Alpha channels grew out of work done at the New York Institute of Technology in 1977. The goal was to embed transparency data directly into each file to cut down on rendering. The name alpha was chosen because it’s the part of a mathematical equation that represents blend-ing between composited images. The embedded alpha channel eliminated the need for a separate traveling matte. After Effects users should consider embedding alpha channels as Photoshop users do. Embedded mattes reduce the need for two-step rendering and eliminate the possibility of a misaligned matte. This post sponsored by iStockphoto – Save 10% – Get a Free Audio Track
A DVD menu can come in two shapes, standard (4:3) or widescreen (16:9). The sooner you learn these sizes (and to accept their limitations) the sooner you’’ be designing your next project. 1. Launch Photoshop CS or newer. 2. Choose File > New… 3. From the New document preset list choose on of the following options:
NTSC DV 720 X 480 (with guides) for a standard 4:3 menu commonly used in North America or Japan.
NTSC DV Widescreen, 720 X 480 (with guides) for a 16:9 menu
PAL D1/DV, 720 X 576 (with guides) for a 4:3 menu used in Europe and other parts of the globe.
PAL D1/DV Widescreen, 720 X 576 (with guides) for a 16:9 menu used in Europe and other parts of the globe.
4. Click OK to create the document. 5. The guides added to the document identify the title safe region. All objects meant to be seen must fall onside them. The outside region is similar to the ‘bleed’ area in a print project.
Action Safe – The outside box. All elements meant to be seen should fall inside of the inner 90% of the menu. Still design the background edge-to-edge.
Title Safe – The inside box. All text elements meant to be read should fall inside the inner 80% of the menu.
Some fonts are meant for printing only. This fact is easier to accept if you remember that the print industry has been around a heck of a lot longer than the television industry. Test your fonts. If they are too busy or have too many elaborate serifs, make them inactive or remove them from your system. Many modern fonts look particularly good on screen. Some recent additions include Georgia, Verdana, Myriad, Impact, Trebuchet, Gill Sans, Helvetica Neue, and Futura. These are just a few of the fonts that have been optimized for viewing on computer displays. Any font marked as optimized for web output is also well suited for video work. Here are a few of our favorite websites offering free and affordable fonts.