Section 80. Add a Lightning Bolt Effect

80. Add a Lightning Bolt Effect


33 Add or Move a Clip on the Timeline

61 Add and Customize an Effect

68 About the Properties Panel

74 About Advanced Effects


63 Reset or Remove an Effect

65 Create and Save a Preset

67 About Keyframing

71 Make a Variable-Speed Pan and Zoom

75 Control a Video Effect with Keyframes

The infinitely customizable Lightning effect is one of the coolest in the Premiere Elements Video FX collection. By adjusting its settings, you can make the effect appear as anything from a single bolt to an elaborate plasma array of Tesla lightning.

You can also use the effect with keyframing to track the endpoints of the lightning with a moving object on screen. For example, you can follow an object as the camera angle changes, show one end of a lightning bolt following a path (as if it were "writing" text in wood, for instance), or even creating the illusion that a person or object is actually carrying the lightning bolts.

The only downside is that it's definitely a resource-intensive effect, and even state-of-the-art computers might have trouble rendering previews on-the-fly. But be patient. The results are well worth it. In fact, it's worth your time to render the clip as you experiment with its settings (press Enter to render) so you can see this effect in all its glory as you work.


To make a lightning bolt appear briefly, as if it were a lightning strike, zoom into the Timeline (press the + key) and use the Split Clip tool as described in 36 Split a Clip to slice your clip at the point at which you want the lightning bolt to begin. Nudge the CTI about half a second to the right and slice the clip again, creating a tiny, isolated segment of the original clip. Apply the Lightning effect to this short segment. The clips will still play seamlessly over the slices, but the dancing bolt of lightning will appear for only those few, isolated frames. Add a sound from your own collection to complete the effect!

80. Add a Lightning Bolt Effect


Drag the Lightning Effect on to a Clip

The Lightning effect is found on the Effects and Transitions panel, in the Render category of the Video FX collection.

Drag the clip from the Effects and Transitions panel and drop it on a clip in the Timeline. Applying the effect to a clip generates a default lightning array, as you can see in the Monitor panel.


Open the Lightning Control Panel

With the clip selected, click the triangle to the left of the Lightning listing in the Properties panel to reveal one of the most powerful control panels in the Video FX library.


Customize the Effect

The Lightning control panel allows you to set the locations of the beginning and end points of the lightning bolt; the number of branches and rebranches; the angle of the branches; the length, width, and flickering speed of the branches; plus options to set a free form (random) endpoint, choose the colors of the lightning branches, specify the pull direction, and choose to have the flickering branches repeat their movements or randomize them.

Experiment with these options to get the lightning effect you're afteror discover an effect you didn't know existed!

You can apply keyframes to the effect to vary the locations of the Start and End Points over the course of your clip.


After you begin applying effects to your clip, you'll find that the quality of the image in your playback has apparently deteriorated. On slower computers, playback might even seem jumpy or irregular. This is because your computer is creating a soft render of the clip on-the-fly. Also notice that the affected clip is marked by a red line above the clip on the Timeline. To see a better example of what your clip will look like on final output, press Enter to render the Timeline. The red line above the clip turns green when rendering is complete, and the quality of your playback will be an accurate representation of what your final output will look like.

Adobe Premiere Elements 2 in a Snap
Adobe Premiere Elements 2 in a Snap
ISBN: 0672328534
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 199 © 2008-2017.
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