I’ve always believed that with experimentation, you can discover hidden possibilities within your NLE or compositing program. This especially holds up with experimenting in Premiere. It may not possess the depth of FCPX & Motion 5 workflow, but if you tinker with the native or third party filters enough, you can create some great results. That is what the purpose of the NLE Ninja is – to show users how to push NLE software to do things you might normally turn to Motion or After Effects to do. I’ve found this especially true with experimenting with the lens flare filter and Creative Impatience’s Simple Mask filter. The lens flare filter is among one of the most overused filters in After Effects and I can see why. With some experimental tinkering, you can create some incredible effects and transitions. The free Simple Mask filter from Creative Impatience has been a godsend for some of the compositing work I’ve done in Premiere. What used to require a Color Matte or a solid from the title tool with the Track Matte Key, I can now accomplish using a duplicated layer and multiple instances of the Simple Mask plugin. In this article, I will show you how to create pulsating flares using the Lens Flare filter and dual magnified bars using the Simple Mask plugin to create an interesting composite effect. Below is an example of what the final result will look like.
Before you proceed, make sure you download and install the Simple Mask plugin onto your computer by going here.
In the video tutorial above, I use a black video layer to place 2 lens flares above my video clip. I then position them at separate corners of the screen and proceed to keyframe the brightness of each flare over time. I randomize the brightness so that the pulsating patterns offset one another. Next, I changed the composite mode to Add to get rid of the black background. To get the magnify look, I duplicated the video layer on track 1 onto track 2. I scaled up the video on track 2 and apply the Simple Mask plugin. Then, I created a thin bar with the height extending past the dimensions of the video itself. I proceeded to animate the mask across the screen from left to right. I copied the filter and change the composite mode parameter in the Mask filter to add to have 2 instances. I reversed the keyframes so it animates right to left. I added 2 instances of drop shadow with the angles set to 90 and -90 respectively so that the drop shadow appears at the edge of each bar equally. The end result is that you have 2 effects which work fine alone but together create something much more interesting and visually stimulating.
I have plans for future articles and effects which can utilize the Simple Mask plugin as well as other native filters in Premiere to create complex effects like this. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.