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In Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack breaks down the editing workflow into bite–sized pieces, covering topics from setting up a project to exporting the final video to any format. The course also covers the basics of editing and advanced features like picture-in-picture overlays and audio and visual effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
I want to give you step-by-step instructions on how to animate video effects. That is, I'll show you how to use keyframes to have effect properties change over time. Some editors who have not encountered keyframes have a hard time with this concept, but I think it's a fairly straightforward process and once you try it out a few times, I think you'll figure it out. Then you will start animating most of your effects because using keyframes can add so much to your videos. I've got a bunch of clips here in the timeline. I want to work with each one in turn. We'll start with the underwater school and we'll start off pretty simple.
Let me just click on the clip to make it active to select it. Go up to Edit > Effects to open up all these various effects. I want to apply an effect here called Solarize. It's kind of old photographic technique. It was popular in the 60s. I'm not sure how popular it is now. Solarize, I just type sol and there it is. I am going to apply that to this clip. I can do it one of many ways. I can just drag it down on the clip. I can drag it to the monitor. I can click Apply. I'll just drag down here to the clip. That's kind of the standard way to do it.
Now I can know it got applied to the clip. Now for the most part you would say "Okay! I'm done," but you want to do more. Now you want to animate the Solarize effect. So to do that, you need to open up the Edit Effects view here inside the Effects view here. So I am going to go down and click on this button, Edit Effects. That opens up the effects list with the two fixed effects for video clips, Motion and Opacity and now here is this new one. We've just added Solarize. In the past, you might have just clicked thing up and might have changed this one parameter, let's say and you would have said "Okay! I am done." Well, no more.
We are going to have you animate this Threshold parameter and to do that, you need to open up this little timeline. Just click on this thing to show the keyframes and so far no keyframes. To start showing keyframes you need to toggle animation, but the first thing you want to do basically say where do I want my effect to start and then where do I want it to end? You can actually click a keyframe at either place, the start or the end, but we'll just go here toward the beginning of the clip right to beginning of first frame. Say this is where I want the effect to start changing. So I click on the Toggle Animation switch. When I do that, that puts a keyframe right there for the Threshold parameter, lines it right up.
It adds this little three-button navigation tool, which I'll explain in the moment and that's where you wanted to start. Now the thing is what do you want the parameter to be? Well, the default I think was 50, when you go back at the beginning. If I click on this and I click Reset, it'll set it back to the default, which is 50. If I select that and click Reset, it goes back to the default view. Now I don't want it to start at 50. If I go to zero, basically the effect is not being applied at all and I think that's perhaps a good way to start, start with zero. So once you set a keyframe and if you're on top of the keyframe, you change the parameter, you don't change the location of the keyframe, but you change the value that's at that keyframe.
It's good to know that. Let's go on little ways and notice that nothing changes, no keyframes have been added, but let's say about this far in I want to change the Threshold. So I've moved the current time indicator. I am not going to add a keyframe manually. I'm just going to change the value and whenever you change the value in some new place it automatically adds a keyframe, watch. Just as I move this slightly, a little diamond would appear there, boom! See that little diamond appeared? Now it says "Okay, you've decided to change something, so I'm going to note that change by putting a keyframe there for you." Then once you get the keyframe there, you can add or change the parameter to whatever you want.
So I'm going to change it to something like 40 or so, 41. So what's going to happen is at this threshold will not jump from 0 to 41. It'll gradually change from 0 to 41 as you go through time. Watch how the slider goes as I drag it back and forth. Now let's say I want to go a little bit farther in here and I want to hold this 41 position. I'll just go a little farther in and this is where this little three button navigation tool comes in handy. If you want to just add a keyframe that has whatever the current parameter is at that spot, a new spot, to say okay, I'm going to click here and it'll add a keyframe at that spot using the current parameter. Nothing will change from here to here.
Now if I want to go to the end and have it go back to let's say the Threshold way down to the negative number, so I go to the end. To get to the end of a clip, you can just click on it Go Page Down. It takes to the frame after the end. Go the arrow key one back and it takes to the last frame. Now I am going to take this guide back to zero, back the beginning point where you really can't see the Solarize effect at all. So let me just play this. I'll just kind of scroll through it really fast, because it's a really long clip. That's how it starts, gradually changes at there, holds that kind of solarize look right about there, and then starts changing.
Now let's say you think you know maybe it shouldn't be 41. It should be something different. Well, if you try to manually drag this guy over to that little keyframe, you won't necessarily land right on top of it. So if you think you're close let's say and then change a parameter, you're actually going to add a new keyframe. I don't want to do that necessarily. So I am going to Ctrl+Z here in Windows, Command+Z on Mac to undo that previous action. To really land right on top of a keyframe if you want to change its parameters, use these little navigation buttons. It takes you to the next keyframe.
If you hover over it, you'll see that whole clue to that and if you go over here, it'll take you to the previous. I'll go to the next one. Instead of 41, we'll make it more. We'll make it something like 50. So I haven't moved the keyframe. I've just changed its value. Let me back up to this guy over here and drop it down a little bit. So now it'll go from 0 to31 and then gradually change from 31 to 52 and then it'll go to the zip. That's how you can adjust the parameters of a keyframe by just navigating to the keyframe. Another little thing you can do is you say you know I'd rather have this change happened faster.
I want it to go right up to whatever it was, 30 something, and have it go faster, have it up arrive sooner. Now you can move keyframes. You won't change the parameters of the keyframes. You just change the location and time when that change is finished or that change starts. I am going to take this keyframe and click on it. Notice it turns blue. That's the currently selected one. I can drag it left or right. That means that if I drag it left, the change will happen faster because they're closed to together. If I drag it right, it takes more time because it happens more slowly. Let's know other cool things about keyframes.
The parameter here is still-- I'll show you what it is. It's 31, but if I change its location, it remains 31. It just happens sooner in this case and the transition will go more quickly from one to the next. Let me show you this next in another clip. Go over to the grocery clip. Get my little shots of produce here. Now I want to show you what happens if you apply an effect that sort of starts in its default mode and you can't really make it show a regular looking clip.
So I'm going to go over to this clip and I'm going to check on Effects. I want to go something called Replicate, r-e-p. I'm going to drag that to that clip. I will make it active and I will apply to it, and now we'll see it. Replicate splits it up and makes duplicate versions of the clip. Here you can say it's 2x2. Let me click on the Edit Effects button and open up Replicate. You can see that that the lowest count you can have is 2. You can't start with a full view, which is a kind of bummer, but you can always override something like this by splitting the clip.
I just want to show you that little trick. I'm just going to just split the clip. So this half and this half both have the effect applied to it. At the first half, I'm just going to get rid of the effect by clicking on Replicate and clicking the Trashcan and it's gone. So now I can go from this clip with nothing and then the very first parameter looks like, I've done a keyframe to make that happen. Now in this clip, I can then start using keyframes to change the count. So let me go to the beginning of this clip. We will start at 2 right there, and apply my keyframe now by toggling the animation, which means it starts at 2, and there is two a little way on there. Go a bit farther.
Change the parameter to something else. So now we got 16 boxes, go a bit farther, and mark it up to the 36 boxes. A little bit farther and stop knocking it back. It will happen gradually as it does this. Go back to 2 like that and now I am going to split it again. So you can go back to normal. I am going to select this guy here, remove, replicate from that part as well. So now we go from normal to a bunch of stuff, back to normal. I'll just play through that.
Like that. Keep on going through and as you get to the end, it'll switch back to that split clip where the effect is not applied at all. So that's a cool way that you can use something with the parameters, such that you can't have sort of a normal state to begin with. We move on this next clip. I am going to talk about following motion. There's Alexandria. (Music playing) I want to be able to follow her motion with an effect. So I will select her and go over Effects. I will do what's called Zoom.
This is something called Zoom Blur. Drag that down to it. Zoom Blur effect has a motion parameter built in to it and we just go over to Edit Effects. Click on Zoom Blur. If you clicked on Zoom, you have got, right down here, Center. So if you click on the word Zoom, that will display that little crosshair on the screen to allow you to move it around. So click on the word Zoom. That puts a little crosshair around there. But boy, it's kind to hard to pick her out of that blur. So you can sort of tone it down a bit from the blending from 100% to like no Blend.
There is the tilde marker. So I want to be able to follow her motion. So the ways you that is put your current time indicator to the beginning, Page Up takes you to the first frame. Now I wanted to turn on keyframes. Notice this little Toggle animations is not blue as these guys are by default. So click on this guy, turn it blue. Adds keyframe for all our three parameters including the location center. Now that I have set a keyframe there I want to actually set the position. So if I just drag this guy over to her, now we haven't moved the keyframe but we changed the parameters.
Now I am going to go forward a little bit and see where she goes. This gets kind of complicated following actually, but when it kind goes away from over there, I am going to set another keyframe by simply dragging this over to her and this will more or less follow her as she moves through the screen. I will do two more just to give you sense of how that works. So she has moved again so I will drag it up to her. This is kind of a tedious process but it's really in the end a pretty cool way to follow motion. You probably want to put more keyframes that I am using. But that's a basic way to follow motion. Now that we set the motion track, we can if we want to adjust the zoom quality in terms of intensity the zoom, that kind of stuff.
But let's just not worry about those parameters now. Just worry about the Motion parameter, and I am going to play that. See how that worked. (Music playing) Notice how the Zoom basically is following her throughout the clip. you can track motion with effects as well when you use keyframes. Totally great. I'll show you one more thing. There is a graphic and the graphic has transparency in it. What's behind here is transparent. I would like to demonstrate that by moving it up one track. Let's say I am putting Alexandria under it for just a moment and you will be able to see that this is transparent around here.
It's just a little graphic with a bunch of transparency. I'll move her out of the way again. So here is the transparency. I'll take it back down to the first track. It doesn't have to be on first and second but there it is. So now I want to apply something called alpha glow to this. I select that and go up to Effects then type in alpha. There it is, Alpha Glow. Drag that over to your clip. That puts this lovely little glow. I'm showing that you can actually have an effect go into the transparent area. I also want to show how you can animate the color in this thing.
So I will click on Edit Effects. I will click on the little stopwatch to turn on keyframes for all the various elements here. There are 4 elements. Clicking the Start Color and End Color, so called, and I am going to go here little ways. Notice that I click there with current time indicator on the middle and I am thinking, oh I wish I hadn't done that. So I am going to grab all four of these guys. I can marquee select them, like that, drag around them, and I could drag them all over. That won't their parameters. It just changed their location. So here I want to say let's set the Start Color instead of being white let's have the Start Color being purple like that.
It's the start of the glow, the inside of the glow of the-- it didn't quite catch, so try that again. Purple and we got it, and then the ending color, we will have that be something light like this and then that's our beginning. That's the glow we want, a little glow, and I can move in like a lot of blue, make it really bright, and have the End Colors changed. I will click on here, and I will click on something horrible like Green. So this would be obviously different and this time instead of clicking on a swatch, I will use the Eyedropper tool, click that, and I will pick a color from inside here.
I want that color to be the outside glow and now we have changed the colors over time and if I want to change without worrying about the glow, I go little bit farther and change only the colors. So go here and click the old swatch again go like to simple more reasonable for a flower and click a lighter version purple to have the glow go to the outside and let's see how it works there. So notice how the color gets a little darker and changes over time like that.
So it's one of the cool things again about our lovely little keyframes and animating effects is that you can animate even things like color as well as position and all the parameters and effects. So I think you will see that it's one thing to simply apply an effect and adjust some parameters and call it a day but to have those parameters change over time, that's the real deal.
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