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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.
A lot of Premiere users aren't aware that there is actually effects that perform transitions as well. So don't be confused here, there's actually the Video Transitions category, but there is also the Transition category in the Video Effects category. So you can have a transition by either having a transition or an effect. So I want to talk a little bit about some of these options. It is a little bit more work, actually a lot more work, to use transitions as the Transition Effects rather than the transitions.
But I find that sometimes the results can be a little bit more professional if you are looking for a Dissolve or a Wipe or something like that, and I am also going to show you some really cool tricks that you can't do with the regular transitions. First, let's start with the Block Dissolve. I have two video tracks here with video and then I also have this PSD file on the top that we'll look at in just a moment. But I want to apply this Block Dissolve effect to the hand for cutaway DJ layer, this clip on top of this other clip, and be aware that when you create transitions using effects, that you need to actually stack them on top of each other.
So we have this top layer and then we have this bottom layer beneath it. So what I do is go to the Block Dissolve, again, the transition is on the top layer and for transition effects, we use the Transition Completion parameter. By default, it's set to 0%, but as you increase this to 100%, it dissolves to the layer beneath it. Isn't that cool? I love that. Let me give you some pros and cons about using Transition Effects versus using the regular transitions. One, you have a lot more control over more professional options.
You can look at it and say "You know what? I want these blocks to be a little bit "bigger, so I am going to increase these values." And it's a little bit more of an intelligent process. Again, I think these are a little bit better looking than the standard transitions that come with Premiere. They are, however, a lot more work to set up because you have to animate Transition Completion. You have to stack the layers, and that can be a little bit tedious as well. But let's say I am going to take off this Soft Edges value for a second. One of the cool things is you could actually freeze these transitions, so you could just set this up as just kind of an interesting effect, maybe you want just like a little bit of digital noise here, and so maybe you reduce these values or something.
You just want kind of some random noise, or maybe you just kind of move these values back and forth just to kind of create some weird effects or maybe you have a couple of background textures and you are transitioning between them and you are not really transitioning between them so much as just kind of creating an interesting look. Let's say, for example, I am going to delete the Block Dissolve here, apply Radial Wipe. I will open this up and increase Transition Completion, and Radial Wipe is kind of like a radar type thing. So maybe we want to have like a cutaway where we are seeing both her paper and her face.
So she is tired, so we have like 24 alike cutaway here, and maybe we will Feather that, so it's a little bit softer. And with the transitions here as the effects, we don't have to change anything. We don't have to animate this if we don't want to. So we can just have these two cuts, like this where we are seeing her head and the paper at the same time. So that's kind of a cool little interesting option. Now perhaps the most powerful of all the transition effects is the Gradient Wipe.
The Gradient Wipe effect allows you to use a third layer as a gradient to tell it when to dissolve what. Now, it's a little bit confusing and this is probably the most advanced mind numbing thing that we've covered in this training series so far, but stay with me. It's worth it. I will apply the Gradient Wipe effect to the hand for cutaway DJ clip and, just very briefly, I am going to show you this grunge background.psd file. It's just a simple Photoshop document that I made. I flattened it so it's just a still image.
And this is one a video track and it's hidden. We don't have to see the layers we are going to use these gradients. I want you to just kind of memorize the shape, memorize the brightness, that it's kind of bright around the edges and there are some little splotches of gray and then some dark black ink splatter in the middle, remember that. I am going to turn this visibility of this layer off, go back to the hand for cutaway DJ and open up the Gradient Wipe effect. Now, as we select Transition Completion, we really don't see too much of what's going on. So, I'm going to take the Gradient layer from Video 2 to Video 3.
Now as I increase Transition Completion, you will see that we are animating from the darkest parts of the grunge background that we had. It's using that as kind of a guide as to what pixels to remove in what order. So as you can see, the pixels that were the darkest in our Photoshop document are being removed first, they are being eaten away first, and then the gray pixels, and you can see these little splatters on the edges, the gray pixels, and finally the bright ones leave.
Now, again what's cool about this is we don't have to finish the transition. We can use this just as a mat, and so as we are playing this back, we can use this as kind of a hole that we're seeing beneath the layer. So in this way, we can create these really interesting complex masks from stuff that we made using tools in Photoshop, or we could just transition this a little bit and then play some of our movie and then animate it to finish splattering on or whatever we want it to have happen. Now if you use this Gradient Wipe effect powerfully, if you use it intelligently, you can create some really interesting stuff.
I have seen somebody used like a blueprint effect. So like somebody who was with a video building stuff going on, somebody had like a gradient blueprint and so they used Transition Completion, and they looked like it was kind of building on the next clip. It was very cool. I should also point out as with a lot of these transition effects, there is a Transition Softness which you can use to kind of feather the edges a little bit, to make that seem less hard edged if you want to go that route. But as you can see, some really interesting results that you can't get from the regular Premiere transitions, just a little bit more intelligent and yes, a little bit more work, but if you use this stuff in really creative ways, you can come up with some amazing stuff for your projects.
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