Using Split Screens for Animated Mirror Effects

Premiere has a Mirror video effect, so why use a split screen to create an animated mirrored effect? Because they're not the same. The Mirror effect divides a clip along a user-defined line and mirrors that portion of the screen.

The split-screen mirror you're about to try out will take an entire animated graphic (not just half of it) and create a mirrored version plus throw in some different image characteristics on the mirrored version. The Mirror video effect pales in comparison.

Before having you tackle a somewhat involved, hands-on animated split-screen mirrored effect, here are a couple quick examples.

Garbage Matte Split-Screen Mirrored Effect

Figure 16.28 shows a split screen I created using a garbage matte. Here's how I did it:

  1. I placed the same clip on Video 1 and Video 2.

  2. I used Camera View to flip the clip on Video 2 180 degrees along the vertical axis so it faced the other direction.

  3. I used the Motion Settings dialog box to slide each clip to one side of the screen: the Video 1 clip to the left side, the Video 2 clip to the right. The Mirror effect cannot do this. It slices your image in two. As shown in Figure 16.29, I selected equal start- and end-points for each clip: -20,0 for Video 1 and 20,0 for Video 2.

    Figure 16.29. Motion settings let you slide a clip to one side.

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  4. I opened the Transparency Settings dialog box for the clip on Video 2 and created a garbage matte by sliding the corners in the Sample screen, shown in Figure 16.30. That's it. No need to select a key type.

    Figure 16.30. The garbage matte's Sample screen does not display the Video 1 clip's motion settings.

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Figure 16.28. A split-screen mirror created with a garbage matte.

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Unfortunately, the motion settings I applied to the clip on Video 1?sliding the clip off to one side?don't show up in the Sample screen. This is a Premiere anomaly. But in this case I know I simply want to divide the screen in half vertically.


Split-Screen Mirrored Effect Using an Image Matte

This example utilizes the exact same setup I used for the garbage matte split-screen mirrored effect.

Figure 16.31 shows the only differences. I applied the Image Matte key type, clicked Choose to select the split-screen matte used in Hour 15, "Compositing Part 2: Alpha Channels and Mattes," and dragged the garbage matte points in the Sample screen back to their respective corners. Done.

Figure 16.31. An image matte coupled with motion settings also can create a mirrored effect.

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Split-Screen Mirrored Effect with Motion

Now for the trickier mirrored animation effect. This time I'd like you to try this out. You'll take a graphic, set it spinning, place another graphic above it spinning in the opposite direction, add video effects to each graphic and finally put them over a background.

Again, as with all things Premiere, there are several ways to accomplish this. This is just one I came up with.

Task: Create a Split-Screen Mirrored Effect with Motion

To create a split-screen mirrored effect with motion, follow these steps:

  1. Your timeline should have at least three video tracks. If not, add a video track.

  2. Place the Veloman.eps graphic from the Premiere Sample folder on Video 2 and Video 3. Place a clip to use for a background on Video 1. Adjust the lengths of all of them to about 10 seconds.

  3. Input motion settings for the graphic on Video 2. You want to shrink it to half its size, spin it clockwise four times (set 1440 degrees on the endpoint), have it enter the left side of the screen and move off the right, and do that on the bottom half of the screen. As Figure 16.32 shows in part, I started the motion for the graphic running across the bottom of the screen at -55,15 and ended it at 55,15.

    Figure 16.32. Use motion settings to roll the graphic across the screen.

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    If you know you are going to use the same or very similar motion settings more than once, you can save these motion settings and apply them to another clip later. After completing the motions settings for the clip on Video 2, click Save, select your Scratch Disk project file folder as this file's location, and give your file a descriptive name. Click Save and then close the Motion Settings dialog box by clicking OK.

    Open the Motion Settings dialog box for the graphic on Video 3, click Load, and select the motion settings file you just saved. Now simply change a few numbers?the y-axis number should now be -15, and the Rotation should be -1440 degrees. In Figure 16.33 I have already applied transparency to show you where I'm going with this exercise.

    Figure 16.33. Changing only two numbers from positive to negative changes the location of the graphic and rotates it counterclockwise.

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  4. Apply transparency to both clips. By applying motion to these clips and accepting the default?Use Clip's Alpha (Channel)?you'll discover that when you open Transparency, the white alpha matte should already have been applied. Click OK.

  5. Now apply a different video effect to each clip. Something to give them some unusual color or appearance. I chose Tiles and Wave.

  6. Preview your effect. It should look something like Figure 16.34.

    Figure 16.34. Two graphics with mirrored motion and different video effects playing over a background. You cannot do this with the Mirror video effect.

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Tips from an Adobe Expert

From database integration for AT&T to digital image retouching and graphic design for advertisements in Newsweek and Time, Daniel Brown has balanced a passion for right- and left-brain abilities. Daniel formed the Web development team at Metagraphics in Palo Alto, California, (now Artmachine.com) with clients such as Apple, Netscape, Sun, Silicon Graphics, and Hewlett Packard. In 1998, Daniel joined Adobe systems in the role of "evangelist," lending a hand in product development, marketing, interface design, and customer education. He is a frequent speaker at industry events worldwide and has taught classes at Santa Fe Digital Workshops, Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado, and the Pacific Imaging Center in Makawao, Hawaii. Daniel currently handles Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, and Adobe LiveMotion.

Daniel Brown, Sr. Evangelist, DV/Motion Graphics, Adobe Systems, Inc.

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Here are five of Brown's favorite Premiere tips:

Using the Project-Archive folder? If you accidentally erase or completely mess up a project file, don't panic. Every time you save a project, Premiere saves over the file you're currently working on, but it will also save a copy of the previous version in its Project-Archive folder. Depending on the installation, it may be in your Documents folder (see Figure 16.35) or the folder that holds the actual application. Project files are tiny compared to video files, and they're worth any extra disk space they occupy. In Edit, Preferences, AutoSave and Undo, you can specify how many versions of a single project Premiere will keep an archive of (up to 100) as well as the total number of archives Premiere will keep (up to 1,000). To restore an archived project, select File, Open and then navigate to the Project-Archive folder and select a project.

Figure 16.35. Navigate to this folder to open a previous version of a current project.

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Docking palettes? Few people know about this trick, but it's making its way through most of the Adobe applications. If you drag a palette's folder tabs?Transitions, Effect Controls, Navigator, and so on?to the bottom edge of another palette, they will "dock" vertically (that is, they will all be visible but will move as one piece). This is great for managing screen real estate because moving one palette moves the others with it. In Figure 16.36, I've docked all eight palette folders. If you minimize the palette, it looks like Figure 16.37. Then, double-clicking a file folder opens only that folder. Double-clicking it again closes it. If you don't want a file folder in your docked group, drag its tab out of the palette. It'll form its own palette. Click the little x in the upper-right corner to send it on its way.

Figure 16.36. Docked palettes put all of Premiere's effects in one handy spot.

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Figure 16.37. Double-clicking an open folder minimizes the palette.

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Selecting multiple clips in the source window? You can select multiple clips in the Project window, drag them to the Source window, and, as illustrated in Figure 16.38, choose from among them in the drop-down menu. To clear a clip from that Source window drop-down menu, use Crtl+Backspace (Windows) or Command+Delete (Mac). This will delete the currently visible clip and move the others up the list (so subsequent deletes will remove the later clips).

Figure 16.38. Drag several clips to the Source window and then access them using this drop-down list.

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Using an export bin? If you would like to use the same collection of clips in another project, Premiere allows you to export the contents of a bin to a text file. It won't look like a text file, but it is. As shown in Figure 16.39, with the bin selected, go to the Project menu and choose Export Bin from Project. For those with power shortcut tendencies, you can right/Option-click on a particular bin and use the contextual menu to export the contents. To open the bin, open it within Premiere using the File, Open command. When opened, the bin will exist in its own window. You can drag and drop the bin or its contents to your current Project window.

Figure 16.39. If you plan to use the same media files in another project, save the project bin holding those files using the Export Bin from Project command.

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Using a master clip? Double-clicking a trimmed clip in the timeline will open that edited clip in the Source Monitor screen. But the cooler trick is to use Shift+Ctrl-double-click (Windows) or Shift+Command-double-click (Mac) to open the master clip in the Source Monitor screen with the current clip's in- and out-points displayed. I've highlighted those elements in Figure 16.40. Using the Source Monitor you can shift those edit markers to create new in- and out-points and drag that trimmed segment from the Source Monitor screen to a different spot in the timeline. This is a very easy way to pull more than one segment from a master clip.

Figure 16.40. Using a keyboard/mouse shortcut you can open the master clip in the Source Monitor screen, change the trim points, and add it to the timeline.

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