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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 demonstrate how you can animate effects. That is, have the effect properties change over time. You do that with something called keyframes. For this movie, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. If you want to follow along, feel free to use the Exercise Files but I'll explain all these steps in detail and you can do hands-on work in the other movies in this animating effects and clips chapter. Let's start with this first clip here, the underwater-tight clip, with our little buddies down there, playing in the anemones, and let me just go to the Effects. Go to Edits > Effects.
I want to select an effect and apply it to this clip. Now, you've done this before, so it's nothing new. I am going to use the Find Edges effect. F-i-n, there we are. I am going to drag it to the clip right here on the Monitor panel and there is Find Edges. And previously, you might have just gone there and gone to Edit Effects and said okay, let's see what we can do with Find Edges. Oh, Blend With Original is the only parameter or I can Invert as well. But this is the only sort of changeable parameter. You might change it and say, okay, I want to blend it but not completely and then you'd be done.
Well, you can now animate that characteristic, that parameter, and the way you animate it is using keyframes and the way you find keyframes is to open up this little mini timeline. It says Show Keyframes here but when we pop it open, you'll see it's got a little timeline and a bunch of empty space there. We are going to fill that empty space with keyframes. Keyframes are these little diamonds that will appear here that show the beginning of something changing and the end of something changing. That's basically the essence of what a keyframe is. So, I want to have a keyframe right at the beginning of this clip.
So I am going to toggle on the animation by clicking here and again I'll explain this in more detail in other movies. So I am just kind of walking through it quickly here. Now, I want to say how much do I want to blend with this? I don't want to have it unblended essentially at the beginning. Then I am going to go into the clip a little ways, let's say right there, and by that time I want to blend it. So I'll drag it over like this. Now you're saying, okay, it's blended there. It's not blended there. What happens in between? What happens in between is that Premiere Elements interpolates the difference. It says, okay, you're going from this to this.
So we'll gradually go from this to this between here. Let me show you how that works. I am going to play it and we'll gradually shift, animate, to that fully blended effect. That is how keyframes work. You add a keyframe where you want an effect to start changing and you put another keyframe where you want that effect change to end. You can also hold a position. Let's say I want to hold this guy for a while and then I want to go back at the end of the clip to its beginning condition, so I drag here.
If I just click on this little diamond here, that'll make whatever parameter you have there show up here. So, nothing will change from point B to point C, if you want to call it that. If I go to the end of the clip now, press Page Down, go back one frame, and you go Page Down one more time, Page Down, back one frame, we're at the end of the clip now. Now, I want to go back to unblending. So when we go from this particular spot to the end of the clip, we will have unblended, if you want to call it that, going back to sort of its normal condition before we go to the next shot for example.
So that way, we've done keyframes where we've gone from one condition, starting there, ending there, and this marks a new starting point, but nothing changes from there to there. Another starting point. It goes from there to there. That's keyframes in action. You notice that Invert also has a keyframe. If you want to use Invert, you can change Invert let's say right here and I'll say let's invert right there, and then we'll go to the end and we'll sort of uninvert it. That will happen gradually too. It's going to gradually go from invert, so there we go, as we go from gradually there and then gradually back down to there.
So you can turn the Invert on and off with keyframes as well. Almost every single parameter inside an effect is keyframeable. There are few exceptions, but we don't need to worry about them. Almost everyone will have a little stopwatch associated with it so you can toggle animation on and off. Notice that you can adjust parameters independently. You can have this parameter doing one thing, this parameter doing another thing. Let me add an effect that has more parameters so you can kind of see that it work. Go back to the Effects. This time I want to find something else, we call it Metallic. I love Metallic. I'll drag that.
I'll put that same effect on that clip. We go back to Edit Effects. Now, we've got Find Edges and Metallic. I am going to turn off Find Edges for now, so you can't see it. I'll just turn off the effect but I'll keep it there. We are just going to look at Metallic. Close that one, open this up. Metallic has three parameters: Color, Metal, and Picture. We take this to the beginning. So to start to this default view, you notice that Metal does that, Picture does this, and then this Color. Now, I am going to turn on keyframes. There is our little Toggle animation switch. Turn them on.
That's keyframes for everything, at that current condition. I am going to change the first color to something else besides the default color. We'll make it this color instead as a color. I'll change this parameter there and notice we've already added a keyframe but we're changing the parameter and I'll change this for the keyframe. Now, I am going to move in a little ways, change the color to something else, red. Go a little bit farther. Change this parameter. Go a little farther, change this parameter. So you can do them all independently.
Go a little bit farther, change the color to something else like green, and go a little farther and change the color again to something entirely different. And now we've got all these keyframes acting independently. The change will go from there to there. This change will go from there to there. This change will go from here to here. These keyframes can all behave independently even within the same effect. I'll go quickly and let's drag sort of quickly to watch them all kind of happen there as the colors change and those other parameters change. Notice these guys sliding as you go along, those parameters are changing, see that.
And now you have one effect with all these keyframes independent of this other effect. I'll open that one up again, turn that one on. Now, all these guys can all act independently with both effects doing their own thing independently, with all these keyframes. That's the basics of keyframes in terms of changing an effect over time. You can also keyframes to animate motion. Now, we have the motion effect where we can move things around on the screen, but some effects have an element in it that you can put in motion as well. What I've done for this particular clip is to apply something called the Lens Flare.
Lens Flare has something called the Flare Center. If I click on it, you'll see that there is a little crosshatch right there. That's the Flare Center, and this is the path that I've created in advance. It would take me too long to make this path now while we're sitting here. So I created this path in advance using keyframes that have that path follow my daughter's head, with this little Lens Flare in top of it. Independently of that motion track, I have the Flare change its brightness, to increase its brightness and then decrease its brightness. All independently, but again, you can follow motion and have the effect change over time.
So let's just kind of watch this guy in action here, here we go. Notice it fades away down there in the shade. I probably shouldn't show this to my daughter. She'll think she has some kind of angelic glow to her. But anyways you can see how that works that's really cool. You can apply different kinds of effects, have the effect parameters change over time, and have the effects move through time as well. So, this ability to animate effect properties gives you wide creative latitude. It takes a while to get comfortable with this concept, but as you work through the rest of the movies in this "Animating effects and clips" chapter, I think you'll become proficient at it.
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