[Read my product review disclosure here.]
Background Remover, from FxFactory, removes backgrounds behind people without requiring a green screen or a stationary background. It works in Apple Final Cut Pro & Motion, along with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. It creates amazing results effortlessly and almost instantly.
Here’s how it works.
NOTE: One of the new features in Final Cut Pro is Scene Removal Mask. Similar in concept to Background Remover, Scene Removal Mask requires a stationary background. Background Remover does not.
Background Remover is a very easy to use tool for removing moving backgrounds from behind talent. It has two principal adjustment settings, which makes operation very simple.
It isn’t perfect, like all keyers it has problems with loose hair and will look best when the subject is either outlined, or placed against a complex, moving background. (A stationary solid color may show twinkling in the hair.)
For ease of use, highlighting a key subject, creating a special effect or solving a problem when production forgot to shoot using a green-screen, Background Remover creates amazing results effortlessly and almost instantly.
Program: Background Remover
Price: $99 US
Supports: Apple Final Cut Pro & Motion, Adobe Premiere Pro & After Effects
Requires FxFactory 8.0.12 or later and macOS 14 or later
The left image is the source (the leaves are moving behind me). The middle image uses default settings for Apple’s Scene Removal Mask. The right image uses the default settings of Background Remover.
No green screen, no rotoscoping, no problem.
The effect settings, shown here in Final Cut Pro, have two main controls: Sensitivity and Contour. While the default settings are often very close to accurate, you may get better edge control by tweaking them.
In addition to making the background transparent, the effect comes with seven additional presets. Here are examples of each.
Blueprint (left) and Purple Trace
Contour Glow (left) and Your Holiness
Witness Relocation (left) and Remember the iPod. Notice, however, that my fingers are poking out from the white border of Witness Relocation.
NOTE: All border widths are adjustable for color, width and softness.
There’s also a background softener, when you want to add a bit more depth of field to your image. The screen shot shows the source image on the left and the soft focus version on the right (um, split through the middle of my head).
However, this also tends to blur the edges of the foreground object, so the more movement in the frame, the better this will look. As an example, look at my hair and left-hand finger tips.
While you can use Background Remover to remove a green-screen background, the tool does not have the ability to remove spill color. For example, the green shading in my hair, cheek, or shoulders, indicated by the red arrows.
Background Remover is best used where the colors in the background won’t interfere with the new composite image.
Background Remover is stunningly easy to use and delivers truly amazing results. It won’t create results equal to a clean chroma-key, but when it comes to adding glows to objects or removing a background when production is long over, this tool is a step above anything else I’ve seen.
Background Remover in Action
In this very short video, play close attention to the look of my hair and fingers using both a still and moving background.
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