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Using transparency in Studio

Using transparency in Studio By Le Papy - Last updated on Monday, November 12, 2012
37961 Views :: 4 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 25)
Category: Studio 1-15 Tutorials / Edition, Pinnacle Studio 21 & S16-S20 Tutorials / Edition  -  Previous tutorials  -  Associated Link(s)
Published on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Created on Sunday, November 18, 2007 2:28 AM
Using transparency in your video

This tutorial created for Pinnacle Studio 1-15 can also be done with new Studio versions with a few adjustments. These adjustments are shown in bold italics: "If you use a new Studio version {...}"

Transparency allows you to create special effects, like Picture in Picture (PIP).

It can be achieved by using the color tool (Chroma Key), which is documented in Studio. It can also be achieved by using an image stored in a format that retains some parts of the image as transparent. It is this process that I refer to in the following example.

We will have 3 basic ingredients (2 of them can be downloaded on this website) :

    • The picture of an interior (why not yours?)
    • A photo of a flat-screen TV art
    • The video of the person who must go on television

I found a photo of an Interior picture which lends itself well to what I want to do. In a program for photo retouching, it was cropped and resized to 768 x 576 pixels and saved in the BMP format. You can find this picture in the file "using_transparency.zip" available in the « Associated Link(s) » section below.

Interior picture for PIP

I then discovered an advertisement for a beautiful flat screen. The photo of the television was altered in a program for photo retouching. The picture on the TV screen was replaced with a transparent background. The image was cropped and resized to 768 x 576 pixels and saved in the TIF format. You can find this picture in the file "using_transparency.zip" available in the « Associated Link(s) » section below.

Flat screen television

Finally, I have chosen scene No. 3 of the Clowns.mpg (Pinnacle Studio), which will go on the television. But any person you choose can also switch on the television. If you do not possess the demo video distributed with older Studio version, you can download it (courtesy of Editor) in the "Associated Links" section of this page below (right click / Save Target As).
Now that we have prepared our parts, open your favorite Studio program.

  1. Select your video;

Movie selection

  1. Find the folder where you have your photos stored, indoors and the TV;

Image folder selection in Pinnacle Studio

  1. Insert the photo of your Interior on the video track of the time line.
  2. Insert the movie on the overlay track of the time line. If you don't see this track, right click on the Video track and check "Always show overlay track"
  3. Insert the picture of the television on the title track.
  1. The video will run for 6.04 seconds. We will be giving the picture of the room and picture on the television the same time length. To do this, double click on the picture placed on the video track. You can modify the properties of the selected sample, and particularly its duration.

Modifying length of a movie

Finally, we apply in turn to the three tracks as a video "Pan and Zoom" so that:

    • The table is not too high in the picture.
    • Your television is positioned in the middle of the table and on the table.
    • The video is framed within the TV screen.

Plugin Pan & Zoom

For example, the settings used for "Pan and Zoom" are:

  1. For a photo of Interior
Picture - Settings of the pan and zoom plugin
  1. For the movie
Pan and zoom effect for the movie
  1. For the TV picture
TV settings for pan and zoom

A small sound file (Nightlife, variation 1 of SmartSound ®) certainly does not hurt the credibility of your timeline.
Want to see the final result? So look ...

Video overlay in Pinnacle Studio

If you use a new Studio version :

You will see that there are no large differences in implementation. The largest being the swapping of the three video tracks used, since in Pinnacle Studio the overlay track is below the video track. Remember that in new Studio versions the track order is reversed compared to Pinnacle Studio 1-15, the overlay track is always placed above the video track. But first things first, let's start by creating a new project.

It's easy:

  1. From the "File" menu, you select "New";
  2. Click on "Movie" (Film).
New project film

Since the tracks are reversed compared to Pinnacle Studio, you need to reverse your 3 items.

  • On A/V Track(1) drop the picture of the TV;
  • On the default A/V Track(2), drop the movie;
  • On track A/V Track (3) drop the photo of the interior.
The new project timeline

By default, the duration of the images contained in the project is set - Menu "Setup / Control Panel / Project Settings / Default duration for still images" - In this example, you can see that the default was set to 04:00. The video clip used has a length of 0:06:04, so it is necessary to adjust the two images to the length of the video clip.

The most accurate method is to:

  1. Right click on the image to be adjusted;
  2. Choose from the popup menu item "Adjust duration";
  3. Change the 00:00:04:00 duration to 00:00:06:04 by selecting the old text, editing it using the keyboard and then click OK.
Adjusting the duration of an image by entering the time

The other method, a little less accurate, is to use the adjustment pointer:

  1. Position your cursor over the right edge of the image to adjust. The cursor turns into the adjustment pointer that lets you click and stretch the image;
  2. If magnetic snapping is on (magnet is orange), in the timeline toolbar, the adjustment will be much easier and will be accurate.
Adjusting the duration of an image using the slider adjustment

Your time line is now complete with three tracks, each containing a clip or a picture with a duration of 0:06:04. It only remains for you to apply the pan and zoom effects.

Disabling the video controller on tracks disturbing
You will proceed the same as in Pinnacle Studio and will start by applying the pan and zoom effect to the bottom photo. In order not to be distracted by the upper tracks, turn off their video monitoring control, allowing you to see your photo inside.

To apply the pan and zoom effect on the bottom photo, right click on the photo and in the context menu, click on "Open Effects Editor";

Or, if you prefer, double-click on the picture to achieve the same thing...

Opening the effects editor
The effects editor

Now you are in the effects editor.

  1. By default, the "Effects" tab is open. We could have used the "Pan and Zoom" tab but as we have both pictures and video, there is no need to complicate the matter ... but you can try!
  2. Click on 2 "Camera";
  3. The list of "Camera" effects is displayed in alphabetical order so it's easy to find the pan and zoom effects.

It remains only to set this by using essentially the same parameters as those used in Pinnacle Studio.

However, two tips:

  1. Check that the "Enable / Disable keyframe" button is off (dimmed). If it is orange, click it to clear keyframes;
  2. The settings can be done either with the mouse by dragging the sliders or by selecting the default setting and typing in new values via the keyboard.
  3. Finally, if you want your values to take effect, remember to press the "Enter" key, a simple change to the input field is not enough to have the change take affect.
Setting the pan and zoom effect

Now it's time to apply the pan and zoom effect to the video portion.

  1. Don't forget to turn on the video control for that track (if you get an alarm when switching to the Effects Editor);
  2. Open the Effects Editor.
Activation of the video control of the track to change
  1. As you can see, setting the pan and zoom effect for A/V Track(2) is not very easy to do because the image is not seen in the proper context with the flat screen TV;
  2. But "Mr. Pinnacle" has provided a "Solo" button which is handy since in use, a track 1 image is replaced by the track 3 image mark. This button displays all the tracks that have the video control enabled. As you have not yet turned on video monitoring for A/V Track(1), which is the flat screen, you do not see it yet ...;
  3. It is now very easy to set the pan and zoom effect;
  4. Again, pay attention to the key frames icon...;
  5. Proceed to setting the new values using essentially the same settings ​​as in Pinnacle Studio and taking into account previous warnings.

We are at the end of this tutorial because I think you have all the adjustments including a few you have to do to complete your work.

And now, whether you are a Studio 1-15 user or a new Studio version user, everybody can go on television ...

What others users have created with their own images:

{Adaptation of Pinnacle Studio to new Studio versions by Le Papy with TechSmith Snagit 10 screenshots}

{Thanks to Loosecannon for the english fine tuning}

Associated Link(s)
Share/Save this article

Rini By # Rini @ Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:18 AM
Maybe a little bit easier:
I used this type of effect in one of my travel-movies. On this particulair holliday we arrived in Kenia without our luggage. And I started the movie with a sort of a newsflash on television.
I just took a picture from my television-set in my living-room and placed the (self-made) newsflash, with the help of pip, in the tv-screen.

Le Papy By # Le Papy @ Thursday, January 10, 2008 5:10 AM
Hello Rini,
Your comment is very interesting. This tutorial is intended only to germinate new ideas. Thank you for making your contribution.

Usman A. By # Usman A. @ Friday, January 18, 2008 7:37 PM
wah.. bagus banget, boleh dong diajarin pakai bahasa indonesia. soalnya saya tidak bisa bahasa inggris he he..

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Saturday, January 19, 2008 1:58 AM
Rini, I have included your movie into the tutorial, at the end, to show people what they could achieve using the same kind of trick, with their own images. Well done !!

Usman, we are sorry, but we are unable to translate the pages into indonesia language.


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