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Working with garbage mattes

From: Compositing with Premiere Pro CS5.5

Video: Working with garbage mattes

Sometimes, you'll have a piece of footage where you just want to crop part of it out. And this might be because you're combining it with a Chroma key, perhaps, and there's an element that you just need to remove, or it could be something that you want to do for dramatic effect. And the Garbage Matte Effect is exactly what you need for this. And if we take a look here in the Effects panel, we've actually got three different kinds of garbage matte that we can use. And essentially, they all work exactly the same way.

Working with garbage mattes

Sometimes, you'll have a piece of footage where you just want to crop part of it out. And this might be because you're combining it with a Chroma key, perhaps, and there's an element that you just need to remove, or it could be something that you want to do for dramatic effect. And the Garbage Matte Effect is exactly what you need for this. And if we take a look here in the Effects panel, we've actually got three different kinds of garbage matte that we can use. And essentially, they all work exactly the same way.

They're all coder enabled 32-bit YUV and there's not really much going on in terms of an effect, it's just removing pixels from the image. But you can combine this with any effect that will recognize the edge of the alpha. And I'll show you what I mean. Here, I've got a piece of footage of one kid throwing a ball. And go, and underneath it, I've got a shot of the kid waiting, or he's, he's about to throw a ball as well. So, what I want to do is layer these together in an interesting way.

If I throw the four-point garbage matte on first, I'll just show you this as a really simple example. I'm just going to resize a little bit so you can see what's happening here. If I select the four-point Garbage Matte on my Effect Controls list, I've got this clip selected, right away, I get handles displayed in the corner pins of this image. And these are not scaling handles of the kind you'd expect. If you select the Motion Options in the Effects Control panel, these are actually going to crop. Of course, I could use a Crop effect but it wouldn't give me this kind of control. Now, you'll see that I can reset these handles if I resize down to 25% here. You can see that I can set these handles off screen if I want. So, you can be pretty lazy about the positioning.

I can move these way out and as long as the visible parts of the picture have the crop lines where I want them, that's absolutely fine. If I just click away now and show you the result of this, (audio playing) okay, well, it's something in the direction that I'm after. Where the garbage mattes get really interesting is as I said just now, either when you combine it with something like a Luma Key or Chroma Key, or when you start using them to produce more complex shapes.

If I take the 16-point garbage matte, for example, and then choose the heading in Effects Control panel, well, you can begin to see right away there, just how much control I've got over the edge of this foreground image. I can take these points in any way I want. In fact, maybe what I can do is just pull this right up and create a really interesting pattern around this guy, as he goes to throw the ball.

And I'm going to do this kind of randomly but you could really take your time over this and produce something that relates to the textures and the shapes in the image you're working with. Let's see how's that looking. So, that's kind of interesting. So, if I play this now, it's just over the beginning of the clip. (audio playing) Looks kind of weird, but also kind of interesting. It gets more interesting if I throw on something like the Radio Shadow effect because although this effect is intended to put smooth edge on your content, you see here I've got, I just go full screen with this, set this back up to fit. You can see this is giving me a Shadow effect around my foreground element, which could be interesting especially if I combine it with some color creation to really bring out the fact that I'm not trying to pretend that these are part of the same image.

I'm showing this as an intentional montage, if you like. But I can also use the Radial Shadow to put a color on. If I set the opacity up to a 100% and perhaps give this a color, like a, a deep red, maybe, you can see I'm beginning to build something of an edge on this picture. And I can do things like change the light source for this and you can see I'm moving where the edging is, so if I center this up, I'm going to get a very even edge if I wanted and so on. So, it's just a way of making your layered compositions a little bit more interesting than just blending them in together.

Garbage mattes are extremely useful when you're just up against it and you need to combine two elements. But don't be afraid to look at combining them with other effects as well to create something really unusual. Again, if, for example, I throw in something like the Fast Color Corrector and maybe just give this a bit of a, a green glow, I'm creating something that's really a composition from layered elements and effects.

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Compositing with Premiere Pro CS5.5

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Maxim Jago
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