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BluffTitler, Studio, smoke and lumakeying

BluffTitler, Studio, smoke and lumakeying By saby - Last updated on Sunday, October 28, 2012
23939 Views :: 3 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 9)
Category: Studio 1-15 Tutorials / Plugins, Pinnacle Studio 21 & S16-S20 Tutorials / Plugins  -  Previous tutorials  -  Associated File(s)
Published on Sunday, October 24, 2010
Created on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 1:48 PM

BluffTitler creates 3D titles for your videos, as well as cool other effects (see some movies and examples here).
For this tutorial, you need to own BluffTitler (which is a rather good companion to Studio). For more information regarding BluffTitler or for buying BluffTitler, visit BluffTitler website (as well as our article "BluffTitler - Collect shows for free").

Introduction :

This is a very mysterious title for a tutorial ! Patience, you'll know more a little further.

Today we'll just work around the lumakeyer effect of Studio.This effect can make certain areas of an image transparent or semi-transparent.

Unlike its counterpart, the famous chromakeyer, which is based on color pixels to determine what needs to be transparent or not, the lumakeyer operates on the brightness of the pixels. Based on thresholds or ceilings of brightness some pixels are considered transparent.

Note : Only the lucky owners of Studio from version 10 Plus have access to that effect.

How does this work ?

A small illustration with a picture seems to be a good idea. No ?

I open Studio and I load on the main video track a still image like this :

Sea background

On the overlay track I position this nice fish which at the moment is on a perfectly white background :


Problem : how to overlay just the fish in the water? Answer: with the lumakeyer effect that will make all the white background transparent.

I open the Videotool box and I add a new effect :

Adding an effect

In the category Studio Ultimate RTFX or Studio Plus RTFX I apply the effect Luma Keyer and press OK :

Lumakeyer effect

Even if I disappoint forever my greatest fans, I'm not going to describe and explain how each parameter of the plugin works. Yes, I know your disappointment must be great. Besides, I already see 2 or 3 of you leaving the room...

If I were dishonest, I would say it's time that you fly a few of your own wings !
In fact, I found no documentation on this plugin and despite many try, I am still not able to understand 100% of it's use and how exactly works each setting ! And my friend Adonhiram, from Pinnacle Forum, is probably approving me. If a reader is able to help us, he is welcome. Do not be shy !

All I can say is that playing mostly on the first two parameters Luma Center and Radius, I always reached my goal, whatever the circumstances.

Here, with these parameters :

Setting of lumakeyer

Here is what I get :

Overlayed shark

All this can obviously be applied to videos.

In this tutorial, I will explain you how to do with Studio and BluffTitler this kind of introduction :

You like it ? This will be done in two steps : creation of a video representing black and white smoke in BluffTitler and use of this video as a transparency mask in Studio with lumakeyer.

Smoke creation in BluffTitler :

Open BluffTitler and create a new project in the menu File, New Show.

As the default duration of shows in BluffTitler is 3 s, we must extend it to have a longer video. File, Set Show Duration and I set New total Duration in Seconds to 9 with the option Add to End.

Last prior adjustment : File, Set Show Resolution that I parameter depending on the type of video project planned in Studio.

We get into the window of BluffTitler with a black background and a big white title "Bluff Titler "in the middle. Delete the title by removing the layer 4 which contains it :

Text layer deleting

To create the smoke effect I will use a Particles layer :

Adding particle layer

In the presets list that appears, I select Foam.bp and hit OK :

Foam preset selection

You can immediately see in the preview window it doesn't look like at all smoke. It will be necessary to modify the particles used by the effect.
For that, F8 and in the area First Texture instead of C:\Outerspace Software\BluffTitler\media\textures\particle_circle.png search for Particle_Cloud.png with Select Picture. If you do not find or do not have it on your PC, do not worry. All equipment necessary to complete the tutorial is provided at the end.
Take the opportunity to verify that the effect NotLightened_Additive.fx is well the one present in the area Effect. Otherwise search for it with Select Effect. Once again, if you do not find or do not have it, see the end of the tutorial.

Validate all with OK.

What appears in the preview window looks like more to smoke, right ?  We'll make it more realistic.

Blue flashy smoke is not met every day. Let's turn it completely white. For property 1st Colour :

1st particles coulour

and property 2nd colour :

2nd particles colour

check All Keys and set all sliders to 255. Having checked All Keys ensures that the selected setting will be the same throughout the complete duration of the video, regardless of the key points created.

Now, let's set the smoke so it is centered horizontally and it starts from the bottom of the screen. That's what settings of Launch Position should look like :

Launch Position settings

Note that you need to check once again All Keys for this setting must be constant.

I suggest now to explain you what are the other parameters on which we will have to play dynamically and what's their use. Then, in a table I'll show you how I set it all in BluffTitler to reach the final smoke.

Launch Area : leave the last two sliders to 0 and use the first to increase or decrease the width of the smoke.

Launch Direction: you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursors should be set to 0, -90 and 0 for the smoke rises from bottom to top.

Launch Speed : you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursor should be set to 0. A larger value and the smoke is emitted more slowly, a smaller value and the smoke is emitted faster.

Spread : you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursors should be set to 0, 3.636 et 0.

Emission : you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursor should be set to 50. It sets the number of particles emitted by second. Hence the impression of smoke more or less dense.

Gravity :you will only modify the second slider. The other two must remain at zero. Here is the gravitational parameter. By giving positive values larger or smaller in the second slider is adjusted the speed at which the smoke "falling upwards".

Maximum Age : you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursor should be set to 4. It sets the maximum duration of a particle.

Particle Size : you leave the last two sliders to 0 and you use the first to increase or decrease the size of particles in the middle of their lives. Indeed, they are alive, ie they may have a different size at the beginning, middle and end of their issuance.

Effect Size : you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursor should be set to 1.

Transparency : you should not have to touch this parameter, its default cursor should be set to 0.

It remains for me to explain how the keyframes in the timeline work in BluffTitler and provided with the settings table you should be able to reproduce the effect.


Timeline has a timer (7) in minutes, secondes, millisecondes. On the timeline you can create key points (8). You can position one key point by clicking Create Key (1), delete it with Delete Key (2) and Copy/Paste key points with (3) and (4). To skip from one key point to another one you can use the buttons Previous Key (5) and Next Key (6).
Simply move one of the values of a parameter creates a key point where the cursor is located.

That is, no more explanation, let's describe the settings of the effect.

In thistable, I tell you what values I applied for each parameter and for each key point that I created :

Settings/Timing 00.00.000 00.01.000 00.01.500 00.02.000 00.05.000 00.09.000
LAunch Area 0,0,0 0,0,0 34,0,0 75,0,0 180,0,0 180,0,0
Gravity 0, 1.8 ,0 0, 1.8 ,0 0,20,0 0,28,0 0,33,0 0,33,0
Particle Size 0,0,0 0,0,0 22,0,0 32,0,0 55,0,0 55,0,0

We are nearing the end of work in BluffTitler representing the bulk of this tutorial. It is time to export the whole video.

File, Export as movie. I suggest to use Compressed AVI. Depending on the quality of the final video and the power of your PC you can play on the level of antialiasing with Antialiasing Quality .
After giving a name to your file, a window to select the compression CODEC appears :

Setting CODEC

Finally, a word of caution. I wrote a little higher that the particles were alive. One consequence is that even when the cursor on the timeline reaches the end of the timeline, the smoke continues to be produced. If before recording the video, you have already viewed once or several times the effect, you may start the export with a screen that is already full of smoke.
To avoid this, place the cursor just after the first key point. For example 00.01.008. Wait until the smoke clears, put the cursor at the beginning of the timeline and start the export.

Use in Studio :

In Studio work is much simpler.

On the main track, put the video that should appear gradually. On the overlay track, place the smoke. Apply to the smoke effect Luma Keyer in the same way as the shark in the beginning of tutorial.

Put the cursor on the timeline in the middle of the video of the smoke. Set the plugin to allow the smoke becomes transparent and the more details appear.

By the end of the video of the smoke, put a one second fade to black so all the smoke vanishes completely leaving the main movie in full screen. The fade to black is the first in the list of transitions 2D.

Your timeline should look like this :

Studio timeline

Bonus :

As I said earlier, for those who do not find the files texture and effect files necessary to make the smoke in BluffTitler, download Lumakeying.zip file available in the « Associated Files » section below. It contains files Particle_cloud.png and NotLightened_Additive.fx essential to complete the tutorial.

Conclusion :

That's it. This tutorial was intended only to open you new horizons thanks to the lumakeyer integrated into Studio and this wonderful tool that is BluffTitler. The completion of the transition type smoke was a pretext for the discovery of these two tools.
I hope you enjoyed it and had lots of new ideas for your editing.

Stay tuned for new adventures.

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Gert Oskar Reitner By # Gert Oskar Reitner @ Sunday, October 24, 2010 10:28 AM
Wow I thought I will ever see anything on Lumakeyer . Your efforts on disclosing and how it works is greatly appreciated . Looking forward in seeing more on this subject .

Peter By # Peter @ Friday, May 20, 2011 7:42 PM
Thank you Saby.
I was checking the how to files and found this tutorial. I missed its update

I have been doing applying Luma Key to a few projects. I have used it for Titles. I am currently making a Title tutorial for declic's consideration.
I have no knowledge on what all the settings do. I just play until I get the desired effect.
I looked at BlufTitler website, Wow what a great program. It would be nice to have as a plug in program rather than a stand alone, but I can get used to using different programs. It's just like using Photshop prior to using the photos.

Thank you so much for all your help.

Bill C By # Bill C @ Sunday, June 12, 2011 11:40 AM
Nice tutorial. Well done.

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