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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.
One of the most powerful features in Premiere Elements is the ability to layer or composite video clips one above the other in the Timeline, such that those clips can all somehow work together. Now you know that if you put a video clip on a top track in the Timeline, it covers up whatever is below it in that Timeline. But you can make that clip, and other clips below it, partially transparent or make parts of it transparent, such that they all work together. Now if you've worked with Photoshop, this is probably abundantly clear to you. But otherwise it might be a little bit mysterious, but think about it for a second. You've already worked with titles, titles have opaque areas where the text is, but around the opaque areas, it's transparent.
So you see the text, but you see the clip below, that's compositing. Now in Premiere Elements there are many ways to composite video. In fact, there's a whole effect category called Keying that has about a dozen different ways. There's also the Videomerge effect that looks for large areas of solid color and makes them transparent. And the Opacity effect that makes clips sort of partially transparent, reduces the opacity, so you can sort of see through it to the clip below it. I'm going to demonstrate a few compositing effects inside this movie, and then you do some hands-on work on the other two movies in this chapter.
I'm going to show you a few examples. we'll start with probably with the easiest one. Although it isn't necessarily the most effective one, but I do want to show this to you. I've got a clip here of Gabriella that I shot from the edge of the rink, outside the rink, as you can see there's her coach, and then later I got a tighter shot of her doing the same routine. I can sandwich those two clips together and use opacity to blend them. So I've got these two clips on track 1 now, but I'm going to lift this one up and put it on track 2, there we go, and slide it over.
And now this clip on top will cover what's below it, as you'd expect. But you can sandwich clips together, you can layer them like this, and then cause them to be seen together by making the one on top partially transparent, so you can see the one below. Not really trying to show you how to do this, but I want to show you that it can be done, so I'm taking this one on top to about 50% Opacity. Now they will work together and the routine is the same, so you can kind of see the two together. That's using Opacity here inside the Edit Effects view. We move on down the line here.
I've a photograph here that I added a little Sepia tint to. And I want to use this as a background. I've got two other photos that I want to put on top of it, in sort of a picture- in-picture effect, which I'm sure you've seen a zillion times, I just want to show you that that is possible. Again I'm not trying to explain all this. I just want to let you see how this works and we'll talk about the details later. Here's a photo that I shrunk down, used Motion on it and I applied a Bevel Edge to it. I can take that photo, now that it is all shrunk down. this area is all transparent now, because the photo no longer fills the screen.
With that photo up, I'll put it above the clip below it. Now you can see those two guys together, right there on top of the one below it. Here's another photo that I did same kind of thing to, where I used Motion to shrink it down, to scale it down, put a Bevel Edge effect on it. We'll lift that up above the two other clips, so we can sandwich these three clips together, if I put the current time indicator over it, you can see them all together. There is the one I just added, the one I added before, all sandwiched together. Here's the bottom one, you can layer two clips on top. Now we're going to go down to sort of a more complex approach, which is going to involve an affect that can make part of an image transparent.
So let me move over to this background, my daughter and our dog, and we'll use this as the background, the bottom layer, Video1. I've a clip over here, which is entitled greenscreens, because it as shot in front of the green screen here. This is producer Nick, he will be taking a sip out of this water bottle. I want to put him on top of this clip below. Now when I do that, he's going to cover up that clip below there, except for the edge over here, because I moved him out of the way a little bit, because I wanted to make him a little bit off-center. So that part shows through because I used motion to move him off to one side, but I want to get rid of that green, and there is that effect, there are several effects inside Premiere Elements that allow you to remove solid colors.
One is sort of the journeyman of all those effects, it's called Videomerge. I've already worked it out, so I've adjusted it properly, so it'll work. So I'm going to turn on Videomerge. That gets rid of all the green. Now you can see what's behind. So that's the beginning of a sandwich we're going to make here that has four layers to it. Typically when you work with graphics or logos, when you make them, you have transparency outside the of logo. So here's a little logo that I whipped up in Photoshop to go along with the theme of biking, I called it the Bike Boy Sports Drink. It's just an invented company, but there we are, and this has transparency around it.
If I look over here to the side, it will look like it's black. In fact, this whole area around here is transparent. So typical graphic, it's typically how you would create a graphic. I just put that on top of this sandwich that I'm making here. I built it so it's in the centre, but I just moved it off to one side. So now we've got a three-layer sandwich. Now I'm going to make a fourth layer with a title that I made inside Premiere Elements, I used one of the templates, had a little bike in it, put in some text here, a little grass in it seemed to go along with the theme, and that title that can go on top too. So this is how you how you can layer or composite.
We'll finish off the layer by putting this guy on top, and you get a sense for how this whole process works now I think. I've got four things layered here, and they all look like they're one scene. So that's a basic overview of a few compositing techniques.
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