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Opacity

To obtain layered effects that depend on transparency levels of clips in Premiere Pro, opacity adjustments are made in tracks above the Video 1 track. This is called superimposing.

Superimposing (often called matting or keying in television and film production) means playing one clip on top of another. In Premiere Pro, you can add clips to the superimpose tracks (Video 2 track and higher). Then you can add opacity or fades so that the clips placed in lower tracks in the Timeline appear partially as well. If you don't apply opacity to the clip in the highest track, the clips directly below will not appear when you preview or when you play your final movie.

Clips in superimpose tracks with various transparencies applied

Premiere Pro provides a broad variety of keys (methods for creating opacity) that allow you to vary the type and intensity of opacity applied to different areas of a clip. When superimposing, you can designate matte (specified area) to be totally transparent, or you can apply opacity based on a color or color quality, such as brightness.

It is always best to plan ahead for superimpositions, before you make your video captures. For example, if you videotape a person talking and you want to superimpose a different background behind the person, tape the person in front of a solid-color background, such as a blue screen or seamless background paper. Otherwise, keying out the background will be difficult, if not impossible.

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