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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.
Sometimes you want to apply an effect to only part of the area of a clip. The Effects Mask takes care of that for you. It puts a rectangular area on a clip, which then you can apply one or more effects to. So, those effects will only change that rectangular portion of the clip that you've defined. Let me show you how that works. What we have here first of all is a still image, which is really a good thing to use when you are going to apply an Effects Mask because you need to get the Effects Mask to follow action if you have a clip that has action in it and that's not quite as easy as working with a still image. But I'll show you that in a moment anyways.
So, here is a still image and I want to highlight my granddad. Yes, that's my granddad, not my grandmother. Back then they dressed little boys up in skirts when they did these formal portraits. Thank goodness they don't do that now. Let me go apply an Effects Mask. Now, normally an Effects Mask effect would be probably over in Effects. So if I go to Edit > Effects and I want to find the Effects Mask, I'll type in mask, no such look. It's not over in the Effects View. We need to find it by right-clicking, going through the context menu of the clip.
Right-click on the clip and there is the Effects Mask. I think it'll be in Effects, but here it's inside the context menu on the clip, which makes some sense because we are applying it right to the clip. When you do that, you get this little rectangle. This is what you use to define the area in the clip that you want to apply an effect to. You can drag it around just as you did if you use the Motion Tracking mode, drag this guy around to kind of highlight that area of granddad, and I want to highlight my grandfather in some way.
So now that I've got the area defined, I need to put an effect in that area. So I am going to track down an effect. Now, if I where to go through all the effects here, I might find something that works but I know that there is a preset that I like. If you look under this little dropdown menu, you'll see that there are presets. There are effects where some of the parameters have been adjusted to create a certain look. So we're going to go find tint effect where there is been some parameters adjusted on it to give it kind of a blue look. So, I want to look under the Color Effects under the presets and there is a whole bunch of Color Effects.
So I'll click on this one and drag it over to granddad, and that turns him blue. Let me show you what's going on under the hood here. I'll first of all play that. You can see, there it is, nothing moves. just a little blue area highlighting, granddad. But what's going on under the hood is when you clicked on the Effects Mask, another clip, the exact duplicate of this one was added to the Video 2 track above it, and what's happened to this one above here is that it's been cropped. Let me show you that. I'll click on Edit Effects and it's called a mask here in Premiere Elements so that people would call it a crop, where you've basically cut away all this stuff around it to just have this area visible and if you don't believe that's what's happening, I'm going to do a little trick here that I-- I won't explain it to you later, but I'm going to reduce the Opacity on the bottom clip.
So you could see how this top clip shows through relative to the bottom clip. I can drag this little Opacity graph line down here. It's kind of a little trick, that little yellow line there. Grab it, drag it, and pull it down a little bit, and then there you can see, I'll go up a little bit farther so you can see the two of them sandwich together. So actually, this is kind of an effective way to highlight something. You can lower the Opacity on one part and keep this at the normal opacity and you can use what are called keyframes to animate this. But for now, this is a pretty cool way to establish static view to highlight something in an image that's not moving.
Let's move onto something that is moving. It'll show you that's where this kind of Effects Mask thing sort of falls apart a little bit. I like to follow or at least highlight the face of our little buddy, this manta ray here. So I am going to go apply the Effects Mask to him. So I'll right-click on the clip again, select Effects Mask > Apply, and that puts a rectangle in the middle. Kind of adjust it a little bit, just for grins here, there we go. Now, I want to apply an affect to it. That's sort of an obvious effect I like, using the inverse when I want to do obvious effects.
So I just click the down arrow here to go back to Video Effects. I can type invert or inv and Invert will show up, drag it over to that little spot and boom, there it is. I'll just click away here and we'll play through that one. Notice the extra duplicate clip put up here again with the crop around it. If I click Edit Effects, there is that mask again with the Invert effect applied. Now, I'll play it and see how effective that is. So far so good. Oh, cool. But eventually, it sort of slides away and it's no longer all that effective.
Now, you can do what's called ungrouping and actually make this thing go away. These two clips are what are called grouped together. I am going to right-click on this clip and I'll show you that. It says Ungroup. If I ungroup it, click that and click away to not select both of them, I can select only this first one. So, I am going to drag this in to right about there. I am going to apply a Cross Dissolve to the end of this guy, right to the end there.
This time when it gets to that little spot where it kind of moves away, it'll kind of go away. So it won't be quite so horrible because it doesn't follow it anymore. But wouldn't it be more fun if you could follow it? So let's go to this clip, exact same one we worked on before, but this time I want to have some motion on it. So, I am going to select it and do Motion Tracking. If you watch the Motion Tracking movie, you know how to do this, but if not, you select the clip. Click on this little Motion Tracking mode. We say No for this.
That puts the same kind of Effects Mask View here. This time we are going to track the motion of our little buddy and we are going to try to track his mouth or his face as best we can. They are little tricky, there we go. Now we say track the object and we'll watch how well it does it. It gets to about 20, 30, 40, about 45% of the clip has actually followed it all the way through. The little yellow guy went all the way through. So with that little yellow guy there, I can drag an effect to it and that would be in fact an Effect Mask.
The way I do that now is I just go find the effect again that I used before, let's go find Invert and drag that. When I go inside here, notice that it turns blue. The moment I bring my hand inside here with the Invert effect attached to my hand, I can apply right to it and now I can adjust the size of the Invert effect, just like the mask before. It's applied to that little box. It'll follow along with that box. Let's see what happens. Much more effect this time than before. It'll follow it for a while until it loses touch because the box lost touch, but that's how you can use the Effects Mask with Motion Tracking to follow motion.
So it gives you a feel for some of the cool things you can do with the Effects Mask tool.
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