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This course is part of a series that looks at Documentary Editing from the point of view of 3 different editors in 3 different editing applications. For more insight on editing documentary projects, take a look at Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer and Documentary Editing with Final Cut Pro X.
- Interpreting a creative brief
- Logging interviews and other footage
- Pulling selects and presenting ideas
- Building sequences and scenes
- Creating title graphics
- Animating images
- Adjusting b-roll shots
- Tightening clip timing
- Compressing and exporting multiple files
Skill Level Intermediate
There are two places in this video that we've created short animations or motion graphics, one is at the beginning, the opening with the title, and the other is the historical section with the scans of newspaper stills. We've worked on these parts at various points in the process. First, roughing them in, then actually animating them and making them work for timing, and now we have to do one more pass just checking and adjusting the composite.
And what I mean by that is the details of exactly how these images fold together. In the case of the title, it's how the title itself works over the background image. Does it show up okay? Does it look clear? And in the case of the photographs, we want to make sure that in the final analysis that animation looks good. Sometimes you can get some bad noise or crawling when you move an image, and it just doesn't render properly.
So we're going to make some small adjustments, but we're also going to talk about how you have to carefully check these composites in the final output medium because you don't always get a clear look at them inside the Adobe Premiere interface. Let's start with the beginning, and we'll make some tweaks. You'll see that I've already rendered the beginning here. So let's play it through once and see what might be improved. (video playing) It looks good to me, and again, we're not seeing it at full quality inside the interface.
But the thing I want to adjust is just the subtle interplay between the title element and the background element, including when it interacts with the mountains. With the title sequence loaded in the Effects controls, we can start to play with this. The main way that we'll adjust this interaction is here in the Opacity section. And we have two main controls, the Opacity, which has already been adjusted to near 75%, and the Blend mode. I want to play with the Blend mode first, and I often try a couple of different selections here.
You can understand mathematically what each one of these things does, but frankly, it doesn't help that much because you just have to try them. Hard Light is something that I think might cause that interaction to be smooth and interesting. And it adjusts a little, but opacity is still in play, so I want to see how Hard Light looks with 100% opacity. I am liking this interaction a little bit better. We're still having that transparency effect, but the interaction is more pleasing to me.
As I look at it closely, I like the interaction with the mountains, but I'm becoming a little concerned that this is not showing up well enough throughout to be readable. So, one other trick in our box is to actually duplicate the Graphics layer. Now, I have two to play with, and I do want one with Hard Light, but I want to look at the other one and just make it a normal mode and then micro-manage the opacity, basically just using the benefit of a Hard Light but adding some darkness with my second layer to make sure it's readable.
I don't need much opacity here because it's the second layer. I like what I'm seeing, but we need to re-render and look closely. (video playing) I like this better, but I know I need to look at it in its output medium, and that's going to depend on what your real output medium is. If you're working for broadcast television, this is one of those moments that you really need a broadcast monitor.
If you're exporting digitally, we need to start making some exports to see how this holds up under additional compression. I'm going to start by exporting full quality, so we see the difference. By matching the Sequence settings, I'll get a full quality export of what we're doing. I want to export to the desktop, and we'll call this open_test1. You can see I've already made the export, so we'll just look at it. Now you're going to see a big difference when we look at this full quality and export it.
(video playing) Now, we're really getting the idea of how our composite works, but we're not done yet. If you're satisfied with full quality, then I would encourage you to make an output that actually matches the way you're going to use this video, DVD or YouTube or what have you. On something like a title, you want to make sure that the compression is not causing it to sort of fall apart on screen, and most of all, you want to make sure it's readable.
Once the title is done, you want to do a similar process here where we've created these animations. In this case, you're again going to make your exports and check them, but the tweaking may take place in Premiere or in Photoshop. You'll remember that we created the Blur and the Sepia tone in Photoshop. And if this final animation is not looking clean in the final export, you may have to take a step all the way back to Photoshop to make those adjustments. Luckily, everything will link through to Premiere, and you'll be able to see your adjustments show up after you make them in Photoshop. Tweaks like these can go on for a long while.
It can get very detailed. And I just encourage you to remember that you can't always trust what's going on in the interface for these types of details. That's why we get into things like broadcast monitors and different types of exports.