How Do I Remove The White Background In After Effects? - SOLUTION

To effectively remove a white background in After Effects, explore various techniques like Keylight, Luma Key, blend modes, the Rotobrush tool, manual masking, or third-party plugins. Each method has its own step-by-step procedure, so choose the one that best fits your footage and desired outcome, then refine the edges and color for a natural composite.

October 19, 2023
 How Do I Remove The White Background In After Effects? - SOLUTION
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Adobe After Effects How To Remove White Background

Background removal techniques in After Effects range from simple blend modes to more intricate keying methods, each tailored to address specific challenges presented by different types of footage. Whether you're dealing with a stark white backdrop or a more complex gradient, there's a method to achieve that seamless integration you're aiming for.

In this article, I'll cover the following:

  • The essence of background removal and its significance in motion graphics.
  • Step-by-step procedures for various techniques to remove backgrounds.
  • Tips for refining and perfecting your results.
  • Harnessing the power of third-party plugins for advanced keying.

Keylight:

  1. Import your footage into After Effects and place it on the timeline.
  2. Go to Effects & Presets and search for "Keylight".
  3. Drag and drop the Keylight effect onto your footage.
  4. In the Effect Controls panel, use the eyedropper tool next to "Screen Colour" to select the white background.
  5. Adjust the "Screen Gain" and "Screen Balance" settings to refine the key. You can also tweak other settings like "Clip Black" and "Clip White" for better results.
  6. Preview your footage to ensure the background is removed satisfactorily.

Luma Key:

  1. Import your footage into After Effects and place it on the timeline.
  2. Go to Effects & Presets and search for "Luma Key".
  3. Drag and drop the Luma Key effect onto your footage.
  4. In the Effect Controls panel, set the "Key Type" to "Key Out Brighter".
  5. Adjust the "Threshold" setting. Increase or decrease the value until the white background disappears.
  6. Tweak the "Tolerance" and "Edge Feather" settings for smoother results.
  7. Preview your footage to ensure the background is removed satisfactorily.

Blend Modes:

  1. Import your footage and the background layer into After Effects.
  2. Place your footage above the background layer on the timeline.
  3. With your footage layer selected, go to the "Mode" column in the timeline.
  4. Click on the dropdown menu and select "Multiply".
  5. The white areas of your footage should now be transparent, revealing the background layer.

Rotobrush Tool:

  1. Import your footage into After Effects and place it on the timeline.
  2. Double-click on your footage to open it in the Layer panel.
  3. Select the Rotobrush tool from the toolbar (it looks like a paintbrush).
  4. Adjust the brush size using the square bracket keys ([ and ]).
  5. Paint over the subject in your footage.
  6. After Effects will create a purple outline around the subject. Refine the selection as needed.
  7. Return to the Composition panel. The background should now be removed from your footage.

Manual Masking:

  1. Import your footage into After Effects and place it on the timeline.
  2. Select the Pen tool from the toolbar.
  3. Draw a mask around the subject in your footage.
  4. If the subject is moving, move frame by frame and adjust the mask path to follow the subject.
  5. In the timeline, expand the mask properties and adjust the "Mask Feather" for smoother edges.

Third-Party Plugins:

Note: The steps can vary depending on the specific plugin. Here's a general procedure using Red Giant's Primatte Keyer as an example.

  1. Install and activate the Primatte Keyer plugin.
  2. Import your footage into After Effects and place it on the timeline.
  3. Go to Effects & Presets and search for "Primatte Keyer".
  4. Drag and drop the effect onto your footage.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions or the plugin's manual to key out the background. Typically, you'll use an eyedropper tool to select the background color and then refine the key using various settings.