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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:34 PM   #1
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FCP: 60s-style multi-image on black effect

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on the best way to do the 60s-style effect of putting multiple still images + footage on the screen simultaneously. In fact, there's a bit more to it...what I plan to do is:

1. The screen opens black
2. On the cue of the music, the first image or footage appears in the lower right quadrant of the screen.
3. On the next beat of the music, the second image or footage appears in the lower left quadrant of the screen. Meanwhile, the first image is slowly fading to black.
4. On the third beat, the third image or footage appears, in the upper left quadrant. The second image is starting to fade, while the first image is almost faded to black.
5. On the fourth beat, the fourth image or footage appears in the upper right quadrant while the third, second, images are fading, and the first has faded away.
6. The fourth quadrant doesn't fade and it starts to grow outward down to the lower left corner until it fills the screen entirely.
7. During all of this, the quadrants are separated by a black gutter of about 20 pixels.

Am I thinking right that the best way to do this will be to put each image or footage on a different layer, and to layer above each four simple TIF files, each with one more quadrant cut out (to apply a color key to to mask), and then simply apply the fade out to each clip under "opacity"?

The thing I'm having trouble with is the cropping aspect. Since the images and footage will have to be cropped differently to fit correctly in a quadrant, I'm not quite sure the best way to do this. With my method above, if any of the images or footage overlap, you'll see it as each quadrant is exposed and as they fade.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #2
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After effects with it's incredibly precise method of controlling position and ease in/out is something to consider. Depending on your exposure to nle environments, you will find a whole new level of keyframing and image manipulation.

http://www.designertoday.com/tabinde...opDefault.aspx
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Old March 24th, 2005, 10:32 AM   #3
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I've tried doing this in FCP-you can do it, but it takes a lot of time (and "creative thinking"). I recently did something like this in Motion in about 10 minutes (I am familiar with the program). If you can use FCP, Motion is a quick learn.

The only problem with Motion is that its not designed to work with long clips (I dont like doing work in it over 30 seconds), but it sure is cheaper than AE!
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Old March 24th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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It's really easy in FCP. Place the 4 clips on different layers, "Scale" each clip and position it where you want it to run. Then you can just keyframe in the fades using the opacity channel.
Let's say the first 3 clips are 30 seconds and they remain on screen for 25 seconds with a 5 second fade to black. Nudge the second clip over in the timeline to begin maybe 20 seconds after the first begins, this will have 2 clips on screen with one opening as the second is closing. Or you could arrange it however you want. The tricks are all available on the "Motion" tab of the clip. Drop the clip in the timeline, double-click it to open it in the "viewer", click on the "motion" tab and you will see a bunch of categories to adjust the properties of the clip, all of which can be independently keyframed. For what you are describing you would use "Scale", "Opacity" and "Center" (which is the center of the clip). If you look at the "Canvas" or "Viewer" there is a small box at the top of the window with a little square in it, use this drop-down menu to select "image+wireframe" and then you can just drag the clips freely and position it however you want (to get the 20px border).
If there is nothing under a layer of video, it will be black so you don't need a "TIF" file as a background. If it makes you "feel" better you can drop in a "Slug" which is found in the "effects" panel under "video generators" and is just a black... slug I guess. When you get to the last video clip, just keyframe the increase in scale until it is 100%. You could do this with 2 keyframes, one at let's say 01:20:00 which is 23% scale and another at 01:25:00 which is 100%. This will have the clip scale from 23% to 100% over 5 seconds, Then use 2 keyframes in the same places to run the position moving it from the upper right corner to the center of the screen. When you're finished the timeline should look something like this; (sorry for the crude drawing)

5 ----------------------------------------------------------["Video Upper Right" ->scale up and play on>>>>>>>>
4 ---------------------------------------["Video Upper Left"]--------------------------
3 --------------------["Video Lower Left"]---------------------------------------------
2["Video Lower Right"]----------------------------------------------------------------
1["Slug">>>>"Slug">>>>"Slug">>>>"Slug">>>>"Slug">>>>"Slug"]

(the "-------" refers to an empty timeline)

Of course you can use whatever timing you choose, the keyframes are obviously frame independent so if you wanted it to be a 4 frame transition you could do it. I hope this is what you wanted to know and that I didn't somehow totally miss the concept.

Good Luck!
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Old March 24th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input, guys. I'd love to play with Motion and After Effects, but just no time right now. I've got to deliver this thing first thing tomorrow morning for a showing at a seminar.

Rhett, you've pretty much described the method I've started doing already. I had to come up with something quickly so I experimented last night into the wee hours. My version is a bit different... first I've created a PSD file that consists of a "crosshair" black gutter that splits the screen into quadrants, then four layers of black panels for each quadrant (I have to use panels since often as they fade from black to the image, two or more panels are one continuous image that is panning and zooming simultaneously). That's all been easy to animate and to fade in/fade out each panel in sync with the soundtrack. I'm in the process now of adding the content into each panel, and I've also had no problem resizing each clip and making the fade ins and outs as you said, Rhett. But now I have the tedious task of masking every single image (four per screen) to get rid of the overlaps [I can't just resize up to fit a quadrant since the image needs to be positioned properly, therefore masking is needed.

This is turning into a whopper...four tracks for masks, four tracks for images, and a five layer PSD that requires special animation--for EACH screen.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 01:14 PM   #6
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UPDATE: Just found a couple of great tutorials on KenStone.net which will simply the whole process. Bless his hide.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 04:47 AM   #7
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If anyone's interested in seeing how it turned out, I'd appreciate any feedback. It's a 40MB Quicktime movie. This is the short version.

http://sursummedia.com/demos/lucicenter.mov

Update: Moved to http://sursummedia.com/. Look for the "LUCI Center" article.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #8
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John, that was a beautiful piece. Thanks for making it available to us all.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 03:19 PM   #9
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Very nice piece, glad you got it all worked out. Thanks for posting it up for us.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 03:23 PM   #10
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Thanks, Chris and Rett! I was a bit worried that all the constant movement would be annoying to some. I'm relieved you like it. :)
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Old March 29th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #11
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I'd like to see this but it's taking an incredibly long time to download... even on my broadband connection.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 08:48 PM   #12
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Hey David,

How goes it? I heard you guys had a reunion the other day... without me!

Just go to my SursumMedia.com site now. You'll see it there with several options for viewing it.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #13
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Well gitcher gluteous maximus on over here and we'll have another hoe down!

I saw the site, lookin' good by the way, and saw my options but each one still takes a long time to download. Something like 4 minutes for 1K... something must be wrong with my connection.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 09:04 PM   #14
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Might be my server, too. Try again later... I've been able to view the .wmv and .mov files within about 10 seconds usually.

A Japanese hoe down? Let's see... sake and grits, I guess.

I'll get back over there one of these days. iChat me sometime.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #15
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John,

Looks great. Why not post a step by step so people can learn? There are probably several ways to do this, why not tell us what you learned?
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