vc007: Copley Square panned and meshed

#7 of the #100videoclips project. Copley Square in Boston, MA — two different versions of the same scene (one panned horizontally with the camera at a 90-degree angle), then meshed together, four times at four different “resolutions” and speeds. It was mostly an experiment to see what it would look like — kind of interesting, I think.

What I Did

Standing next to the Boston Public Library, I did a slow 180-degree handheld pan, then I repeated the same shot and move while holding the camera at a 90-degree angle.

For the editing, I first used Photoshop to create .png files with stripes of different widths. Setting up a grid and then turning on “snap to grid” makes it easy to make the stripes exact.

1920x1080 template with 60-pixel-wide stripes
1920×1080 template with 60-pixel-wide stripes

The white space in the example above is transparent.

To make the grid:

  • Create a new document that is 1920 x1080 pixels (for high-definition footage).
  • Under the Photoshop menu (on a Mac), choose Preferences, Guides, Grid, and Slices.

Photoshop grid setup screen shot

  • Choose your dimensions. For a 1920 x 1080 screen, I divided the grid evenly into 60 pixels with 4 subdivisions as shown above.
  • Then choose View, Show, Grid, and View, Snap to Grid.
  • Promote the layer from the Background (double-click on the item in the Layer pallete) so it can have a transparent background.
  • Choose the rectangle tool, and create the size of rectangle that you want. I did vertical stripes, but it could be anything that conforms to the grid. The fill color doesn’t matter.
  • After drawing a few, copy and paste them to speed things up.
  • Save as a .png file to preserve the transparency.

In PremierePro, I used these templates along with the Track Matte Key effect to produce a layer of striped video.

  • Put one video in one track, the second in the track above it, and the template in the track above that.
  • Add the Track Matte Key effect to the video clip in track 2.
  • Choose the Video track with the template (Video 3 in this example) as the Matte in the Track Matte Key Effect Controls.

That’s the trickiest part. The rest involved synchronizing the two video tracks, adjusting the colors, and deciding how I wanted to present them — in this case, forward, then backward, then repeated, but faster and with a narrow template each time.

What I Learned

I love using the Track Matte Key, and I thought this was an interesting way to use it. The results suggest some interesting variations, including:

  • Using horizontal stripes or a checkerboard grid
  • Using completely different footage for the two tracks
  • Using the same footage but just slightly out of synch.

I tried most of them and liked the one I used the best, but I may come back to it for more experimentation.