Adobe Premiere Pro: Multi-Matte Transition

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In the amount of time I have spent learning the art of editing, compositing and motion graphics, I have come up with a way to breakdown how certain effects and transitions are created. They are usually created with combination of the following: keyframes, mattes and/or filters. To put this theory to the test, I am going to show you how to create a transition that uses multiple mattes, keyframes and filters inside Premiere Pro. Let’s get started.

I have two clips in my timeline with a frame rate of 23.976 and the sequence is 720p. I’m going to make an edit at the end of the first clip for 12 frames and at the beginning of the second clip as well. If you are working with footage that is 30 or 60 fps, then you will want 15-30 frames from both of your clips so they equal one second.

Two Clips with Edits

Next, highlight your edits and nest them into a sequence.

Two Clips Nested

For the second clip in your nested sequence, apply the horizontal flip filter on it. We’ll be using the Basic 3D filter down the line and whenever you rotate a clip 180 degrees, it will face a different way. If you have the horizontal flip applied prior to the Basic 3D filter, this will offset it.

Horizontal Flip Filter

Horizontal Flip Applied

Let’s return to the main sequence. We will need a total of 8 video tracks to make this transition happen so let’s add a few more.

Main Sequence

To achieve this transition, I used a multi-layered Photoshop file, which I provided in 720p and 1080p. Import the file as individual layers when you bring it into Premiere Pro.

Import PSD as Individual Layers

Highlight your nested sequence. Go to the effects browser and type Track Matte. Apply the filter to the nest. Go back to the browser and type Basic 3D. Apply that to the nest as well.

Track Matte Key

Track Matte Applied

Basic 3D Filter

All Filters Applied

Place layer 1 from the Photoshop file on track 2. With the nested sequence selected, go to the effect controls panel. Set the matte option to Video 2. Set a keyframe for swivel at the beginning of your clip with a value of 0. Advance 12 frames forward and change the swivel to 90. Advance 9 frames forward and change the swivel to 180.

Layer 1 Track Matte

Layer 1 First Keyframe

Layer 1 Second Keyframe

Layer 1 Third Keyframe

To save time from reinventing the wheel, let’s highlight the nested sequence and layer 1. Hold down option and drag up to create a duplicate. Option drag layer 2 on top of layer 1 on track 4 to replace it. With your nest on track 3 selected, change the matte to Video 4. Move the first swivel keyframe 5 frames forward. Move the second swivel keyframe 1 frame forward and change the value to -90. Move the third swivel keyframe 1 frame forward and change the value to -180.

Layer 2 in Timeline

Layer 2 First Keyframe

Layer 2 Second Keyframe

Layer 2 Third Keyframe

Transition Progress 1

Let’s highlight the nest and layer on tracks 1 & 2 and option drag duplicates onto track 5 and 6. Option drag layer 3 onto the layer 1 duplicate to replace it. Next, change the matte on the track 5 nest to Video 6. Shift the first swivel keyframe 7 frames forward. Shift the second swivel keyframe 3 frames forward. Shift the third swivel keyframe 2 frames forward.

Layer 3 in Timeline

Layer 3 First Keyframe

Layer 3 Second Keyframe

Layer 3 Third Keyframe

Transition Progress 2

Let’s repeat the same steps I did above only this time highlight the nest and layer on tracks 3 & 4. Option drag duplicates onto tracks 7 and 8. Next, option drag layer 4 onto the layer 2 duplicate to replace it. Change the matte of the nest on track 7 to Video 8. Move the first swivel keyframe 2 frames forward. Move the second keyframe 1 frame back. Finally, move the third keyframe 1 frame forward.

Layer 4 in Timeline

Layer 4 First Keyframe

Layer 4 Second Keyframe

Layer 4 Third Keyframe

Transition Progress 3

If you did it right your final result should look something like this.

This transition was inspired by the MTransition 2 transition collection of MotionVFX. If you want a different shape than rectangles, you can create mattes in Photoshop to your liking. Third party plugins from Genarts and NewBlue FX tend to operate on these principles for most of their effects. It looks like this transition proved my earlier theory that most effects/transitions can be broken down into 3 essential elements: keyframes, mattes and/or filters. So the next time you see an effect you want to replicate, break it down with these parameters.

I’m the NLE Ninja with Audio Micro asking you to stay creative.

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Bringing a Background to life


With after effects, it’s common for people to get over complicated with a whole army of different effects and presets to choose from; but I find that it’s always best to keep things simple and organized for the best results. In this article, I’ll be showing you how to take a simple solid color, and bring it to life.

We’ll be using just 3 effects to accomplish this; A Ramp, CC particle world simulation and some camera Movement.

Start off by opening a new project with your preferred render settings. Create a solid and rename it ‘Background‘.

Go to the effects tab and create a ramp. Ramps and in particular radial ramps are great for adding depth to a solid. Pick white for the start color and drag the y coordinate so that it’s centered. For the second, pick a dark unsaturated color. I went for a dark grey, slightly cobalt. Stretch it out until you have a nice vignette.

Now, here’s the fun part where we create the particle world.

First of all, create 2 more solids (again a lighter color and a darker). Rename them particles 1 and 2. Set the opacity of each to 70%. We’ll start off with the lighter, and create CC particle world from the simulation tab in the effects panel. Make sure to scroll to about 2+ seconds on your timeline so you see the particles in motion. In the particle tab set the particle type to lens convex. Have the birth size at about 0.080 and the death size at 0.010. The max opacity should be 100%, as with the size variation. Have the birth rate and longevity both at 2. In the physics tab, use the same settings as the diagram, but you may want to change it a little bit afterwards. With the producer settings, play around with radius x and y so that you cover the whole screen and then add a little depth with radius z. Once you’re done with Particle 1, copy the Particle world to the 2nd layer. You’re going to want to take the max opacity down a bit, up radius z to give more depth and turn the velocity down to about 0.10. Move radius x and y about too, so that you have an even spacing between the other layer.



Darker Particle Settings

Finally, we’ll add some camera motion, to give a more cinematic feel. Create a camera in the layer tab at the top. Open up the transform tab under in the layer. Scrub to the end of the timeline and Click the timer icon to add a keyframe for position. Scrub to about 2 seconds through the composition and change x and y so that you have a 3D perception of the particles; drag the keyframe to the start afterwards. Lastly, highlight all keyframes by clicking them while holding CTRL and then press F9 to add the easy ease keyframe assistant. This gives it a more realistic smoothness.

You’re done! That concludes this article on how to bring a background to life; I hope you’ve enjoyed it and took something away. The next article will be on animating text into a composition.

Until next time, Peace, Love and AfterEffects.

Sound Effects

10 Free After Effects Templates

10 Free After Effects Templates

After Effects is a wonderful program for creating high quality motion graphics for your projects. However, sometimes we all could use a little guidance when creating beautiful motion graphics. These 10 Free After Effects templates are perfect for getting you started on creating some stunning graphics for your projects. Whether an advertisement, movie trailer,or video intro, this set of 10 free After Effects templates will get you started in the right direction.  Here are my top 10 favorite free After Effects templates.

1. Free slide – Adobe After Effects Template

Beautiful slide show type After Effects template for your creative projects. Available exclusively at

2. The Peoples Template (not related to The Rock)

The People’s Template is a vibrant and unique project file that can be incorporated in a variety of applications. It however, doesn’t not guarantee you will be “The most electrifying” or able to do the People’s Elbow. Nonetheless this is a great template, almos as great as “The Great One” himself, The Rock.

3. Tron Project

Andrew Kramer is back with a beautiful Tron inspired intro tutorial for Adobe After Effects. Check out this tutorial with the free project file.

4. Trailer Title 2.0

If you’ve always wanted an epic cinematic type introduction for your next project, Trailer Title 2.0 seals the deal.

5. Eternal Intro

Eternal is a free After Effects template that looks well…eternal and eternally beautiful. Check it out!

6. Inner City

Looking for that inner city  vibe? Are you feeling that Brooklyn style? Inner city is exactly what the name suggests. Perfect for that urban mood.

7. Flow Reveal

Flowy, beautiful, and revealing (in a good way). This template reveals some beautiful kinetic type text.

Free After Effects Project : Flow Reveal from uniquefx on Vimeo.

8. Descent

Descend into oblivion with this beautiful After Effects template and project file.

9. Rustie – After Light

Feeling a little “rustie” ? This after light looks stunning for any project you can think of. Try it out for free!

10. Presented By Intro Template

Presented by is simple and straight to the point. A template to give credit to all those who are important in your production.

That’s all for this roundup of 10 Free After Effects Templates. Stay tuned for more top 5 or top 10 lists here on AudioMicro. Let me know what your favorite templates are for After Effects in the comments below.

Additionally you can tweet me Christian Hermida @Chermida on Twitter.

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Adobe Premiere Pro: Filmstrip Animation and More

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One of the many animations I enjoy creating are moving filmstrips. I’ve found many uses for this animation over the last few years across various projects. Learning how to create this in Final Cut Pro 7, I’ve been able to adapt the same concepts over to Premiere Pro. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a moving filmstrip animation with a title you can customize for later use. I’ve provided a video tutorial for visual reference in case you want to see my result. Let’s get started.

I’m working in a 720p sequence but these techniques will also work in a 1080p sequence but values will vary. I have a color matte in my timeline that is scaled to 100 percent. Let’s bring the scale down to about 23 percent. Next, I’ll enable title safe and position the color matte on the action safe line.

Color Matte at 100

Color Matte at 23

Color Matte on Action Safe

Now, that we have the color matte in place we can begin animating it. With the playhead at the beginning of your timeline, set a keyframe for position. Move the matte off-screen to the left. Jump ahead 4 seconds and move the matte off-screen to the right. You should have a scrolling animation of your matte moving from left to right.

1st Animation Keyframe Top

2nd Animation Keyframe Top

To turn this into a filmstrip animation, all we have to do is duplicate the color matte. Let’s duplicate this about 9 times so that we have 10 mattes on 10 tracks.

Top Matte Duplicated 9x

Next, let’s offset the mattes on tracks 2-10 by 20 frames. I will select those mattes and type +20 to move them 20 frames forward. Then, I will deselect the clip on track 2 and type +20 to move the mattes 20 frames forward. I will repeat this technique until all of the mattes are offset by 20 frames each.

Top Matte Offset 20 frames

We now have our mattes flowing from left to right in a filmstrip animation. I will create another filmstrip on the bottom of the screen on the action safe line but have this moving from right to left by following these exact same steps.

Bottom Matte Intro

1st Animation Keyframe Bottom

2nd Animation Keyframe Bottom

Bottom Matte Anime

Both Mattes Duplicated 9x

Now that we have our color matte filmstrips, I can replace the mattes with footage. To do this quickly, I will option drag some stock footage on each matte. You should get something that looks like this. After you’ve done that, nest each group of clips into 2 separate sequences.

Mattes Replaced

Mattes Nested

Both Filmstrips Together

Let’s add some finishing touches to this animation. Right now, we have no background to compliment these moving filmstrips. You can go about it a few ways in terms of backgrounds. You can create one from scratch using any available filters or import a stock motion background. I will go with option 2 and use a stock motion background.

BG Added

BG Added in Canvas

Last but not least, let’s add a title from the title tool to finish it off. The title can say anything you want it to say. Before you know it, you have an animation that can be used for an intro, interstitial or whatever you can think. Sky is the limit.

Title Tool

Final Composition Timeline

Final Composition

You can take this animation further by rotating the filmstrips or have them coming across vertically. So the next time you need a simple animation done, try this out. If you are a Mac user, Coremelt offers a plug-in in their Coremelt Complete set called Image Filmstrip that does this animation and more.
I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.

Sound Effects


Adobe Premiere Pro Quicktip: Matte Remover Presets

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One of the things about using motion graphic elements is their ability to drastically change the appearance of your footage. For example, I can have a clip of a woman break dancing in a studio, which is a good piece of stock footage. If I were to drop a motion graphic clip of blinking lens flares or perhaps an abstract grunge clip vignette, it would definitely spice things up a bit. Now, some of these motion graphic clips may come with transparency and some may not. That’s not to say it’s any better or worse to have either but should you need to remove a black or white background from your mo-graph clip and a blend mode is not enough, here’s a solution. I will show you how to create 2 presets you can use for removing either a black or white background efficiently. Below is quick voiceless video tutorial demonstrating what steps were taken.

Matte Remover Presets

In order to create this preset, I will use two motion graphic clips, one with a black background and one with a white background. I have 2 items from Rampant Media Design. I will use a transition from their Flash FX collection and a clip from their Grunge FX collection. In my timeline, I have a Flash FX transition on top of 2 video clips. This transition has a black background throughout its animation – because of this, we don’t see any of the video clips underneath. Let’s remedy that.

Clips in Timeline

Flash FX with Black BG

I will show how to create a Matte Remover Black preset. Go to the Effects browser and type in Set Matte. Let’s apply the filter to the transition. Change Use for Matte from Alpha Channel to Luminance. Leave everything else alone. Next, go back to the Effects browser and type Remove Matte. Apply the filter to the transition and make sure the Matte Type is set to Black. Now, if we play our timeline around the transition occurring you’ll see that it no longer has its black background.

Set Matte Filter

Set Matte Applied

Remove Matte Filter

Remove Matte Applied

Matte Remover Black Applied

This same process can be used for white backgrounds as well. In my timeline, I have a Grunge FX clip over some dancer footage. Right now, you can’t see anything because of the white background and black grunge texture. Let’s take out the white background by creating our Matte Remover White preset.

Grunge FX with White BG

To eliminate the white background, all I have to do is apply the Set Matte and Remove Matte filters on this clip. Use the same settings for the Set Matte filter like before except click on the Invert Matte checkbox. For Remove Matte, change the Matte Type to White. Now, all you will see from the clip are the black grunge patterns.

Select Both Filters White

Matte Remover White Applied

To turn these effects into presets for future use, all you have to do is follow these steps. First, highlight the Set Matte and Remove Matte filters in the Effect Controls panel. Right click on either filter and select Save Preset. Name the preset to whatever you choose. For this example, I will name it Matte Remover Black and then hit OK. Repeat these steps for the Grunge FX clip and call that preset Matte Remover White. Now, whenever you have motion graphic clips that don’t have built-in transparency, you can use these presets to take care of that.

Select Both Filters Black

Right Click Filters Black

Save Preset Matte Remover Black

Select Both Filters White

Right Click Filters White

Save Preset Matte Remover White

Matte Removers in Preset Folder

I’m the NLE Ninja with Audio Micro asking you stay creative.

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