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How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?

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moxiecat
How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 2, 2007 at 8:39:06 pm

I have tried everything I can think of (and searched on the web) but I can't figure out how to create a video thumbnail button in Photoshop that will have feathered edges when brought into Encore.

I'm OK with creating a solid thumbnail shape and doing the Layer Mask-Reveal Selection process. That works fine. But how do you feather the edges of a mask so the thumbnail will have soft edges in Encore?

The Focal Guide that Jeff Bellune wrote says that feathered masks and layer effects are possible for video placeholders, so it can obviously be done. Does anyone have any tips on how this can be accomplished?

Thanks.



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Joe Bowden
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 2, 2007 at 9:11:09 pm

Sounds like you're using a vector mask for this? Begin by converting it to a layer mask. Once that's done, select the mask only (not the layer beneath), and then blur it.

Does that help?


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moxiecat
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 2, 2007 at 9:39:10 pm

I am using a layer mask, but you're right, I think a blur would work--hadn't thought of that. I was trying to use the feather option and so that's probably why I wasn't getting anywhere. Thanks! I'll try it and post again with results.



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David Garrett
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 3, 2007 at 6:59:57 am

go to my tutorial website and look to Tutorial #11 in the intermediate section (http://asvideoproductions.com/doogs/downloads.htm) this will show you how to create a video button with feathered edges. Bear in mind that you won't be able to feather any of the subpictures tho.. as these will always be a solid colour.
Hope this helps.


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moxiecat
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 4, 2007 at 3:33:54 pm

Well, I've tried both methods and neither one has really given me the results I'm looking for, which is a soft, gradient-ish edge around the video thumbnail. (As an example, the scene selection menu for the film "Whale Rider" uses this effect, and I know I've seen it elsewhere as well.)

David, I watched your video and saw that what you did worked. However, I followed everything you did and it didn't work for me. The thumbnail appears in Encore with a normal hard edge--I guess that's because the mask has a hard edge. Only the original shape is feathered in your process, not the mask. Again, I did see that it worked for you so I have no idea why your process didn't work for me. I am using Encore 2 though, and I see you were using an earlier version--I don't know if that matters.

I also tried the blur on the mask, and that worked a bit, but really didn't give me the nice soft edge--rather, it made the whole thumbnail look a little faded in Encore. (These tests were done on two different buttons, not combined.)

If anyone has any more insight into this, please let me know. I'll continue trying to figure it out and post if I get results. Thanks.



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David Garrett
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:07:36 pm

i am a tad confused when you said mask, what mask is this exactly? is there anywhere you could upload the menu or button so that i can download it and have a look see here on my system


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moxiecat
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:16:10 pm

Hi David,

I have followed exactly your steps that were in the video. Made a shape in Photoshop--in my case, a square black box. Selected it. Went up to Layer-Layer Mask-Reveal Selection. That gives me a mask box on my layer with the black box. The mask box shows the black box in white with the screen in black (in other words, a reverse image, like yours).

I select the original graphic on the layer again, go to Select-Inverse, then Feather (5 px), and hit delete. The original black box shows a feathered edge on the screen. However, when I bring the PSD file into Encore, it has a hard edge.

I was under the impression that to have a feathered edge in Encore, you had to apply the feather/gradient to the actual mask, and when I do test this out by using a gradient fill on the mask, the thumbnail in Encore is shaded accordingly.

I will try to get the PSD file uploaded somewhere if this still doesn't make sense. Thanks for your response.



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moxiecat
link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:33:38 pm

Here is a link to a PSD file I am working with to test this stuff. It is zipped:
http://www.timelessdvd.com/feathered.psd.zip

The "Video Instructions" layer was done alongside your video tutorial.
The "Mask with gradient" layer was done on my own. It is partly the same process. However, the difference is that after the mask was created, I selected the mask rather than the original box and dragged a gradient across the mask.

When brought into Encore, a chapter is linked to both boxes. The "video" button has hard edges, no feathering visible. But the "gradient" button has the exact gradient shading that is visible in the PSD file.

Note that I have not adding a highlight yet--for this testing, it's not necessary. And I do understand that highlights have to be solid--that I have done before.

I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong with the soft edges! Thanks so much for taking a look at this.



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David Garrett
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 6:50:01 pm

got the file, I have to say that i am not an expert with photoshop that much.. but how did you manage to just select the mask to add the gradient to it..LOL am wracking my old fuddled brain here trying to work it out...I know that the problem is with the gradient and the mask, but until i suss out how to select just the mask i am stuck.... HELP...LOL


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moxiecat
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 7:15:26 pm

After you do the Layer-Layer Mask-Reveal Selection step, the box automatically becomes deselected after the mask is applied. (If not, deselect.)

Then click on the mask thumbnail on the layer while holding down the control key (same as in your tutorial, but clicking on the mask box rather than the graphic box). Doing that, you'll get "running ants" around your graphic again but the mask will be what's selected. Then use the gradient tool and drag it across the selection. You will see in the mask thumbnail in the layer that the gradient is on the mask. The black box graphic remains a solid black box.

Does that help?

I'm using Photoshop CS2 on a Mac, but as far as I know, this can also be done on a PC, and I know I've applied gradients to masks in Photoshop 7.

Thanks.



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David Garrett
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 8:07:32 pm

nope.. i am completely stumped with this one.. no matter what i do i just can't get the gradient to work the way you want it to..I have tried overlays,vector masks,etc,etc,etc


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moxiecat
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 8:21:18 pm

David, what version of Photoshop are you using? Are you on a PC? I have a PC in the studio here with Photoshop 7 and I'll see if the same process works or not on that.



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David Garrett
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 8:24:48 pm

using CS2 on a Windows XP system.. I bet there is a simple solution to this (if it can be done that is)... but am ****** if i can find it...i will keep working on it and get back to you


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moxiecat
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 9:45:57 pm

David, I just tried it using Photoshop 7 on a Windows XP machine, and it works the same as with CS2 on my Mac.

After you've made the Layer-Add Layer Mask-Reveal Selection, hold down Control and click on the mask thumbnail on the layer. I am using the black arrow "move" tool for this. "Marching ants" will appear around the box on the menu screen and there should be a double line around the mask thumbnail indicated that's what's selected (and not the regular graphic thumbnail in the layer).

Then click on to the Gradient tool in the tools palette. Make sure that the "black-white" gradient is the gradient showing in the toolbar at the top. Click and drag the gradient tool across the selected shape and let go. A gradient will appear on the shape, and the mask thumbnail will show the gradient. The graphic thumbnail on the left in the layer should still show a solid black box.

Sorry if my terminology for any of this is incorrect.

Joe--haven't tried what you suggested yet, but I will and will let you know how it works. Seems like there should be a way to soften/shade the mask's edges right from the beginning though. Thanks.



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Joe Bowden
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 5, 2007 at 12:07:21 am

moxiecat...there is. Just omit the Import into Encore part, and there you have it. I added that only to illustrate.


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Joe Bowden
Re: link to PSD file
on Jan 4, 2007 at 8:45:58 pm

moxiecat,

To achieve the look you want, first, import the PSD into Encore as a menu.

Then do an Edit in Photoshop, and delete the mask that you have.

Then select the Marquee tool, set the feather to how much opacity falloff you want, and then drag the marquee over the thumbnail to draw out a selection rectangle or oval, whichever you prefer. Make it a bit smaller than you think you'll need.

Finally, go to the Layer menu and choose Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Does that help?

-Joe


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Jeff Bellune
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 4, 2007 at 9:03:02 pm

Using Photoshop CS2.

Try this:
1. New NTSC DV Document. White background.
2. New Group. Name it with the proper button prefix.
3. New Layer in Group. Name it with the proper video placeholder prefix.
4. Use shape tool set to


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moxiecat
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 5, 2007 at 12:17:50 am

Woo-hoo! Yes, Jeff, this works absolutely perfectly. I have to play around with the feather (got WAY too much of a feather the first time) but this process DOES work.

Thank you to everybody for your help. I can stop pulling my hair out about this now! Sooo relieved :-) And hopefully the directions will help someone else in the future too. Thanks again!



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David Garrett
Re: How do you feather the edges of a mask for a video thumbnail?
on Jan 5, 2007 at 6:50:24 am

thanks Jeff.. that will save my old grey matter.....LOL


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