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Image Bit Depth

Computers store information in discrete quantities, called bits. Bit depth indicates the number of bits used to describe a single pixel. A higher bit depth produces more colors in an image and, consequently, higher picture quality. The RGB color format assigns 8 bits for each color channel—red, green, and blue—for 24-bit color. A 24-bit image contains millions of colors. If an alpha channel is present, it also uses 8 bits, for a total of 32 bits—often referred to as Millions of Colors +. Regardless of the bit depth of the source clips, Premiere always uses 32 bits to process video.

You can choose the image bit depth in the Video panels of the Project, Export, or Capture Settings dialog boxes (Figure 18.22). Depending on the codec you use, you can choose any (or none) of the following bit depths:


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