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Track Mattes

Track mattes are the primary method by which you can use the alpha or luminance information of one layer to set the transparency of another layer (Figure 3.37). This is actually the normal way to apply a matte channel in many compositing applications, which don't have the concept of the alpha channel so firmly integrated into the overall pipeline as After Effects.

Figure 3.37. A basic alpha track matte setup: The alpha of layer 1 is set as the alpha of layer 2 via the highlighted pull-down menu. The small icons just to the left of the layer names help remind you that this relationship has been set up, and which is the color layer and which is the matte.



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