One of the Plug-ins that comes with the Studio 'Bonus' DVD is a trial version of
Adorage - a superb transition and effects editor that facilitates the creation of
stunning effects to meet specific purposes.
As it stands, Adorage has an impressive
range of effects, but there are extra 'specialised' packages available which together
cover more than 8000 transitions and effects (you can use them as either, like HFX
effects). A visit to the ProDad website to view some of the examples available will
show you just how extensive, comprehensive - and mouth-watering - the range and
the potential is.
The effects can be used as presets, or you can tinker with them in numerous ways
to match the underlying video and the requirement perfectly. Or, if amongst the
vast range available there is nothing that fits the bill exactly, you can use an
existing effect as a start point to create a brand new effect altogether.
As well as being a plug-in for Studio - and Liquid Edition - Adorage can also be
used as a stand-alone program, so you can work on creating effects without having
to open up the parent program - useful if you wish to create effects for presentations
or websites, for example.
As you can see from the screen dump above, the program is fairly self explanatory
and intuitive. The range of effects available to you is listed in the panel top
right (1) - the list can be expanded to show sub-folders in the usual Windows manner.
There is a difference between this list and the conventional windows listing, though
- with Adorage, you can drag and drop the list items into any order you want - so
you can organise the list the way you want. You can add further effects packages
as and when you wish. However, I do have to stress that the overall expanded list
can be extremely extensive even with the basic packages, so when you first 'play'
with the program, it is well worth while devoting some time to having a good look
through them all to get an idea of the immense range available. And remember, each
one can be adjusted and tailored further. Those who know me know that this is something
I advocate over and over again - the presets supplied are essentially templates -
similar, for example, to the layout templates you get with a desk-top-publishing
program or Word. You can use them as they stand - and no doubt you will because the
range of variations is very comprehensive, but you can also tailor them to suit the
the particular needs of the moment.
A continually running preview of the effect is shown in the window top left (2)
- so you can see any changes made virtually as you make them. A bar beneath the viewer
shows the progress of the effect being played back.
To the top right of the preview window (3) you'll see a small button - almost lost
in the layout. This is probably the one big deviation from so-called conventional
Windows programs - which would sport a toolbar with menu items. Instead, this Menu
button opens up a list of the options and customisations available to you when using
The real work of the Adorage editor, should you wish to change a preset, is done
in the bottom section (4) which it is arranged in a neat, logical form so you can
access the required part of the editor easily and quickly. As you can see, each effect
or transition nominally uses two video clips: when Adorage is used as a plug-in for
transitions, these videos are, of course, the outgoing and incoming clips on the
timeline. But you have the opportunity to change the clips and how they behave -
particularly when creating effects.
Clicking on either the Video A or Video B picon
opens up a dialog allowing clip selection and adjustment, as shown alongside here.
Notice the tabs at the top - you can move from here to any of the other edit areas
if you wish, without having to return to the main display again.. Top left, you can
select the Video source - Clip A, Clip B, or a video file. Clicking on the Properties
button opens a further dialog that allows you to crop the clip, to flip it on either
or both axes, to tile it or make it repeat a desired number of times horizontally
and vertically - and to flip some of the repeated clips in various ways.
The preview monitor is, as before, top right.
Below the Video clip selection requester are two controls for determining the dynamic
properties of an effect - for example, if the clip is being made to rotate, then
the start time and end time, and exactly how the movement will occur - linearly,
as a bounce, accelerating and so on, can be adjusted here.
The bottom section of this dialog determines how the clip will change over the period
of the effect. One can set its starting position and its ending position - either
by click-dragging on the the 'box' area or adjusting the sliders - for the Start
position (Blue tab selected) and End position (Green tab selected). The 'Start and
Ending' tab is for use where the clip is to remain stationary in one position throughout
the effect. With these controls, it is possible to create, for example, a clip rotating
from a very small size to full size, whilst traversing the screen, throughout the
effect period. At any time, you can save an effect you have created by clicking
on the 'New Effect' button at the bottom. It couldn't be easier.
Either clip - Video A and Video B - can be adjusted in many ways to produce either
an effect - such as picture in picture - or a transition. So, for example, you could
have an outgoing clip (A) sliding across the screen, while the incoming clip (B)
expands out from narrow to full width to fill the space vacated by the outgoing clip,
as shown alongside - which took less than 30 seconds to create! (It's jerky because
of the screen capture used...). And ... none of the presets, or any of the myriad
of objects available to you from those presets, has yet been touched!
The Mixer controls are selected either by clicking on the Mixer tab - if the Effects
settings dialog is already open - or by clicking on the Mixer icon image. As you
can see from the screen dump alongside here, the Mixer Settings dialog is fairly
similar to the Video Settings dialog. At the top, rather than being able to choose
the source for the video clip, you can choose the source for the applied mask itself
- the options are 'None, Video Source A, Video Source B, Threshold file or Alpha
file. With a Preset effect, this option will already have been selected, of course.
The mask can be inverted, given a motion path, and its edges can be softened, given
a border colour and made transparent. In the screen dump shown here, the mask edges
have been softened and given a red edge. The mask works to a large degree like the
alpha transitions in Studio - the transition flowing from the whitest to the darkest
colours (white to black. But it may be that you want the mask to start part way
through and end later - 'greying down' the mask colourings, as it were. This can
be achieved using the sliders on the right side of the settings editor. Again, to
give an idea of the potential, here is a screen dump using Video B as the Mask instead
of one of the Threshold files. An interesting effect that took, quite literally,
seconds to produce. (If the truth be known, there is probably a preset for this as
well amongst the huge range available).
The next Settings Option is 'Smoke' ... a rather strange name for what this Control
does. With some effects - and some videos, fast action can produce a certain amount
of jerkiness in the result. This feature of Adorage enables such jerkiness to be
smoothed over - given a slightly 'smoky' appearance, perhaps. As before, you have
plenty of control over the effect - on the amount of action smoothing, and the direction
of smoothing, from or two each of the four corners and sides.
Finally, a large number of effects can have an additional object included - here,
for example, is a very basic, straightforward transition using a London Bus. The
variety available amongst all the packages is enormous - every National Flag (shown
every which way), every National Airline (again - shown every which way), swimmers,
cars, weather conditions ... the list goes on and on, and of course, includes elements
such as fire, waterfalls and so on. It seems to me they have covered practically
everything. An Overlay Settings editor, fairly similar to those already described,
allows control over how the overlay image - and its mask - is displayed, its degree
of transparency ('Covering') and so on.
All in all, this is an extremely powerful program that you can use as it stands by
simply selecting one of its presets to provide truly stunning - and sensible - effects
and transitions, or to adjust and tailor presets, or to create your own effects,
perhaps even using your own objects. Chances are once you have tried it out and seen
what can be achieved, you'll be making the small investment to unlock its capabilities
on a permanent basis. But be warned ... playing with Adorage can be extremely addictive
... make sure you allow plenty of time to simply explore its potential!
Check out all of the Packages available for Adorage atwww.prodad.de -now!