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DV Filmmaking by Ian David Aronson

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Chapter 11. An Overview of Composite Images

In this chapter

What an Alpha Channel Does
Importing Images and Adding Them to the Timeline
Rendering Your Work
Creating Images in Photoshop for Use in Digital Video

When you edit together a group of shots, they form a sequence. A sequence is the basic building block of any film—an individual shot on its own may be very powerful, but a sequence begins to tell a story. (When people talk about a “scene” in a film, in cinematic terminology, they’re talking about a sequence.) By stringing together a group of sequences, a filmmaker creates an arc, a story component that builds steadily to a climax and then resolves to a clear ending. As an editor, you never know how two shots will combine until you actually watch them together onscreen. Working in the Timeline of your digital editing system, you can place single shots one after another and build a basic sequence, or you can combine shots on multiple layers and begin to build a composite.

A composite video effect combines multiple images into a single product. The term composite can be used as a noun (as in, “This sequence is a composite of two video clips: a still image and a computer-generated graphic”) or as a verb (for example, “It took me all day to composite the actor into the background”).

When you composite video, you have complete control over the placement and opacity of each video clip, still image, and graphic that appears in your sequence. You can determine which areas overlap, ...

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