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Digital video is a medium that is now available to almost everyone. It can be captured on anything from a mobile phone to a high-definition camera, and published anywhere from YouTube to Blu-ray discs. In Premiere Elements 4 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explores all the video editing capabilities of Premiere Elements 4. Chad starts with a real-world sample project, then covers techniques for importing and editing video; and adding effects, transitions, and animation. He concludes with a final project incorporating all the steps, including exporting and posting. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this movie we finally get to animate, to bring something to life. The good news about Premiere Elements is that if you want to animate any property, it all works in the same way. So if you just learn how to animate anything, then you could animate everything. In this movie we're going to look specifically at animating Fixed Effects, in the next movie we're going to look at animating Regular Effects. You will see that it all works the exact same way, So let's get to creating some keyframes here. Let's go to the Effects area, and then click Edit Effects so that we can see the Fixed Effects; that's Image Control, Motion and Opacity.
We are going to bring some life to this little rocket here. So open up the Motion category, and here we have Position, Scale, Rotation, and all that kind of stuff, and that's exactly what we want to animate here. Now, before we even set our first keyframe, there are a few very important rules we need to follow. Number one, I actually have two video layers here. Now, video layers are not something that we have talked about or are going to talk about, it's a little bit advanced for this training series, but if we go over the Timeline, we will see that there's actually two video tracks; we have starfield on one layer, and then the rocket ship on another layer.
That is so we can adjust the starfield and the rocket independently of one another. The problem however is if you look over here, the Tasks panel, we can see that the starfield is actually the thing that's selected. Well, we don't want to play with the starfield, we want to play with the rocket. So we can come over here to Video 2 and click that piece of footage there, so that we're seeing the ROCKET.tga file, or we can click the rocket in the Monitor panel once we see it's outlined here, we know that its selected, and it will be here in the Tasks panel as well. So either way you want to select the layer is fine, but you cannot do that in the Sceneline.
So that's one thing you need to be aware of. The second thing you need to be aware of is that you are on the correct frame, which in this case is frame 0. Your time display should read zeros all the way across, and your current time indicator should be at frame 0. The reason why that's so important is because Premiere Elements is going to remember where this is at a particular point in time. So let's go ahead and jump into the Fixed Effects and see how this works. I think it will be a little bit more clear once we actually start working with it. So I'm going to go in this area and open up the Motion category.
The way that we set keyframes is simply by clicking the stopwatch. That tells Premiere Elements that we do not want this to be a static property, in other words, that we want it to animate or to change over time. But the stopwatch not only tells Premiere Elements that we want to animate this property, but also it says to Premiere Elements, remember where this object is at this particular time. Then to create animation, all we have to do is move in time of the current time indicator, see the stars are a separate layer, they are animating, that's actually a movie; they are moving around, doing their sparkle thing.
Then we come to the end of our animation, and then all we have to do is just click and drag and move the rocket ship wherever we want. You could see that as I'm moving this around, these numbers are changing here. So we could change the numbers or we could do it here in the Monitor panel, doesn't matter. And because we clicked the stopwatch at the beginning of the animation and then moved in time and changed the value, we have created the animation. Folks, if I just scrubbed this current time indicator, look at this, our rocket flies.
That's all it takes to create animation. All you have to do again is click the stopwatch, then move in time, then change the value for the properties that are animating. Now, this may seem new to you or uncomfortable or different, that's OK. You might need to watch this first movie a few times just so that you get the hang of things, that's very normal. But after you practice setting keyframes and go through these steps and watch this movie a few times, you'll get it, it will be like duck to water, I promise you, it will be easy.
Now, here's a little extra credit before we move on and start talking about some other stuff. There are these little tiny dots that are bigger than the other tiny dots, you see that, there is one here. My cursor turns to an arrow without a tail when I go over them, so there's one here and one here. If you really feel like getting crazy, what you can do is click on these and move these around to change the shape or the curve. Again, it's beyond the scope of this training series to talk about what's going on here and why this works and how to control those curves perfectly, but if you feel like experimenting, get in there and play with these little handles, and watch how easy it is to create some really complex animation.
Watch this, I hit the Spacebar, and now my rocket goes up, down, and back up again, with very little effort on my part. Now, I'm going to hit the Home key to back up a little bit. Click on the rocket again, make sure that it's selected. Now, once you create a stopwatch or click the stopwatch for the Motion property, basically everything is animating now. So let's say if I wanted this rocket ship to look like its going into space and fading away. Well, I could use the Scale property, the size of the object, to give the illusion that it's flying off into space.
So if I move out in time, then come over here to the Tasks panel, and take the scale value down, let me hold the Shift key for that so it goes a little bit smaller, then the scale of the rocket ship will animate as well. So here is regular size and then as it goes on, it shrinks away, as if it were going farther away from the viewer. That's pretty cool.
Now, we could also do the same thing with the Rotation, because all these properties basically have the stopwatch clicked for them, they are all animating. So once we click the rocket ship, we could have the Rotation start this way, and then we could actually even move in time, and then at this point you can change the Rotation this way. Note that with the Rotation, negative value is rotated to the left, positive value is rotated to the right. So now I want to go to the right, and then I come over in time, and at this point I want to be tilted here.
Again, I'm the Big Bucks animator here, I'm going and I'm telling Premiere Elements what I want it to be like when, and it creates the frames in between. So I'm going in and I'm making all sorts of keyframes here. Then at this point, at the end, I want to tilt up just a little bit more. So now hit the Home key, and our rocket ship points down, points up, and goes off into space, on its merry way, how cool is that.
Now, I'm going to close up the Motion category here. By the way, anytime you see this stopwatch, that is Premiere Elements way of telling you that, that property is animatable, so we could even Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, we could animate any of these. Let's animate Opacity. Opacity again is like the opposite of Transparency. So at frame 0 I want it to be a 100% Opaque. So I'm going to click the stopwatch so it remembers that value, and then I'm going to go out in time, and at the very end I'm going to take this value down, maybe I will use a slider so we can go a little bit faster there.
So now, as it flies away, it seems to kind of recede even more into the distance, behind the stars, how cool is that? That's just how easy it is to animate, folks. It's just that same pattern, that same three step pattern; click the stopwatch, move in time, change the value. If you would like to add additional animation, like we did with Rotation, just keep moving in time and changing the value, because again, wherever you're in time, if you were to change the value then Premiere Elements will remember that value at that time.
Next we're going to look at how to animate properties of Regular Effects.
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