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In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.
Compositing is one of my favorite topics, and before Version CS4 of Premiere, there wasn't really too much you could do in Premiere in the way of compositing, but CS4 adds the ability to composite using Blend modes, a very quick, easy way to composite. I totally love it. So let's check this out. I have, here, a photo of a house in my neighborhood, a very simple photo, and then also, some footage from detonationfilms.com. If you're looking for stock explosions, sparks, that type of thing, even like blood spatter and dirt that you want to composite, check out detonationfilms.com.
It's a great resource, a lot of the video that they have like this, free, given away totally for free. The clips they do sell, it's just a few dollars for those clips. It's a very cool site. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select this clip, click it here in the Program monitor, and I'm going to move it into place on top of this house here. Now, as you can see, there's this white background. It makes it kind of difficult to composite. In days past, what we would do is we go to the Keying area and we'd apply like the Luma Key effect.
The Luma Key is good for getting rid of dark tones or light tones. So we could adjust the Threshold and the Cutoff until we could completely remove the black or white of this. So taking the Threshold to zero can reduce that, then Cutoff can allow us to tweak it, but that's time-consuming and the results aren't all that great. So I'm going to delete that. Here's what we can do now. Open up Opacity, and in Opacity, you will see a dropdown that says Blend mode.
Notice that my tracks are stacked on top of each other. This works when two tracks are stacked on top of each other, so that's a necessary part. Then you go to the Blend mode, and this determines how the clips will interact with each other. These are the same blend modes that you'll find in Adobe Photoshop. You'll also find these in After Effects and several other applications out there. What we want to do is instantly get rid of the white. To do that, I'm going to choose the Multiply Blend mode and watch that. Boom! Amazing! There is no edges.
It looks fantastic. As we play this back, you can see that processes very quickly as well, and our composite looks very realistic with very minimal time. Also, in contrast to some of the keying effects, like the Luma Key effect, which would take a lot of tweaking and fiddling with, the Blend modes are just instant. So there is nothing to adjust. You put in the Multiply Blend mode and there it goes. If you wanted to get rid of the black and the dark tones, you could select something like Screen. So now the hole is where the smoke is, the dark smoke, and we're still having the white here.
Generally speaking, this group of Blend modes will remove white and this group of Blend modes will remove black, and this group of Blend modes will remove 50% gray and brighten the highlights and darken the shadows. These Overlay blend modes are used often for overlaying textures onto objects or often used in motion graphics, as well. Now feel free to experiment with these. You might want to try Overlay for this project. You might want to try a Linear Burn or you might want to try Darken.
For this one, I think, Multiply looks best, but that's totally up to you. Feel free to experiment, explore, and play around with these Blend modes, because knowing them really does bring a lot of power into your video editing arsenal.
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