In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at creating light wraps inside After Effects without the use of external plugins or complex techniques. The result will make a big difference in the overall aspect of your video
What is a Light Wrap?
The light wrap is a composition technique that allows you to wrap discrete parts of the background with the chrome keyed footage. The result is a more natural looking footage and a better blending of the green screen footage with the background video
Light wrapping is used to emulate the lighting conditions of the studio where the footage is recorded and it simulates the casting of light onto the presenter, making the final render more appealing to the eye.
The steps to this technique:
You will need a background footage and a presenter footage already keyed out, so it has to have a transparent background.
If you’re not sure how to get a nice and clean (and fast) key on your chroma footage, here’s the technique we recommend:
-add the presenter footage into the timeline
-from the effects panel, search and choose the Keylight1.2 effect and add it to the layer
-click on the color picker next to the “Screen Color” parameter and choose a dark green spot on your presenter footage
-set the view to “Intermediate result”
-and finally click on the color box next to the screen color parameter, hold down the “Ctrl” key and move the picker to a darker green until the background disappears completely.
Alternatively, you can also raise the screen gain value a bit.
As a final touch, under the screen matte section, you can change the value of the screen softness to “1” or “2”.
So let’s get back to our light wrap, you will need to duplicate the background and bring it into the foreground. Then, add a fast blur effect by choosing it from the effects menu on the right-hand panel and make sure the “Repeat Edge Pixels” is checked and the value of blurriness is set to around “70”.
Next, with the background duplicate layer selected, go to Effects – Channel – Set Matte and click on the Take Matte From Layer and choose your presenter footage layer.
At this point, a subtle outline will already begin to show and they key is to just keep the edge of it
The next step is to go to the Effects menu and choose “Blur & Sharpen” – Channel Blur and raise the Alpha Blurriness value to about “50”.
Now, click on the previous effect in the Effect Controls Panel “Set Matte” and duplicate it by pressing Ctrl+D or Command +D on Macs and drag it to the bottom of the effect list. So it should be under the Channel Blur.
Click again on the first “Set Matte” effect and check the “Invert Matte” option. The result is we now how a thin light wraps without the inside part.
The next step is to choose the light wrap layer and set the blending mode to “Screen”.
It’s also a great idea to reduce the transparency to around 70-75% and it will result in a very fine blend of the wrap with the background and the presenter footage
And that’s it. You should have a great looking light wrap on your final video. Thank you for reading this article and stay tuned for more cool tutorials and tips&tricks on After Effects