Over the years Adobe has been packing a lot of features inside Premiere Pro. It’s not the After Effects level of VFX or compositing, but there’s a lot of small and simple tricks that can be easily done while being greatly effective.
Knowing these super easy visual effects can be a game-changer when your short film needs some spice or you don’t have the budget to shoot a scene with stunts, cars, props or distant locations. To put things into perspective, Jordy Vandeput from Cinecom.net is the guy you need. His tutorials are simple and effective and pack a lot of information.
Car crashes, teleportation, magic spells… These effects will blow your minds once you see how easy it is to create them. So let’s dive in and learn about these stunning VFX.
Jordy is going to drive us through five simple effects, respectively:
Light magic spell
Let’s get them done one by one.
#1 Car Crash
The key to this effect is having two different plates shot from a tripod of the same spot. The first one will be of a man crossing the street and acting as if he’s being hit when he reaches the middle of the lane, while the second shot includes a car passing by.
Putting the car clip on the first track in Premiere Pro, and the clip with the man crossing on top, we need to create a mask around the talent until the moment he’s hit.
There’s where you should line up the two clips, set a frame hold on the clip with the man, nest it together with the first part, and then finally, you can track the nested sequence to move following the car, as if it’s dragged by it. The latter is crucial to sell the effect as a real stunt. Add the right sound effect and a pinch of blur, and the effect will blow your mind.
#2 Set extension
Like the previous effect, shooting on a tripod is of great help. Keep in mind, though, that in this case you have to your talent below the horizon line. Otherwise, you’ll need to have a green screen and a lot of keying involved.
Look for some stock footage that can merge and match the scene you have in your mind. Put the footage on top, mask it, scale it and reposition it to build the illusion of a faraway location. Don’t forget to use the Lumetri panel to grade the shots to match perfectly.
This time Jordy tries to make superhero-like teleportation as we’ve seen in many sci-fi movies. He shoots the talent moving in the same exact way in two different locations, maybe doing something distracting, like the skate trick we see here.
While keeping in sync the movement between the two clips, you’ll have to jump from one to another with a straight cut. To sell the effect even better, you can add a sound effect and a little bit of Turbulent displacement on an adjustment layer, creating that sort of space and time warp effect.
#4 Magic light spell
Ever been a fan of those Harry Potter films? There’s a quite famous spell used in the movies, and that is “Lumos“. The spell lights the tip of the wand and creates light for Harry and his mates.
To recreate it, shoot with external light that you’ll switch on when the actor says the magic word. In that same frame add a lens flare on the tip of the wand, and patiently track the flare center across the clip (lowering the opacity can help to track). Welcome to Hogwarts!
This effect is similar to the set extension one, meaning it implies using stock footage clips. In this case, we’re going to use some muzzle flash from a real gunshot, and blood spat for the victim.
There’s plenty of sources around the web where you can find similar clips. Then reposition the muzzle flash and change the blending mode to Linear Dodge to merge the shots. For the blood spill, you’ll do the same thing, with the opacity set to screen.
So there you have it, those are the five and super easy video effects that will completely turn around your video production or at least will give some new ideas on how to pull off similar visual effects with ease.