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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.
Premiere also has a couple of cool effects for playing with time. I have, here, this shot of the Seattle Crane, here, just some footage I shot on a rooftop in Seattle. We know that if we can right-click on a clip, we can go to Speed Duration, and then change the speed of the clip. I will say 50% and hit Enter. As you can see here by this indicator, on the clip, in the timeline, the clip is playing at 50% speed, and if we play it back, it's fairly smooth. But if we go in slow motion, we could really see the problem here. What's happening is if you stretch a clip out to 50%, then it makes the clip twice as long.
But it still only has the same number of frames to work, so let's say you have a clip that's 100 frames long, and you slow it down to 50%, so then it's 200 frames long. Well, where those other 100 frames come from? Well, what happens is is that Premiere has to makeup those frames, and so when you do speed duration, you take it down to 50%, what it does is it takes every other frame and it kind of makes a cross dissolve with the next frame. So this is a real frame, this is a thick frame made by Premiere. That's this frame blended with this frame.
So it takes two adjacent frames and it kind of creates an intermediate frame that's those two frames blended together. Now, while that is fairly intelligent, and it works fairly good, it's not the best way and if you wanted to do a super slow motion shot, this would be really terrible. Let's say you want to slow it down to 20%, this would start looking really bad, and so you could see, even as we scrub it, there are frames that are good and then frames that are fuzzy, and then good, then fuzzy. So what we could do instead, I am just going to right-click and actually I could undo this by hitting Command+Z or Ctrl+Z, on the PC.
I am going to use the effect called Time Warp that you will find in the Time category in the Effects, and Time Warp is an effect from After Effects and it's a very intelligent effect, one of the most intelligent effects in all of Premiere Pro. Open up Time Warp. Notice that the speed is 50%, but when I go through this frame-by-frame using the Left and Right-arrow keys, you will notice that we really don't have any of the problems that we did before. Every frame is very, very clear.
This is because Premiere uses very complex algorithms to create lines called vectors from all the different portions of the frame to the next portion of the frame. It really does have to create a frame from scratch, but it's doing so in a very, very intelligent way that makes it so that in cases like this, you really can't tell the difference between frames that you shot and frames that Premiere is actually creating from whole cloth. That is pretty sweet, my friends. Now if you want to speed this up temporarily, which you might want to do because this does take a long time to render.
If you go to Method, this Pixel Motion is the magic stuff. This is the intelligent algorithm that makes it so that Premiere is calculating what these frames are from frame-to-frame. If you go to Frame Mix, this will be what it's like when you change the Speed Duration in the Timeline panel, and then if you take the method to Whole Frames, it's basically just duplicating frames. So you might want to get it into Pixel Motion while you are adjusting things and getting things just the way you want, I mean the right speed or whatever. And then, while you are working, go back to Whole Frames temporarily so that you can work much faster and preview faster, and then take the method back to Pixel Motion for rendering.
There is a whole lot more complicated stuff that the Time Warp effect does that I'm not going to get into, but if you want to find out more about this amazing effect, check out the Help that comes with Premiere. You can go to Help, and then Adobe Premiere Pro Help. One other Time effect I think is kind of cool. It's not nearly as powerful but still kind of fun is the Echo effect. If I place the Echo effect from this footage from this ferret hopping around here, we see that it creates an echo and basically it's another frame taken from the same clip, and it kind of blends it on top of each other, so we have these two different ferrets hopping, and it kind of creates this weird look.
I don't know why I love that. I love the way that looks. Well we can open up the Echo and play with that a little bit. Maybe we want two little ferrets here. Now, you will notice that every echo that you add is actually making the image much, much brighter. That's because this echo operator is set to Add which means it's going to take the values of the pixel, the Red, Green, Blue values, and add them on top of each other for every echo to get them to blend together. So we can play with this and maybe find something that's a little bit more pleasing, in this case, maybe Minimum for example which darkens things, but still creates this really weird effect.
Now what I am going to do is I am going to change the Echo Time in seconds. That's the distance between each echo. What I am going to do here, you will notice that throughout this training series, I have been holding down the Shift key to make things go much faster when you are scrubbing values. I am actually going to hold the Command key on the Mac, or the Ctrl key on the PC to scrub it now because with this Echo Time value, a little bit goes a long way. You can see that we are at 0.033. So holding down the Command or Ctrl key will make it so you could adjust these values in much finer increments, which is good for this. So let's say somewhere around there, maybe 0.2.
So now as these run, it looks like there is like multiple ferrets running and jumping and it's kind of crazy. So as certain, maybe like sports clips, extreme sports type things, snowboarding, skateboarding, that type of stuff, or just for trippy special effects, the Echo effect can create some really interesting visual results, as you basically duplicate a frame on top of itself. We can adjust the starting intensity for the initial echo or the decay to adjust the brightness of the final echo and, again, as I mentioned, the Echo Operator determines how these blend with each other, Screen provides like a more soft faded effect.
Add and Maximum are much brighter, and Minimum creates a darker result. And of course, you could add as many echoes as you'd like and create just a big trail of ferrets or whatever your frames happen to be.
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