Monday, February 17, 2014

Animating Video Inside a Custom Frame in Avid

Animating nested video in a frame as a single object.
Animating nested video in a frame as a single object.
A little while back I saw a question on the Avid Community Forum about marrying a graphic frame with video and then moving the composite as one object. It may seem easy enough, but in fact it requires the workaround we'll discuss today.

The compositing model of the Avid Media Composer doesn't allow you to drop an effect on top of a composite without affecting the background. That's why we used a workaround back in May blog - Adding Effects to a Chroma Key Foreground in Avid.

This may not be the most elegant of workarounds, but it does the trick. The first thing to do is to build the custom frame at full raster, even if the plan is to have the frame sized down. So, if you're working in 720p, make the Frame image 1280x720. It will be necessary to export your graphic twice, once with an alpha cutout in the center (FRAME_INNER) of the frame and another without that cutout (FRAME_OUTTER).

Viewing the FRAME_OUTTER alpha channel. Viewing the FRAME_INNER alpha channel.
FRAME_OUTTER alpha channel. FRAME_INNER alpha channel.
Import both files into your bin. Start building your sequence by laying down your Background video on V1. On V2 edit your graphic of the frame that does not have the center alpha (FRAME_OUTTER). Step into the FRAME_OUTTER graphic and replace its fill with your FRAME_INNER graphic (1.2). Then step inside your FRAME_INNER and replace the empty bottom track (2.1) with the video you want inside the frame (Video In Frame) .

The Avid timeline showing all of the nested tracks.
The Avid timeline showing all of the nested tracks.

Now when you step outside of all the nested effects, you can use the Effect Editor to resize, move and animate the FRAME_OUTTER graphic on V2. This will move the frame and its video as a group without affecting the background. I hope this tutorial gives you more insight in how to take advantage of the way Avid handles it's alpha graphics.

I have added a downloadable Avid bin and media to better help illustrate how the sequence is build. You can find the bin and media using this link - Avid Custom Frame Tutorial Bin.

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