View Full Version : Highlighting a Moving Image

Sigma Six
08-30-2009, 09:28 AM
Any techniques on how to highlight a moving image would be appreciated -if possible. For example, highlighting a specific player in a sports video. I have used Hold-Still effect to identify the player at the start of the clip, but would like to keep them at 100% while creating some transparency to the other areas of the field.

Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks!

08-30-2009, 01:17 PM
One fairly painless way is to create a graphic in CG or photoshop of a blank oval with a yellow border or whatever you want to 'highlight' the guy with.

Then bring that into SE and animate it over the top of the guy as he moves.

Rich Deustachio
08-30-2009, 01:25 PM
Moving mattes would be nice, but we don't have them yet so we use work arounds like the one Jim described.

Maybe in the next upgrade......when was that coming again......soon?

Sigma Six
08-30-2009, 02:17 PM
Thanks - I was using title clips, ovals, and moving manually to track. Is the method suggested better than this or about the same?

08-30-2009, 03:12 PM
that would be the same - "graphic in CG".
another way, if you have Aura (which came with VT) would be to use its 'tracking' feature.
as I recall (been a long time since we used it) it could do this, but it would take some time to create.

08-31-2009, 06:58 AM
For those without Aura...but do have Photoshop...the latest version CS4 does work with sequences....just render out of SE the clip...and then bring that into Photoshop...then outline/highlight...then import back into SE.


08-31-2009, 07:12 AM
- Render something with a hole in that area, be it the original footage or a mask;
- Feather or otherwise soften the edges of the hole to your liking;
- Save as HQ with alpha
- Combine the hole and the original.
- Blurr the hole footage
-- if it is a mask, you will have to do more tricks
-- If it is the original with a hole, you can blur, lighten and change to your hearts desire to get some interesting effects.

No masks means this is a tedious task, at best. And whatever you do, don't listen to anyone that mentions the dreaded "U" word...

08-31-2009, 07:16 AM
I totally forgot Bob tasa's plugins...could also be used...


Sigma Six
08-31-2009, 07:47 AM
Thanks for all the ideas; however this sounds like an incredible amount of work for what should be a relatively straight forward effect. Have to wonder if there is a better solution than SE for this type of project – especially on a routine basis…

Rich Deustachio
08-31-2009, 08:41 AM
After Effects would do a nice job.

08-31-2009, 09:12 AM
Create a copy of the clip, lay it on top (below in the timeline) of the first clip. Adjust the brightness of the copy so it is brighter in the control tree (or adjust the original clip so that it is darker) and blur its edges. Then at each frame where the subject changes speed and direction in the frame, crop the top, left, bottom and right edges of the clip. The result will be cropping that follows the subject.

It's the same basic method as this identity blur in this VT Edit tutorial except you are changing brightness instead of blurring: http://corin.com/vt_tutorials/faceblur/index.shtml

This tutorial for SpeedEdit focuses a little more on tracking the subject with the blur, but it looks like you now have to be a paid subscriber to Studio Monthly to be able to read it (nice, they drop their print mag going to web only and now start charging for subscriptions :-P )

Al alternative approach would be to create a darkening mask .png in Photoshop. Make it all black, about double the width and height of the video resolution you are using, and cut a transparent hole (turn off the background layer in photoshop and cut the hole in a black layer) that's about the right size for what you want to highlight. Save it as a 24 bit .png with transparency turned on. Bring it into SpeedEdit, set Overlay on for it. In the control tree, adjust the alpha of your darkening mask until you can see through it clearly and it's just darkening the background. Then, using the positioner controls in the control tree (turn on show all layers) reposition and resize it as necessary with key-frames at each point where your subject changes speed or direction. This would be a faster and easier approach than the cropping method above, and gives you the flexibility of controlling the shape of your highlight (the shape of the hole in the black layer). I doubt you will find a faster/easier solution than this in any app - any route you go is going to require some form of subject tracking to pull this off.

08-31-2009, 04:37 PM
i do this all the time with a red arrow pointed at the player. I just go and key frame it to keep pointing at thier head

Sigma Six
09-01-2009, 06:04 AM
The arrow may be the easier approach. I could not find an arrow in the "draw" tab on the title control tree. How did you create or where do you access an arrow to insert? Hopefully it is in SE - just need some breadcrumbs to follow...

09-01-2009, 07:34 AM
How did you create or where do you access an arrow to insert?Here are a couple of graphics you might be able to use - an arrow, a circle, a vertical ellipse, and two sizes of 'holes' (vignettes).

When you add any of these to the timeline in Edit Media:

Select the item and press "y" on the keyboard to enable Overlay.
Use the Control Panel to set Size for all objects to 100%.
Set Layer Settings>Aspect to 4:3 for all but the 'holes'.
For holes, set Aspect to "Ignore Aspect Ratio (assume square pixels)".

The holes files are 2 X SD res (NTSC) on both dimensions. You might want to set Layer Fading>Alpha to about 128.

09-01-2009, 10:18 AM
One of the last pages in the CG templates. I think i got it in VT5. You can also google and find some.

Sigma Six
09-01-2009, 07:17 PM
Thank you so much for all of the help. I was able to follow Steve's directions and reproduce all of the effects. :thumbsup:

While I located additional icons via Google, was not able to find them directly in SE. Did not have VT before (used Canopus) - looks like the icons did not come along or else I cannot locate them.

Thanks again!!!