Runway ML vs Semantic keyer

I do a lot of color grading. For commercial work the semantic keyer was a good go to.
Now I’m finding that it isn’t nearly as good as Runway ML for reasonably tight mattes.
I guess I knew that all along but always tried to use the in house tool first.
The best solution for me, barring Autodesk licensing the BG removal tool, would be to have the ability to use an external matte for a timeline Image node.

I know I can do a 2 level grade with an embedded matte. But that is really not a solution.

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If Autodesk wanted to license Runway’s BG removal tool, that would be fine with us as well!


While I have not been impressed at all with either the semantic keyer or the Runway ML tools in the work I’ve done, they can be good starting points.

I very much agree with your ask for external mattes in the Image node in a TL-FX setting. Especially since the Image Node already supports external mattes in batch setting, but there’s no means of feeding them in a TL-FX setting. I’ve tried passing the alpha channel through from BFX, but that doesn’t work unfortunately, or at least not the way I tried it.

In a recent job I’ve worked around that by doing most of the grade in the basic Image node, then adding an adjustment layer in the track above, adding a BFX node there, which you can load your external matte (or other keyers other than diamond key in), then use an image node or just a MasterGrade in the BFX to augment the grade. That has worked quite well, but splits your grade into two parts. And if you are used to using a Tangent panel, the MasterGrade node loses it’s tangent integration inside a BFX/Batch context which is most annoying.

I might write two feature requests up for those two things and post them later tonight so you can vote them up.


There’s an existing feature request FL-01933 that covers this. Upvote as appropriate.

And here is a new request for having the Tangent panel working in BFX/Batch scenarios for Image/Mastergrade FL-03161 - upvote if that applies to your use case.

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Magic Mask in Resolve does a pretty good job too, similar tool to Runway ML.

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I actually think Resolve’s Magic Mask does a better job than Runway. I feel that the Runway tools have slipped in the quality of what they produce.

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I had up voted this a while ago. Hoping others will too.

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Fortunately color work can be a bit more forgiving of masks.

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