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In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.
Continuing where we left off with cinematic color, another way that we can add great cinematic quality to the visual aspect of our film is by creating something called a vignette. Basically, we're just going to darken the edges here. It's amazing what a difference that makes. To do this, I'm going to go to the Project panel, and I'm going to create some new, black video. I can go ahead and click OK here. Drag this down to video track 2 above our footage and extend this for the duration of our footage here. We're actually, believe it or not, going to apply an effect in the Generate category of our Video Effects, called Circle.
Just stay with me here, I'm not insane. Drag this Circle effects to the Black Video, and it creates this little white dot kind of in the middle here. That's the purpose of this is to create maybe circles for our motion graphics or what have you. But if we open up the parameters for Circle, and first we're going to choose Invert Circle - yeah, we're getting a little closer now. I'm going to go ahead and click like the white color swatch here to get the Color Picker. And then anywhere in the very top row until RGB reads 0, 0, 0, I'm going to choose black and go ahead and click OK. Next, we'll increase the Radius value.
I'm looking about 450, somewhere around there. I'm going to open up Feather, and I'm going to increase the Feather Outer value. As I do that, then our circle gets all nice and feathered, softer on the edges, and we have a quite beautiful vignette. If we wanted to, we could take the Opacity of this layer down to soften the effect a little bit more. I actually kind of like it full strength there. So I'm going to leave that alone. Now, this doesn't seem like it's that big of a difference, but if we go down to our video track 2 here, and if we take off the visibility for the layer by clicking this Eye icon, we'll see that there definitely is a big difference between before and after.
What vignettes tend to do, aside from being kind of trendy right now and being just kind of a cool look, and also it's good for like nostalgia, or that type of thing, but it's also really good for any type of project where you want to focus the viewer's attention. That's why we have shallow depth of field and all those type of things, to be able to control where the viewer is looking. So, we don't want them looking in these corners. We don't want them looking at these lights at the top here. There actually is a lot of contrast in this area. This is a really beautiful part of the shot.
Because of the strong contrast, our eye has a tendency to go where there is strong contrast. So, by adding the vignette here, we're basically saying don't look there and don't look in the corners, don't look over here. This is where we want your focus. It's a way of, again, controlling viewer attention. And as we go through this video, you can see that this vignette really does focus where our viewer is looking. Again, here is this particular frame with the vignette and without the vignette. It's much more visually chaotic and distracting, and this, with the vignette, much more focused.
Now, kind of like lens flares, this effect can be overdone. So you want to make sure you use it with tact. So again, if you're shooting a documentary, you might not want to use the vignette. It might not be appropriate. It might take people out of the movie, because it is kind of like this forced storytelling technique. So use it with tact, but be aware that that's how you can create a vignette.
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