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Customize  motion backgrounds used by my montage themes

updated May 15, 2010


Motion backgrounds in my montage themes


You've noticed that many montage themes available on this site offers the possibility to including a background. Espacially, motion backgrounds can be selected from the Movie dropdown menu in the montage theme user interface window. Several of you asked me the possibility to use other motion backgrounds to customize their montage.
 
This tutorial aims to explain how to replace these motion backgrounds proposed with my montage theme. Before starting, I want to remember that these motion backgrounds have been created by movietools.info. Their website is regularly updated with new creations, and I invite you to visit it from time to time.
The motion backgrounds available in the resources section of this site are adaptations of these original creations from movietools.info. Considere also, that for practical reasons, their encoding rate has been largely reduced, which may slightly alters the quality, especially when working in HD format. By following this tutorial, so you can also learn how to improve the encoding quality of your favorite motion backgrounds.

Step 1: Connect to the Movietools.info


movietools web site is referenced on the links page. To visit this site, just click on the thumbnail ...

Step 2: Choose the" motion background"


Once on the site of movietools.info, you'll need to choose the motion background you want to use in your montage theme.
All the motion backgrounds are available in the menu Free database.

movietools.info database is organized in serie of motion backgrounds. To prepare the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa, we'll include an appropriate background located in Sport loops. To download the file, just click on the corresponding thumbnail.


The animations are sometimes available directly in 16:9 format. If so, choose this format. We'll select the file  loop 7 Sport 16:9.
Click on the corresponding thumbnail and select Download to start the download. This loop is contained in the file WD0112.wmv .
File size is generally less than 10 megabytes, and will be downloaded in most cases in less than 2 minutes.

Step 3: Place the downloaded file in a directory.


For my part, I often have trouble finding out where the file I just downloaded is located on my PC. Here is a little tip for Firefox users:
  • once the download is complete, in Firefox, open  Tools> Downloads, also accessible via the shortcut CTRL + J.
  • downloads window opens and shows you a list of recently uploaded files. Right click on the file and choose to open the folder containing the file
  • from there, move the file into a working area of your choice.

Step 4: format your motion background


Motion backgrounds available on movietools.info are loops, meaning that you can copy them one after the other without any interruption of the  animation .

We will use this valuable property to create backgroun with a duration of at minimum one minute. This beacause, the longest montage theme of this site last one minute, and it is necessary that motion background has a duration at least equivalent, otherwise background will disappear before the end of execution of the montage theme.

Start Studio, and create a project in PAL widescreen configuration (you may choose an other format, but it will be quite useless as long as movietools provide only SD backgrounds).
  • Place this loop on the timeline.
  • If you load a loop formatted in 4:3 format, you'll get black bars on each side of the screen. Use the Pan and Zoom video effect to zoom in the clip to remove these black bars...
  • Then copy the clip as many times as necessary with CTRL+C  and CTRL+V on the timeline until you get a movie of at least one minute!

Step 5: Encoding your motion background


Even if Studio can read files in .wmv format, I noticed it strongly lose in velocity when a lot of files using this format are stored in the same directory. It's the reason why I chose to use MPEG2 format to encode these backgrounds. As all the files selectable from a dropdown menu must be in the same format, you should format your files using this format !

In addition, a montage them cannot produce sounds other than those of movies placed in the drop zones. A motion background containing a soundtrack will desperately remain silent when running. It is therefore unnecessary to create a soundtrack during the encoding, thus allowing to save some Mbyte ...
An encoding rate of 6000 kbps is more than enough to maintain good quality.
Note: Be careful the next time you will create a movie using MPEG2 format to check the option to include audio in your output movie

Step 6: Replace an existing files


The montage theme of this site will search its motion backgrounds in the following directory :

Under Vista and Seven C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\MotionBackgrounds 16x9
Under XP     C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\MotionBackgrounds 16x9

Depending on your version of Windows, copy the file you just produced into this directory.

Dropdown list in the montage theme user interface only allow a closed list of file (no way to make it explore a directory !). So we need to replace one of the existing file with the new one.
First, we will save the existing file under a different file name. I chose to replace the file 20cents Red Sky.mpg. So, I rename it to 20cents Red Sky Backup.mpg for the case I want to use it again.
Then I rename the new file to 20cents Red Sky.mpg

After this operation, the directory should be modified as follow :

Step 6a (variant): occasional use


If you do not want to replace any of the existing  files, it is always possible to use the following method :
  • firstly, Put your montage theme on overlay track (or on title track)
  • then place your  motion background on the main track.
  • finally, in the montage theme, select Null in photo and movie dropdown list.
This last setting will produce a transparent background in your montage theme !


Results


We can  now enjoy the result of this work ... But before that, it is better to leave Studio, and then restart it, some files being read at program start ...
Open a a montage theme using motion background, for example in the series 20cents Multi Fenetres, and look for the label corresponding to your new background. In our example, this is Red.

You can now customize motion backgrounds according to your preferences, there are more than 100 motion backgrounds on movie tools web site !



Any comment about this page ?

Written by
20cents-video
116 messages

How Match Motion Backgrounds Label And File Names ?Saturday 9 June 2012 12:09:43

Motion backgrounds aren't available any longer on this site following a request of their author.
Nevertheless, you can rebuilt these resources by yourself following this tutorial, thanks to this table linking labels and filenames !

Ball=20cents Ball.mpg
Electric=20cents Bluesun.mpg
Bubble=20cents Bubble.mpg
Drop=20cents Drop.mpg
Energy=20cents Energy.mpg
Green=20cents Energy Green.mpg
Fire=20cents Fire.mpg
Fireworks=20cents Fireworks.mpg
Gyro=20cents Gyro.mpg
Movie=20cents Movie.mpg
Music=20cents Music.mpg
Red=20cents Red Sky.mpg
Rings=20cents Rings.mpg
Soccer=20cents Soccer.mpg
Tunnel=20cents Tunnel.mpg
Twilight=20cents Twilight.mpg
Wedding=20cents Wedding.mpg

It will take you 1 hour !


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Thierry Philippon, who manages www.magazinevideo.com has created two training DVDs (the only existing in Europe) offering to video amateur examples and practical techniques for their families and travel movies. Entitled "The best technics of professionals for your stories and movies travel", DVDs are available in Beginner & Intermediate or Advanced level.
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dreamscene.org
Web site of the month !

Original motion backgrounds for your DVD menus and montage theme animation


Dreamscene.org propose you many free high quality screensaver. Even if these files were made to be used as PCs screen saver, their installation kit content .wmv video files that you will be able to import into Studio, either for your DVD menus, or, after some adaptations, in my montage themes ...

Go ahead, you will enjoy, and it's very nice !.



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