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Problems with Sapphire and alphas

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Guerrero3Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on Apr 27, 2006 at 12:22:28 pm

I am a first-time user of Sapphire Effects. I encountered several problems while trying to apply a Sapphire effect (Edge Ray) to a multi-layered animated sequence in which all layers have alphas. I edit on an Adreline HD. My problems were: 1) When I simply drop the effect on a chosen track, all the tracks below are also affected. 2) When I step into a track to reveal the alpha and the fill, the alpha is locked. When I try to unlock the alpha, Avid rejects it and a message pops up that says I can only unlock a layer on the top level of that chosen track. 3) When I go to the top layer, there is nothing to unlock. 4) When I step into the layer and put the effect only on the fill layer, the "rays" of the effects will not go outside of the alpha. My questions are: 1) How can I apply an effect like Edge Ray so it will only affect the track I select, and not the ones below it? 2) If I put the effect only on the alpha, will that fix the problems, and not affect the underlying layers? 3) Once I step into a track (or layer), can the alpha be unlocked, and if so, how? Thanks.



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promoboyRe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on Apr 27, 2006 at 2:58:55 pm

I assume you're using Sapphire V1, because V2 allows you to click "Apply to Title/Matte" or something along those lines. So, assuming you're using Sapphire Effects V1, you need to make a sandwich.

First, you have to combine the matte and fill by applying the S_MakeRBGA effect. Don't nest it onto your title. Just drop it on. It will combine the matte and fill and your background will disappear. Don't panic. Just select any and all other effects you now want to be applied to that title--in your case, the S_EdgeRays effect. For all of these effect, nest them--meaning hold Alt and then apply them. When you have all other effects added to your titles, add the S_Layer effect. This will revive the matte of your title and composite it over your background, as well as give you additional options, like foreground/background saturation, overlay modes, foreground/background opacity, scaling the darks/lights of the foreground/background or composited image, etc...

Sapphire effects are unbelievably powerful and kick major ass, but take some practice to understand. Remember this--when applying to anything with an alpha key, make a sandwich that goes like this: Drop S_MakeRGBA directly on, replacing the matte key effect(this is the bottom bun)...ALT drop all other effects (these are meats, cheese, condiments of your sandwhich)...ALT drop S_Layer or another compositing effect on top (Top Bun).

Mike.


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promopunkkRe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on Apr 27, 2006 at 5:42:26 pm

In addtion, if you're looking to add a drop shadow to your key...use the alt s_drop shadow instead of the alt s_layer as your last layer drop.


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cowcowcow
promoboyRe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on Apr 27, 2006 at 6:17:46 pm

If you're only wanting to add ONLY a drop shadow, just drop the S_Dropshadow Matte directly onto your title. It will replace the matte key and affect just the title. However, if you want to add any other effects (like S_WarpTransform to resize or move the title), you'll need to use the sandwich method.

Mike.


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GaryORe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on Apr 28, 2006 at 1:53:14 pm

Just wanted to chime in here and agree with promoboy; check out Sapphire v2. It makes all this stuff super easy -- single click to apply to just the current layer (key or title) without affecting the layers beneath. Also tons of other useful stuff like simpler masking, 2D DVE built into each effect, and so on.
(Disclaimer: I'm with GenArts.)

-- Gary


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cow
Guerrero3Re: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on May 2, 2006 at 6:15:22 am

Your suggestion worked like a charm. Your input is very much appreciated. A day or so later I found a Sapphire site that echoed your procedure. It also addressed another problem I had with this project regarding Avid's compatibility with Sapphire. Rather than static titles, I was working on flying logos, and I found out that when an object (like the logos I was using) is shrunk down there are black lines on the bottom and top of the raster. The Sapphire website acknowledged this problem, but unfortunately has no fix at this time. I thought a workaround would be to import the image at a larger resolution than 720 x 486, but Avid doesn't seem to allow anything larger to be imported (a Pinnacle system I had used before did). Anyway, thanks again.



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brian wazRe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on May 3, 2006 at 6:28:37 pm

For us who have been BURNED BY SAPPHIRE... and have a new version one, it's a little more difficult. When I pushed for two years to our company for sapphire, they finally bought two seats for symphony in October. Now that Ver. 2 is out and they still want way too much to upgrade for recent purchasers, and won't budge on the price for us who got mislead when they bought version one (not hinting that version 2 was close to being released... don't tell me they didn't know) I guess I'm the one who looks like a SHMO for telling the boss to buy! When I worked on a flame, and the alpha channels actually worked, (unlike version one for avid and now work like they're supposed to on version 2) why didn't Saphhire get it right to work on all versions instead of waiting so long?
Feeling bitter, you bet!
Brian



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Karl SimsRe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on May 4, 2006 at 2:42:03 pm

Brian, sorry to hear the timing wasn't optimal for you, but hopefully you've gotten some value from v1 during the last 6 months. For the record, Avid's AVX plug-in interface still doesn't support Alpha processing at all, so plug-in developers are stuck experimenting with their own methods for doing this. Feel free to contact me directly at karl @ genarts.com if you'd like to discuss these issues further...

Best, - Karl


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GaryORe: Problems with Sapphire and alphas
by on May 8, 2006 at 1:36:05 pm

Hi Guerrero3; regarding the black lines on top & bottom, I believe if you switch the Effect Aperture in one of the settings panels to 720 x 486 or 720 x 480 (whichever it isn't currently) that may fix your black lines problem.

Also, FYI, Sapphire2 has special cropping parameters in each effect just for this purpose (to crop off whatever garbage is often found around the edges of imported video).

-- Gary


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