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Lesson 6 Keying > Matte Keys

Matte Keys

In the previous section you saw that you can generate a chroma key from color information in the foreground shot, but you can also key shots using a matte that has been provided for you in advance. This type of key is known as a matte key. A matte key has two components: a foreground element, which is the image you want to see on top of something else, and a matte, which is a black and white (and occasionally gray) element that defines which part of the background you are seeing. They are typically used to add animated graphics, lower thirds (see Figure 6.21), or 3D animations to a video layer.

Figure 6.21 Animated lower third.

image

Types of Matte Keys

There are two basic types of matte keys. In one type, the matte element is already combined with the foreground, and you import them together in a file. In the other type, the matte element and the foreground are provided to you in two parts, as separate files or tapes. Avid Media Composer supports both types of matte keys. If you import a key as two separate clips, you will need three layers on the Timeline to composite them: the foreground, the matte, and the background. Hence these are referred to as three-layer mattes; they will be discussed momentarily. In the days of tape, using two separate clips was the only way you could make a key of this sort.


  

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