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Using blend modes with video clips

From: Compositing with Premiere Pro CS5.5

Video: Using blend modes with video clips

I've got a piece of media here of someone playing baseball, and I quite fancy the idea of having some clouds of smoke appear at the point of hitting the balls. Let's just take a little look at this media first of all. Okay, and he's off. So what I'm thinking is, it would be nice to lay down some smoke on there, and see if I can use a blend mode and a few other effects, to create a, a bit of a look of a cloud of dust.

Using blend modes with video clips

I've got a piece of media here of someone playing baseball, and I quite fancy the idea of having some clouds of smoke appear at the point of hitting the balls. Let's just take a little look at this media first of all. Okay, and he's off. So what I'm thinking is, it would be nice to lay down some smoke on there, and see if I can use a blend mode and a few other effects, to create a, a bit of a look of a cloud of dust.

I don't think it's going to look perfectly realistic, because we've got a camera moving, and we'd need to animate that into our layer to blend with it. But let's see how we get on. I've got a couple of pieces of media here that have clouds that have been generated inside of After Effects. There's one. I've got two, one with alpha and one without alpha. I'm going to use the one with alpha. I could use the one without and put a luma key on it, but It's just an extra step. And since I have the version with an alpha channel, I might as well let Premiere Pro do the work anyway. And right away, we can see, I'll just turn the audio off on here so we can just see the visuals.

well, it's massively foggy. And the first thing we're going to need to do is just crop this in time, so I want this to be just after the slip there. He loses his step but he, he rallies really well, soLAUGH I just want to get about there. I'm just going to trim the clip back to that point, then I'm going to Zoom out a little. And let's see now, just as the camera moves there, I really want the smoke to disappear because I don't have the fog animated to fly off screen.

I could do that in After Effects, it would take a little bit of time, but that's definitely something that could be achieved. Now, what I'm going to do I think, is throw on a little bit of warmth. So I'm going to go to my Effects and I'm going to get my Fast Color Corrector. Throw that on to my Fog layer. And in my Effect controls, I'm just going to warm this up. I want this to be similar to the color of the dust and dirt down on the floor there, so it looks like it could have been thrown up into the air. I think around about there looks okay to me, not too much green. Now, if I'm going to make this look a little bit more like part of the scene, I'm going to want to turn on the Blend modes.

And I think something like Lighten or maybe Screen will make a good job of this. If I set this screen a little bit larger so you can see what's going on. Let's just Zoom in a little bit. Maybe if I set this to 50%. So you can see that's the Lighten mode. If I set this to the Normal mode, which is using the alpha channel set by the original media, it's a little bit too dusty, I think. If I set that to Fit, it really does look like a massive cloud. And I'm going to use some very simple opacity key framing to have this cloud fit up and fade down.

I think that's just a little bit too much dust. So maybe if we go for something like Lighten, that just softens the impact a little bit and that makes it blend a little bit better with the background. The lighten blend mode just selectively picks out which of the color levels to use whether it's going to be the foreground or the background. And it just means you get a little more action between those two layers. If the foreground pixel is lighter, you'll get that pixel color and if the background is lighter you'll get that one.

It just means in the duller shades of the foreground we're going to get a more natural interaction. And of course, the next thing I'm going to need to do is limit this to perhaps the ground. It's not as if suddenly out of nowhere, we're going to have dust and clouds up in the tree tops. So I'm going to pick up the Garbage Mat. I'm just going to take 4.0 Garbage Mats, put this on as well, and I'll just select the Garbage Mat, Zoom out a little bit, and pull this down. I'm just going to get the control handles here, and pull this down to around the ground.

I'm not going to be too careful I think that'll do okay. And I guess you're maybe wondering if I'm going to leave this with this hard edge along the bottom of the screen. That's very, very easily fixed by throwing on a Fast Blur, and there's loads of blurs available in Premiere Pro, and the Fast Blur works just fine for things like this, if I crank up the blurriness, really bring that up. Not too much and about there I think.

This gives me the animation and the movement from that original fog. Image, but I'm getting softening that makes it look like it's just out of focus, perhaps coming into the foreground. You can see just how different this is to the original media. If I bring up my Clouds with Alpha you can see the sharp edges in there are all gone because of the blur that I've added. All that remains is for me to Zoom in a little bit ,and use my alpha rubber banding on the timeline to have this fade up and fade down. So, I think by about now, we should have all of the smoke in the air. So I'm going to hold the Ctrl key down and click on this yellow opacity band here on the clip.

Just make this a bit taller so you can see. And I'm just going to click and click again. And I'm not worrying too much where the first keyframe is because I'm just going to pull that down to the bottom corner anyway. There's our fade up. And then I think perhaps around about here, quite early on, I'm going to add the next key frame. So I've got 100%, 100% and then here we'll bring this down. It's got a nice smooth gradient out, let's take a look at that. Yeah it's not perfect maybe a little bit quicker coming in at the beginning.

Now let's take a look at that Full screen. Not perfect but not too bad and I think with a little bit of work on the Garbage Mat there, a little bit of work on the key framing, we can get something that looks just about right. Perhaps if we bring that Garbage Mat down just a bit towards the floor, looks a little bit crazy at the moment. Let's see, that's a little bit better. So this is really a combination of several filter effects, including making use of the blend modes.

I've put on, and if I select my clip here, I've done nothing to the background layer at all. I've put on a blend mode. I've done a color correction so that I can blend in the colors a little bit, I could maybe do with a little bit more work there. I've put in a Fast Blur and that's helped me to get around having this Garbage Map which gives me such a hard edge. if you put the Fast Blur on the end of the list, it will always give you a nice smooth finish on any effects bit with what you're doing.

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Compositing with Premiere Pro CS5.5

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