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Free and Easy Green Screen Editing: How to Make Transparent Backgrounds in After Effects

By Jacob Richardson and Ryan Plummer
After Effects

A Quick Tip Tutorial on Turning Your Green Screen into a Transparent Background in After Effects

Sitting in front of a green screen and want to drop the Eiffel Tower behind you? That's easy — and free — with Adobe After Effects.
Assuming you've got the Tower all queued up, all you need to do is convert that green screen into a transparent background.
In our latest Quick Tip Tutorial with Birmingham-based motion designer, director and SOM alum Jacob Richardson, we show you how to key a green screen using the tools built right into After Effects.
If you don't have any green screen footage, download the project file and use the scene provided.

How to Remove a Green Screen in After Effects: Quick Tip Tutorial Video

How to Remove a Green Screen in After Effects: Quick Tip Tutorial Project Files

To follow along, download the project files used in Jacob's tutorial video.

Free Green Screen Project File

Download Now

How to Remove a Green Screen in After Effects: Explained

To remove a green screen background in After Effects, you'll need to add the Keylight effect to your video footage.
To access Keylight, click the Effects & Presets panel in the Windows tab at the top of the program window.
how to add green screen keylight effect in after effects.gif
The next step is to instruct Keylight which color to key out.
Toward the top left of the Keylight panel, under View, is a color selector labeled Screen Colour. Click the eye dropper icon to convert your mouse arrow into an eye dropper. Then, select the green screen background in the composition window.
Ta-da! The green disappears.
Green Screen key selection in After Effects using Keylight.gif

Fine-Tuning Your Background with Keylight

Once you've converted your green screen into a transparent background in After Effects, you can perfect your background using the same in-app tool, Keylight.
To learn how to master this process, and effectively track and key in After Effects, jump into our 30 Days of After Effects tutorial series, created by our founder and CEO Joey Korenman:

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