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Setting a Comp’s Background Color

The default background color for compositions is black; however, you can change the background to any color you choose. Regardless of what color you make it, the background becomes transparent when you output the composition as a still-image sequence or a movie with an alpha channel. Similarly, if you use the composition as a layer in another composition, the background of the nested composition becomes transparent (Figure 4.10) (see “Nesting,” in Chapter 16). And as with the Footage panel (see Chapter 3, “Managing Footage”) and the Layer panel, you can also view the background as a checkerboard pattern, called a transparency grid.

Figure 4.10

Figure 4.10 The background of the comp (top image) becomes transparent when nested into another comp (middle image). The result is the bottom image.

To choose a background color for your composition:

  1. Select a composition in the Project panel, or activate a composition in a Composition or Timeline panel.
  2. Choose Composition > Background Color (Figure 4.11), or press Shift-Command-B (Ctrl-B).

    Figure 4.11

    Figure 4.11 Choose Composition > Background Color to access the Background Color dialog.

    A Background Color dialog appears.

  3. In the Background Color dialog, do one of the following (Figure 4.12):

    • Click the color swatch to open the color picker.
    • Click the eyedropper, which allows you to select a color by clicking anywhere on the screen, including the desktop.
    Figure 4.12

    Figure 4.12 Click the eyedropper to pick a screen color, or click the swatch to open a color picker.

  4. Click OK to close the Background Color dialog.

    The selected composition uses the background color you specified.

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