14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2009 11:08 AM by the_wine_snob

    Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?

    Ed.Macke Level 3

      What are the rules for creating a mask in Photoshop Elements that will work in Premiere Elements?

       

      From what I can tell, you would create a new 640x480 pixel image. Then, the part that will be transparent in Premiere (i.e. Track 1 shows) needs to black, and the part where Track 2 will be in front of Track 1 needs to be any color *besides* black (but is usually white).

       

      And then you save the file as a PSD.

       

      Is that correct? Am I missing anything?

       

      When I tried this just using some basic Photoshop shapes, it worked fine.

       

      But when I took an existing image, reduced the colors to black and white (or at least I THINK I reduced the colors - Photoshop Elements makes it really hard to do really simple stuff, IMHO) the matte didn't work. The image was a square with white background and black graphics, but when put in Premiere is acted as either all-white or all-black (I forget whether it was Track 1 or Track 2 showing through).

        • 1. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          You do know you can't create track mattes in Photoshop Elements, right, Ed? That's a function of Premiere Elements.

           

          But, if you're talking about creating a graphic you can use to track with, that's as simple as creating a white graphic (a circle, for instance) with no background layer and then save the file as a PSD.

           

          Here's an old article I wrote on creating a track matte that may help.

          http://videoinasnap.chuckengels.com/source/steve/steve_tips_02-06.htm

           

           

          • 2. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
            Ed.Macke Level 3

            Steve,

             

            Yes, I thing I've got the basics down: I'm simply creating a B&W image in Photoshop Elements that can be used as a Tracke Matte in Premiere Elements. Actually, I had seen your article before, but re-read it nonetheless.

             

            One question I have is that your article says the graphic must be pure white (non-transparent) with *no* background (black or otherwise). Other demos I've seen on the web say pure black in the graphic will become the transparent area in the Tracke Matte, and anything non-black (white, red, etc.) will be the non-transparent area (transparent meaning that VT1 shows through, and non-transparent that VT2 shows through)... does either technique work? If so, is one better?

             

            The other question I have is: what is the best way in Photoshop Elements to reduce the color depth of a normal color image so that it works correctly as a Tracke Matte in Premiere Elements? For example, I had an image with a white background (not sure if it was PURE white) and a black birthday cake - but zooming in on the pixels revealed the cake was not entirely black, there were many pixels *close to* black, and again I'm not sure if the "black" was PURE black. I thought that I had reduced the colors so that the background was PURE WHITE and the cake was PURE BLACK, but when I used it as a Track Matte, it didn't work. I know that's maybe a better question for the Photoshop forum, but I thought I'd ask here since it's specifically being used as a track matte.

             

            Thanks!!

            • 3. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              what is the best way in Photoshop Elements to reduce the color depth of a normal color image so that it works correctly as a Tracke Matte in Premiere Elements?


              Ed,

               

              Do not know, nor do I have PSE, but in PS, I use Threshold to convert to basically a "lith" image and adjust the settings to get what I need. You might have to search for Threshold in PSE, if it's even there.

               

              Good luck,

               

              Hunt

               

              PS - "black birthday cake?" Must be a story behind that image...

               

              • 4. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Sorry, but I did not give the path to Threshold - Image>Adjustments>Threshold (in CS2).

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                  Ed.Macke Level 3

                  Well, it was a "black birthday cake" in that it was the silhouette of a birthday cake on a white background. Not an actual birthday cake with black frosting.


                  Thanks for the hints on PSE. I'll take a look. I think I could live three lifetimes and still never comprehend Photoshop (and I have the Elements version!)

                  • 6. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    I could live three lifetimes and still never comprehend Photoshop (and I have the Elements version!)

                    PS I got 20 years ago. PSE, well it should be easy for me, but it is not. Steve G. and Barb__O have to reel me in all of the time.

                     

                    Good luck!

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                      Ed.Macke Level 3

                      At least there's comfort in knowing I'm not alone.

                       

                      Arguably, Premiere Elements is not exactly the easiest program to use, and Lightroom can get fairly involved, too, yet I feel pretty comfortable with both of those Adobe products (also, FWIW, I've been doing software programming for 30 years now).

                       

                      And yet for some reason that darn Photoshop Elements program is just so counter-intuitive and frustrating. I'm sure a big part is that I just don't spend a lot of time using it, but still... I silently cringe a little every time I realize I'm going to have to use it for something.

                       

                      </whining>

                      • 8. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Ed,

                         

                        I hear you. Often, I feel the same way about PrE. I go looking for things where I know them to be in PrPro and cannot find them. To make matters worse, I go the the Help Index and the name is missing! I have to try and figure what it's called in PrE. If that fails, I just beg people here to have mercy on me and tell me what I am looking for. Keeps me very humble.

                         

                        BTW - does PSE have Threshold, and does it work for you?

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                          Ed.Macke Level 3
                          BTW - does PSE have Threshold, and does it work for you?

                           

                          I haven't had a chance to look yet. I'm going to give it a try tonight.

                          • 10. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Ed,

                             

                            When you have the opportunity, please let me know. Also, in PSE it might well be located elsewhere, as is common between these two programs.

                             

                            I have recently received Steve Grisetti's book on PSE (and also PrE), and am reading, trying to learn how it differs from PS, the big-brother. I have given PSE to friends, but have to admit that I do not have it, nor do I know it - only PS.

                             

                            Thanks and good luck,

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                              Ed.Macke Level 3

                              Well, that worked! In PSE 7, it's Filter > Adjustments > Threshold.


                              I'm still not sure if I'm doing everything right.


                              I used the Threshold to create a B&W image (meaning two colors: black and white) in PSD.


                              When I use that image as a matte in PRE, it behaves like I expected as long as I specify "Composing Using Matte Luma". If I specify "Matte Alpha", the image acts as if it's all white.


                              If I use the Titler to create a white circle, it behaves the same whether I specify Matte Luma or Matte Alpha.

                              • 12. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Ah, the vageries of Track Matte [he says recalling another of Ed's threads on Track Matte Keying]!

                                 

                                Thank you for furnishing the location - similar, but not quite the same as in PS CS2. It might have also moved in PS CS4, but I do not have that version.

                                 

                                Appreciated,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                                  Ed.Macke Level 3
                                  Ah, the vageries of Track Matte

                                   

                                  Yeah, track matte keys seem to be the bane of my existence! And yet I don't want to give up on them, because I can forsee doing some pretty cool things with them.

                                   

                                  From my previous lesson learned, I made sure to start a new project when playing around with these mattes!

                                   

                                  For a while, while my matte was "misbehaving", I thought I was having the same issue as before. But I think this time it's due to my misunderstanding of the Luma vs. Alpha compositing.

                                   

                                  Thank you for furnishing the location

                                   

                                  You're welcome. It took a minute, because there *is* an Image menu item, but the Threshold is actually under the Filter menu.

                                   

                                  That's kind of what I was whining about with PSE. If I open an image and want to reduce it to 2 colors, looking under Filter > Adjustment > Threshold??? Not exactly the first thing I'd think of. Or the second...

                                   

                                  With your sage advice, I was able to do it. Then I wanted to invert the black and white. Oh brother. What an adventure that was.

                                   

                                  I did a "Select All", then clicked "Invert". Makes sense, right? But no!! I get a "No pixels selected". What?? Didn't I just say "Select All"? Arrrgh!

                                   

                                  Finally discovered the answer was under the same bizzare place: Filters > Adjustment > Inverse.

                                   

                                  OK, aren't "Filters" are something you put on the front of your camera lens? I've been taking pictures for a number of years, and I've never come across an Inverse Adjustment filter. Maddening, I tell you!

                                  • 14. Re: Creating Track Mattes in PSE... Rules?
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    Maddening, I tell you!

                                    I could not agree more. What gets me is when the engineer throw all Effects, or Filters into a hat, draw them at random and reasign them to new areas. Where you located Filter A in version X is now somewhere else in version Y.

                                     

                                    I get nailed all of the time trying to help users find something in PrPro CS4. I get the "Hunt, that is so CS3. It's now been moved HERE." My question is often "Why?!?!?" Oh well, keeps me on my toes - and then someone throws in PSE and I am totally lost. I can guess, but figuring out where the engineers decided to stick something and what they changed the name to, is maddening, as you say.

                                     

                                    Thanks for educating me. I always need that.

                                     

                                    Hunt