In our Basics series, we look at the fundamentals of a wide range of topics in CGI to break it down into the core elements.
In the final part of our look at basic compositing using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, we will discover how the basic techniques that we have learned in creating Merge nodes can be applied to actual footage.
In the previous article, we showed how to make a mask in DaVinci Resolve. Masks can also be created in 3D software via a variety of methods, and they can be saved directly within the render file as an Alpha channel.
An Alpha channel is a fourth ‘channel’ of information stored alongside the three primary color channels (Red, Green, and Blue). An Alpha channel shows the defined, transparent area of a scene. At the simplest level, this would be the empty background of a scene. Most 3D scenes don’t have an ‘empty’ background, especially when elements such as volumetrics and HDRI dome lighting are applied.
Therefore, it is much more typical for an artist to create a designated selection within the 3D software to mark a key element for having an Alpha channel. Or, to ensure those background elements are invisible to the Alpha channel.
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