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Chapter 4. Compositions

Chapter 4. Compositions

Without compositions, a project is nothing more than a list of footage items—a grocery list without a recipe; an ensemble without choreography; finely tuned instruments without, well, a composition. This is because compositions perform the essential function of describing how footage items are arranged in space and time. This chapter shows you how to create a composition and define its spatial and temporal boundaries by setting frame size, frame rate, duration, and so on.

This chapter also describes the fundamental process of layering footage in compositions (and in so doing lays the groundwork for the rest of the book, which focuses largely on how to manipulate those layers). The footage items you add to a composition become layers, which are manipulated in the defined space and time of the composition, as represented by Composition and Timeline windows. The following pages will give you an overview of these windows as well as the Time Controls palette. This chapter will also introduce you to the technique of nesting, using comps as layers in other comps—a concept you'll appreciate more fully as your projects grow more complex.

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