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Compound Effects

Effects that require two layers to operate are called compound effects. Rather than appear within a separate category, compound effects are instead distributed among effects in various effects categories. Though some compound effects use the word “compound” in their names, others can only be identified by knowing the effect's controls.

As with other effects, you apply compound effects to the layers you want to alter. Unlike other effects, however, compound effects rely on a second layer—an effect source or modifying layer—which acts as a kind of map for the effect. Typically, this takes the form of a grayscale image because many compound effects are based on the modifying layer's brightness levels. In a Compound Blur effect, for example, the brightness levels of the modifying layer determine the placement and intensity of the blurry areas of the target layer (see “Using the Compound Blur Effect,” in the following chapter). The modifying layer can be a still image, movie, or nested composition (Figure 10.63).


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