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 I felt like my previous demo reel was outdated, and that I’ve had the honor to work on some awesome projects in the last year and a half.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

AE to Nuke: 07 Beauty work

Hey guys,

Instead of doing a video copilot tutorial on the blemish removal, I noticed Andrew’s was a little out of date, and an overall sub-par example, as the girl in the video looked good from the start.I did find a great tutorial on beauty work in nuke by Stephan Fleet here:

I especially liked this tutorial because it was organized, had great techniques, like the erode in then erode out to fill in colors, and also because he quickly goes through a little Mocha technique which I thought was intriguing and made me want to learn mocha further to help me out with roto/planar tracking in the future.
So please check that out as it is a much more thorough tutorial than I’d be able to produce!Also check out Stephan Fleet’s site for more of his tuts here:

Hopefully I’ll be moving on to more tutorials soon.  I’ve been getting into some python scripting and menu customization and will be coming out with a Compositing Guru Toolkit soon.  So stay tuned for that and much more.

Tony Lyons

AE to Nuke 06: 3d card systems – Card3D

Output_Pipe Gizmo: (in case you want to organize your scripts in a similar way)

Here is the script I was using so you can review:
06 3d Camera Projections_ALY_v06_forWeb.nk

Here I reproduce video-copilots “3d compositing” tutorial # 6 in nuke. I am using card3d’s instead of regular cards.  Here are some Spark Notes on the video:

Recap, Things to Remember

1.) use card3d instead of card where you can – renders a lot faster (no scanline renderer)

2.) The uniform scale of the card expression is:


3.) use an axis node to control the cameras pivot

4.) premult the depth from the card3d by the alpha

5.) set merges to “also merge” the depth channel, to layer the depths

6.) us the focal plane setup in the zblur and animate the focus plane,
depth of field and maximum for a shift focus


In the “Uniform Scale” of Card or Card3d:

Type this Expression:



The Default Settings of a camera in Nuke are always the same,
even when the project settings global format changes.
The cameras h-aperture and focal length are always:

h-aperture: 24.576

focal lenght: 50


The first part of the equation gets simplified by us since it is
always the default and only changes if we import the camera
or change it ourselves.  Therefore the new equation is:



Took a little bit to figure some of this out, I can probably say it’s easier to do this tut in AE, but then again there is a lot of power coming out of the card system in nuke.  At least you can reproduce the results! To each his own.  I really hope you guys can use this info, especially the equation!


Tony Lyons

AE to Nuke: 05 Camera Shake

Demonstrating how to do camera shake inside of Nuke, as well as Introducing my Motion Tile Gizmo.  I really enjoyed making this one because of the problem with having no motion tile option in nuke, then problem solving the best way I could.  I think that this tutorial is a great example of why I started this series, to bridge the gap between AE and Nuke and to come up with clever solutions to problems like missing tools.

You can find the video footage I was using here:

Download the Motion Tile Gizmo:

Thanks so much for watching!  If you have any questions you can leave a comment or email me at


Tony Lyons