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In Premiere Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training, instructor and videographer Jeff Sengstack shows how this application can be the only one needed to view and edit video files and share them with family and friends. Jeff shows how to start a new project, set up the workspace, and arrange clips on the Timeline for an initial video take. He teaches how to apply specialized video effects, like Motion Tracker and the Effects Mask tool, to build more than just an average family video. He also covers how to add narration, music, transitions, and titles to a final movie. Exercise files accompany the course.
This tutorial is about layering or compositing. You can layer clips in the Timeline in Premiere Elements such that they all can work together like a little sandwich. You can make layers partially transparent or parts of a layer transparent, so you can see through down below the tracks below, because whatever clip is on the top track would normally trump or cover up whatever is below it, but if you can make areas transparent, you can see them all work together. If you work with Photoshop, you probably get the layering concept, but if you don't get it, let me try to explain it to you using these acetates. For example, you might want to put a clip on the bottom layer.
This might be the background clip on track 1. Then above that in track 2 you can put maybe a logo. And logos almost by default have some kind of transparency built into their image files, so that this area of the logo would be transparent allowing you to see what's below it on track 1, this being on track 2. Then you might want to put one more clip above these two layers on track 3. Now many times when you shoot video, you can shoot actors or objects on solid color backgrounds, and inside Premiere Elements you can make those solid colors transparent.
It's an amazing effect. Usually, you use this kind of color called Chroma Key Green. Then you simply just make that transparent and you can see the subject above the other two clips, above the logo and above the background. Now that's compositing and I'm going to show you how to do that in this tutorial. Here we go. We will work with four clips in this tutorial. We have the background clip here of the fairway, our reporter Kali, a little logo here we'll apply over her and finally the lower 3rd title that we'll put on the top layer.
Let's start by putting down our golf shot here. We'll drag it down to Video 1, audio and video clip. We want to put our various layers above this background. Let's start by adding this green screen clip of Kali doing reporting. There is no audio on it. When you drag that has a solid color background, be it a green screen or even just a solid color blue or something like that, you are going to get this little message. It says Videomerge. Premiere Elements has this great effect called Videomerge that examines a clip, looks for solid colors and removes them, makes them some transparent, but we are not going to use Videomerge this time. We are going to use the Green Screen Key that's specifically for this color green.
So we'll say not this time. Let's just show you how to remove that green, but before I do that I want to kind of get rid of all these audio tracks so that we can see all the various layers. So I'll turn off Show Audio Tracks. Let's go to apply our green screen. We go to Edit, Effects and then go to Green Screen, and I can do search on green screen here. G-r-e-e, here it is. Green Screen Key. I'll drag it over to her and watch what happens the moment I let go. Bam! This effect looks for that specific chroma key green. Let me just go here and I'll show you how that works.
It does have a thing called a Threshold and a Cutoff. That's how you can sort of fine-tune the green screen key. But for the most part it happens automatically. What we are going to do is we are going to move Kali over. So let me just go back here to Motion. Click on Motion. Let me get her a little bit out of the way here so we can put logo over her shoulder and you notice there is no line here along the edge of her clip, because that green screen effect removed everything. It's very cool looking effect. Let's go down and add another layer here, go back to Organize > Project and now we'll add the logo on layer 3.
The logo has what looks like a black background, if you scroll up here. But in fact that background is transparent and typically when artists make logos, they make them such that everything but the logo is transparent. So we just lay this on top of the rest of these clips and automatically it's transparent. What's kind of nice though is to give a little bit of a drop shadow for your character just to give it a little bit of depth. So I'll go over to Edit, Effects, type in drop. Here we go. There is Drop Shadow. I'll just drag it over to the clip and since the logo clip is the current active clip, we'll apply that Drop Shadow to that one.
I'm not so hot about the way it's falling there. I think it should fall yo the lower right. So I'm going to use the preset. It makes it so much easier, right? Let's go to Presets, go to Shadow, here we have Drop Shadow. It looks like it's showing her, but in fact the Drop Shadow is going into the logo. So let's go Drop Shadow Lower Right. There we go, drag it over and see how that looks. And that's more like the direction I was expecting. Using a preset simplifies my life. So that's a good thing to use sometimes. Let me roll up a little bit farther, go back to Organize, Project, and get our last clip we are going to put on here, the lower 3rd.
I made this lower 3rd. You can adapt it. It's just a template that I created. Let me just put it over here. So you change the words here if you want, but this is just a title. If you double-click on it, it will open in the Title Editor. You can change the words and move these various backgrounds around. So that is the basic process for how you can layer clips. We had four clips here, a background and three clips above it. We used the green screen key to remove the green background and we had two objects that had transparency in them. So that's compositing in Premiere Elements.
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