed the course on a 2015 MacBook Pro quad-core i7 2.8GHz integrated graphics and 16 Gb RAM.

Can this be done in After Effects?

Certain skills WILL translate to an AE workflow, but there are a few key tools that don't seem to be available yet even from paid 3rd party plugins, specifically:

  • Keyer that uses a Clean Plate - pulls cleaner alphas from uneven backdrops
  • Unmultiply - advanced operation that assists in clean plate generation / edge smearing
This course uses the Fusion applicaiton within DaVinci Resolve, which is a powerful and FREE ALTERNATIVE to the industry standard Nuke (which costs $10,000 for a license). GOOD NEWS is you can do your keying in Fusion, and export back to AE, much like using an external program for tracking or 3D, and then doing the final comp in AE.

What about all my paid After Effects Plugins?

I hear you! I've spent nearly $5k on AE plugins myself over the years. The good news is that keying is just 1 step in compositing, and you can easily pull the key in Fusion, and export your results for comping in AE with all your paid plugins. In fact, there's a whole bonus module in the course at the very end where I did just that: took our results and composited them in AE using my preferred plugins.

Do I have to learn nodes?

Short answer: Yes, but I promise it's worth it! Longer answer: After a few hours, I actually found nodes to be superior to layer-based systems, because they give you much more control and freedom over every aspect of the composite, and eliminate the frustrating nature of "pre-composing." Plus I found that working with nodes has actually made me better at After Effects because of the new perspective nodes gave me.

Does it work with Blue Screen too?

Yes, this method is universal for green or blue screen.

Do I have to shoot Clean Plates myself?

Nope! You certainly can if it's an easy tripod-lock shot, or if you have access to a computer controled robot arm that can repeat the move exactly twice, but sometimes the camera move is handheld, or on a gimbal, and you can't recreate the move twice, so Resolve offers a Clean Plate Generator that allows you to make one if you can't shoot one.

Does this Method help with Motion Blur?

Yes! The beauty of handling chromanance separate from alpha is that you can add back color data, and still use the alpha to maintain that motion blur without having to eat away at edge pixels.

What about Orange Tracker Dots? Or Another Color?

This method removes those too! Just requires 1 extra step which is covered in the course. In fact, while using trackers that are similar shades to your backdrop can be useful, many pro VFX supervisors opt for orange tracker dots to ensure a solid track even with motion blur, so knowing how to deal with those is key to any pro-level pipeline.