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In this video, we're going to cover some terminology most commonly used in video and motion graphics, and the first term I'll start with codec. It stands for compress, decompress. When you're dealing with video files, you'll deal with many different codecs. Now, if we open our Footage folder, I have a couple different Quicktime files we can click on. I'll select the first one here, this Sphere_Spin_Precomp. This codec is the animation codec, you can see codec's listed in your project panel, whenever you select the different pieces of footage.
Animation is an uncompressed codec, After Affects will default to rendering an uncompressed codec whenever you choose the lossless codec. Here for my green screen footage I'm dealing with MPEG4. MPEG4 is a highly compressed codec. And usually it would be less than optimum to try and use that for keyable footage. But in order to have small file sizes, for you to download and work with, we chose MPEG4 as a good mix between a small fill size and still decent quality.
Same thing with the board right here. This is H264, which is another flavor of MPEG4. It's just important to understand, when you're dealing with footage, you can look at the codecs here in your project panel. And uncompressed codecs are typically always more favorable than compressed codecs. The next term we'll deal with is channel. Every image inside of Photoshop, as well as After Effects, is made up of channels. Now if we go to the bottom of our Composition panel, you'll see this little red, green, and blue dot icon here. If I click on that, it'll allow me to view each of the different channels that are used to create that image.
So I'm clicking through the Red channel, the Green channel, and the Blue channel. And when all those mix together for RGB, we get our finished image. The next term we'll use is alpha channel. Alpha channel is the fourth channel that determines transparency for an object. I'm going to switch comps to show you the alpha channel of this logo. I'll click back on the button and choose Alpha, and here I can see, I can drop that log anywhere. While we're here, there's title safe and action safe. These are two area that determine whether or not your graphics will be seen, when you play them back on other televisions.
Most of the time you want text inside of title safe, and your video inside of action safe. Lets go back to our RFB settings here. The next thing is mask. Now, masks are created with the pen tool inside of After Effects, and if we select layer four here, you can see I have created a mask on this individual layer. Now I'm going to solo this layer, and if I open up my Masks here, I can go ahead and change my mask mode. So you can see this mask is cutting out that part of my image.
Masking is a process you'll use a lot to build composites. Compositing is a term that's described for layering multiple elements in a scene to create a finished graphic. As we're looking at masks, there's another term called rotoscoping, and a lot of times with video footage, as the video moves frame by frame, you'll want to cut out that video using masks, and as you adjust the masks, that process is called rotoscoping. You can rotoscope with masks, but you can also rotoscope with other tools like brushes.
There's one more term, called matte. A matte is different from a mask, in that masks are created with the pen tool, and they're drawn on the page. A matte is something that happens naturally with any element that has transparency. For example, our snowboard text up here. I can use that to be a matte, to cut out the background video layer. I'm just going to select my video layer and switch to my Toggles and Modes here. I'll use the Alpha Channel of this word to create a matte to cut out our video layer.
Now I understand going through these terms quickly was a bit of a whirlwind, but these are terms you need to be familiar with, as we move throughout the course, because we'll explore exactly what each of these terms means in depth, but if you haven't heard of the term before, you wouldn't have had a base to start with.
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