Creating transition effects with Photoshop

6th March | Tutorial

MemoriesOnTV 3.0 gives you the ability to create your own transition effects for your slideshows using an image editor. This tutorial goes through the creation of a few sample effects using Photoshop.

Version 3.0 supports a class of transition effects known as masked based effects. These are effects that can be represented by a single grayscale image:

Masked based effects are based on the simple rule that the dark pixels (black) will appear first, while the brightest pixels (white) will appear last. In short, each pixel in the above image represents the time in which the current picture will transition to the next.

Once you have created your effect images, you can simply put them into the plugins\Masks folder, in your MemoriesOnTV installation. You will then be able to use them in your slideshow.

Let’s start off with creating a simple radial wipe effect. In Photoshop (we’re using the ancient Photoshop 7, but almost any version should work fine), create a new canvas of say 400×300, and do a gradient fill from black to white:

Now, you can actually use the above as a transition effect if you want. Your picture will wipe from left to right. However, let’s do a more interesting effect here. Go to the FILTER menu, and select DISTORT -> POLAR COORDINATES. This is what you will get:

If you remember your high school mathematics, the above simply converts your pixels from the cartesian to polar coordinates, and as a result, you will get a nice radial gradient.

Now, you can save the above into a file (JPG or GIF), and put it into the plugins\Masks folder. Restart MemoriesOnTV, and you should see the above effect listed (named after your file) in the EFFECTS panel. Your picture will have a wipe transition in a anti-clockwise direction.

Photoshop has a rich set of filters that will let you get even more creative. Let’s do another effect that’s based on a shape, say a star. Create a new white image in Photoshop, and draw a black star shape on it as shown:

Now, go to the FILTER menu and select BLUR -> RADIAL BLUR, and use the following settings:

Apply the same filter to the image a few times (you can just press CTRL+F repeatedly), and this is what you’ll get:

Congratulations, you’ve just created your 2nd transition effect! Save the image, and put it into the plugins\Masks folder. Restart MemoriesOnTV, and you should again see the above listed in the EFFECTS panel. When you select this effect, you should see the growing star shape transition.

Many video software use masked based transition, because they’re easy to create. You can take a look at mask based transitions from other software as an inspiration to create your own. More often than not, you can find the mask images directly in the application’s installation folder.

Through a search on Google, we found the following expansion pack (VfxMask) for Ulead Video Studio that uses mask based transition. You can download their DEMO and look at the mask images stored in the installation folder. Of course, if you’re copying the mask images into MemoriesOnTV for use in your slideshow, do support them and purchase a copy*.

* This is NOT an endorsement of the 3rd party product. Neither do we support this technically.


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