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Using Photoshop and After Effects to Enhance Your Video Projects

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Classroom in a Book explores the unique integration between Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop and After Effects for powerful and timesaving techniques.

Importing Adobe Photoshop files as sequences

Making the move to Photoshop means joining forces with just about every image-editing professional on the planet. It’s that ubiquitous. Photoshop is the professional image-editing standard.

Photoshop has some strong ties to Adobe Premiere Pro and the entire DV production process:

  • Editing in Adobe Photoshop: Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) any Adobe Photoshop graphic in Adobe Premiere Pro—in either the Timeline or the Project panel—and choose Edit in Adobe Photoshop (or Edit Original). This launches Adobe Photoshop and lets you immediately edit the graphic. Once saved within Adobe Photoshop, the new version of the graphic appears in Adobe Premiere Pro.

  • Exporting a filmstrip: This feature is specifically designed to export a sequential collection of video frames for editing in Adobe Photoshop. You open the filmstrip in Adobe Photoshop and paint directly on the clips—a process called rotoscoping.

  • Creating mattes: Export a video frame to Adobe Photoshop to create a matte that will mask or highlight certain areas of that clip or other clips.

  • Cutting objects out of a scene: Adobe Photoshop has several tools that work like a cookie cutter. You can remove an object and use it as an icon, make it into a button in a DVD menu, or animate it over a clip.

  • Importing PSD files: You can natively import Adobe Photoshop PSD files with video, blend modes, and layers.

You looked briefly at importing Adobe Photoshop CS5 files as footage in Lesson 3. In this exercise, you will take a closer look at importing a layered Photoshop file into Adobe Premiere Pro as a sequence.

  1. Open Lesson 19-1.prproj. Notice there is a bin in the Project panel named Finished. Expand the Finished bin, and open the Finished sequence if it’s not already open.
  2. Play the Finished sequence, and notice that the title at the bottom of the screen is animated in layers.

    Titles appearing at the bottom of the frame like this are often referred to as lower thirds. The lower-third graphic is a nested sequence called finished lower third. In the following steps, you are going to open that sequence to see how it was made and then re-create it.

  3. Inside the Finished bin is another bin named Finished Lower Third. From that bin, open the “finished lower third” sequence.

    This sequence is built from a Photoshop image that has three layers.

  4. Move the current-time indicator to about two seconds into the sequence. Toggle the track output off for each video track (click the eye icon), and then toggle them back on to see the contents of each track. Examine the Motion settings of each clip, and notice that the Motion effect was used to animate each clip to achieve an interesting appearance.

    You will now re-create this lower third by importing the Photoshop graphic into a new sequence.

  5. Collapse the Finished bin in the Project panel so you are back at the root level of the bins.
  6. Import lower third.psd from the Lesson 19 folder. When prompted, choose to import as a sequence rather than as layers, and click OK.
  7. Expand the new “lower third” bin that has been added to the Project panel. This bin contains three clips that constitute the three-layered Photoshop file. It also contains a “lower third” sequence that has the three layers assembled in the same layered order as they were in Photoshop.
  8. Open the lower third sequence by double-clicking it in the Project panel, and press the backslash (\) key to expand the view in the Timeline.

Re-creating the lower-third animation

The next step is to re-create the lower third animation. Here’s how:

  1. Select the Lower Third bg/lower third clip, and open the Effect Controls panel.
  2. Expand the Motion fixed effect, and then position the current-time indicator at about one second into the clip.
  3. Enable keyframes for the Position parameter by clicking the stopwatch. This places a keyframe at the position of the current-time indicator. Change the Position value to –360, 240. This adds a keyframe at this position. Next, move the current-time indicator ten frames, and change the Position value to 360, 240.
  4. Play the sequence to verify that the lower third background slides from the left side to the center over the first second of the clip. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the second keyframe, and set Temporal Interpolation to Ease In. Play the sequence again, and notice what a nice touch the Ease In setting has on the animation.
  5. Expand the Opacity effect, and notice that Opacity is set to 70%. This Opacity value was set in Photoshop and is imported correctly in Adobe Premiere Pro.
  6. Select the film reel/lower third clip, and expand the Motion fixed effect in the Effect Controls panel. Set a Position keyframe just after one second, at about 00;00;01;10. Change the Position value to –360, 240. Set another keyframe at 00;00;01;20 by changing the value of this position keyframe to 360, 240. This will animate the logo off the left side of the frame at the beginning of the clip.
  7. Play the sequence. You can adjust the speed the logo travels by moving the second keyframe farther from or closer to the first keyframe. Experiment with this until you have the speed you desire. Also set the Ease In option on the second keyframe as you did on the background clip motion.
  8. The text of the lower third should follow the logo so you can copy the logo’s animation and paste it in the text clip. Select the Logo/lower-third clip, click Motion, and choose Edit > Copy.
  9. Select the Behind the Scene/lower third clip, click a blank area inside the Video Effects panel, and choose Edit > Paste.

    The animation of the sequence is complete. The only step left is to superimpose this lower third over the interview clip.

  10. Create a new DV – NTSC Widecreen 48 kHz sequence by choosing File > New Sequence. Name it Practice.
  11. Drag the Behind_the_Scenes_SD.avi clip to the Video 1 track of the Timeline, and press the backslash (\) key to expand the view in the Timeline.
  12. Drag the lower third sequence you just animated to the Video 2 track above the writers 1 clip. Adjust the position of the lower third so it starts about one second after the interview clip starts.
  13. To polish it all off, drop a Cross Dissolve transition on the end of the lower third sequence clip.

    The lower third animation sequence references the original Photoshop file. So if you change the original Photoshop file, the changes will ripple through any instances where it was used in Adobe Premiere Pro. For example, you might open the lower third.psd file in Photoshop and change the background or text color. When you save the Photoshop file, the changes will immediately be reflected wherever that file was used in Adobe Premiere Pro.

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