Chapter 12. Compositing Techniques to Make Your Project Look Like It Cost More Than It Really Did

In this chapter

Creating the Houston Street Composites

As explained in Chapter 11, you can combine and arrange multiple layers of video and still images to exercise complete control over all the visual material in your project.

This chapter and the three chapters that follow (Chapters 13, 14, and 15) walk you through the creation of an effects-intensive short film I made for this book, titled Big Luca. This Godzilla inspired sci-fi action piece (also described in Chapter 5) uses all the techniques detailed in this book. The visual climax of the film is a series of composite sequences in which a giant two-year-old towers over the Lower East Side. These shots not only serve as a punch-line to the film, but recreating them as you read this book provides you with an opportunity to practice your technique.

This chapter shows you, step-by-step, how to:

  • Use a video clip as the background layer in a composite sequence.

  • Remove the green screen background of a video layer, enabling the clip underneath to show through. (For details on how to set up a green screen shoot, see Chapter 5.)

  • Use the luminance values in a video clip to create areas of transparency. (For more on luminance, see “Using a luma key effect to create transparency” in this chapter, as well as Chapter 16.)

  • Create a matte to display specific, carefully selected areas of a video clip while the rest of the layer remains transparent. ...

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