Advanced Keying Breakdown: DESPILL 2.2 – Despill Techniques

Heres a tutorial about how to despill in ways to customize the color of the despill.  We move away from gray despills towards more useful colors, such as the BG or the subject.  Here I go over keylight, huecorrect, talk about keeping luminance values and using the BG’s Luminance to affect the despill color.  I then talk about combining despills just like combing keys, and show a little trick with the alpha’s gamma prior to merging over.  More to come!

0:00 Keylight for despilling
6:00 Adding luminance back
11:45 Using BG luminance
15:51 Despill matte desaturate fix (finding max of each channel)
18:42 Hue correct for despilling
23:03 Comp example with different despills
28:46 Combining despills
31:10 Bonus: Alpha gamma before over
34:01 Comparison, final thoughts

Thanks for all your support!

– Tony

Advanced Keying Breakdown: DESPILL 2.1 Initial Concepts

0:00 intro
0:40 what is despill?
3:40 Separating the Despill process from the Alpha process
7:33 Core Despill and Edge Despill

Hey guys,

I’m going over the first section of Despilling.  I talk about what despill is, why you need to remove it,  how it should be separated from the alpha process, and combining core and edge despills.

The 2 main goals of despilling are:

1.) Removing any spill while still maintaining the original colors in the plate
2.) Blending the subjects edges with a BG colors

Here is the link to a great despill tutorial which goes over blending BG colors using the difference matte of a despilled plate –> to the original plate.   If you are new to the concept of blending your despill with the background then you are really going to like this video.  He talks about flame in the beginning of the video and switches to nuke later.

Thanks for watching, next I’ll go over how to achieve and control the despill to get what you need.

– Tony

Advanced Keying Breakdown: ALPHA 1.4 – IBK Stacked Technique

Sorry for not posting in a couple months, I have been traveling and working.  But I am ready to finish off this series.  I think you guys will like this one because I go over some techniques on the IBK workflow.  The first part of the video I show you a comparison between how I usually see IBK being used and the IBK stacked technique.  There are 4 examples (a greenscreen, a bluescreen, a hair problem, and a shadow problem) that I go over and explain the concept of what the IBK is doing, and the importance of the IBK Color, or cleanplate.

Next I give you a step by step breakdown of how to setup this IBK stacked techniques by building these 4 examples from scratch.  If you are already familiar with IBK and want to jump into the step by step process of this stacked technique, you can just to 7:09 (Step by Step process, example 1 greenscreen).

0:00 Intro
0:45 Comparison 1 greenscreen example
3:54 Comparison 2 bluescreen example
4:31 Comparison 3 hair example
5:53 Comparison 4 shadows and markers example

7:09 Step by Step process, example 1 greenscreen
17:12 step by step example 2 bluescreen
22:15 step by step example 3 hair and assisted eroding
27:37 step by step example 4 shadows / cleanplate customization
37:12 Outro

At one point, my cursor disappears in the recording.  Something must have gone wrong during the recording process, but you should still be able to see me clicking and marquee-ing stuff.

I’m glad to be moving onto the despill section, as I think it usually is overlooked.  In reality it’s just as important as the alpha, if not MORE important.



Advanced Keying Breakdown: ALPHA 1.3 Channel Math / Combining Keys

0:00 Intro, RGB channels
6:00 Luminance
8:37 Adding all channels
11:39 Adobe After Effects Matte technique
16:21 Channel math summary
20:02 Combining Mattes with Keymix
23:20 Isolated mask Post-Grading

In this video I break down the basics and fundamentals of what keying is and how you can make keys from individual channels.  I also talk about using keymix to combine different keys, and how to isolate only certain areas of the key to adjust with a post- grade.

Here is the Channel Control tool I showed in my tutorial:

Here is the Adobe After Effects Matte Technique Gizmo:



My next video should wrap up the alpha section, stay tuned.

Tony Lyons Demo Reel 2014

Hi guys,

I’d like to take a pause from the tutorials to present my new demo reel for 2014. I felt like my previous demo reel was outdated, and that I’ve had the honor to work on some awesome projects in the last year and a half. I feel like this reel better represents my skills to date, and hopefully gives me enough credentials to merit me making all these tutorials, haha. I hope you enjoy, and thank you so much for all of you who have shown support! Let the tutorials continue.

Tony Lyons

Advanced Keying Breakdown – ALPHA BONUS: Eroding and Feathering Mattes

The Luma ExponBlur tool actually had some buggy channels being added to your scripts (something leftover from the nuke 6 days I think).  I cleaned these channels up so it will not add unnecessary bugs or channels.


or you guys can go straight to the source here:

This is my Feather Gizmo, I will put it on nukepedia soon:


More will come!



Advanced Keying Breakdown – ALPHA 1.1: pre-processing the GS

Here is the first part in the advanced keying series.  I’ve started with the ALPHA section, and made a custom slide for just ALPHA, where you can see the many topics I plan on covering in future videos, but for now I am just covering 1.1 Pre-processing the Green Screen.  Here is the slide for ALPHA:

Advanced Keying Breakdown_ALPHA_detail_v01

It’s a long video, but it’s full of useful tips and techniques.  I recommend watching the whole thing if you get a chance, but if you’re in a rush and want to skip to certain sections here are the Timecodes for you:

0:00 Intro

1:12   Denoising

5:56  Colorspaces

13:11 White Balancing

21:28 Saturation

25:33 Evening out the GS

35:21 Outro Recap

here is the Neat Video plugin website I mentioned for reducing noise on an image:

here is the link to some keying tutorials from nuke station for you guys to look through if you need them, most all of them are excellent:

Please guys, I know I covered a lot but if you have any questions, or if you would like me to do a written recap on all the sections here in this blog post, please just let me know and I’d be happy to write it up for you.   Leave a comment with any questions, or if you think I messed something up, or if you’d like to contribute to the conversation and have anything to add to this tutorial.  I enjoyed putting this together and look forward to the rest of the keying tutorials I plan on putting together.  Please share if you learned something =)



Advanced Keying Breakdown Series: Introduction

Advanced Keying Breakdown Series: Introduction

Hi all,

So  I knew I wanted to do a keying tutorial awhile back,  but I didn’t want it to be the same old crappy keying tutorial that you always see online.  The teacher always talks about how to use the tools, and not about the main concepts or techniques behind them, the end result, what we are actually after.

I have put together this introduction video, and a part 1 video  “ALPHA 1.1 Pre-Processing Greenscreen”, as a push to get this stuff out to you guys.  Here is the Slide in the video for you guys to save for your own use:

Advanced Keying Breakdown

The 3 main parts are ALPHA, DESPILL, and MERGE OPERATION.

Here are some time codes to skip to in the video if you so please:

2:50   ALPHA section

4:49    DESPILL section

7:27    MERGE section

I will go into all of these in far more details, this video is just me talking and doing a rundown of what to expect in upcoming videos.

I recommend you guys browse through the following videos on Nukestation (a GREAT website and central location for nuke tutorials) if you are new to keying or compositing.  The video I am doing is quite advanced, and you’re probably going to want to get a firm grip on the keying tools in nuke before watching.

In particular, I think you guys should watch this video by victor perez: Online!

Hi everyone,

I have some exciting news!!

The blog is now

A new name accompanied with some new tutorials to christen the site.

It’s been a few months, I’ve been working hard both at work and on side projects, one of which is the daunting task of categorizing and analyzing all of the gizmos and tools on   I came up with a good workflow to check the tools, and I am going 1 category at a time, but it is pretty time consuming.

I’ve also been working on an Advanced Keying Breakdown, which I will be posting for the next month or so.  It is very in depth, more than I have seen from any other keying tutorial yet.  It focuses on the concepts and techniques of keying, rather than specific tools.

If you like what you have been seeing on this website, please share with others, I’d like to get these tutorials out to anyone who needs them.  Thanks!
Without further adieu,

Welcome to