To understand Matte Track, you must first understand what a matte actually is. Imagine a matte as a stencil, the sort a painter might place on the wall, spray paint over, and then peel off to reveal the shape of the stencil in the paint.
In NLE, the Matte Track is the stencil. It allows video through the shape of the matte, but in this case, you can actually move the matte using the 2D Editor and create a stencil that moves across the path of the video clip. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the opening scene of every James Bond film where the barrel of the gun tracks across the screen until it finds 007. Everything else on the screen is black, except the stencil of the gun barrel, which is effectively a still image with a transparent circle in the middle.
To create a Matte Track
- Right-click in the track name area and select Add Matte Track from the menu (Figure 14.30).
Figure 14.30. Choosing Add Matte Track from this menu…
The Matte Track is created directly under the track you right-clicked on, appearing in the name area as a branch track (Figure 14.31). The track is always colored green to differentiate it from a Sub Track.
Figure 14.31. …creates a Matte Track under the selected track.
To collapse a Matte Track, click the minus sign () to the far left of the track name.
To delete a Matte Track, right-click it and select Delete.
Matte Track in Action
To see how quick and easy, yet highly impressive Matte Track is, do the following to re-create James Bond's entrance scene.
Open Title Deko (see Chapter 10) and create a title with just a circle in the center (Figure 14.32).
Figure 14.32. Simply add a circle to a blank Title Deko screen to create a matte.
This is your matte or stencil.
Place a clip on the Timeline and then create a Matte Track under that clip.
Place the title you created in step 1 onto the Matte Track and expand it to the length of the clip above (Figure 14.33).
Figure 14.33. The matte must go below the clip you want it to affect.
Place a 2D GPU filter on the title and add movement to the circle, taking it from left to right (Figure 14.34).
Figure 14.34. After adding a 2D filter to create some motion to the matte.
Add James Bond music and perhaps tweak the 2D filter's blurring parameters to give the matte a softer edge, and you're done! It really is that easy.
This is only a basic version of what can be done. Mattes that have been created in Photoshop will look better than this simple one. But as you can see, with only a few mouse clicks, you have an effect that works in real time and is very simple to set up.
Mattes can also be bought online from companies such as Digital Juice, which also supplies a range of copyright-free motion backgrounds and themed mattes. See www.holdan.co.uk for details.