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Highlighting Action In A Video Clip  XML
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Cranston

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Joined: 16/08/2007 23:26:31
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Hi everyone,

Lately there have been few posts in the PD and DZ forums, asking if there is a way (using "only" PD), to highlight a moving object or character in a video clip.
One possible way (or workaround), is to use a combination of the Focus effect and Chroma Keying tool in PD. Perhaps others have discovered this combination as well. But for those who haven't, I've placed a mini tutorial at the links below, for anyone who may be interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DsgWu3bMtM

Notes:
1. The advantage of using Focus, is that you can move the focus area within the frame, without having to move the whole frame, or create a custom mask.

2. The disadvantage, is that the inner edge of the Focus effect is diffused. So applying Chroma Key, causes the highlight to have a bit of an irregular and erratic edge detail.

3. What is really needed, is a "Focus #2" effect (perhaps in the form of an update patch from Cyberlink), with a sharp inner edge, and that includes a...
- "Transparency" tool/slider for the background color (like in PIP Designer).
- "Duplicate Key Frame" option (like in PIP Designer).


4. In the linked example, a Black & White background option was used to contrast the delineation of the highlighted area. Other options would be to...
- Cover the general footage with a Color Board, and use the Transparency tool to change the color.
- Use the Color Adjustment tool (in Fix/Enhance), to manipulate the footage’s hue, brightness, and contrast.


5. A similar highlighting effect can accomplished by using a transparent PNG overlay, as seen here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0p_oc9HxZ4
The only possible disadvantage of this method, is that it requires you to apply a highlight "on top" of ones footage, thus slightly obscuring it, depending on the amount of transparency that is applied.

As there is probably a better way (in PD), to highlight a moving object or character, the above Focus+Chroma Key method, is only offered as a possible option. However, with proper adjustments, it does appear to be a viable option, and is pretty straight forward in it's application.

This message was edited 14 times. Last update was at 06/02/2010 22:36:36


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Xerox

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Joined: 08/08/2009 22:36:15
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Thanks for the tips. After reading your post, I spent the rest of the morning trying different effects to see what could be used to "highlight."

Did you try the Spotlight effect? And did it not work as expected?

The Spotlight effect didn't seem to work as expected, at first. But then I clicked the "Apply to All (keyframes)" button, and presto!

Move the Median slider all the way to the left to get a sharp-edged spotlight.

You can turn the brightness down a little on the rest of the image using the brightness slider of the Color Adjustment enhancement.
ynotfish

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Joined: 07/05/2009 23:06:52
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Cranston -

Great work brother - in thinking and execution. I'm sure your post and tutorial video will be referred to many times. Using the focus effect works well, particularly the expansion of the area to full screen at the end.

and Xerox - another way of achieving the effect. Great job.

Cheers - Tony


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Xerox

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Regarding the Spotlight effect, the Brightness slider is backwards. The scale runs from 75 to 220. You would think that 220 would be the brightest, but 75 is the brightest. Also, I should have been using a real photo instead of a color board and I would have seen that Median=0 is too strong and blows out the details.

EDIT: Now the Brightness slider is working correctly.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 04/10/2009 13:26:05

Cranston

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Joined: 16/08/2007 23:26:31
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Hi Xerox,

Yes, I have played around with the Spotlight effect, which is basically an effect that is the opposite of the Focus effect. But for some reason, Spotlight seems to “lock up”, (for lack of a better term), on my system. When I make adjustments, I don’t really see any changes. Although your “apply to all” tip (thanks for that), does seem to make an adjustment “kick in”.

Also it seems that when using Spotlight, one is applying the effect “on top” of what one wants to highlight. If there was an “Inverse Effect Area” option, like in some of the other effects (e.g. Pencil Sketch), then one could brighten the area outside the area that one wants to highlight, leaving the highlighted area clean.

But the Spotlight effect does indeed provide another way for one to achieve a highlight. And it can, depending on how applied, be a more subtle highlight (if that is what one desires), than the Focus+Chroma Key option. It all comes down to what will best suit a particular project, and to one’s personal preference I guess. Thanks for pointing out the Spotlight option Xerox. The more methods, tips, and variations that members contribute, the more we all benefit.


Hi Tony,

Thanks bro!


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Dafydd Bevan - SoftDeko

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Joined: 26/08/2006 05:20:41
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Visit, watch and learn.

Super video and I would recommend EVERY video editor take the time to view.

Well put together Carsten.

Dafydd
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vn800rider

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I know its not British but :-

Yo! Bro!

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James W

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Well done!

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KAYVON

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Joined: 09/10/2009 13:03:08
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Cranston-

I'm new to the video editing world and have been watching various tutorials to learn my way around PD8 and I must say that this is a standout tutorial you've created. I really appreciate what you've done here. Keep up the great work!
Cranston

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Hi Dafydd, Adrian, James, and Kayvon,

Thanks for positive feedback guys. Much appreciated.



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donbroadband

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Joined: 06/08/2009 03:04:33
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Hi Cranston,
I have been trying to get this to work on a video I am making, but failing miserably! What is happening is that as I scan across, the focus area I have set gets bigger and bigger. I am obviously missing something as others are having success. I am following the instructions religiously (least I think I am - but obviously not!) but I never get any further than .
1. Adding the video to the timeline
2 Adding a snapshot of the first frame
3. Selecting the focus effect
4. Adjusting it size to just cover the image
5. I then step forward through "movie" with focus still selected but as I step forward with the intention of adding the key frames - the "focussed area" expands in size - don't I want this to be a constant size until I choose to make it different?

Any help would be most welcome


Don

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donbroadband

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Joined: 06/08/2009 03:04:33
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Hi Again Cranston,
Please ignore my last posting - it was "operator trouble" i.e I did not use the keyframes function correctly with effects (how have I Lived so long?) - Once I trained my brain and fingers that the process was:
1. Move to the next frame (I used the full stop. )
2. Set Keyframe
3. Select the position button
4. Set the position
5. Press Ok

repeated until you had had enough, it all worked fine - sorry for being such an idiot -it is a great training video.

Don

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Cranston

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Joined: 16/08/2007 23:26:31
Messages: 1624
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Hi Donald,

Yes, I did kind of gloss over that part of the procedure, as there are other Key Frame specific tutorials out there. So thanks for clarifying the Key Frame steps.
And no sir, you are not being an idiot at all. Because you explained the add the Focus effect phase (of the Highlighting technique), much more concisely than what I’m about to.
Yep, you absolutely nailed it Donald (inside joke). So to reiterate...

- At the first Key Frame, adjust the parameters sliders to create a small(er) "Oval Focus Overlay" (OFO), > then click on the Position tab > and drag the OFO to center it on the character that needs highlighting (and fine tune size parameters if necessary).

- Then keep moving the srubber/slider to slowly to advance through the footage > and when the character has moved out of the OFO > click on the "Add a Key Frame" tab.

- Then click the "Position" tab again > and simply move/drag the OFO so that it’s now re-centered on the character (and one can now also reduce or expand the OFO to match the character’s current size).

- Then continue to preview the footage by sliding the scrubber > and simply first click on the "Add a Key Frame" tab each time one wants to re-position and re-size the OFO, thus keeping the OTO centered over the character at all times through the video clip.

In the end, one has a bunch of Key frames, with the applied OTO floating across the screen as it stays centered and sized on a character. And I think Donald would agree that (with just a very little practice), it's really a lot more quick and easy to do than it sounds.
We can perhaps think of the Key Frame steps, as kind of being analogous to sitting in a classroom and pointing your hidden laser pointer so that a red dot appears on your buddy's forehead, as he gives his project presentation. And by clicking on the Add a Key Frame tab, you’re just taking and saving a bunch of snapshots of it all.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 18/11/2009 15:37:46


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donbroadband

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Joined: 06/08/2009 03:04:33
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Thank you for the kind comments - indeed praise from the master (and I am not being sarcy!)
Keep producing the Tutorials please they do help newbies like me a great deal.

Regards,

Don

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cpd189

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Joined: 19/04/2011 20:22:46
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First of all i'm using version 9 ultra 64 and it looks slightly different then the tut for version 8. I've tried the steps for highlighting using the the focus and B&W effect but i'm getting stuck after I produce and save the black & white. The next step after that says "open the main project and place the clip produced to b&w in the master track". (I was assuming the master track is the top line where the regular video is in.) I must be wrong. And also, doesn't the b&w that i produced and saved stay in the timeline where it originally was or does that need to be removed? I am very new at this portion of editing. I am trying to produce my son's football highlights but I may have to do it without the highlighting portion
If anyone has the patience to work with me on this please let me know. I would even be satisfied with just having an arrow or anything simple to distinquish the movement from one point to the other.
Cranston

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Joined: 16/08/2007 23:26:31
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Hi cpd189,

Yes, the procedure for doing the highlighting (as shown in that tutorial) would be slightly different in PD, as PD9 has a hybrid of PIP and Master tracks available. So now, in PD9, you have much more flexibility as all the tracks are the same and fully functional.
As long as you have the “mask/focus effect” pre-produced clip (that will have the black chroma keyed out), layered on top, in a higher numbered track, the principal is identical. Just follow precisely the steps shown. If you need more details, just PM me.

As far as just having an arrow follow a player, that is indeed simpler. Just create an arrow with a transparent background in any Photo Shop type app and save as .png image (or I can send you a few if you wish). Then import it to PD9.
Then use PIP Motion in PIP Designer to cause the arrow to follow the action using the key frames setting.

A tutorial on using Key Frames is available here. Just think of the “star” (as shown in the tutorial), as being the arrow you want to manipulate.
http://www.youtube.com/user/PDtoots#p/u/18/4gPt7y6ipo0
Note: This tutorial was also done back in PD8, so the interface is a little different. But the principle of how Key Frames work in PD8 and 9 are identical, though a bit confusing at first, if one is used to PD8. But...
This might help. A user over in Cyberlink’s DirectorZone forum, was having trouble adapting the method to create a censor blur in PD8 to PD9. (Creating a censor blur is basically the same thing as having an arrow follow the action of a football player).
So I made a quick mini tutorial in PD9, to show the slight differences in the interface, and how key frames are re-accessed in PD9.
http://www.youtube.com/user/sparetoob#p/a/u/1/JgzRPcNKFgo
This mini tutorial should help to show the little changes in PD9’s interface. At 2:49 is the part, or difference, that had that DZ member stumped, as far as the differences in the PD8 and PD9 interfaces

(The original Censor Blur tutorial is here… http://www.youtube.com/user/PDtoots#p/u/13/CE_pbBhTl1I )



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