Compositing Semi-Transparent Clothing with After Effects Plugins

Adobe After Effects Plugins allow users to do a lot of extras, including compositing semi-transparent clothing. This trick is done via the BCC Chroma Key Filter, which can capture foreground images and move them to a different background. To do this effect, users must have some type of blue, orange or green screen, a video camera and Adobe After Effects.

Step 1: Using Chroma Key

The key to capturing semi-transparent clothing is via the BCC Chroma Key Filter. This filter has the ability to pick up semi-transparent objects, shadows and the finer details of shots and then composite these shots on a new background.

This effect is more advanced than past compositing since it is able to capture more of the scene, and it eliminates the boxy effect that was most often associated with green screening.

Step 2: Setting up the Shot

First of all, the right screen needs to be picked. While blue and green screens are most popular, orange is also an option. The screen must be a solid color and it should be matte so that it does not reflect light.

The background color should be opposite of the foreground color, but it should be similar to the new background. This allows for seamless integration.

Step 3: Compositing Images with the Chroma Key Filter

Take the shot with the image up against the screen. Then, go into After Effects and select the BCC Chroma Key Filter from BORIS RED or BORIS FX plugins. It will depend on the program as to the way to access the filter, but it is generally in the Filters menu's Keys and Mattes panel.

Step 3: Change the Color

The standard color for the Color section is blue, but it needs to be changed to actually reflect the color of screen. To do this, take a sample from the actual image using the eyedropper tool. Select a section near the subject, especially near the lighter clothing. This is usually the area that is the most difficult to match the color to since there will be shadows and variations in the area, especially when trying to capture light clothing.

Now, the Chroma Keying Filter should be able to automatically find the most dominate color within the background, and then it should be able to remove that background. So, the entire background will be gone, but everything else will remain including the semi-transparent items within the image.

This key is programmed to work the first time so there should be little to do. If there is some lingering color from the background, however, they can be erased out.

Step 4: Adding Back in the Shadows

If the shadows from the original image have been lost, they can be put back in using the Spill Ratio slider. Just adjust it until the shadows return to the image.

Step 5: Adding the New Background

Finally, the new background just needs to be added to the image. Again, if there are some traces of the background when composited with the new background, these can be easily touched up.