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Matte Keys

Matte-based keys use an external image to define transparent areas of a clip. A typical matte is a high-contrast grayscale image (sometimes called a high-con). By default, the white areas of the matte define opaque areas of the foreground clip (sometimes called the beauty), black areas of the matte define transparent parts of the foreground clip, and gray areas define semitransparent parts of the foreground clip. The matte itself never appears in the final output; it only defines areas of transparency. Sometimes the matte perfectly matches the shape of the beauty; other times, the matte cuts a shape out of the beauty (Figures 13.47, 13.48, and 13.49).

Figure 13.47. This matte’s edges perfectly match the beauty.



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