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Najeeb Momoh
Najeeb Momoh

Adobe After Effects Keylight Plugin Free Download

How to Use the Keylight Plugin in Adobe After Effects

If you want to create realistic composites with green screen or blue screen footage, you need a powerful keying tool that can remove the background color and preserve the details of your subject. One of the best keying plugins for Adobe After Effects is Keylight, which is included in the Professional version of the software. In this article, we will show you how to use Keylight to key out your footage and create stunning visual effects.

What Is Keylight?

Keylight is a chroma keyer that uses advanced color difference algorithms to create transparency from opposite starting points. It divides an image into two mattes, one based on the specified key color and the other based on areas that don't contain a different color. By combining the two mattes into a third matte, called the alpha matte, Keylight creates well-defined transparency values that can be adjusted and refined.

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Keylight works with 8-bit and 16-bit color and supports various color spaces, such as RGB, YUV, and HSL. It also has several features that make keying easier and more accurate, such as spill suppression, edge blending, color correction, and matte manipulation.

How to Download and Install Keylight?

If you have Adobe After Effects 7.0 Professional or later, you already have Keylight installed in your system. You can find it in the Effects & Presets panel, under the Keying subfolder. Just drag and drop it onto your footage layer to apply it.

If you have an older version of After Effects or a different edition, you can download Keylight for free from the official website of The Foundry, the company that developed it. You will need to register and provide some information before you can access the download page. Once you have downloaded the plugin, follow the instructions to install it in your After Effects folder.

How to Use Keylight?

Using Keylight is not very complicated, but it does require some trial and error to get the best results. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  • Select the layer that you want to key out and apply the Keylight effect.

  • In the Effect Controls panel, choose Matte Corrected from the View menu. This will show you how your keyed footage looks like without any background.

  • Use the Eyedropper tool in the Screen Color setting to select the background color that you want to remove. You can click on the Composition panel or on the original thumbnail image to pick a color. Try to choose a color that is representative of the whole background, not just a small area.

  • Adjust the Screen Gain and Screen Balance settings to fine-tune the keying process. Screen Gain controls how much of the background color is removed, while Screen Balance controls how much of the opposite color is preserved. You can use the sliders or enter numerical values to change these settings.

  • Use the Screen Matte settings to refine the transparency values of your matte. You can use the Black Clip and White Clip settings to specify which areas are transparent and which are opaque. You can also use the Clip Black To White setting to invert your matte if needed.

  • Use the Screen Pre-Blur setting to smooth out any noise or grain in your footage. This can help reduce any artifacts or jagged edges in your matte.

  • Use the Screen Shrink/Grow setting to contract or expand your matte by a certain number of pixels. This can help fix any gaps or holes in your matte.

  • Use the Screen Softness setting to feather or blur the edges of your matte. This can help blend your subject with the new background.

  • Use the Spill Suppression settings to remove any unwanted color spill from your subject. Color spill occurs when some of the background color reflects on your subject, making them look unnatural. You can use the Despill Bias setting to choose a neutral color for your subject, such as gray or white. You can also use the Replace Method setting to choose how Keylight replaces the spilled pixels with new ones.

  • Use the Inside Mask and Outside Mask settings to create masks for your subject and background separately. This can help isolate them from each other and apply different effects or adjustments to them.

  • Use the Final Result setting to view your final composite with the new background. You can also choose other views from the View menu to see different aspects of your keying process, such as the source image, the partial mattes, the final matte, the corrected source, and the status.

These are the main settings that you need to use Keylight effectively. However, there are more settings that you can explore and experiment with to achieve different results. You can also use other effects and tools in After Effects to enhance your composite, such as color correction, motion tracking, masking, and animation.


Keylight is a powerful and versatile keying plugin that can help you create realistic composites with green screen or blue screen footage. It offers a lot of control and flexibility over the keying process and produces high-quality results. You can download and install Keylight for free if you have Adobe After Effects 7.0 Professional or later, or from the official website of The Foundry. To use Keylight, you need to select the background color that you want to remove, adjust the transparency values of your matte, and refine the edges and spill of your subject. You can also use masks and other effects to improve your composite. We hope this article has helped you learn how to use Keylight in Adobe After Effects.


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