11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2011 5:10 AM by Colin Brougham

    Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks

    PatrickAtl

      I'm working on a project that includes very many still images and I want to cross dissolve from one image to the next. Will also be applying motion key frames to every image, so every image will have some movement on it. As one image dissolves into the next, I want the subsequent image to appear to be already moving by the time its opacity is full value - no image will appear to be stationary and then start to move. I'm looking for a certain floatiing feeling as the sequence progresses. What I'm looking for advice on is the placement of still images on multiple video tracks. Better to have all the images on one video track with the dissolves between them? Or - the images staggered on 2 tracks, i.e., an image on one tracks plays for a few seconds with a dissolve at its end, and the next image is on the upper track, beginning with a dissolve and is overlapping the first image below it, with a dissolve at the end of image 2 that overlaps the 3rd image down on the first track, and so on. I'm leaning toward the second method since it seems to give more control - the balance of length of dissolve and timing of the movement is most important to me.

      Any thoughts on the issue would be greatly appreciated, as well as any links to related discussions or articles.  Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          Both methods are legitimate and both will provide (or can potentially provide) the very same result. At that point, it's merely a workflow issue, so do whichever one feels better and makes more sense to you.

           

          BTW: a shortcut to the first approach is to use the Automate to Sequence command. You'll have to apply your motion keyframes separately, but you can also copy and paste those to make the process a little easier. Read in the help file: Add clips to a sequence automatically

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
            davidbeisner2010 Level 3

            As Colin says, both approaches work. I personally prefer to use the first approach, with all my photos on the same track. One note, though--make sure you apply dissolves BEFORE you keyframe your motion, as once the dissolve is in place you'll have more frames available for your motion... if you keyframe first and then add, say, a 30 frame dissolve, you'll end up with 15 frames of still image before the motion begins. So do all your dissolves first (can be automated with the automate to sequence command Colin mentioned) and then go in and keyframe your motion. And as Colin suggests, you can "automate" your motion keyframing by saving your motion as a preset and applying it to all the clips--HOWEVER--this will only work if you want all your pictures to go the same direction and you don't care about focusing in on specific elements of your image--probably NOT what you're wanting to do. Unfortunately the best workflow with this is to manually keyframe each one. Just make sure to do your dissolves first or you'll be going back in and moving a lot of keyframes!!!

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
              Level 4

              dave,

              ---------------

              One note, though--make sure you apply dissolves BEFORE you keyframe your  motion, as once the dissolve is in place you'll have more frames  available for your motion... if you keyframe first and then add, say, a  30 frame dissolve, you'll end up with 15 frames of still image before  the motion begins.

              ---------------------

              AHA ! that explains a giant problem I had a while ago with a still image "music video" thing I did....I had to go back and drag keyframes like nuts to fix cause I did motion first and then dissolves...

              actually "gave up" on some of them ( deleted the dissolves) ....this little note of yours makes a ton of sense and now explains what I did wrong back then... thanks !

               

              • 4. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                Colin Brougham Level 6
                One note, though--make sure you apply dissolves BEFORE you keyframe your  motion, as once the dissolve is in place you'll have more frames  available for your motion... if you keyframe first and then add, say, a  30 frame dissolve, you'll end up with 15 frames of still image before  the motion begins.

                 

                I'll offer the counterpoint: I don't think that's necessary. I mean--yes, it's important to put the keyframes in the right place, so you don't have jump-start animations, but I don't think it's necessary to do it in that order.

                 

                What I do is create my animation (whatever it may be) on the "undissolved" clip, so I can get an idea of the pacing of the animation. Depending on the duration of the dissolves, I might make it a tiny bit faster than I'd like. I add the transition on the incoming edit point, and then drag the start keyframes into the new duration that was created by the transition. Go to the next clip, do the animation keyframing, add the transition, and drag the keyframes back. I then quickly jump to the preceding clip and move the ending keyframes. Just keep leapfrogging this way and it won't take too long.

                 

                Alternatively, if I'm more concerned about any animation going from here-to-there instead of the speed of the animation, I'll automate to the sequence with dissolves, and then just create my keyframes between the dissolves. That way, I can quickly set up my start and stop positions, and when that's where I like it, I just shove the keyframes out to the clip ends. Done

                 

                I've actually made a feature request for the ability to right-click a clip and select "Scale Keyframes;" it would perform these keyframes placements automatically. Feel free to join me: Adobe Feature Request/Bug Report Form

                • 5. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                  Even faster:

                   

                  • Set up your animation on an undissolved clip.  Keyframes beginning to end.
                  • Move the playhead back from the end of the clip the length of the transition. (- key, number of frames, Enter key)
                  • Ctrl+A to select the Track tool.
                  • Drag the remaining clips to the playhead.
                  • Ctrl+V to select the Selection tool.
                  • Select the next clip.
                  • Repeat until all clips are animated.
                  • Move the playhead to the beginning of the sequence (Home key)
                  • PgDn from clip to clip, Ctrl+D on each edit point to add the dissolve/default transition.
                  • Select each transition in turn, and in the Effect Controls panel, change the transition to "Start at Cut".

                   

                  Done.

                  • 6. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                    Level 4

                    Jeff,

                    hmmm, interesting...saved info and will check it out next time ...thanks

                     

                    • 7. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                      Colin Brougham Level 6

                      Oh? So that's how it is, then? Bring it... VIDEO NERD THROW-DOWN!

                       

                      • Add all your photos to a sequence, making sure the duration of each is longer than the final duration you want by the duration of the transitions you want to use. So, if your photos will be 5 seconds with a 1 second transition, make sure they are added to the sequence with a duration of 6 seconds. You can specify this is Preferences so it will be applied on import, or select all your clips in the bin and use Clip > Speed/Duration to modify them after import.
                      • Animate each photo as you like, keyframes placed at the beginning and end of the clip.
                      • Ctrl+A in the sequence to select all photos, then right-click or go to Clip > Speed/Duration.
                      • Set the duration to your desired final duration (e.g. 5 seconds) and tick the Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips checkbox. Hit OK.
                      • Without deselecting anything, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+D or go to Sequence > Apply Default Transitions to Selection. Whatever your default transition is (e.g. 1 second cross dissolve) will be added between all the photos.
                      • Start at the beginning of the sequence, press Page Down to jump to each edit point and then drag the transition to the right, so that it's set to Start at Cut. Unfortunately, there is no way to en masse change this transition attribute, so this is the most manual part of the process. Repeat until all transitions are realigned.

                       

                      It's been bringed! I mean, broughten! I mean, you've been served!

                       

                       

                       

                      (PS: This is all in good fun...)

                      • 8. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                         

                         

                        Very clever!  I fold.

                         

                        I'd like to cash out with a video nerd score of 80% due to percent brain cells used up at 100%.

                         

                        -Jeff

                        • 9. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                          Colin Brougham Level 6

                          Well, to be honest, I can't totally lay claim to that... I didn't come up with it until I read your technique, which I think is pretty nifty in its own right.

                           

                          *chest bump*

                           

                          Go team!

                          • 11. Re: Question about cross dissolves and multiple tracks
                            Colin Brougham Level 6

                            As you know, Todd, we're all about the edutainment factor here.

                             

                            (Geez... I used a made-up "buzzword." Forty lashes!)