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Creating a Composition

A composition contains layers of footage and describes how you arrange those layers in space and time. This section explains how to create a composition; the following section describes how to choose basic settings to define a composition’s spatial and temporal attributes.

To create a new composition:

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Composition > New Composition.
    • Press Command-N (Ctrl-N).
    • At the bottom of the Project panel, click the Create Composition button (Figure 4.1).

      Figure 4.1

      Figure 4.1 Click the Create Composition button at the bottom of the Project panel.

    A Composition Settings dialog appears (Figure 4.2).

    Figure 4.2

    Figure 4.2 In the Composition Settings dialog, enter settings manually, or choose an option in the Preset menu.

  2. For Composition Name, enter a descriptive title for the comp.
  3. To set the comp’s fundamental aspects, do either of the following:

    • In the Preset pop-up menu, choose the appropriate format for the comp.
    • Specify composition settings manually.

    Choosing a format from the Preset menu enters values for Width, Height, Pixel Aspect Ratio, and Frame Rate automatically; entering values manually sets the Preset menu to Custom. For more about settings, see “Specifying Basic Composition Settings,” later in this chapter.

  4. Choose a Resolution; then specify values for Start Timecode and Duration (Figure 4.3). Choosing a Preset does not specify these settings automatically. By default, these settings match those of the most recently created composition.

    Figure 4.3

    Figure 4.3 Specify a viewing Resolution, Start Timecode, and Duration.

  5. Click OK to close the Composition Settings dialog.

    A new composition appears in the Project panel, and related Composition and Timeline panels open (Figure 4.4).

    Figure 4.4

    Figure 4.4 A composition appears in a Composition panel and a Timeline panel and as an icon in the Project panel (shown here).

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