After Effects Plugins

A few notes and information on After Effects plugins from the San Diego Premiere Pro User’s Group Meeting 2020 March 18 meeting presented by DJ Summit.

After Effects plugins meeting members.
After Effects plugins at the San Diego Premier Pro Users Group meeting 2020 March 18.


Set Matte

  • Applies it to the size of the layer
  • Allows you to set using hue, saturation, lightness, and more chanel (not just alpha or luma)

EXtractoR – allows remapping of red, green, blue and alpha channels to another layer

Color Correction

Levels vs Curves After Effects plugins for color correction
Levels vs Curves for color correction.


Go into single channel in plugin and use grayscale in color window = make it look like a good grayscale image = dial it in that way then eyeball it from there


Same thing as Levels but different interface
Use grayscale colorspace
Single color channel on Curves, and pull the line to match the greyscale

Fast Box Blur

Can be used to degrade the foreground footage = 1 to 3 px
* Can control with a mask, check setting in plugin

Optics Compensation – Can help place a figure in a scene

After Effects plugin meeting screen
The meeting was held online due to the Coronavirus health recommendations.



  1. Garbage matt
  2. Eyedropper
  3. Screen balance 50/50, 5 or 95 (balances screen between red or blue)
  4. View: Check status (black = transparent, white = opaque)
  5. Clip Black: keep as far apart as you can
  6. Clip White
  7. View: Intermediate result (not doing cc and other stuff)

Advanced Spill Suppressor – Get rid of the green

Key Cleaner – Can get chunky

Simple Choker – Fastest and cleanest way to get rid of outline

Levels (See above to CC figure to scene)

Note: FX Console from Video Copilot = help access plugins from layer



Good for fur and hair, and high contrast
Control click resizes the brush, pink is in th shot
Alt+w – refine brush, go over the edge (white is alpha, all detail comes across)
Blue box on window timeline with arrows, modifications only go one direction from there.
Add Advanced Spill Suppressor
Freeze will recalculate whole piece

New Plugins

Red Giant VFX Toolkit $999 or $599/yr
Good, makes a lot of things more straight forward

  • SuperComp – takes all the assets on one layer (light and atmospheric effects interact with all of your layers and the elements of a scene in a far more natural way than can be modeled with a simple stack of 2D layers
  • KingPin Tracker – Mocha alternative
  • Optical Glow – Inverse falloff (more like a neon light)
  • Shadow – Physically accurate shadow with a plane, animate-able to follow a lightsource
  • Chromatic Displacement – 
  • Primatte Keyer
  • Spot Clone Tracker – 
  • Knoll Light Factory – photo-realistic lens flares that render fast
  • Reflection – 

Lockdown ($249 AE Scripts)
Script and plugin (follow directions in the plugin)

O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production DesignAnimation, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Green Screen Tips

Green Screen Tips setup

A few notes from San Diego Premiere Pro Meeting 27 February 2019 and more.

Setting Up the Green Screen for Filming

Green Screen tips for setup
Eric Addison sets up a green screen at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.
  • Place subject 6-7′ away from the green screen. This minimizes shadows falling on the screen.
  • Keep green screen as flat/smooth as possible.Light green screen evenly (2 lights, same temperature are ideal). Check with a Light Meter or Phone App.
    1. Lux Light Meter (Google Play) *
    2.  Light Meter (Google Play, free) *
    3.  Smart Luxmeter (Google Play) *
      * This is in no wan an endorsement, only a place to start research.
  • Light subject so they are 1-1.5 stops brighter then the green screen.
  • Knowing what the composited background will be will allow you to setup the lights and light the subject in a more convincing way.
  • If possible adjust depth of field to keep the screen a little out of focus.
  • Higher shutter speeds can help with motion blur
  • Camera/formats
    • Use uncompressed formats for heavy keying (422 recommended)
    • Log is rarely useful because you have to color correct in order to key
    • DSLR: flat as possible, ISO increments of 160

Green Screen Tips – Software

Ultra Key: Premiere Pro Plug-in

Green Screen Tip and Ultra Key in Premiere Pro.
Ultra Key settings in Premiere Pro.

Start with a garbage matte then use Ultra Key to remove the green around the subject. There are different output settings (Composite, Alpha Channel – all keyed areas are black, and Color Channel) to check the results. Settings give a preset depending on how good a green screen you are starting with. Start with the eyedropper to select the color to key out (it doesn’t have to be green).

  • Green screen tip: use a Curves Adjustment before Ultra to get a better green.

Primatte Keyer by Red Giant

Primatte is a plug-in for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut X, and Apple Motion. It allows you to select your background and foreground, and to separate them out for a great key. Primatte/Red Giant

Green Screen Tips for After Effects
DJ Summit discusses Keylight and After Effects at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.

Keylight: After Effects Plug-In

The drop down menu gives several options including: final result, source alpha (transparent parts shown in black), outside mask, inside mask, status, and more. The inside mask can help if there are parts on the inside of the subject that are being keyed out. Status can help show problems. Despill Bias can help with soft wispy hair. Under Screen Matte, Clip Rollback can also help with hair. For more information Adobe has a page on Keying in After Effects.

Books on Green Screen

  • The Green Screen Handbook by Jeff Foster
  • Green Screen Made Easy by Jeremy Hanke, Michele Yamazaki Tepstra

Additional Green Screen Tips