Node Tree Compositing: Building A Green Screen Shot In One Node Tree

September 29, 2020

In this Insight, Joey D'Anna shows you how he uses the DaVinci Resolve color page node tree to build great looking green screen composites.

Green Screen Compositing In DaVinci Resolve

Over the years – MixingLight has had a few tutorials on doing green screen composites in Resolve. We’ve covered exporting an alpha from the color page, for compositing on the edit page, and I showed you how to build a green screen key in Fusion, and how to connect mattes from Fusion to the color page.

These are all great techniques – but some projects may require even more flexibility and customizability – and in those cases, jumping from page to page can become a serious slow-down. So in this Insight – I’m going to show you how to composite a green screen key and background entirely in one node tree in the color page.

Why keep it all on the color page? Because it lets you adjust any aspect of the key instantly – and it lets you grade the entire composite shot in a single pass. This is my favorite way to do green screen work.

In the video I’ll explain how to:

  • Stabilize a green screen plate to remove camera motion
  • Import background plates into your color page node tree
  • Adjust depth of field on background images
  • Use layer mixers to build the composite with independent control of the foreground and background
  • Use key mixers to add a light wrap
  • Combine it all together with final color and finishing of the shot

As always – leave me any comments or questions below!



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Homepage Forums Node Tree Compositing: Building A Green Screen Shot In One Node Tree

  • Alejandro M

    Brilliant as always! Thanks, Joey. So, if you were to combine this technique with the fixed node tree and custom ACES workflow from your other tutorials, would you group all the compositing nodes into a compound node to keep help reduce clutter? You could then feed the output of the compound node into your standard fixed node structure. Conversely, you could make the fixed node tree be the compound node. Is there a better way to bring these techniques together?

  • Joey D’Anna

    You would definitely have to do some planning in advance to put this into a fixed node tree and/or custom ACES – but it could be done.

    What I would do is like you say, put the compositing section in a compound node. In ACES – I would do it in camera space before the IDT. Compound nodes cant be rippled – so just be aware of that. I would then keep the rest of the node tree the same, and do the final grade on the shot in the ACES section of the tree.

    Another option would be to do a second compound clip (compound the entire composite) – and then put your normal fixed node tree on top. But that does negate some of the advantages of it being all in one tree.

    I think the compound node is the best choice – but obviously different ways may be better for different projects.

  • Jamie Dickinson

    That’s so good that you got the light wrap in there!

  • Marco A


  • Ken S

    Very nice. Curious why you’re using the OFX blurs instead of the regular Blur controls?

  • Joey D’Anna

    Thanks! I’m using OFX because they offer a lot more control and options and better quality then the builtin blur.
    For the background – the lens blur OFX does a much more pleasing to the eye blur, emulated depth of field from an actual lens – which helps lend a bit more realism to the comp.

    And for the matte on the light wrap – I’m using a gaussian blur because it is nice and smooth, and can be set at a much wider range then the builtin blur can – so it works great for what i needed to do to the matte.

  • Frank S

    Outstanding Joey!
    Thank You

  • Joey D’Anna

    Thanks so much!

  • Sean S

    Really great stuff Joey!

  • kris m

    Wizard!!! That’s all. Thanks for the insight Joey!

  • Evan A

    Great video!

  • Carey D

    Thanks for this Joey. You know it’s funny, as I was tracking with you every step of the way. The only difference is I have decades of doing this sort of thing in AE (since oh about 1995), with a brief foray into Shake back in the day. I know how I’d do this in layers but certainly can appreciate the inherent advantages to nodes in this scenario.

    To be honest even as a Resolve colorist since 2009 I’ve been slow to adopt editorial work (but that has accelerated a lot in the past 18 months) and even slower to adopt compositing (save for one green screen job I knocked out with amazing ease and speed last year in Resolve). I’m still dragging my feet on Fusion but really need to get going on that. Thanks for the nudge.

  • kris m

    You’re not the only one Carey, I have yet to find Fusion a comfortable space for me.

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