In today’s post, Jeff will show you a quick demo of how the Bluefx Virtual Studio 4 After Effects Template works.
Here’s the video tutorial
To open up the Virtual Studio I just went through the normal process of
going to file, open project.
And you go from Project (I’m not going to do that but when you go to a project you find the project and open it up). It was created so that it would run on CS 6 so you know that, it might even be earlier than CS 6 but certainly CS 6.
Then so it will say something like “this was created with the earlier version of After Effects”, you need to make a new version which is fine. Just click okay and it will open up.
I always divide it up as different kinds of shots. This is a demo, this is an example of how you might put together a scene and notice that it zooms in which is really cool that it zooms in on the talent and the scene.
These brace transitions here, there are three different kinds of transitions. It’s transition number one, globe going through like that. This is the transition number two similar to the world going by and this is setting transition number three. Again using the globe as a transition device but it’s got a harder edge to it.
You have these different sets and this is basically saying here’s how you might want to do your brushes as an example.
But I want to show you what comes with it.
There are these things called the screenshots, open that up you can see the corner there spinning in front of the screen.
A shoulder shot it’s called where it’s basically set it up with the screen behind them.
We have shoulder shot 2 where you can set up for two people instead of one.
You can barely see it in the corner there.
A desk shot where you are sitting at the desk, at least that’s the impression that youngest by looking at it, it’s like sitting at a news desk there.
A full body shot and notice that it says 01 and 02, the normal template would just come as 01 but if you want to have multiple versions of a scene, let’s say you do the desk shot and then you do something else and then you go back to the desk shot you probably want to have that be a second version of the desk shot.
All you need to do is duplicate it here inside the project panel. So this full body scene let’s just duplicate it, same thing twice. The full body scene looks like that in the corner right there.
And then you can have all these lower thirds, or three lower thirds.
You can start seeing it, it will look like a net. It looks like that and animates on and animates off.
Those are three lower thirds, all really cool.
And then all the colors that you see are controlled by a controller, so I have to go to logo motion and go up to here. There’s a thing called the logo motion color changer if I double-click on that it’s just eight frames. So I put my indicator here and it shows you what you’re going to see all the colors are under an eight color scheme but you just / to see everything.
This is the color scheme and so if you want to change the color scheme just click on color control, go to effects color, click on this little color swatch there and change this to some other color.
It will change on the fly, you can see your work as you work on it up there and see if you like that color or not in all the various schemes there.
You can change all these colors on the fly like that for the whole kit and caboodle.
Let me see, so let me show you how to insert the greenscreen graphic, the green screen shot into this scene.
I’m going to go to the screen shot which is this one standing in front of the screen.
Double-click on that to open it up.
I’ll put my indicator so you can see it.
Shift / to get a full screen, and this screen animates on.
It starts off the screen and then it comes on like that animates on and then an image appears inside it. And then the image that appears inside it is something that you insert on a separate time. What you do here is you’re going to talk about putting your presenter here, actually, this is just an image this is just a PNG file there.
You want to replace this guy with your guy so I’m going to go over and get my stuff that I just did moments ago, green screen 1, I’m going to place this guy and I’m just going to delete it, turn them off or replace it.
To replace something inside a comp like this in a layer
- you make that layer active and
- then drag down what you want to replace it with to it,
- hold on the alt and option key and
- you can see that you can now click on top of it.
That will replace it with whatever you put there.
That’s one, it’s already adjusted so that whatever position properties or scale properties that you had there are applied to the thing that you just replaced. So the position property would set things off to the left like that.
Then I’ll just fit into the scene and you can see how long I am which is only six seconds long relative to the length of this entire comp which is about an hour.
Each comp is generally an hour in length so it’s 20 minutes but some of them are an hour long. So you obviously shorten it up to your purposes.
There I am in front of the screen and as far as what’s in the screen is concerned I probably can change how large I am with pressing S for scale and I can decide whether I want to be closer to the camera or not so close. If I go too far it cuts off the bottom of my body and I don’t want to do that. That’s kind of the process.
Obviously, I can move it around as well. Slide left or right, what have you.
As far as what’s in the screen is concerned: the video container for the screen is over here and these are three videos that are just put there.
You can put any videos you want there, you can put anything else too.
There are some graphics that come here, you saw the graphic where that’s somebody’s face and some quote. You can put that in the screen, anything you want in the screen.
Whatever you put there, let’s take a look at the second clip here. The second clip this is traffic I’ll just slide it to the left there instead and replace and basically cover up what was there before. When I go back to the screenshot it will be the thing that shows up in the screen once the screen lowers down. There you go there’s the traffic shot there. Whatever you want to put there you can put there. It can be video, it can be a graphic, a still image, whatever you have.
Let’s move over to the, let’s see here I want to do this in.
I’ll go to the shoulder shot and so I’m going to close this one down. Close this down because this is going to get pretty crowded kind of soon here if I don’t take care of them.
Go to the shoulder shot here, double-click on that and this is the shoulder shot 2.
Right now it’s just the same image presenter right, presenter left.
If you have two videos that you’ve done greenscreens on, you can put them side by side or if you have one video that has two people in it you can put that there.
So I’m going to get the video that’s two people and in this case instead of replacing them both I’m just going to turn them both off, and drag down this other one on top of that. There you go, and they are now parked in front of that background.
Then what we’re going to put in the background this thing called the container down here
double-click on that and this says
what do you want to put here?
You can put any video you want here. I’ve got some videos that come with this so let me try to track those guys down.
Footages, not what I want, where are they.
There was some stuff that was provided with this that I can’t track down immediately so I go get them by going to my desktop, going to the studio, going over here, going to the bonus, going to the stocked videos. I don’t know where these guys are located, I can find them but I’m going to pick this instead rather than trying to track it down.
I just put the video here, I put it over the top of that text player, basically covering up. Back to the shoulder shot and it will show behind them like that.
And if you’re thinking if I zoom in a little bit that’s a little better.
This already has some kind of focus issues, this is in focus and that’s out of focus which is great.
If you want the whole thing to be out of focus so they’re more clearly defined, all you need to do is apply let’s say a blur to this.
Put a blur on the effects and presets and we’ll go get the Gaussian blur which is kind of the default blur for things like that. Apply it to this and blur it up a little bit more. So that they’re more prominently displayed in front of this background.
Something like that, you can always blur the background if you want to make the actors in front a little bit more prominent, just as a tip.
All right I want to do the set because the set is pretty interesting because it has a zoom feature built in. So I’ll go get the set which is the full body shot. That says one and two but that’s the duplicate so I’ll double-click on the first one.
It has these other things here, I don’t need to have all these various things showing up so
I right click and say hide those.
Click on hide this so we’ll have more real estate. Then I’ll shift/ to see this thing in a wider view. There’s the presenter, again this is just a still image. I want to replace the presenter and notice that you can’t see his feet.
It will be tricky to have a full body shot where you can see his feet because it’s hard to attach the feet to the floor here.
You can create a drop shadow, a simple soft sort of drop shadow but the floor is set up to have a reflection on it like that. And it’s just a little extra trick to make the actor, the presenter have a little bit of a reflection on the floor too, this is like more than you probably ever want to do with the template.
If you have an actor in a scene like this you don’t want to be able to see their feet because it’s just way too hard to create the reflection, just so you know. You could do that and I’ll show you with this particular guy with the scale here and scale him down. It looks like his feet are going away but they’ll appear in a second here.
You can see him there like that for example I’ll scale him again so he’s more prominent. It’s hard to do the reflection, you can, you can have a little bit of reflection from your core but it’s tricky. If you want to take this little root here you can create at least something resembling a shadow.
The way you do that is just by right clicking here and adding a solid layer making it black or dark gray, just making it a little bit easier to work with. Click okay and it will cover everything up.
You want to put that below your presenter so it’s on top of it. And then just carve out with the pen tool, click the pen tool and carve out a little area here or use the shape tool to do it. I’ll use the Ellipse here just to make it easier. Just carve a little shape here and then once you do that you could stitch it up by double-clicking on it and moving it around a little bit.
Once you create this little guy then you can adjust the opacity on it.
You go to the masks, you can make it feathered a lot like that. So just a soft shadow like that and just the size you can expand to the size that you want and adjust the edges as well, something like that. It’s not going to look super realistic and it won’t be a reflection so it’s hard to really attach somebody to the floor. Just so you know.
So I’m going to get rid of the drop shadow and now I want to go against me standing in front of there just to show you how that works.
I’ll get the green screen one, drag it down here. I’ll put it on top of the presenter and I want to get the comp, there we go. You can sort of take how I fit relative to him but we’ve moved him around.
I’ll just turn off the presenter here and you can see that that’s probably the right point of position. I can position him left or right, with any kind of graphic we have running in the background there.
That’s how that works.
What’s cool about this is that you’ll notice that the things start to zoom down here. So we’ll move here along like this and then it will actually zoom in on me and on the scene you can sort of see it happening there. It doesn’t zoom much, it just zooms from 93% or so to 100%. What’s really cool is that you can adjust that.
Let’s see how!
I’m going to do the zoom control here, you open it up and you see that I’ll just click on the scale here that has an expression tied to it.
The expression is tied also to these key frames here. The first key frame when you go to it, it says 92% and the second key frame says it’s 100%. The timing of these little key frames is not critical, it’s just the amount that’s critical.
You can’t lower the amount to less than 92 because you’ll see the edges of the screen but if you navigate to the second key frame you can increase that value to above whatever that value is. I’m going to go to where the key frame, I’ll just click on the key frame there. I’m going to increase the value of the key frame to something like 110 or so. So I’ll get rid of this guy, I’m just going to do that.
Go to the key frame again and increase that to about 110, and that will override the preset from 92 to 100 and it will zoom in more, much father.
What’s cool is that it zooms in both the presenter and the video, now you notice it didn’t zoom in on me because I didn’t replace the presenter with me so I’m going to take my image off there and make sure I replace the presenter with me that way it picks up the key frames of the presenter.
I drag that down to the presenter, hold the alt key and now it will zoom me in. Now it will zoom both me, I need to see myself better obviously hang on a second and scale a bit more. That’s better now as it zooms in it will zoom in on me and the background which is really cool.
Obviously, you want to set it up so you have the ending point being set up in advance so you don’t zoom off my head like that. You can adjust the value of the zoom.
I want to show you a couple more things here so that’s the basic process.
Now if you take a look at the lower thirds here when you add a lower third here, let’s just say I add a lower third here and the lower third it animates like that. When you want to work on the lower third you just double-click on it, you can change your text over here.
You can also change the timing of it over here in terms of how fast it comes off the screen. it comes on then it goes off based upon this little marker here. You can change the marker to make it stay on longer and shorter.
Now I want to show you the weather studio, this is a bonus feature that comes with this package.
You go to open project, you go to weather forecast open it up. We’re not going to get that message this time because it’s not inside the project, click okay. This time, hopefully, this shows up there we go, I don’t know why it didn’t last time.
Shift / to see all of it.
The way this works is you pick which one you want, 7, 5, or 3 and just by choosing which one you make visible. If I make the one below that visible it won’t work because the one on top covers it but I turn that off and then you’ve got a five-day forecast or a three-day forecast like that.
So you go the 7-day forecast like so, then you want to adjust the little icons here and you can also adjust the colors. You can change the colors for the weekdays and change the color for the weekends.
I go to the “You change” folder to do that, there’s a global control that deals with the color and the logo.
If I click on the color and go to effect controls I put my indicator here sometimes you’ll see the global control.
I can change the color for the weekdays it says global color but it means all the weekdays. Click on that and change that to blue instead, there you go.
If I want to change the weekends to some other color I click on that and make weekends green, not necessarily.
Just global color changes, you probably don’t want blue against the blue sky but that’s a way to do it. I’ll undo that, I’ll do control Z and go back to the default ones.
The logo control controls the logo up here. You can have a rectangular logo or a circular logo.
I’m going to check this checkbox
and that means that’s going to be a circular logo so I change it to, or a square logo, it puts it in the corner like that instead of along as a rectangle. Go back to the main here, go back to the things that I changed.
If I’m going to change the days if I change the days and I click on that let’s say Friday, then that’s the Friday thing and right now you see that all the possibilities are there. If I want the icon to not be rainy, if I want it to be sunny I just click on the sun and then turn off the rain wouldn’t that be nice, or vice versa. That will change it.
If I wanted to change the temperature I’ll just double-click on 94 and change it from something like 94 to something more pleasant like 81, and then I just double-click on 75 and change that from 66 to something. That’s how you change that.
You don’t need to change the day of the week because that’s always going to be the same.
Close that down. You can do that each day at a time.
If I double-click on the 7-day forecast then this determines which day of the week I start with.
Right now it’s starting on Monday, if I go down here and click on Saturday and turn off Monday then this thing rearranges. Saturday is the first day which is pretty slick I think.
These little icons are animated if I go through it slowly the sun spins around, the lightning flashes, and the rain falls and it’s a pretty cool little thing.
Let me talk about the logos.
The logo process applies for both this and the virtual studio. Double-click on Logo Rectangle, I want to put a rectangular logo there, I’m going to import a rectangular logo. I’ll double-click over here, there are a couple of logos that we loaded up for the class today.
A rectangular logo and a rounded logo, import them.
Click on the rectangular logo and put it here and turn off the text
notice it’s too big so I go get my selection tool and drag it in by holding on the shift key so I can constrain the proportions like that.
If I go back to the seven-day forecast this is the square logo I need to change that by going to
- the global control,
- logo control,
- effects control,
- turn off the check box, and
- that logo will show up now.
If I want the circular logo or the square logo depending if you’re over there you go to the logo square. Go to the logo square and double-click on that, I want to put my so-called square log which can also be circular I’ll put that on there so I’ve got this logo there and drag that down on top of that text layer. Actually, that’s already about the right size if I can expand a little bit it’s about the right size there.
Go back to global control, it sounds very powerful. Turn on the checkbox for the square one, go back to the main and now that logo shows up int he corner in that square box even though its a round logo.
So that’s all the stuff you get when you get the Virtual New Studio 4, you get all those sets. I could try to load up again I’ll see if it cooperates here, let me go try and load up a project here. Let’s see if we can do that without causing undue stress here.
Go to the desktop, go to the news studio, go to new and let’s see if it opens up without causing too many problems.
So you get all these various sets– you get the full screen set with a great news studio behind you, you can actually control the colors to some degree.
You get the shoulder shot with the screen, you get the two person shot let’s take a look inside here.
You get this view here, let’s see it’s taking its time loading up again as it did before so I’m going to close it there. Don’t know why it’s so slow right now, probably because so many things are loading up.
This virtual studio has got a lot of pre comps so it’s a little bit slow to load up. I’ll go back here instead lets’ see if I can do that instead, no very slow to load up here it’s because I guess I got two of these going at once. Sorry about that.
I think you remember how it looked like. You got all these various sets, plus you’ve got all these animated logos, plus you’ve got transitions there.
Very good, so you got these various different sets. You got the logos, you got the transitions and you’ve got the lower thirds.
Just a really remarkable package that if you just shot folks in a green screen you can insert them into a set and it looks really professional.
Make sure to check out the presentation video of the Virtual Studio 4 After Effects Template here.