Dark Scene with Bright Green Screen - What Do You Do?

I’ve got a shot that’s underlit–moody if you will–and there’s a greenscreen I need to replace with a moody BG plate, but the screen is bright. Not clipped bright, but brighter than the lit skin tones by about a stop.

The screen itself is lovely and even, but I cannot get a nice soft key without the edges glowing. I’ve tried the Logik Additive key in Joel Mode, I’ve rolled my own keys. Nothing is delivering.

optimistic that I’m just out of the keying loop and y’all have some cool solutions for this type of issue.

What colorspace are the plates in?


Brighter than this? This is purely despill work

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that looks lovely. what do you mean by “purely despill work”?

Its mostly about getting the right despill value for each zone…there is no edgeextend/pixelspread at all here… at the end its just transfering the green to another color, darken down o light the back to the value you need it to blend with the bg.

using what nodes? how are you isolating areas? What does a setup that makes that look like?

Let me sit in front of the box and make a setup for you…


Here is the batch if you want to take a look inside
Despill_Andy_DarkBG.zip (253.2 KB)


I am using this free green screen footage for this example, Plate from Blender and BG from ActionVFX

Here is the footage zipped

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Take a look at the color corrector nodes, they have offset values for each channel in order to match the edges to background, also MatteEdge node controls how much you will affect the edge of the section you are working on.

It is actually quite simple workflow, it just takes time but not quite hard. Let me know if you have any issue with this or something…

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Andy, stating the obvious but i try and get the luminance to match in the edges if theres a glow or spill. Either with Master keyer and adjusting the gamma curve or running a few edge detects, softer and smaller to get the edges down to match. Precoming and then recomping the fill through it helps with the composited egde to get darker to match. play with Averages and a precomp to get that glow edge down too

Despill to gray, then Overlay and/or Multiply the new BG onto it? Then shrink your matte hard and soften to fill in the dark bits?

First up, thank you Cristhian for the setup. I appreciate you taking the time to not only explain your process, but make a setup. I enjoyed going through it.

For anyone who cares, I’ve made a mock-up image and backplate with the actual scene values that I’m working with, as well as a theoretical perfect comp.

FunKey.zip (3.9 MB)

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This just looks like you shrunk the matte, and removed lots of the soft edges and details.

Hey @andy_dill,
I don’t know if it will work for you, but youtube algorithm showed me this simple and silent video from a Japanese Flame artist. Parts 1 &2… I think this is the perfect place to share it…

Best of luck


I was also served this by the algorithm recently, really good breakdown. Would recommend.

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My super pedestrian method is to just use the Master Keyer’s despiller and lower the luminance slider there, in addition to shifting the neutral gray slightly towards the color temperature of the background I’m comping in. The only downside being it results in certain quirks with additive highlights if you’re subsequently plugging it back into the crok additive keyer. That said the other methods presented here seem much more proper and I’m looking forward to trying them out.

IBK with a real clean plate is my go-to for this. Though it can be really time consuming to create the clean plate, especially if the camera is moving or there are lighting changes on the greenscreen. But it does take care despill and edges for you.

Also, the tools I would also try out are Colour Curves for despill and Matte Curves for your composite to give you some refined adjustments of edges.

I’ve worked on some pretty gnarly too-bright key shots that had to go though a film QC process and there’s never a single solution. You almost always have to set up different key and roto solutions for 10 different spots in the shot.


Precisely my fear. Haha.

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