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Chapter 6. Color Keying > Linear Keyers and Hi-Con Mattes

Linear Keyers and Hi-Con Mattes

When, Exactly, Are Linear Keyers Useful?

Situations in which you'd want to separate levels in a single channel or by average the levels of multiple channels include

  • Isolating a color range for the purpose of correcting it to a different color.

  • Using garbage mattes and holdout mattes (defined later in this chapter).

  • Matting elements that were shot over pure blackness or a close approximation. For example, fire is usually shot not on a blue-screen stage but outdoors at night or in a dark studio against a black background.

  • Matting an element with itself to hold out specific portions of the element for enhancement. For example, you duplicate a layer and matte its highlights to add a bloom effect to enhance them (see Chapter 12, “Working with Light”).


There are, of course, cases in which edge detail is not so critical, because you don't need to completely isolate an element: For example, you are matting it over itself, creating a high-contrast, or hi-con, matte. For cases where you just need to specify one area of a clip to adjust it, linear keyers will often do the trick.


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