Green Screen Keying & Managing Transparency In Resolve

March 23, 2017

In this Insight, learn about pulling a green screen key in DaVinci Resolve and how to manage transparencies and rendering alpha channels.


Pulling Basic Green Screen Keys & Managing Transparency

It’s hard to believe, but even with 600+ Insights in the Library, we’ve never covered the topic of pulling a green screen key and managing transparency/alpha channels in DaVinci Resolve.

So, in this Insight, I want to explore using the 3D keyer for a green screen key – mainly because of its de-spill functionality. After pulling the key, I’ll then show how to add an alpha output so your foreground can be composited over a background plate.

With the composite working, I’ll move next to rendering out the background & foreground while maintaining the alpha channel.

Finally, as an added bonus, we’ll continue the transparency discussion by exploring rendering out graphics that have an existing alpha channel.

As always, if you have something to add to the conversation or have any questions please use the comments below.


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7 thoughts on “Green Screen Keying & Managing Transparency In Resolve”

  1. That’s very good quick & dirty key. But the despill options are limited.

    An alternate method is a Fusion Connect clip. Fusion comes with several industry leading keyers. For that workflow, select the clip in the upper track, create Fusion Connect clip (using source footage) and open in Fusion via Resolve menu. Perform the key and render. Somewhere along the way you get to pick the codec, the default being ProRes 4444. Back in Resolve select refresh, and everything should be in place. Fusion reads the source clip and then renders a temporary file in a configurable folder, which Resolve uses to replace the clip with which already has an alpha channel thanks to Fusions renderer.

    Slightly more work, but with more option. I probably would try your method first and see if does the job, if not then revert to the Fusion keyer. Of course the Fusion keyer also lets you track things in case the camera moved and the background plate has to match the move, but then we’re beyond Fusion Connect.

    Since BlackMagic took over Fusion, the two apps make a terrific combo albeit at a learning curve. Also good for more advanced titles and clone stamping for clean-up of footage flaws where the node sizing tricks are insufficient.

    1. absolutely – this a def. quick and dirty method – that’s why I labeled the Insight subtitle as pulling basic keys. The fusion method is the way that I would go to or back and forth with AE or similar. Your right that the ‘massaging’ options are very limited for super detailed shots but I’ve been surprised how quickly you can get a good key going in Resolve.

      We’ll do a follow up at some point with the Fusion workflow because it is pretty darn good.

    1. its funny you say that! I thought I had found a way to get that to work, but it doesn’t. Generator clips don’t show up in the color page, and you can’t render them as individual clips. If you create a compound clip then you loose alpha channel.

      BMD needs to fix that IMHO.

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