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Chapter 4. Compositions > Background Color

Background Color

The default background color of compositions is black; however, you can change the background to any color you choose. Regardless of what color you make it, the background becomes the alpha channel when you output the composition as a still-image sequence or a movie with an alpha channel. Similarly, if you use the composition as a layer in another composition, the background of the nested composition becomes transparent (Figure 4.34) (see “Nesting Compositions,” later in this chapter). And as with the Footage window (see Chapter 3, “Managing Footage”) and the Layer widow, you can also view the background as a checkerboard pattern (much like the one Photoshop uses to represent transparent areas of a layer) called a transparency grid.

Figure 4.34. The background of a nested composition becomes transparent.

To choose a background color for your composition

Select a composition in the Project window, or activate a composition in a Composition or Timeline window.

Choose Composition > Background Color (Figure 4.35), or press Shift-Command-B (Mac) or Shift-Ctrl-B (Windows).

Figure 4.35. Choose Composition > Background Color.

A Background Color dialog box appears.

In the Background Color dialog box, do one of the following (Figure 4.36):

  • Click the color swatch to open the color picker.

  • Click the eyedropper to choose a color from another window.

Figure 4.36. Click the eyedropper to pick a screen color, or click the swatch to open a color picker.

Click OK to close the Background Color dialog box.

The selected composition uses the background color you specified.

✓ Tip

  • If you need an opaque background—in a nested composition, for example—create a solid layer as described in “To create a solid-color layer,” later in this chapter.

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