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The Footage, Composition, and Layer windows allow you to view the individual red, green, blue, and alpha channels of an image. Color channels appear as grayscale images in which the degree of white corresponds to the color value. You can also view the color channel using its own color. The alpha channel appears as a grayscale image as well, where the degree of white corresponds to opacity. As you may recall from Chapter 2, you can even view the unmultiplied color channels—that is, the color channels without the alpha taken into account. For more about alpha channels, see the Chapter 2 sidebar "Alpha Bits: Understanding Straight and Premultiplied Alpha."

To show individual channels

Do any of the following:

  • To show the channel depicted in gray scale, click one of the RGB channel buttons ( Figure 3.95 ).

    Figure 3.95 Click the button that corresponds to the channel you want to view. Shift-click a color channel to see the channel in color.

  • To show the channel depicted in color, Shift-click one of the RGB channel buttons.
  • To show the alpha channel as a grayscale matte, click the Alpha Channel button ( Figure 3.96 ).

    Figure 3.96 Click the Alpha Channel button to see the alpha channel.

  • To show the unmultiplied RGB channels, Option-click the Alpha Channel button.

    The selected channel button remains active until you click it again. To view all of the visible channels again, click the selected channel button.

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