one I demonstrated how you can use DigiEffects Cinemotion
to create the illusion of a film to tape transfer. In part two
I will be using DigiEffects Aurorix 2 AVX in the Avid Xpress
system to add some final enhancements to our alien autopsy.
I will also give some quick tips on how to create an interesting
title effect using this plugin.
Ive installed lots of programs, plugins, add-ons, etc.
50% of the time everything goes off without a hitch, the other
50% of the time Im cursing and fuming at the system trying
to get the new product to work correctly. It seems DigiEffects
has perfected the concept of easy installing plugins. Point,
click, install, open your application and use the plugin
simple. DigiEffects has begun to tailor their plugins to integrate
with Avid systems AVX plugin standard. Aurorix 2 AVX will run
on any MacOS Avid system that supports AVX plugins (this plugin
was tested on the latest release of the Avid Xpress). The nice
thing about AVX is it allows you to continue your work in the
Avid environment without having to export your footage to another
application to apply special effects.
This collection of 26 effects is a great tool for enhancing
your image or doing effects not possible in a "generic"
Avid system. The largest collection of effects is the Texture
Generation effects that can be used to create some very nice
moving backgrounds. The collection also comes with distortion
effects (warps, bulges, whirling images), pattern generation
effects (allowing you to tile your images), lighting simulation
effects (spotlights, 3D lighting, and zooming effects), and
probably the most popular effects in the package, the media
simulation effects. I will be using the AgedFilm effect to grunge
up our alien autopsy footage.
After completing part one, we need to import the enhanced QuickTime
movie back into the Avid system. Import the footage to the correct
bin and insert the clip in the timeline. In this example, the
12 second clip is inserted on video track one. There is no audio
with the clip, so we will assume that when the footage was shot,
the "scientists" decided to shoot MOS. Open the Effects
Palette, choose Aurorix 2/AgedFilm as the effect type, and drag
the effect onto the autopsy clip. There will be a slight delay
as the effect updates itself, but more on that in a bit.
Open the Effects Editor so adjustments can be made to make
the footage look like it has been sitting on a shelf for 50
I used the following settings for this particular piece:
Grain Amount 10
A small grain size will enhance the illusion of older film
and look better on a video monitor than a large grain amount.
Dust Size 21
This controls the size of the dust particles that appear randomly
on the screen.
Dust Amount 15
Dust Color H: 0, S: 0, V: 50%
Hair Size 3
Hair Amount 29
Hair Color H: 0, S: 0, V: 30%
Scratch Amount 8
This will determine how scratched the film is. The higher the
number the more scratches will appear on the film. In this case,
I chose a low number because this film probably hasnt
been viewed that many times, and the original camera that shot
the autopsy was probably a typical government issue device with
defects of its own.
Scratch Velocity 20
Scratch Lifespan 45
The scratch lifespan determines how long the scratch will last
on screen before it disappears.
Scratch Opacity 30
Frame Jitter Max Offset 3
Frame Jitter Probability 5
Frame Jitter Maximum Offset determines how far the frame is
allowed to jump when it slips a sprocket hole, while the Jitter
Probability determines how often the jump could occur. I used
low numbers for each of these.
Convert to gray ON
Grey value H: 0, S: 0, V: 75%
The Convert to gray and Gray value settings are what make the
video look like the colors have faded or aged over time. Interesting
effects can be achieved by this setting alone. To get a nice
sepiatone look, adjust the RGB to a nice sepia color. Try a
light, greenish yellow for a 70s home movie feel, or a
dark blue for a night scene from a 1950s horror/sci-fi
movie. For this example, I chose a light gray color for our
black and white film.
Flicker Speed 0
Flicker Amount 0
Random Seed 99
The render time for this effect was as expected. For this 12
second clip it took about 20 minutes to render. While that may
seem like a reasonable amount of time, if you were going to
apply the effect to a whole project, the render time might be
prohibitive. If the effect were applied to a three minute segment,
it would take around five hours to render. Movie 1 shows the
results of applying AgedFilm to the project.
All of the effects that come with Aurorix 2 AVX are keyframeable,
so you can animate effects over time. I was able use AgedFilm,
in a recent historical recreation animation, to make the footage
look like it was shot years ago, but then slowly blended out
the effect to create an interesting transition to present day.
Lets use Aurorix 2 AVX to create some other interesting
effects and turn our alien autopsy footage into a promo for
Hoaxs Revealed 2.
I created a title on a black background with white letters
and placed it in the timeline. Because titles are created with
both a graphic fill and an alpha channel, you will need to expand
the timeline and place the effect in the graphic fill section.
To save time, you might want to create your title in a separate
graphics program and import it into your project. Apply the
LightZoom effect to the title graphic. This plugin can create
the illusion that the graphic is zooming into view, or that
light is pouring from the title. On the first keyframe, set
the light zoom to 50 and the brightness to 25. On the last keyframe
set the light zoom to 0 and the brightness to 15. If you like,
you can experiment with moving the light source around the screen
to achieve different results.
While this is a very cool effect, screen updates and rendering
are tremendously long. So long that you may think your system
has crashed. The render time for a simple 10 second effect was
4 hours! If there was one bad thing to say about the plugin
it would be this particular effects update times. This is not
just in the AVX version of the plugin. An acquaintance of mine
recently purchased Aurorix 2 and mentioned to me that LightZoom
had slow update times in After Effects on his system. If you
can not live with the slow update and render times of this particular
effect, you might want to look into getting an accelerator card
for your system.
While you are waiting for this effect to render you might want
to find something else to do. Go out for a nice walk, maybe
see a movie, drink a cup of coffee, or listen to your boss tell
you that while you are a valuable contribution to the organization,
budget restrictions are preventing you from getting that raise
for a third year in a row.
Movie 2 shows our final alien autopsy promo.
There we have it. Our own cheesy alien autopsy footage waiting
for network executives to snatch up and air on their next special.