Keying and Compositing in FCP 10.4


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Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 28 customer ratings
(28 customer reviews)
  • Understand keying vs. compositing
  • Understand how to produce a clean key
  • Work with advanced keyer controls
  • Avoid guesswork by working logically
  • Combine keying with masks & color correction

Keying vs. Compositing

Creating a clean key and a convincing composite are separate processes with different requirements. This tutorial will help you differentiate between the two, and give you the practical know-how for tackling a wide variety of green screen subjects.

The Keys to Success

Creating a good key requires the right type of subject, lighting, background and other factors. You’ll learn how to quickly evaluate your shots in order to determine if your subjects will key with very little adjustment or will require more of your time to finesse the key.

Become a Key-master

The Keyer effect in Final Cut Pro X works automatically as soon as you apply it but it’s rarely perfect. Learn when you should tweak your key vs. building one from scratch, and how to work through the keying parameters in a logical fashion in order to get the best results.

Make it all Come Together

Even if you’ve achieved a clean key, your subject may not composite well depending on factors such as perspective, lighting, reflections, choice of background and more. We’ll show you how to improve your composites through a combination of tools and techniques that will help sell the shot to your viewers.

About the Author:

Mark Spencer
Mark Spencer is a bay-area based producer, editor, teacher and writer. Mark is also an Apple-certified instructor for Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 and the author or coauthor of 5 books on Motion, including the Apple Pro Training Series Motion 5, all from Peachpit Press.
Full Bio

28 reviews for Keying and Compositing in FCP 10.4

  1. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Carl R. (verified owner)

    As I work through this tutorial, I constantly learn something new and instantly reusable in my day to day projects. Ripple training has been a great learning resource.

  2. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Heron (verified owner)

    Very informative! It introduced me to compositing. Previously I had heard the term, but had no understanding of the process. This tutorial has proved extremely valuable to me already and I will continue to refer to it. Thanks to Ripple I now have another great resource to help me on my creative journey!

  3. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Caron (verified owner)

    Excellent Tutorial, a MUST HAVE, for those who work with green screens:
    “Keying and Compositing” has so many smart and useful tricks to get the best images out of your film.
    I now feel so much more comfortable with FCPX Keyer, getting new creative ideas, in so many ways.
    Thanks a million.

  4. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Frank D. (verified owner)

    All of your videos are terrific but I thought this would be more about Keyframing, as that is one of my (many) weak spots, rather than Keying. My bad. So I started watching it and then gave up and went to Color Correction, which I am watching now. It is really, really good!

  5. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Ray (verified owner)

    Thanks for this great refresher as well as some great techniques with compositing.

  6. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Phil (verified owner)

    Mark is a great teacher. The lessons build logically and methodically. It’s also great that he takes the time to answer my questions.

  7. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Paul (verified owner)

    You can figure it all out yourself, but this training saves you a lot of time. And the bonus is the tips and tricks. Thanks!

  8. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Eric C. (verified owner)

    I’ve been keying since the days of Blue screens and this video is a must for the rank armature to the seasoned professional. Why? Because many of us have a propensity to forget some things and never bother to learn new techniques that could really help us in the profession. This video pretty much covers the whole gambit lesson by lesson. So glad I purchased it. Eric C.

  9. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Frans C. (verified owner)

    It is a great tutorial. Lots of new information. Thanks.

  10. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Brian F. (verified owner)

    I have been shooting keys for decades but already by lesson 7, I have picked up some great tips for lighting (green bulbs) and specifically with regard to FCP’s keyer which I have found rather mystifying up to date. As I progress to and thru Lesson 25 I’m sure I will finally become a Key Master. Mark, as always, is great. Articulate and Thorough.

  11. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Raymond K. (verified owner)

    This is a great course if you’re new or have used Final Cut Pro from the start. It was great to learn especially when there’s problems in a key and how to work around it to get the best results possible by using masks, layers and quick garbage masking. Although as the course mentioned it’s not going into advanced compositing as you would get with other programs suited for that, it does show some impressive composites especially with a moving subject with a convincing shadow movement and other blending nodes to get a good shot. I recommend it if you’re into broadcast or working on your reel in blending live action plates into your scene.

  12. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Philip S. (verified owner)

    Mark Spencer is an outstanding teacher. He breaks down complicated keying situations in a logical, methodical manner and with great clarity. He removes the intimidation factor.
    Moreover, he takes the time to answer questions via email.

  13. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Nathan F.

    I really love the Ripple Training presentation style. I’ve tried other training sites like Lynda and Macprovideo but for me personally, nothing compares to Ripple Training. The Keying and Compositing tutorial is very detailed and just what I required to fully understand this process. These days it’s so easy to recommend a plug-in for this or an app for that but Ripple Training likes to show you how to get the most from Final Cut Pro rather than spending money on extras. I really enjoyed this tutorial and would recommend it to anyone who wants to use this very powerful built in feature.

  14. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Eric C. (verified owner)

    I love Keying and Composing tutorial. From a rank amature to a seasoned professional, this tutorial is bound to give you a better understanding of keying and composing. Years ago, when I was giving seminars at WEVA, I told everyone who would listen that if you only learn one very small thing from any seminar you attend, then it’s priceless! I feel the same way about this tutorial. Even though I’ve been keying and composing for many years, this tutorial gave me new insights in how to do it better. In the long run, isn’t that what we all desire to do?

  15. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Mike P.

    As always…another outstanding series of tutorials. I have just had a client decide to evolve from location shooting back to studio stuff with green screen so the timing is perfect. That said…every new series of training videos from Ripple Training is a must have. I should just give them my credit card number and have a standing order on any and all training. The new library system is ideal for those times when I need a quick refresher. I’m sure this series will get a lot of use from me and my team.

  16. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Peter T. (verified owner)

    Pretty much a novice when it comes to this type of process, having this resources helps me enormously. I am a fan what Ripple Training offers.

  17. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    James Kohler (verified owner)

    I have purchased many courses over the years from Ripple and have always found their courses the best and I have tried many others but I always come back to Ripple. While I have been doing Keying for a few years this course taught me a LOT!!! A lot of things I was doing were not the best ways, tips on color correction with keying, etc. For my money their no better course on Keying than this one. The money was very well spent. Mark does an excellent time explaining everything very well. I know I’ll be going back to watch parts over again!!

  18. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    James K. (verified owner)

    The course was fantastic!! The only thing I would liked to see is more keying issues with lower end cameras. A lot of the course was using high end cameras – Red, etc. other than that I’d give 5 stars out of 5 stars!!

  19. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Mike T. (verified owner)

    Great video training. By far and away the most in-depth, detailed training. Excellent!

  20. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Tim D. (verified owner)

    These people are humans… that means they have not yet succumbed to the modern trend to be just fake… carry on and we wish you all the best… I thought I was using the keying effect correctly until I saw this… how wrong I was… the information in this training is invaluable… I don’t use a lot of green screen and I am in no way professional… there is something here for everyone…

  21. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Paulo B. (verified owner)

    I have recently started to use FCP. I didn’t knew anything about the software. My starting point was Ripple Training tutorials. Everything I know today about FCP I have learned with their tutorials. The Keying and Compositing is also a excellent tutorial and explains the subject in detail. The calm and clear explanations of Mark Spencer are very important to understanding everything. Congrats on your work and especially to Mark Spencer. Thank you for your support.

  22. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    joebecker (verified owner)

    This is a great tutorial for Bothe beginners and experience professionals working in Final Cut Pro. As always, Mark Spencer communicates clearly and concisely the basics of keying and compositing but not at the expense of dxelvinging into the techniques needed to produce satisfying real-world results.

  23. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Mike T. (verified owner)

    I’ve subscribed to a number of learning resources for Final Cut Pro including and They are great for getting an overview of the key features of FCPX. However, if you want an in-depth tutorial and, most importantly for me, the background and reasoning for features, you need to get Ripple Training. The keying tutorial goes through virtually every feature of the FCPX keyer, and there are many, and gives you concrete examples of when and how to use them. I strongly recommend the Ripple tutorials if you really want to be proficient in Final Cut Pro X.

  24. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Phil W. (verified owner)

    I have invested in a number of Ripple Training courses, products & webcasts and have always been impressed by the commitment, subject knowledge and enthusiasm shown in presenting the material. This tutorial is no exception and has enabled me to understand the concepts of keying and to encourage me to apply those concepts in practice. In particular, I would thank Mark for his work as his presentation style is excellent, which makes following the tutorials very enjoyable.

  25. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kurt H.

    One of the best take-aways from this outstanding course is the fact that you learn how to analyse your images, prior to the actual keying.
    Knowing where to look at, identifying possible pitfalls, understanding the importance of lighting, composition, codecs, …
    Working myself through this great tutorial will have a significant impact on my next green key setup.
    High Five Mark!

  26. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Kes A. (verified owner)

    Thank you Mark and Steve for making this course. Have always appreciated your products and philosophy when it comes to training. Very easy to follow and comprehensive. I feel that this is the type of training that would convert other editors to FCPX if they knew the ins and outs of the keyer. I definitely learned a lot from this and look forward to implementing the lessons into my workflow.

  27. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Simon S. (verified owner)

    I’ve been keying and compositing for 30 years and purchased Mark’s course. You’re never too old to learn something new and I found this course outstanding. This is brilliant and I highly recommend it to even the most ‘seasoned’ compositor. Even if you pick up just a couple of points, it’s worth the 50 odd buck! Thanks again Mark.

  28. Avatar
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Diane S. (verified owner)

    I am enjoying Keying & Compositing. . .it’s adding to my FCP X skill set. Seeing the videos adds a level you just can’t get from reading the manuals.

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