8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2016 6:46 AM by Ephisus

    Convert to Black and White


      To be precise, I'm trying to get a layer to be Black and white, not greyscale, with no values that are not pure black or pure white.  Levels is too imprecise to do this.

        • 1. Re: Convert to Black and White
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Please post the name of the program you use so a Moderator may move this message to the correct program forum

          This forum is not about help with programs... a program would be Photoshop or Dreamweaver or Muse or ???

          • 2. Re: Convert to Black and White
            Ephisus Level 1

            Sorry, I thought I was in the After effects forum.

            • 3. Re: Convert to Black and White
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              There's a black and white filter under Color Correction that give you the ability to simulate using color filters with black and white film. Only someone with photographic experience that knows what a yellow filter does to the sky when using Plus X knows what I'm talking about but Black and White from color is a lot more than just removing the saturation.


              It sounds like you are new to AE so if you are the place start here: Basic AE. You will need to figure out how to use the controls before you start any kind of a project. Also, AE is not for editing so if you are planning to make an entire movie black and white You would be better off doing your color correction in Premiere Pro. AE is designed to work on visual effects and motion graphics as shots or short sequences. If you are doing a film that is longer than a few seconds then the efficient way to work is to edit your film in a NLE, pick the shots that need effects that cannot be done in a NLE and make a separate comp for each shot. My average comp, more than 90% of my AE comps, are seven seconds or less. Most of the films I work on are 30 minutes or longer.


              I hope this helps.

              • 4. Re: Convert to Black and White
                Rich Hinchcliffe Level 1

                You could do it with a combination of two filters...


                1. Remove all color from the image using Color Correction > Black & White, or Hue/Saturation - this will give you a black and white image.
                2. Apply the Stylize > Posterize effect and set the 'Level' value to 2. Voila - an image made up of pure black and white pixels, no grey at all.





                Just use the Stylize > Threshold effect. It does exactly as the combination of effects above, but with the added bonus of been able to vary the point at which each pixel is determined as black or white.


                Hope that helps!

                • 5. Re: Convert to Black and White
                  Ephisus Level 1

                  No, I'm an experienced AE user, I think you misunderstood the question. 


                  That filter will produce a range of luminance values between 0 and 255 image with no chroma, I was trying to create an image with two values: black, and white.

                  • 6. Re: Convert to Black and White
                    Rich Hinchcliffe Level 1

                    The Stylize > Threshold filter does just that, no?

                    • 7. Re: Convert to Black and White
                      Ephisus Level 1

                      Posterize was my first thought, too.  It didn't work precisely enough, there were still pixel wide edges between the white and black that had grey values- I don't know why this is; I thought it might have been a scaling or antialiasing thing, but, testing doesn't hold those theories up.


                      The photoshop posterize, however, did function properly.


                      I wound up rendering an image sequence of the posterized video out of after effects, and brought it into photoshop, made a posterize action and batch processed a new sequence, and gave me a perfect video with no grey.

                      • 8. Re: Convert to Black and White
                        Ephisus Level 1

                        I figured out why it wasn't working- the thing I was trying to posterize and use threshold had an alpha channel, and that was producing the greys.