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If youíre using Premiere Pro CS5 or CS5.5 on the PC with Matrox MXO2 hardware, thereís some important information weíd like you to be aware of to get the best DVD export quality. This info only pertains to exporting "MPEG-2 for DVD" from a Matrox NTSC sequence Ė if youíre using a Matrox HD or Matrox PAL sequence, the cropping does not apply and you may disregard these instructions.
With the CS4 drivers for MXO2, a Matrox NTSC project was 720x480, but starting with CS5, Matrox changed this to 720x486. Since DVD uses 720x480 resolution, the 6 extra lines need to be cropped at export to get the proper 720x480 size for DVD. If you donít crop these lines, the entire image will be scaled down, resulting in a quality loss. Also, itís very important to crop a specific number of lines from the top and bottom, as choosing the wrong top and bottom numbers will soften the output quality.
With CS5, you need to crop 5 Top, 1 Bottom. With CS5.5, there are two cropping options to consider. If using the "Export" button to begin the encoding, choose 4,2. If using the "Queue" button that sends the job to Adobe Media Encoder, you must use 3,3. If you are working with a Matrox 486p sequence, use 6,0 for CS5, and 4,2 for CS5.5 (using either export method).
To set cropping, first set up all the parameters for the DVD export as you normally would. Next, at the top left of the Export window, select the SOURCE tab and click the cropping icon at the top left to make the crop settings active. Click on the "0" to the right of "Top" and then enter a number from the keyboard. Next, click the "0" to the right of "Bottom" and enter the other number. Do NOT hit the "Enter" key Ė this will launch the export immediately! Just click in another area of the export window to deselect the crop settings.
Now, you can toggle between the SOURCE and OUTPUT tabs to see the "before and after" results of the cropping. The image shown under the OUTPUT tab should fill the screen with no black borders. After double-checking that you entered the correct cropping numbers and that the output image looks correct, you can proceed with the encoding.
For more information, CS5 and CS5.5 users can reference pages 82 and 88 of their respective Matrox user guides. The above instructions are only for export to DVD; when exporting to a Matrox .avi file, CS5 and CS5.5 users should refer to pages 79 and 84 of their respective user guides for cropping charts.
In this brief video, Worldwide Product Evangelist Jason Levine will explain the basis of transcoding, showcasing the workflow outside of CS5; he''ll then show you what a native workflow is all about in Premiere Pro CS5, and explain some scenarios for staying native or moving to an intermediate codec. This video also points out some of the misconceptions about transcoding, but also highlights some of the round-tripping capabilities of CS5 with FCP and AMC.
In this 7 part series, Dave Helmly walks you through a complete 3D Stereo workflow with Premiere Pro CS5. This is a start to finish workflow and a must see for anyone getting started with 3D Stereo. It covers Active , Passive and Anaglyph viewing as well how to play your videos on a consumer 3D TV. This features a new 64 bit CS5 plug-in called Cineform neo 3d HD.
Part 1 of 7
Part 2 of 7
Part 3 of 7
Part 4 of 7
Part 5 of 7
Part 6 of 7
Part 7 of 7
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The old 4:3 video standard is quickly becoming a thing of the past; all new LCD displays are 16:9 widescreen models, all HD camcorders record a 16:9 widescreen image, and even most older DV camcorders offer the option to record in 16:9 mode. After editing widescreen content with your favorite NLE software, you may want to export the video to a format that viewers can watch on a website or portable device, and that can lead to unforeseen issues due to variations in how the image is recorded.
For instance, when shooting NTSC DV video, the dimensions of the video are 720x480, and this is true for BOTH the 4:3 and 16:9 recording modes. How can both formats record at the same dimensions? Easy Ė the Pixel Aspect Ratio, or PAR, is changed to create the illusion of widescreen video, recording with a PAR of 1.2 rather than the 0.9 PAR of 4:3 DV. This results in rectangular (non-square) pixels, creating the widescreen look upon playback, and is referred to as anamorphic widescreen since some stretching of the image is taking place to achieve the widescreen look.
When a computer displays a still image, it is assumed that the pixels in the image are square, with a PAR of 1.0, and the same holds true for video clips in most software players like Apple QuickTime Player and Windows Media Player. To display anamorphic video correctly, the playback software or device needs to know the PAR of the video and must be able to adjust the video output to compensate for it, but many can only display square pixels. When viewing an anamorphic video clip with these players, the image may look horizontally squished, appearing more like 4:3 video than 16:9.
In non-linear editing programs, the PAR is determined for you when you choose the editing preset, based on the video format you will be working with. When you import a 16:9 DV clip into a 16:9 DV editing project, the video will look correct in the preview display, but if you import that same 16:9 clip into a 4:3 project, the image may appear horizontally squished, making people look taller than they are. In Adobe Premiere for example, you can use the Interpret Footage command to manually change the PAR of the clip to 1.2 widescreen so it displays correctly in the project, should you need to mix footage with different aspect ratios.
Letís look at a few different video formats now to determine if they are native widescreen, or anamorphic. A true widescreen format will deliver a 16:9 aspect ratio using square pixels. Weíve just discussed DV, so letís consider 720p HD. Its dimensions are 1280x720, and youíll find that dividing each number by 80 results in 16x9, so 720p is natively 16:9 video. The full 1080i and 1080p video formats at 1920x1080 are also proven to be native 16:9 video when divided by 120.
The HDV 1080i/p formats record at 1440x1080 resolution with a 1.333 PAR, so these would be considered anamorphic HD formats. Note that 1440 times 1.333 equals 1920, so when this video is played back from an appropriate device like an HDV camera or a Blu-ray player, the device will respect the 1.333 PAR and display the video at 1920x1080, while Windows Media Player would display the image at the native 1440x1080 size using square pixels, losing the widescreen appearance. Another anamorphic HD format is DVCPRO HD 1080i at 1280x1080, which uses a 1.5 PAR to achieve a 1920x1080 playback display.
Some HD camcorders that record full 1920x1080 video may also offer the economy option to record 1080i video at 1440x1080, allowing longer record times on the memory card. The Sony EX1 camera shooting XDCAM EX (SP mode) and the Panasonic AG-HMC40 shooting AVCCAM (HE mode) are just two examples Iím aware of, so pay attention to the recording mode you shoot with so that you choose the correct project presets and workflow in your editor.
In case youíre wondering why HD camera manufacturers would want to market anamorphic HD formats with reduced resolution in the first place, itís because at 1920x1080, there was simply too much data to record to tape, even after compression. By reducing the resolution of the files, it allowed existing tape formats to be modified to record HD video, as with the HDV format using standard DV cassettes and tape transports in the cameras, keeping the cost down and also insuring backwards compatibility with DV video. The latest generation of HD camcorders use highly efficient H.264 encoding and record direct to memory cards or hard drives, so recording the full 1920x1080 video is no longer the issue that it was with tape, thus even consumer-grade cameras now commonly offer full HD recording.
I mentioned still images earlier, and any still from a scanner or digital camera should always use square pixels. Where you could run into trouble is if you or a contractor are creating a still graphic in Photoshop or another paint program for use in a video project that uses anamorphic video, you have to keep the PAR in mind while designing the graphic screen.
Generally, I would create the graphic using square pixels, which would be the default in the paint program. So if creating a graphic for use in a 1440x1080 HDV video project, you could create the graphic at the display size of 1920x1080 with 1.0 PAR, and when you import the graphic into the NLE, it should interpret it correctly.
Optionally, you can design the graphic at the native size of the video clip, but you then must tell the graphics program the PAR that you wish to work in! In Photoshop, there is a menu where you can select the PAR from a list of common video sizes, and PS will then stretch the image to look correct while you are working on it, otherwise what you draw as a circle might end up looking like an oval on the video.
Now that you have a better understanding of anamorphic video and PAR, we can move on to the point of this article, which would be getting the proper aspect ratio when exporting your widescreen videos for public consumption.
For widescreen export to DVD, from DV widescreen or HD sources, just be sure to set the DVD project as 16:9. With some DVD players, you may have to go into the menu and tell it whether you have a 4:3 or 16:9 display connected, but most handle this automatically and will add letterboxing on 4:3 displays or display full-screen on 16:9 displays when playing back your widescreen DVD.
For Blu-ray 1080i/p, video may be encoded as 1920x1080 (1.0) or 1440x1080 (1.333) and the player will output 1920x1080 to the display in either case, and 720p should of course be encoded at 1280x720.
The real issue comes up when encoding clips for computer use, where the DVD or Blu-ray player isnít handling aspect ratio conversions for us. Computer and web video players use square pixels and that is how your video should be encoded, so if your source is anamorphic, youíll need to adjust the video dimensions to get the correct aspect ratio using square pixels.
For 16:9 DV video at 720x480, set the output size to 864x480, 1.0 PAR, to get a proper output display. Note that 720 times 1.2 equals 864, and dividing 864x480 by 54 gives us 16x9, so we know the display will look correct to the viewer. Of course, you will likely want a smaller size for web streaming, iPod, or other uses, so just knock the size down while maintaining the 16:9 dimensions, for instance 640x360 or 480x270.
For HD web clips, 1920x1080 requires too much bandwidth over the internet, so the standard practice for sites like YouTube or Vimeo is to use 720p HD video encoded at 1280x720, whether starting with a 1920x1080 or 1440x1080 source.
If starting with NTSC or 1080i interlaced video, be sure to enable deinterlacing in the encoder software, since all computer displays are progressive. If you donít deinterlace your footage, it will create nasty motion artifacts on computer screens due to the fields being used in the source video.
I should also mention that shooting in HD provides an opportunity for videographers to produce actual photo prints from the video due to the high quality of the source, but again, you may need to adjust for the PAR. If you grab a still image from 1080i HDV in your NLE, then open that image in Photoshop, it will not look widescreen, but more like 4:3. It would print out the same way, whether on your inkjet at home or the photo kiosk at the local drug store, so you must adjust the still image to square pixels.
For interlaced source video (1080i), the first step is to apply the Video > Deinterlace filter in Photoshop prior to doing any resizing to eliminate interlace artifacting in the image caused by motion in the video. Next, resize the image from 1440x1080 to 1920x1080, making sure to uncheck the Constrain Proportions box first. The resized image will then look correct on screen, and in print.
Whether your frame grab needed resizing or not, youíll probably want to use the Crop tool in PS to size the image to fit a photo print properly, for instance 6x4 or 7x5. Save the results to .jpg format and either upload to a print service like Walgreenís or Wal-Mart, or take the files into the store on a thumb drive or CD. Clean HD video grabs will look very nice as a glossy photo print, almost undistinguishable from a digital photograph.
To recap, if you are shooting 1920x1080 or 1280x720 HD formats, then you already have square pixels and are good to go, but for DV widescreen, HDV, DVCPRO HD and other anamorphic video sources, mind those pixel aspect ratios throughout the workflow and the whole process will be a better experience.
For years, computers have used 32-bit operating systems, meaning that the largest number the system memory could address would be 2^32, or 4GB. In reality, users could expect just over 3GB actually available for use by applications other than the OS. Data pathways inside the computer would also be limited to 32-bit.
For standard-definition video editing, 3GB might have got the job done for most Premiere users, but many editors are now commonly dealing with HD video resolutions of 1920x1080 and beyond, with 2K and 4K cinema resolutions being popularized by the RED camera. An HD video frame has about 6x as much data as an SD frame, and 4K video is about 5x larger than HD, so you can appreciate the need for speed when working with these video formats.
64-bit addressing provides additional RAM capacity and makes it easier for the computer to deal with these large amounts of data more efficiently. With a 64-bit OS like Windows 7, Mac OS X, or Snow Leopard, the 2^64 addressing capability allows for the theoretical use of a ridiculous amount of RAM - 16 billion GB! Of course, your particular systemís hardware design will determine how much RAM can be physically installed and utilized.
Both Mac and PC have offered a 64-bit OS option for a while, but most software was not optimized to fully utilize the benefits. While Photoshop already supports 64-bit, Adobe Premiere and After Effects are being completely rewritten as 64-bit applications, and these new versions will no longer run under a 32-bit OS. Being 64-bit native will allow Premiere and After Effects to each use up to 16GB of RAM, which will greatly improve performance.
4GB of system RAM will provide baseline Adobe performance, while 8GB would keep most editors satisfied. So-called "Power Users" may opt for 16GB to 32GB to meet their needs. Adobe recommends 12GB for "optimum performance", and since many new motherboards take RAM modules in threes rather than pairs, 6GB and 12GB PC configurations would replace 4GB or 8GB options.
Benefits for Adobe users will include improved Dynamic Linking, longer RAM previews in After Effects, less re-rendering, and better overall performance and reliability. Working on HDR still images with 32-bit floating-point color will be a much better experience with a 64-bit system.
The overall performance gains of a 64-bit OS and more RAM, along with new 6-core processors and GPU-supported effects promise unprecedented HD editing power with the 64-bit Adobe applications, and I for one am really looking forward to it! Watch for a review of the Safe Harbor Tsunami 64-bit PC running the new Adobe products, coming soon.
Sooner or later, it happens to everyone Ė you shoot that once-in-a-lifetime footage with your miniDV camcorder, only to find later that the playback is garbled. There are many reasons for bad recordings, including clogged heads and misaligned tape transports, so of course keep a miniDV head cleaning tape in your camera bag and run it at the first sign of trouble.
My Sony cameras display a head clog warning on the view screen, and just playing the head cleaner for 10 seconds has always resolved head clogs in the field before they became a real issue. Having a reputable dealer do routine maintenance and cleanings is also a good idea to avoid disaster.
I recently loaded several hours of miniDV wedding footage into my edit system via 1394 Firewire, and found a not-so-small problem when I began the edit process. I had 3 cameras running during the ceremony Ė one in the balcony, one at the rear of the aisle, and my main camera up front that I operate and which showed no signs of trouble during the actual wedding shoot.
The first several minutes of the front camera footage was totally unusable. The picture was almost constantly breaking up into blocks (you miniDV users know what Iím talking about!), and also had little gray and pink squares dancing all over the place. This ruined the entrance of the mothers and their lighting of the candles, and the entire processional, including the brideís entrance and give away. I did of course have the two rear cameras running, but who wants to look at a wide-angle static shot of peoplesí backsides during these critical moments?
The first thing you can do when encountering issues like these is to make sure you are playing the tape in the same camera you shot it with, as minor alignment issues between camera transports could cause playback issues. Iíve seen issues with trying to swap tapes between Sony and Canon miniDV camcorders, with tapes playing fine in one but not the other.
I tried all three of my matching Sony miniDV cameras, and even my HDV camera, and got the same playback results on all of them. What to do? I remembered a video forum post Iíd read online years ago, from a camera manufacturer rep I believe, which stated that digital transfers from miniDV did not have any error correction applied Ė the raw DV data was passed along "as is," warts and all, via 1394.
The post went on to say that if using the analog video outputs of the camera, error correction was applied during the D/A conversion and this would often minimize or eliminate playback issues. Having nothing to lose, I connected the component output cable to my HDV camera and recaptured the problem footage into Premiere CS3 using the analog inputs of my Matrox RT.X2 hardware. I was very relieved to find the footage miraculously restored, with only a few minor hints of any issues apparent.
Of course, not everyone has analog inputs on their NLE system and may be limited to 1394 capture only. In this case, if you have two miniDV cameras and they have the capability to record video using their analog inputs, as do my Sony VX-2000 units, you could simply connect the two cameras and dub from one to the other using analog connections. Another option would be to use a converter box like those offered by Canopus/Grass Valley to convert analog video to 1394, passing the analog out of the camera through the box to capture DV into the computer.
Once youíve copied the problem footage to a new miniDV tape, and hopefully removed or at least minimized the issues, you can then capture that new tape via 1394 for editing. Understand that some glitches simply canít be fixed, but this method is definitely worth trying at least.
Iíve also heard that in the event you canít recover the footage yourself, try to find a post house that has a high-end Sony DVCAM deck such as a DSR-45, DSR-60, or DSR-1600, as these have better chances of playing back problem tapes. They may be able to create a better dub for you to work with. There are also companies that specialize in recovering damaged tapes, which in some cases could be well worth the costs involved.
I do occasionally get little dropouts on my miniDV recordings, but these typically last just one or two frames. My recent problem was the worst Iíve encountered in 12 years of shooting with miniDV. Some would say that shooting with the new tapeless camcorders eliminates these problems, but data can be lost as well, either on the camera memory card, or from the hard drive you dump it to, so nothing is ever certain.
Iím just glad I was able to resolve my issue without a lot of hassle, and Iím very glad I didnít have to explain to the wedding couple why there was no footage of the bride coming up the aisle! I hope this information can help someone else in their time of need. Keep those cameras clean, and happy shooting!
The Sonic BD PowerStation is the ultimate professional encoding solution for authoring Blu-ray or DVD discs, based on the same core technology as Scenarist, the encoder of choice for Hollywood movie releases on DVD and Blu-ray. This suite is used to encode video, create DVD or Blu-ray menus, and run simulations on the result. Completed projects may be burned direct to DVD and Blu-ray, or compliant master files may be output for replication.
BD PowerStation uses a USB dongle for security, but is very easy to install quickly using the online download and verification system. Three applications are included - Sonic CineVision for video encoding, Sonic DVDit Pro HD for disc authoring, and Sonic Scenarist QC for emulation/checking of projects.
The CineVision app is used to encode source video using the VC-1 or MPEG-2 codecs for Blu-ray, and MPEG-2 for DVD. CineVision provides unprecedented control over the encoding process, so advanced users will be able to tweak every aspect of encoding for optimum results. After an initial encode, the results can be analyzed and individual segments may then be optimized and re-encoded without encoding the entire video again.
While working on a full 1920x1080 HD video for Blu-ray, I found that by simply pressing a hotkey during review of the encoded video, I could get a full-resolution HD preview on my 24" PC display! This is a welcome feature, and an NVIDIA Quadro FX GPU with SDI output can also be used for professional-quality output preview.
After encoding the video to either the Blu-ray or DVD specs, the DVDit Pro HD software is used to create custom motion menus. Many pre-built menu templates are included to get the user up and running immediately. Photoshop is the recommended choice to create the layered graphics necessary for the menus and buttons.
Users can choose to burn direct to disc for one-offs and proofing, or create the proper files to send out for replication. The AACS and CSS copy protection schemes may be set up in the files for replication. If you wish to create both Blu-ray and DVD versions of the same project, you only need to author once and can then output to either Blu-ray or DVD as needed.
Note that while CineVision only encodes videos to VC-1 or MPEG-2 for Blu-ray use, the DVDit Pro HD software accepts H.264 files as well, so all Blu-ray-legal formats may be used for authoring.
Sonic Scenarist QC is then used to check the final composition to ensure that the disc will be completely within specifications for Blu-ray or DVD for the ultimate compatibility. Tracing and logs are available for advanced step-by-step troubleshooting and debugging.
Sonic BD PowerStation is clearly aimed at professionals. While there are plenty of inexpensive options out there to burn DVDs and Blu-ray discs, the Sonic solution offers the tools necessary to create fully compliant Blu-ray projects for replication, something lesser programs just donít offer. If youíre ready to move up to the next level of professional disc production, youíll appreciate the features and power of the Sonic BD PowerStation.
Grass Valley has announced that their EDIUS NEO2 software is being updated with the "Booster" package to provide realtime native editing of AVCHD, eliminating the need to transcode footage prior to editing. No other NLE software provides realtime AVCHD editing, so this is exciting news for users.
The EDIUS NEO2 software has been bundled with the Panasonic AG-HCM150 and AG-HCM70 camcorders for some time now, and is also being included with the new AG-HCM40 units. Users that purchased their Panasonic camera on or after October 9, 2009 will receive their EDIUS NEO2 upgrade directly from Panasonic at no charge. Owners who purchased prior to October 9 can get the upgrade for just $49.
If you donít own EDIUS NEO2, a bundle is available with the Booster at $229. On a core i7 workstation, users can expect editing performance of 3-4 streams of AVCHD (full 1920x1080) in realtime. By adding the Grass Valley HD SPARK card, HD video can be previewed on an HDMI display to enhance the editing experience.
Having to spend hours transcoding footage largely defeats the purpose of tapeless workflows, since solid-state recording eliminates the need to capture footage from tape in realtime. Panasonic AVCCAM cameras and EDIUS NEO2 with Booster provide a fast, efficient workflow from camera to edit unmatched by other AVCHD workflows, allowing users to finally realize the full potential of digital acquisition and editing.
Adobe has recently released their Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.2 and Adobe Media Encoder CS4 4.2 updates. Matrox is working on drivers to support this new release and expect compatible drivers for the Matrox MXO2 Mini and Matrox CompressHD to be available next week. Drivers for Matrox Axio and Matrox RT.X2 are expected in December.
Until the appropriate Matrox drivers become available, we recommend that users do not upgrade to Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.2 and Adobe Media Encoder CS4 4.2. You should turn off automatic updates to prevent auto-installs of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.2 and Adobe Media Encoder CS4 4.2.
Once the new Matrox drivers are ready for download, re-enable automatic updates again.
You just shot a really exciting seminar and canít wait to get back to the studio to review the footage. The guest speaker looks great Ė the lighting, framing and focus are right on! Then to your dismay, you see it Ė the unwelcome item in the background. It could be a glaring red "Exit" sign, a restroom sign, or anything else that you find distracting or annoying, including a wayward bystander. Well, there is hope.
The technique discussed here works for video shots that are "locked down," meaning the camera is on a tripod and doesnít move. Movement includes zooms Ė the scene must be static! This would often be the case for an interview, a speaker at a podium, or an unmanned balcony camera at a wedding. The idea is that you donít want the background to move Ė it must be totally stationary for this trick to work. Also, no part of the subjectís body can move in front of the item you wish to remove.
On a recent interview shoot, I set up some additional lighting off to the side of my subject. The light caused a bit of a reflection on the glass of a picture frame in the background, but I didnít think much of it Ė until I got back to the studio and reviewed the clip on the HD big screen. My "little" issue was no longer so tiny. In fact, it was suddenly commanding a lot of attention, to the point at which I was considering a do-over! I then realized that in just a couple of minutes, I could easily "fix it in post," as the saying goes.
In this example, Iím editing with Premiere CS3 and using Photoshop CS3 for the graphics work; however, any NLE should work, as well as other paint programs that work with layers and save to formats that include an alpha channel.
The first step in the "fix" is to use your NLE software to "grab" a frame of the video clip that clearly shows the offending item. In CS3, just position the play head on the desired frame on your timeline, and use File > Export > Frame to create a still image of the video frame. The file format shouldnít matter Ė I used the default .bmp file type. CS4 (and other NLEs) will have different methods of exporting a still, but just access the HELP menu if unsure of how to export a still from the video.
In my example, the offending clip is 1080i HDV, so the frame size is 1440x1080 pixels. Note that 1080i HDV uses a PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) of 1.333, so when I import the still grab into Photoshop, it no longer looks like 16:9 widescreen video Ė it appears more square like a 4:3 image. The reason for this is that paint programs assume "square pixels" with a 1.0 PAR, so video grabs may appear distorted.
Itís important to realize that if you were to use the "Circle" tool in Premiere to create a perfect circle on this grabbed image, the circle would look oblong when viewed back in Premiere, since the 1.333 PAR of the video project would "stretch" the image horizontally. Not to worry Ė in Photoshop, just go to Image > Pixel Aspect Ratio and choose the correct PAR preset to match your video format. This tells Photoshop how to interpret your image shape and everything will then come out right.
I next use the Clone Tool to replace the area I want to remove with clean background from the surrounding area. If you donít know how to use the Clone Tool, check the HELP menu or Google it and youíll likely find many tutorials.
Cloning allows me to "paint" using other areas of the image as my "color," so I can choose a clean area of wall for instance and paint that over an EXIT sign. In this example, I need to touch up the corner of the picture frame. It doesnít have to be perfect, since Iíll be the only one thatís looking for it. The casual viewer is watching the subject and would probably never notice if the fix isnít perfect.
Once the offending area is painted out of the picture, the next step is to isolate that area. I first create a New Layer, then turn off the Background Layer so itís transparent. Working on the topmost image layer, I use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a box encompassing the repaired area of my image, then use Select > Inverse (Ctrl + I) to Invert the selection, thus choosing everything outside the selected area. Hitting the DELETE key removes everything but the repair area, leaving me a nice patch to overlay above my video clip in Premiere. For irregular shapes, you can define the selection with the Lasso tool and freehand a shape.
Next, SAVE the image using a file format that retains the alpha channel (the transparent area that was just cut out). I use the Photoshop .psd format since Premiere likes it. During Import into Premiere, be sure to choose the correct layer of the .psd file that you wish to display.
In Premier, just put the overlay on any video track above your original video clip and it should mask out the offending area. Note that if the lighting should change during the scene, your patch may become visible since the surrounding area can become lighter or darker. I made a patch to cover a stain on a church carpet in a wedding video, and it looked greatÖfor a while! During the wedding, some clouds moved in to block the sun, changing the lighting in the church, and then "the patch didnít match" the surrounding carpet (I decided to leave the stain).
If you have the Photoshop skills, adding some transparency to the edge of the patch may help it to blend in better, though with consistent lighting, even a hard-edged patch should be invisible. Having put my patch over the glaring photo frame, it looks perfect and I can again sleep at night. Since I edit with the Matrox RT.X2 realtime edit hardware, no rendering is required. Premiere software editors may get a red render bar.
There is another fix along these same lines that you may find useful. Say you have a great shot, then someone wanders into the frame in the background. Grab a still from a frame of the video clip that has a clean background, then another frame with the offender in the background. Open both frames in PS, then Copy and Paste the bad image over the clean image, each on its own layer. Using the Lasso tool, draw around the bad guy. Disable the bad layer and select the good layer. You should still see the "marching ants" of the Selection box (now over the good layer) Ė Invert using Ctrl + I and delete the background. Thereís your good patch of background to hide the offending body.
Note that I would never remove the good Padre from a wedding video Ė this is simply an example video clip I had handy.
As discussed, this will not work if your camera moves at all, but in many situations it can provide quick and satisfying results. If you have decent Photoshop skills, you could even use this overlay method for product placement, company logos, or whatever else you might want to add in to the background. Change the Cola can to a Root Beer, or whatever you need to do. Have fun with it!
About This BlogGet the most out of your video and post production tools with tricks and help tips from Jeff Pulera, Safe Harbor's resident video expert and the rest of our helpful staff.
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