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Utilizing Travel Mattes in Final Cut Pro

Travel mattes can add another dimension to your Final Cut Pro project by allowing you to conceal part of a video image with a shape, while selectively focusing on an area of interest in your video. This same principle can also add some flavor to a tailor made graphic that reveals selective areas of video through it.

1 First, you must decide what you want to designate as a background and place it on V1 in the Timeline. This could be a still or animated graphic like a texture, a premade graphic, or video footage. In this example, I simply chose another video clip.

clips-in-timline-in-final-c.jpg

2 In the V2 track, place the clip that you want to be the matte. I simply went to the Generator menu in the Viewer window > clicked the twirl down menu > chose shapes, then picked the Oval.

genmenu-final-cut-pro.jpg

3 Place the video that you will be masking in V3.

4 Click on the video clip in V3 to select it.

5 Go to Modify > Composite Mode > Travel Matte and choose either Alpha or Luma. Depending on which mask you have chosen you would choose from these two. In this example with the Oval shape, I chose Travel Matte Luma which uses luminance as the mask instead of an alpha channel.

6 Render this area of your sequence so it can be reviewed.

canvasfinalcp.jpg

Keep in mind that you can make adjustments to the matte layer by double clicking on it in the Timeline and opening it in the Viewer. Under the Motion tab you will be able to manipulate its parameteres. You can also manipulate the area of focus in your masked video clip on V3 by clicking on it in the timeline > going into image and wireframe mode, then simply dragging the video around in the Canvas window until you have revealed the desired area of interest in the mask.

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Using Time Shift audio plug for Avid Xpress was the previous entry in this blog.

Previewing Selective Audio Tracks using the JKL Keys in FCP is the next entry in this blog.

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