Highlighting a Portion of Your Clip

Frequently you'll want to draw attention to something within your clip. You may want to apply a graphic or super there or highlight an object or person. You do that by putting the same clip on Video 1 and Video 2, using an image matte on the clip on Video 2 to highlight a portion of the clip, and applying a video effect to the clip on Video 2 to make the matted section of your clip stand out.

Task: Highlight a Portion of Your Clip

How you choose to highlight your clip is up to you. You'll see what I mean as I take you through this task. The fundamental process works for a variety of situations. In this case I'll go over how to change the color of a portion of your clip so you when you add text it stands out from the image. Here are the steps:

  1. Find a brief scene?15 seconds or so?that does not have much action in it and drag that clip to Video 1 and to Video 2. To work well for this effect both clips must be lined up perfectly. Figure 16.1 demonstrates what I mean. With Snap to Edges switched on, that's a simple feat.

    Figure 16.1. To highlight a location on a clip, start the process by placing that clip on both Video 1 and Video 2.


  2. Use the Title Designer or a graphics program to create a matte. Because you will put text within a portion of your clip, a rounded rectangle will define that area nicely. Something along the lines of the one shown in Figure 16.2. Adding a gray border is a nice touch.

    Figure 16.2. A rounded rectangle matte works well to frame text.



    If you use a graphics program to create your matte, set its screen size to match your Project Settings. This way you avoid having Premiere distort the shape when it automatically makes your matte graphic fit the aspect ratio of your project.

    If you're using NTSC DV, you probably set a frame size of 720x480. To confirm that, select Project, Project Setting, General for the main menu and note the Frame Size setting in the Current Settings dialog box.

  3. Apply the QuickTime video effect to the clip on Video 2. Select Color Tint and Other in the drop-down menu.

  4. As shown in Figure 16.3, you have two tinting options: You can select a color to apply to light pixels in your clip and a color to apply to dark pixels. Once these are selected, adjust the Brightness and Contrast settings. The object is to keep things bright enough so you still can see the images on the video clip through the tinting. Click OK.

    Figure 16.3. Use QuickTime Color Tint to change the appearance of the clip on Video 2.


  5. Open the Transparency Settings for the clip on Video 2. Select Image Matte from the Key Type drop-down menu and choose the matte you created for this task.

  6. Preview it in the Sample screen. What you'll see is probably not what you expected. As illustrated in Figure 16.4, most of the image shows the QuickTime Color Tint effect. Only the area inside the matte remains unchanged. That's because the black oval in the matte is transparent and lets that portion of the clip on Video 1 show through. The rest of the matte is white (opaque) and displays the clip on Video 2, the one you altered with the QuickTime Color Tint effect.

    Figure 16.4. The rounded rectangle transparency in the image matte is the only region not displaying the QuickTime Color Tint effect.


  7. Remedy that by checking the Reverse Key box.


    You can avoid this minor Reverse Key inconvenience by creating a matte with a white (opaque) oval and a black (transparent) background.

    Alternatively, you can put the video effects on the clip on Track 1. Generally, though, Video 1 is where you perform the fewest effects. It serves as the base for your project, so the rule of thumb is to put effects on clips in the superimposing tracks.

  8. Create text to fit within the box. Using Premiere's Title Designer is your best bet because you can see the composited effect within the Title Designer window and position your text accordingly. An example is shown in Figure 16.5. You do all this by moving the edit line to the scene, opening the Title Designer, and selecting Show Video. Create your graphic using the clip as a reference. If you want to select a different scene, you can type in a program time next to the Show Video check box.

    Figure 16.5. Using Show Video within Premiere's Title Designer lets you accurately position your text over the rounded rectangle matte.


  9. Save your text file (File, Save). It'll appear in your Project window. Drag the text to Video 3. As a reminder, if you need to create an additional video track, right/Option-click the timeline and select Add Video Track. Extend the end(s) of the text clip to make it the same length as the two clips.

  10. Preview your project. It should look something like Figure 16.6.

    Figure 16.6. Your project should end up looking something like this.


  11. Now for a nice finishing touch. Fade up both the Rounded Rectangle effect and the text. As I've illustrated in Figure 16.7, you want the Rectangle effect to fade up slightly ahead of the text then have the text fade out slightly before the Rectangle effect.

    Figure 16.7. Use the opacity rubberbands to fade in the Rectangle effect and the text and then to fade them out.


  12. Expand both Video 2 and Video 3.

  13. Select the opacity rubberband for each in turn. Add handles a second or so after the start and before the end. Note their relative positions in Figure 16.7. The text fades up just after the Rectangle effect.

  14. Drag the start and end handles to the bottom?0% opacity.

That's it. Preview this effect. This is a great way to place supers in a clip.

Experiment with other video effects to highlight the portion of the clip in the rectangle. A soft focus works well. Black & White and Sepia are both effective.

    Part II: Enhancing Your Video