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Program  you first montage theme !

updated January 18, 2010

Description of the theme to achieve

 For this lesson, we'll start with something fairly simple with only a few moves!

Using 2 groups of 6 windows will allow to do many things. E-N-C, who gave me the idea to create this Template of montage theme, wanted to produce a theme composed of two rotating cubes, one beside the other and rotating in opposite directions from each other .
To make this theme more professionnal, we will add a fading effect in the opening and in the ending of the theme.

Here's what you will get by following this lesson step by step :

To get this result, you will only have to know how to rename files and directories, and how to use Notepad to edit the source code of this theme !

To begin this tutorial, start by loading the theme Template using one of the 2 possible installation method :

Theme Template loaded times

  • self-installing .exe  File (simpler!)
download theme-template.exe

  • .zip File to decompress (Vista and 7) in C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\ IMG-Templates (instructions here )
download 20cents

Step 1: Rename the directory

Downloading theme Template will create a new serie of montage theme : 20cents Temp
As you will be the author of your theme, it is legitimate to place it in a directory having a name of your choice. The most convinient method will be to rename directory 20cents Temp  to the name of your choice.

Under Vista, this directory is here :
C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\IMG-Templates\20cents Temp

Under XP it should be here :
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\IMG-Templates\20cents Temp

To do this, select the directory in Windows Explorer , open the context menu by right clicking on the mouse and choose Rename, then give the name of your choice to the directory.

Step 2: Rename the file

Once the renamed directory, you must also rename the file template.ixl. Similarly, select this file in Windows Explorer, and using a right click, select Rename and name the file of your choice.
Once done, open the file with Notepad (right-click the file and select "Open With ...").

You'll have now to make your first changes in the theme. It consist in modifying  filename and path of your montage theme in the 3 highlighted areas in the figure below :

How to change the name and the theme directory mounting !

Now, you will also have to rename the directory that contains background file (theme template is delivered with a file in the subdirectory /-Assets, which is called fond par defaut.jpg (meaning default background.jpg) which is a white image producing a solid background.

Once done, save the file !

Well, you've made your first theme, you can open Pinnacle Studio (min version 12.1), select the montage theme menu, and choose the new serie that you've just created. You can then drap your theme on the timeline ... but, we have still to program the movements!

PS: At this stage, in Studio 12.1, there is no thumbnail created, so your theme will be presented in the theme serie using a big question mark instead of thumbnail.

edit files directory bottom of screen

Step 3: Put your signature in the theme

To take the ownership of your work in progress, you have now to change the theme signature which is managed in the object ID="9" between SECTION 1 and SECTION 2.
Replace the text with a text of your choice having the same length.

change the signature theme of the assembly

Step 4: Building a cube with 6 Drop Zone

I'm sure you are thinking that you can'nt do it!

You're wrong, it's not so complicated with a good method. You will have to follow step by step all the steps below.

To built a cube that can rotate around its center,the simplest method is to follow these instruction :

First, remember this obvious statement : a cube has 6 square faces. However, our drop zones are rectangular using a 16:9 geometry !
  • So we have to truncate the drop zones in their width to give them a square shape. For this we will keep full height of the image, and we will need the 9/16 th of the width, meaning 0.5625 times of the image width.
  • To keep the image centered, we should leave half of the rest on the left, or 0.21875 times the image (and as many on the right !)
This will be achieved using Keyframer objects SECTION 1 group 4 : Objects ID ="115", ID ="125", ID ="135", ID ="145", ID ="155", ID ="165" , modifying parameters TexturePositionX (starting position for image cropping, left edge is 0, the right edge is 1), and TexturePercentX (percentage of image width to be selected)

Etape 4, make windows carrées
Rescale the windows to the geometry
These modifications haven't resized the size of the window displayed, but only the size of the content. To adjust the size of the windows, we should modify  parameter ScaleX, to give it a square shape.
The value to apply will be the same as for parameter TexturePercentX . In such a case, image geometry is not changed.
We will have to do this for each of the 6 cube faces on the objects ID ="111" , ID ="121" ID ="131", ID ="141", ID ="151", ID ="161"

Define the center of the cube
At this stage, the 6 faces of our cube are squares, each one placed at the center of the screen one over the others and ready to be assembled in a cube.
The most effective method is to set the rotation center of each face at a distance of half a side length in the depth axis by placing parameter PivotZ  for objects ID ="110" ID ="120" , ID ="130" ID ="140" , ID ="150" , ID ="160"  to a value of 36 (I found this value experimentally ...)

Build the cube rotating around each side of the center
To built our cube, we will apply following rotation parameters for each face :
  • face 1 ID ="111": no rotation
  • face 2 ID ="121" 90 ° rotation around the Y axis
  • face 3 ID ="131" 90 ° rotation around the X axis
  • face 4 ID ="141": 270 ° rotation around the X axis
  • face 5 ID ="151": 270 ° rotation around the Y axis
  • face 6 ID ="161": 180 ° rotation around the Y axis

We will need to go into each of these objects and apply the correct value on the correct setting.

Step 5: Animate Cube

The first group of 6 windows is now a cube centered in the middle of the screen.
Now we will move it on the left side of the screen, then we are going to schedule a regular rotation around the vertical axis (Y axis), and we're also going to swing the inclination of the cube 30 degrees in one direction and then another every 10 seconds.
For this, we will apply settings on object ID ="101" which controls cube movement (Container of the first group of 6 windows)
  • Firstly, we will reduce scale so that the cube will not overlap outside the half of screen. A scale of 0.5 in the 3 dimensions (parameters ScaleX, ScaleY, ScaleZ) will give correct results (in practice several trials will be necessary to find the value that will give the desired effect). It is important to maintain the same scale value for the 3 axis to avoid deformation effects during movements ...
  • Then we will move the cube on the left by setting PositionX parameter to -0.22. (Again, make several attempts to find the right position)
  • We can then program a rotation of the cube for 3 turns on itself in 30 seconds, adding a line to the parameter managing RotationY for1080 ° (or 3 full turns) at time 30 seconds
  • Finally, we add oscillations around the horizontal axis, starting from 0 ° to 30 ° after 5 seconds, then moving -30 ° after 15 seconds, etc ...
Put the cube on the side of the screen, then run it on himself .

Step 6: Build the second Cube

The Second cube will be built with the second group of six windows in exactly the same way as the first one. In anticipation of such an event, I gave the objects a smart numbering that allows to manage such operation more easily.
The 6 windows on the second group have a number beginning with 2xx, while the first group starting with 1xx, The last 2 digits being the same.
Operation to be done are in order :
  • Edit objects ID ="215", ID ="225", ID ="235", ID ="245" ID ="255" , ID ="265" to set parameters TexturePositionX and TexturePercentX to respective values 0.5625 and 0.21875
  • Then change the setting of ScaleX to put the value 0.5625 for object ID ="211", ID ="221", ID ="231", ID ="241", ID ="251", ID ="261". At this stage, the 2nd window group is composed of 6 square windows.
  • Then put parameters PivotZ value36 to objects ID ="210", ID ="220" ID =" 230" , ID ="240" , ID ="250" ID ="260" for position their rotation center half a side length in depth.
  • Then move each windows to its place in the cube by rotating around the center we have just defined. We still use the same rotation parameters as for first cube (see step 4 )
  • Finally, by modifying object ID ="201" which controls movement of the second group of windows, move the cube on the right side of the screen by giving the parameter PositionX value 0.22 (the first was value -0.22, which places them symmetrically on the screen),
  • Then set the parameters ScaleX, ScaleY, ScaleZ to 0.5 to reduce the apparent size of the cube.
  • Now, program 3 laps in 30 seconds by setting parameter RotationY from a starting position of 90° (so that the faces are alternated between the 2 cubes when opening and ending the theme), and a final position - 990 ° so that there is really 3 full turns in reverse of the first cube
  • Finally swing of  + or - 30° on X axis will be placed in opposite phase relation with first cube (we will start here by going from 0 ° to -30 °).

Here is a picture of that object ID ="201" after all these changes

Animating the second cube

Step 7: Adjust Title

Reminder: Titles are in Section 6 of the theme Template

3D objects like cubes of this theme remain centered on the depth axis at value 0. As a result, Titles, which are (by default) on this same plan are partially hiddendepending on  cubes movements.
It is therefore necessary to move theses titles above cubes to make them always visible.

For example, we will make Title 1 coming from the right 5 seconds after the start of the montage theme, let it visible 5 seconds, then shift on the left. Title 1 will be positioned slightly on the upper side of the screen.
Title 2 will appear on the left 15 seconds after the start of the theme and will remain stable during 5 seconds before disappearing on the right. Title 2 will be positioned slightly on the lower half of the screen.
  • First, we must position titles above cubes in the depth axi. For this, we use PositionZ parameters on objects ID ="271" and ID ="281" which control titles movements. A value of -40 will be correct (the sign - means that titles moves toward the screen)
  • By doing this, you will see the text growing significantly, since it is now closer to the observer. It is therefore necessary to reduce its size setting  parameters ScaleX, ScaleY and ScaleZ for example to value 0.6
  • Using parameter PositionY to value 0.15 in the object ID ="271", we will shift Title 1 to upper part of screen , and same for Title 2 in the lower part of screen , giving PositionY the value -0.15 in object ID ="281" 
  • Finally, horizontal movements of titles will be managed using parameter PositionX in objects ID ="271" and ID ="281"

Following figure summarizes changes in object ID ="271"

Create the movement of the title area

Step 8: Develop a fade for opening and ending sequences

Enable melted start and end of topic
theme Template allows to set a fade at opening and ending of the theme. To do so, simply go to Section 7 and change the value of the object ID ="290" as shown on the figure beside.

We can also add fades on the background image controlled by the object ID ="5" in SECTION 1, by applying  value 0 (transparency) to ObjectColorAlpha parameter during opening and ending periods of the theme.
Now your theme is fully functional, but you have still to create a .png thumbnail file bearing same name as your theme and being in the same directory. This may be done with a screen capture using Studio or through external tool such as Windows Vista Snipping tool for example.

I hope this tutorial was clear enough and will allow you to start your own creation. Watch in hand, it took less than one hour to create this theme not so far from professionnal one, you will agree !
Note: on my configuration, when Studio has finished creating the pre-visualization, some face of cubes seem missing. Nevertheless, this does not affect the output when creating your movie!
Is probably due to the number of ImageExplicit object declared in this theme. In a next tutorial, we'll see how to clean up the theme from unused parts.

To conclude, in case of problems, the solution of this tutorial is given in theme #146 which is located in Cubes

Any comment about this page ?

Written by
1 messages

Ridwan26 - Study TriedThursday 21 February 2013 11:14:57

Yeahh... I successfully implement
i am very happy

Written by
1 messages

Titre Du MessageThursday 19 February 2015 15:35:32

Unfortunately too complicated for me!

Only registred users are allowed to post comments

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