remember sitting in an edit bay with a client paying $300+ an
hour trying to design an opening title sequence for a sports
show with multiple layers of video in boxes flying around the
screen. At that time in the development of digital video all
we had was an ADO or Abekas A-53 DVE, an Abekas DDR and some
D2 machines. Ten hours later we might have had something acceptable,
but since each layer was married to to the previous layer, if
we wanted to go back and make a change we would have to start
all over. Now I can use an incredible
software package from Synergy called Hollywood
FX to create high end, high quality 3D effects in 1/4 of
the time right on my Desktop Computer!
FX is an incredible library of true 3D transitions and effects
for video, film, multimedia and the web. Hollywood FX Bronze
is the entry level version with over 50 transitions with control
over lighting , shadows, motion blur, object shine, luminosity,
transparency, cropping, rotation, and object trails. Bronze
is a plug in-in for both Windows 95/98/NT and Mac and supports
leading NLE editing and effects packages Premiere, After Affects,
Speed Razor, and Ulead Media Studio Pro. Hollywood FX Silver
is a more robust version with over 100 3D effects and supports
a wider range of high end host applications including Avid MediaComposer,
Avid Express, Avid MCXpress, Fast Video Machine Plus, Media
100, Premiere, Media Studio Pro 2.5 and 5+. In addition Silver
provides more flexible motion blur, transition period, and most
importantly has the Path Editor and Envelope Editor which allow
much more customization of each effect. It can also be used
as a filter and all effects are keyframeable.
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beauty of Hollywood FX is the simplicity of its interface. In
Premiere, for example, select Hollywood FX from the transitions
window, drag the icon to the transition timeline, double click
and you have a series of animated icons showing the effects,
and a drop down window with all of the other available effects.
See Figure 1 & 2
the example below I've picked the Flyoff effect and the preview
of the input sources ( source 1= Video 1A, source 2=B )
Notice the transparent
shadow. Shadow transparency and lighting are totally adjustable.
you can see from Figure 3 there a number of choices of effects
and transitions available in the drop down menu and all you
have to do is select the category of effect that you want and
the visual menu opens. If you look in the FX group window you
will see a category called "Club". These are add on
effects that can be purchased at anytime from Club
Hollywood which you can join for free, usually when you
register the product. The prices of these effects average about
$10 and the list is constantly being updated. You can preview
all the effects on the website to decide which ones you might
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Some of the Club Hollywood effects.
Notice the shadow and shine on the scroll effect.
Hollywood FX has all of the cool page turns, wipes, and picture
in picture effects that you might expect, what makes this software
really unique is the " MultiWindow Effects " the are
part of the package. Instead of transitions they are windows
of video that can fly on or off the screen into various positions.
Any video source or bitmap image can be "mapped" onto
any surface and by using the path editor can be positioned and
moved anywhere on the screen. Below the 5
input effect shows 2 video input sources and 3 proxy sources
that are waiting for video to be mapped.
Here I have mapped all the video sources except #3. In the example
on the right source 5, the background image is mapped from a
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Here we can select each source individual and totally
customize its path during the effect. Positions can be entered
manually or simply drag the wireframe to whatever position you
desire. Keyframes can be applied and x,y,and z axis can be modified
independently. Once an effect has been modified it can be saved
as its own unique effect for recall later.
Here are 2 seemingly identical clips
except that Version 1 has been modified with the Path Editor.
Notice how the first image movies back to reveal the other images
and the last image flies forward to fill the screen. Version
2 is the default effect and without modifying the path of the
first and last shot there is a hard cut to the first video and
from the last video when the effect is rendered as a transition.
This menu shows the controls for lighting direction
and shadow density. The E next to each control accesses
the Envelope Editor which is similar to Path Editor put allows
us to add keyframes shadow transparency, reflection/shine, and
also to image Blur. The yellow area shows the manual preview
With this menu we can control Image transparency.The
vertical graph represents the amount of transparency applied
to a video source from 0-100%. The horizontal graph represents
the timeline of the effect. Different levels of transparency
can be applied along the path. This effect is shown in the middle
of its path with 47% transparency applied. As it progress along
the path the object will change to a none transparent object.
Hollywood FX uses Open GL, the standard in high performance
graphics. It also supports multiple processors for faster rendering.
A real time package, Platinum, will be available soon. Check
the Hollywood FX website
for more information.
more information on Hollywood FX, visit their website by clicking
Check out my website at www.rhkuw.com
for more cool videos or email me at [email protected]
for further information.