Introduction To External Mattes
In this insight, we’re going to take a look at working with external mattes. What is an external matte? An external matte is a way of taking a shot that has been rotoscoped by a compositor or rotoscope artist and applies their perfect masks in Resolve. In a perfect workflow using External mattes is almost as simple as point and grade. You can also get external mattes on jobs with lots of VFX or 3d renders. I can ask our VFX department at Smoke and Mirrors for a matte and then import it into Resolve for precision grading.
The job below is a perfect example of when we use external Mattes. The client wants to get the best possible look for the car so we are normally supplied with mattes for the wheels, windows, lights, and body of the car.
Creative and Technical Uses
Mattes can be used for isolation to work on certain elements of the scene such as I show in the first half of this insight but you can also use them for creative reasons. I love using film burns, flares and random textures fed into a node to help add some organic feeling into a shot which I show in the second half of this insight.
In this insight we’ll be looking at the basics of adding mattes to the source clips and their creative uses. You can use as many mattes per clip as you’d like but you always need to assign the mattes to a source clip in the media pool before using it on the color page.
Mattes sometimes need to be slipped and adjusted but we’ll be covering that more in the next insight of the series.
If you can find someone to supply you with mattes while your grading you’ll be in colorist heaven but if not sometimes its worth taking your hands off the control panel and opening up something like Nuke or After Effects for precise rotoscoping instead of battling against an impossible key or power window.
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