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Chapter 14. Compositing and Effects Over... > Basic Building Blocks of Effects Cre...

Basic Building Blocks of Effects Creation

The basic building blocks you use to create video effects are fairly simple. You can generate complex effects by combining and then animating images using the processes described here.

  • Layering is an arrangement of multiple clips at one point in time, each clip in its own track. Superimposing a title over a video clip is a simple example of layering, with the video clip forming the background layer and the title forming the foreground layer. Other layering arrangements require making the upper layers semitransparent, so you can see the image in the background layer.

  • Compositing can be any process that combines two or more image layers to create an effect. Compositing techniques can include the adjustment of one or more image layers’ transparency and the selection of a Composite mode, which is the algorithm that controls the way the image layers are combined.

  • Motion properties are image modification tools that control a clip’s size and shape, its position in the frame, and its designated center point, among other characteristics. The tools that are grouped together on the Motion tab don’t always have an obvious connection to image movement; for example, the Opacity controls are located there. However, making incremental adjustments to a clip’s size, position, and angle of rotation are basic steps in animating a static element—that’s when things start to move.

  • Filters are image modifiers that process the image data in a clip. Over time, filters have developed into a diverse effects category that includes everything from basic tools, such as brightness, contrast, and color controls, to complex 3D simulators.

  • Opacity refers to a clip’s level of transparency. A clip with an opacity level of 100 percent is completely opaque; one with an opacity level of 0 percent is completely transparent. Adjusting opacity is a basic procedure in compositing layers of images. Alpha channels and mattes are a means of adjusting opacity in selected portions of an image. You can adjust a clip’s opacity on the Viewer’s Motion tab or by using the opacity clip overlay in the Timeline.

  • Generators are effects that create (or generate) new video information rather than modify existing video. Generators are useful for producing utility items such as black frames (known as slug), a plain-colored background, or text titles.



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