Creating Transitions with the BCC 6 Swish Pan filter in Premiere Pro

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Editors use transitions as a way to cut between scenes, typically creating an animated effect such as a dissolve or blur at the end of the outgoing clip and the beginning of the incoming clip. While most modern NLE systems ship with a list of standard wipe transitions, there are some transition styles that are more of an in-camera effect rather than the synthesized gradient wipes or block dissolves. One of these effects, known as a "Swish Pan," is created by panning the camera very quickly in a 180 degree arc, thereby creating the look of a fast blur between the outgoing and the incoming clips. Continuing in the tradition of making visual effects easy to create, Boris Continuum Complete 6 (BCC 6) now includes a Swish Pan transition filter for registered users of the BCC 6 product. In this tutorial, we'll use the new BCC 6 Swish Pan filter to transition between a pair of clips.

We'll assume that you have already downloaded and installed the BCC 6 Swish Pan filter into Adobe CS3 or CS4. Let's start by launching Premiere Pro and creating a new project. I'm using a Windows based system but the filter works equally well on a Mac.

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Now that we have the project ready, let's import a pair of clips, each one 2 seconds in length, which we will overlay, one on top of the other in the Premiere Pro timeline.

premiere pro tutorial

We're going to use the BCC 6 Swish Pan as a filter, over the top layer in the timeline and pull the bottom layer up into the filter.

Go to the Effects tab in Premiere and Twirl down the Video Effects group to reveal the BCC 6 sub-groups. Then twirl down the BCC 6 Wipe Transitions group to access the Swish Pan filter.

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Drag the filter onto the top clip in the Premiere timeline

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The image in the viewer immediately changes and now had a horizontal blur. This is because at the factory default setting, the filter is set to use the Percent Done parameter to control the transition effect and the effect is set to 50 percent complete.

There are two methods of animating the Swish Pan filter - Percent Done, which requires the user to create at least 2 keyframes (one at the start and one at the end of the effect) and Auto, which automatically creates the transition based on the length of the clip to which the filter was applied. We'll take a quick look at both methods. The default is Percent Done so let's start with that.

The first step is to go to the Layer to Reveal pop-up and select the video clip from track 1 so that the filter knows which clip to bring in as the incoming clip during the transition

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Move the CTI to frame 15 of the clip and with Pct. Done selected in the Animation pop-up, enable keyframing for the Percent Done parameter slider by clicking on the stopwatch beside the parameter in the Control Window. Set a value of 0 in the Percent Done numeric entry box.

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Then move to frame 1;15 of the clip. Set a value of 100 in the Percent Done numeric entry box - Premiere automatically creates a keyframe for this parameter.

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Now as we step through the clip we can see that the filter has automated the transition from clip a to clip b with a Swish Pan camera blur effect.

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We've used the default pan direction (right to left) for this transition but could easily switch this to one of the other pan directions (there is a total of 4) such as bottom to top for an interesting alternative look.

So that's the basics of how to use the new BCC Swish Pan filter in Premiere Pro. While we're here, let's examine the full auto transition mode in contrast to the percent done mode of operation.

Click on the Animation pop-up and change the current selection from Percent Done to Auto. Then select and delete the existing keyframes from the Percent Done parameter to reset the filter. Make sure to set the Percent Done parameter to 50 percent.

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Notice now that when you drag through the timeline that the transition still occurs, but that it begins at the start of the clip and completes at the tail end of the clip. So how do we control the animation? Twirl down the Animation Tuning group to reveal parameters for hold and ease for the start and end of the effect. Enable the View Ease Curve checkbox to draw an animation curve on-screen. The animation curve displays a visual graph of the transition.

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Set the value of the Hold In and the Hold Out parameters to 15 and notice that the motion curve that is displayed in the viewer window changes to reflect the current settings.

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Now set the Ease In and Ease Out parameters to a value of 25 and again, look at the change in the motion curve in the viewer window.

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The next thing that we need to do is to adjust the amount of blur that we are adding to the clips while they are in transition. Let's move to the center of the effect so that we can see what the blur looks like at it's highest value, which is the center point of the animation. We'll also return the display to normal by disabling the View Ease Curve checkbox.

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Then set the value in the Blur parameter to 25 and observe the resulting image

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Personally, I think the blur looks better when it is fast moving so I'll just return that parameter value to the default of 100.

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So that's the basics of this new and exciting filter from BorisFX. There are of course additional controls which can be used to fine tune and tweak the result, fir instance you can create some really unique results by changing the Blur Apply Mode, which can be found in the Blur Extras group - for example changing to Overlay mode generates a kind of ghostly look so the key is to hunt around and experiment with all of the settings.

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