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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
So, I would like to get started using the VSE here and we have got Megan and let's go ahead and listen to the first few seconds of the intro here. (Male speaker off camera: Two, one...) (Megan: Welcome to Garden Spot.) So you here the prompter go ahead and count down and we obviously want to cut that as a roll-up. So right around frame 63 is a good place to cut it and we'll make sure that we catch her on a good smile and all that kind of good stuff. So right there, looks like a great spot, so okay, frame 45.
So all you need to do to cut strips is simply select the strip and I'm going to go ahead and Shift-click the audio strip as well, so that we are always keeping the audio and the video in sync and press K. It just cuts the strips at the current frame. Now go ahead and listen to the video and the audio. I'm going to change the Time Code here, from Seconds down to Frames by pressing T and around frame 1050 or so, and I need to set my ending frame to 1600, because that's the length of the strip as we see over here in the Edit panel.
Actually it's about 1617. We also need to make sure that we have synced up our frame rate and the actual audio frame rate. So, we come over here to the Render Format settings and make sure that this is set to 24 frames per second. That will make sure that whatever we write out is synchronized with the audio as well. So right around Frame 1000 or so, she starts talking about a spider. (Megan: My favorite was this spider who's eye was staring right into the camera...) All right, so right around here, around frame 1050 or so, let's go ahead and set a marker and we are going to add the marker and then we rename the marker to be spider.
So this would our spider overlay, and that's how you do markers. But first we need to get rid of this green screen, so we select the video strip and go ahead and Add > Effect > Plugin and select the greenscreen plug-in. Click to drop that plug-in in place and then come over here and configure the plug-in to be active. Take in a DV41 and giving us a nice background color. That's looking pretty good. Now, what we want to do is overlay this picture of the spider.
So to add an image, all we need to do is Add > Image and pick the image. Let me go ahead and click the spider from your Library of the images under Garden Spot, and that brings it in and then it's rubberbanded to your cursor. So we can just drag it right over here to about frame 1050 and click to drop it in place. Now a neat way to extend the edge or the length of the strip, by default this will be displayed for 50 frames. We want to display it for about 200 frames.
All we have to do is right-click on the arrow on the right-hand side and then just drag it right on over to the right and end it up around 1250 and then click to drop it in place. So, now the spider completely overtakes the whole video and that's good for a little bit to show the spider picture, but eventually we want to fade this over into the background and reveal Megan again. So what we want to do is we want to transform this image. Transform, we just right click on this image strip, and Add > Effect > Transform.
Now there is quite a few different effects here. I'm going to go over the Transform effect in detail, because that's pretty essential and also the Alpha Over, but go ahead and feel free to experiment with these other effects as well. The Transform effect, once you click and select it from the menu, you have to drop it in place, because you can also change the channel that's on. But I want it to be on this channel, so I'm just going to drop it here on channel 6. Now the Transform has an Effects panel, every effect has an Effects panel, so all of the changes here reflect how you want this transform to start at the beginning of the strip and then how you want it to end.
So, let's go ahead and scale this image, down from being full size, down to something say half size. So we are going to enter 0.5 there, press Tab and Tab again, and 0.5 again. Next we can shift or offset the image as well, from the start to the end. So let's go ahead and offset it from let's say 1 to about 30 on the X and about 25 on the Y. So press Enter and then we can see that's where the image ends up.
Finally we can now Alpha Over by selecting the greenscreen, then Shift+Select the Transform and to do that, we do the Shift+right-click. Then once we have those two strips selected, go ahead and Add > Effect > Alpha Over and drop it in place there, and now we can see the spider next to Megan. Now we can animate this Transform effect by using the IPO curve, as I discussed earlier. So we can go ahead and click here at 0 and then about half way, click at 0 again and then up here around 75%, go ahead click 1 so that it has a full effect.
Now, the Transform effect has zero effect at the beginning of the strip, and then as we proceed through, it fades nicely back over and back over into the corner. (Megan: Watch out for this one!) (Megan: Our next viewer, Mark Thompson of Irvine, California, writes...) Then finally, as this strip is over, the whole Transform and the Alpha Over drops off and we are back just to our basic strips. Finally we really don't want that beginning strip of the countdown to be either shown or have the sound come up, so we want to mute those strips.
So that's basically working with the Video Sequence Editor, to give you a quick overview and the essentials of working with the VSE, to both apply effects and cut strips and as well as move them around and layer them on top of one another to provide professional video editing results.
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