I would like to know if anyone out there knows of any free software, or software not as expensive as Adobe After Effects, that can do Difference Matte Keying? I have searched the web a little and have not come up with any promising results. Note: Chroma Keying is not an option. I am on a Windows 7 computer.

Thank you in advance for your time, and possible help.

3 Answers 3


Blender, which is free and open-source, can do difference matte keying.

I don't know if it's better or worse than After Effects' keyer because I haven't used it before.

Difference matte keying with Blender's node-based compositor.

  • Thanks. I've used Blender alot, but never thought about that. Your's is my favorite answer so far. Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 17:00

Seems like Cinelerra can. Haven't checked how well it works though, I've been wanting to install it for quite some time but never got around to doing it yet.

  • You don't have to convert your computer, it's no problem to install a Linux parallel to Windows (assuming that's what you're using now). Do it, it's worth the effort! — Cinelerra might even run under Windows with Cygwin, though getting that to work tends to be rather difficult. — I don't mind if you don't accept this answer, but you should add something about the operating system to the question body, especially since you write "free software" there, which at least to me suggests a preference for Linux. Commented Jun 30, 2012 at 22:22
  • Ah, sorry about not mentioning the OS. I am on windows (7). And the converting my computer was somewhat of a joke. :D Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 0:18

Check the blend modes of your video tracks. Almost any actual editing and compositing software, has blend modes for "Difference". So i'm nearly sure, you don't need a separate software.

  • Yes, but that's not the same thing. Difference blending just combines two images, while difference matte uses one image to create a mask for another one through which it can then be combined with a third image. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 16:19
  • Sure, but create your difference-blend node (assuming a node-based compositor), feed it into a keyer, and there you are, a difference keyer. Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 13:53

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