Compositing Smoke with Ultimatte Advantedge

Ultimatte AdvantEdge is a video production and editing tool that can be used by beginners and professionals alike. One of the standout features of the program is its ability to capture nearly transparent objects, including smoke. To do this, set up the foreground image in front of a matte and use Ultimatte AdvantEdge’s tools to capture the smoke.

Ultimatte AdvantEdge’s Market Edge

When using a matte (green, blue or orange screen), oftentimes the fine detail like smoke will get lost when two images are composited. Ultimatte AdvantEdge’s comes with technology, however, that counteracts this problem. First of all, the mattes are darker than the most common mattes, and they are comprised of different light and dark colors to better reflect the frame’s natural shades (which assists with capturing the smoke in an image).

Most mattes create a boxy final image that is more like an outline of the person rather than an actual reflection of the original image, and fine details go to the garbage bin. Yet, what sets Ultimatte AdvantEdge apart is that the program can scrutinize the clip or image and then deduce what the parameter settings should be.

Step 1: Capturing Smoke with Ultimatte AdvantEdge

To ensure that smoke is composited in the final image, use the mouse to move over different areas of the image or clip. This is known as scrubbing, and it should be done on each section of the image, the object, foreground and background. This will generate the “map” that the program will follow to composite the two images.

Now, select the smoke in the image, and it should turn opaque as it is selected. If all of the smoke is not selected, users can keep clicking on different sections of the smoke until it is. Finally, let Ultimatte AdvantEdge do its thing, and the smoke should be kept in the final composite.

Step 2: Using the Spill Suppression

Just because the object has been scrubbed does not mean that all the matte is gone as well. Users may have to do some fine-tuning to remove any lingering matte, and usually these are found around complex areas like the curves of the smoke or the nose, hair and arms when it comes to people. The lingering matte can be removed with the spill suppression tool.

To do this, select the place where there is still some matte, and then click on the spill suppression. Then, make sure that all the matte has been eliminated and add the image to the new background.

Step 3: Attending to Fine Details

Fine details need to be kept when two images are composited. If not, the image will not look real. In the case of the smoke, it makes no sense to have a fire burning with no smoke curling through the air. It is important to use tools that capture the entire foreground, or the final composite will merely look like two separate images that were merely thrown together as opposed to whole new image.