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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.
If you are looking to create some cool animated textures from scratch, let's say, for example, for a background or maybe a lower third, which is what we are going to do in this movie, then Premiere has a few options for you that are kind of fun to play around with. I have already gone ahead and created this Black Video here, and I have moved it into place. This is going to be our lower third. And I'm going to drag-and-drop the Cell Pattern effect from the Generate category onto this little bar. And instantly, we have a kind of cool little bar here as a good background for our lower third. Now if you like playing around with textures, Cell Pattern is a great tool for that.
I am going to go into the Effect Controls panel, open up Cell Pattern, and actually, I can click this little right facing chevron to expand this, and close that timeline up, so we can see our properties a little bit better. Tons of different cell patterns in the Cell Pattern effect. Go to this dropdown here, change this from Bubbles to Crystals, to Plates, to Crystallize, to Pillow, and a bunch of other effects in there. Now these effects actually become dramatically different when you start fiddling around with the other settings, let's say, Invert for example. And it turns it the opposite.
You can also play with the Contrast. So I could take this up. I might want to hold the Shift key down, make that change a little bit more dramatic or I can lower the contrast, going the opposite direction. I actually just take this down to, let's say 50. So you can see we have these faint branches and if we take this up to 1200, we have these big thick lines. We can also adjust the dispersion. So if we take down the Disperse value, then we get more uniform geometric lines, and if we take this up, then we get more random chaos.
We may want to take the size down, make this a smaller texture, like a cantaloupe surface or something, or we could increase the size and get a little bit - zoom in I guess, and have these lines become much thicker and bigger. If we wanted to create kind of like a window, where the texture was moving left to right, we'd use the Offset parameter for this. So as we move Offset, we can see this move left and right if we adjust the left value, the X-axis, or if we adjust the Y-axis, we could watch these textures move up and down. If we are having a lower third here, and let's say we add some extra text on top of this, on another layer or another video track, we want to make sure that our animation is not too busy.
In other words, we want the movement to be something like this, where it's kind of subtle, maybe even slower than that, but if we have like this crazy movement where things are moving wildly, like so, it's going to be very distracting while people are trying to read the text on the screen, and even if you are going to have an interview or whatever, that's going to distract from whatever the lower third is trying to draw attention to. Now, I am going to reset this effect by clicking this button here, right across with the name Cell Pattern in the Effect, and I will just go ahead and invert the bubbles. That looks pretty creepy, actually.
And I am going to adjust the Evolution parameter. The Evolution parameter just really brings this to life. What a cool look that is. I might take down Dispersion a little bit, and maybe take down the Size, maybe zoom into the size. Now I kind of like that. And then as I move this around, slowly, if I want to animate this Evolution parameter, these cells kind of come to life and they move around these little wisps of light. It's beautiful. So, as you can see, there is an infinite amount of options here with Cell Pattern.
We can also go into, let's say, for example, the Color Correction category, and there are some effects like Tint that we could now apply, and we could open up Tint here, and we could map White to I don't know let's say Red here. And so now we've changed this, so now it's like this creepy, scary texture here in the background, maybe if you're interviewing somebody from a horror movie, you might have a texture like that. I am just going to delete Tint and Cell Pattern. Another good effect for creating patterns from scratch, in the Generate category, and by the way, most of these Generate effects actually just generate stuff from scratch.
It's just fun to play with. We looked at Circle earlier to create a vignette. Lightning is a good one too. But I am going to apply the Grid effect. Now, the Grid effect does not really care about the size of your layer. It fills up the entire area and so we are seeing a gap here because I moved the layer down to create the lower third. So what we need to do is open up Grid, go down to Blending mode at the bottom, and change this to Stencil Alpha, and Stencil Alpha will make it so that the grid only shows up where the lower third is.
So we can select the Grid effect and move this around, and we are really not seeing anything. Well, what we can do is add the Cell Pattern effect, and now what we're seeing is the grid on top of the Cell Pattern effect. So we're seeing the grid as if it were a window to the Cell Pattern effect, which is kind of cool. If we click the word 'Grid', we will see these two controller points. The one on the left will change the size of the vertical portion. It will also change the amount of horizontal lines as well, and actually, both of these points do that, but it's good to have one anchored and then move one to adjust the parameters that you want to adjust.
So already here we have these really interesting lines that you might not think would be created with a Grid effect and the Cell Pattern effect. We could increase the size of the border to make these lines thicker or maybe smaller, as the case may be. Maybe you want a lot of really thin lines. Now, I should point out here that when you are in Stencil Alpha mode, the Grid is basically just forming like a cookie-cutter. So if we change the color to Green, we are really not going to see it here in our fence or grid or whatever we have going on here, because, again, the grid is just acting as a stencil and not really as a grid per se.
Also as a Cell Pattern, we could invert the grid. So that creates kind of holes instead of an actual kind of a fence, as we were looking at before. So there are several other tools like this in Premiere, but to me, Grid and Cell Pattern are the most flexible, and they are great, as you can see, when used in tandem with each other. Now, I should also point out here that if you really dig this kind of stuff, this kind of texture creation type thing, then you absolutely must check out Adobe After Effects, if you have not.
It is the ultimate tool for creating graphics, and textures, and objects like this.
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