Using Travel Mattes to Hide or Reveal Parts of a Clip

Travel mattes are useful when you want to use one clip to selectively hide or reveal part of another. For example:

Because travel mattes use information in one layer to affect another, if the alpha channel, black, or white elements of that layer move, then the resulting matte also moves. This movement can be a result of:

For more information, see Creating Keyframed Motion Paths in the Canvas.

To create a travel matte
  1. Place the clip you want to have appear in the background of your composite on track V1 in the Timeline.

  2. Place the clip you want to use as your matte layer on track V2, above the background clip.

    • When using the Travel Matte - Alpha mode: Make sure that the clip has a properly formatted alpha track (see Using Video and Graphics Clips with Alpha Channels).
    • When using the Travel Matte - Luma mode: Make sure that the black and white areas of your clip are appropriately set—black for transparent areas, white for solid areas.
      Figure. Timeline window showing a matte clip on the track above the background clip.
  3. Place the main clip that you want masked on track V3, directly above the matte layer.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the main clip to be masked located on the track above the matte clip.
  4. Select the main clip on track V3.

  5. Choose Modify > Composite Mode, then choose Travel Matte - Alpha or Travel Matte - Luma, depending on the clip you’re using as your matte layer on track V2.

    • Alpha: Uses the clip’s alpha channel, if one exists, as the mask.
    • Luma: Uses the luma, or grayscale image, of the clip as the mask.

    Note: The matte clip’s RGB information won’t be seen.