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Blender For Dummies®, 2nd Edition by Jason van Gumster

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Working with the Node-Based Compositor

Compositing is the process of mixing multiple visual assets to create a single image or sequence of images. By this definition, you may notice that technically Blender's VSE qualifies as a sort of compositor because you can stack strips over each other in channels and blend them together with effects and transitions. Although this statement is true, the VSE is nowhere near as powerful as the Node Compositor is for mixing videos, images, and other graphics together.

image As designed, the VSE is intended for working with multiple shots, scenes, images, or clips of video. It's also meant to play back in real time (or as near to that as possible). In contrast, the Compositor is intended for working with a single shot, and it's most certainly not meant for working in real time. There is a little bit of overlap in the functionality of these two parts of Blender, but depending on the task at hand, one is more suitable than the other.

What makes the Node Compositor so powerful? Well, it's in the name: nodes. One of the best ways to understand the power of nodes is to imagine an assembly line. In an assembly line, each step in the process depends on the step immediately preceding it and feeds directly into the following step. This methodology is similar to the layer-based approach used in many image manipulation programs like Photoshop and GIMP. Each layer ...

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