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Keying in After Effects CS3

Article Description

Does the idea of keying conjure up images of a meteorologist on the evening news, or a shooting technique used in motion pictures? With After Effects, even the simplest, least-expensive project can take advantage of keying. The Adobe Creative Team takes us through a step-by-step example of this technique.

Creating a Garbage Mask

There's no limit to the number of garbage masks you can have in a composition. In fact, on some complex shots it's common to have multiple garbage masks isolating limbs, faces, hair, or different subjects in the scene.

  1. Press the Home key to make sure that the current-time indicator is at the beginning of the time ruler.
  2. Select the Pen tool in the Tools panel.
  3. Using the Pen tool, click to place vertices around the actor until you have enclosed her completely (see Figure 5). Double-click the last vertex.
  4. To make sure that your garbage mask isn't too tight, drag the current-time indicator across the time ruler and make sure the actor doesn't move out of the masked area. If she does, switch to the Selection tool and adjust the vertices.
  5. Choose File > Save to save your work.
6. Applying the Color Difference Key Effect | Next Section Previous Section