Editing image clip properties
The Toolbox Ø Modify Clip Properties menu command opens a version of the Clip properties tool appropriate for the type of the currently-selected clip. The topmost tool icon in the video toolbox can also be used.
With bitmapped images, including ordinary photos and image files, and with disc menus, double-click the clip for a third way to access the tool. Double-clicking a title, however, opens it directly into the appropriate title editor instead.
All versions of the Clip properties tool allow you to set the duration and name of the current clip, as follows:
· To set the length of time the still image is displayed, change the value in the Duration counter.
· The Name text field lets you assign a custom name to the clip to replace the default one assigned by Studio. Clip names are used by the Movie Window’s Text view, and can also be viewed on the fly-by labels that appear when your mouse hovers over clips in the Storyboard view.
The Clip properties tool for editing bitmapped images allows you to perform several important image-processing tasks:
· Zoom in on your pictures and photos in order to crop away unneeded material and focus on only the essential part of the image;
· Rotate the image in 90-degree increments to permit the use of photos taken in “portrait” mode;
· Remove the “red-eye” effect that can occur when the subject of a photograph looks directly into the camera when the flash goes off;
· In Studio Ultimate, put together “pan-and-zoom” animations in which a high-resolution image is viewed as a succession of smoothly-connected close-ups at various degrees of magnification. This technique is closely associated with the well-known documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
The Clip properties tool for photos has pan-and-zoom controls for focusing on an area of interest. In Studio Ultimate, pan-and-zoom can be animated to create the effect of traversing the image from one focus to another. Animated pan-and-zoom can be obtained in other versions by upgrading to Studio Ultimate.
If an image needs rotating by 90 degrees to bring it into “landscape” mode (wider than high), start by clicking one of the image rotation buttons. If needed, click the button more than once until the clip is properly oriented.
If you want to reframe the image, click directly on the tool’s preview window and, while holding the left mouse-button down, drag the image in any direction until it is properly positioned. Release the button to complete the operation. Next, use the Zoom slider to magnify or reduce the image size as desired. Adjust the position and magnification with these controls until the image is cropped and framed to your satisfaction.
The Reset button removes all your position and zoom changes, restoring the original framing of the image.
The red-eye reduction feature helps restore a natural appearance to photos in which the subject’s eyes are tinged with red. (This problem is caused by light from the flash unit bouncing off the retina of the eye when the subject is looking directly into the camera.)
To activate red-eye reduction, click the left button in the red eye group. The button stays down when clicked. Now click the image preview with the left mouse-button above and to the left of the area in which red-eye reduction should be applied. While holding the button down, drag down and to the right until the area is fully enclosed. When you release the mouse-button, the red-eye reduction effect is instantly applied within the rectangle you have outlined.
It is usually not necessary to be highly precise when marking out the red-eye reduction area. In fact, a larger rectangle may even yield a better result than a smaller one that encloses the eyes and no more. If the red-eye reduction does not clear up the problem entirely on the first attempt, try again with a different rectangle size.
Studio’s red-eye reduction algorithm provides excellent results with a wide variety of photos. However, some photos are better-suited to the process than others.
To remove red-eye reduction once applied, click the right-hand button in the red eye group.
Animating Pan-and-zoom in Studio Ultimate
If you own Studio Ultimate, or purchase an activation key by clicking the activate button on the pan-and-zoom controls, you can create effective animations from your photos and graphic images. Use the highest-resolution images available with this technique, since they allow greater magnification levels before there is perceptible loss of quality.
Start creating a pan-and-zoom animation by clicking the Animate from start to end checkbox to activate the animation feature for the current clip. This enables the Set start
and Set end radio buttons, with Set start initially selected. Use the pan-and-zoom controls to set the framing you want to see at the start of the clip. Finally, click the Set end button, then use the controls to set up the framing you want for the end of the clip.
When the clip is played back, Studio will generate the intervening frames to connect your start and end views in a smooth animation.
The procedure above describes the simplest form of pan-and-zoom animation. Effective uses include:
· Moving from a full-frame photograph to a detail view of a person or thing somewhere in the image. This gives a similar result to zooming in while shooting video. This might be used to prepare the viewer for a sequence of shots exploring the same close-up subject in multiple views, or providing further close-ups of different parts of the same scene.
· Moving out from a detail to the full-frame view, as though zooming out with the video camera. In the above scenario, this returns the viewer to the original context, perhaps closing a chapter or episode within your movie.
· Panning across a wide scene to absorb its details one by one. This technique can be used to impart a sense of discovery when a dramatic or humorous detail finally comes into view.
Complex pan-and-zoom animations
When you apply pan-and-zoom to a number of copies of the same image in succession, it is as though you are taking your viewer on a guided tour. In effect you are telling a story, one that gradually unfolds as you draw attention to one detail after another.
Story-telling may be difficult or not, but implementing your story in Studio is very simple. Once you have set up the first clip, with the first pan-and-zoom “camera move”, simply copy it as often as necessary, and change the end setting for each clip.
You almost always want the start framing of a new clip in the sequence to match the end framing of the previous clip, in order that the sequence of moves will be smoothly connected. On the second clip, and all those that follow, click the Match previous clip button wherever you want continuity.
In order to allow the movie to dwell on each detail for a while after you pan to it, insert a non-animated copy of the image between each move. Connect these static clips into the sequence as usual with the Match previous clip button.
The pan-and-zoom controls are used here to focus in turn on four vignettes in the satirical painting “An Election Entertainment” by English artist William Hogarth. A fifth view pulls back to show as much of the entire canvas as will fit in a wide-screen frame without black sidebars. The tool automatically generates smooth motion from one view to the next, panning and zooming simultaneously as needed.
Animating pan-and-zoom with keyframes
Studio Ultimate users have another option for animating their pan-and-zoom productions: keyframing. The use of this feature enables a string of pan-and-zoom movements to be associated with a single clip, instead of having a single movement on each of a series of clips.
As an alternative to pan-and-zoom with the Clip properties tool, you can enter the framing properties numerically with the Pan and zoom video effect. This alternative interface is provided by the Video effects tool. You can also combine the two methods, using the tool’s graphical interface to specify the initial settings, then fine tuning them with the numerical effect parameters.
The Pan and zoom effect is found in the Fun Effects group. The parameters for pan-and-zoom are exactly parallel to those offered by the tool interface: you can use the sliders to set Zoom, Horizontal position and Vertical position. The “red-eye reduction” controls of the tool interface do not have equivalent parameters, however.
Parameter settings for the Pan-and-zoom effect.