Monday, June 23, 2008

Mastering Movie Edit Pro: Episode Four; Alpha Channels!

One mark of a pro production is evident when you are able to creatively use fluid graphics and motion. In this episode we will explore the ability of MEP14+ 's use of Alpha Channel elements.
An Alpha Channel is an extra layer or "channel" in a video or photographic element that is transparent. This allows the editor to key over the element and control the opacity of the overlay. You see these kinds of elements used on TV all the time. Whenever a news program identifies a reporter on the scene they use a "lower third", an element across the bottom of the screen usually with text or information composited over it. ESPN, News Shows and Information programs use them a lot. MEP14+ is one of the few NLE's that have this capability in it's price range. All of the expensive editors can do this. You will not find this capability in Windows Movie Maker™ and other home movie editors. And of course film makers have always had the ability to overlay.
For you, this will raise the bar on your video productions taking you to a whole new level of quality. You can now do all the stuff TV stations and networks can do, the power is in MEP14+!
There are several companies you can buy these video elements from. In this production I used Digital Juice. If you have Photoshop™ or any graphic program that will work with transparent layers, you can make your own alpha elements too! Look Here & Here. Below the video is a list of places to get great elements like those used in this episode. Time; 15:47

Check out these companies for video backgrounds & Alpha Supported elements:
Digital Juice
Digital Hotcakes
Studio One
Action Backs
Many of the links above offer free downloads so you can get a few alpha goodies to play with! In future episodes we will be using more of the functions shown in this and previous episodes. You now know how to keyframe and use alpha, two of the more important aspects of professional video production! With each episode you are on your way to Mastering Movie Edit Pro!
Watch this video and learn more about Swipes!
Get some FREE stuff (with alpha) to play with HERE!


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