Download Nature and Leaf Video Transitions

Download HD Nature and Forest Transitions here

ProductionCrate is here to offer you a collection of beautifully built transitions that bring an exciting twist to your editing.

Each asset has been tuned to precisely match the vibrant colors from the real world.

With multiple variations to choose from, you can use several of these at different transitions in a single video and still keep it fresh!

Download HD Leaf and Nature Transitions

All of our transitions have been pre-keyed, which gives you the full power of the alpha channel. Thanks to this feature, you won’t need to tediously key out the background and deal with messy compositing. Your workflow will speed up considerably!

So how can you use these effects? You first need an editing program – we recommend anything that supports multi-layered editing, such as Premiere Pro, After Effects, Sony Vegas or Final Cut.

Download one of the transitions. If you haven’t already, you will need to make a ProductionCrate account (which is completely free!). Upgrading to the Pro option will let you download the entire library, though you can still download plenty of effects for free. What a deal!

Once you have imported the transition into your project, put it in the layer above the two clips that you will be switching between.

Download HD Leaf and Nature Transitions

Each transition has at least one point in time in which there is no alpha visible. This is the magic moment in which the two clips swap with each other. Align this with the moment you want to see the cut.

Download HD Leaf and Nature Transitions

It’s as simple as that!

We have hundreds of HD transitions that you can download from our motion-graphics category. You can also check out our backgrounds which can bring great production value to your projects.

Hidden Visual Effects

Story: The Great Unseen Equalizer in VFX

There is an art to using VFX as an unseen tool. So much consideration goes into the curating of what you, the viewer, see at any given moment, that it is easy to forget about what you don’t see in a shot. But more often than not, what you don’t see is where the best and most impactful story moments lie.

In VFX, just because we can do anything and everything doesn’t always mean we should. So often audiences and media focus on what we can see and what is shown on screen in VFX. When The Avengers and Game of Thrones are the baseline for visual excellence, the bar is pretty high. Freeze frame any moment from those shows and the still image is a renaissance painting.  (Unless there is Starbucks cup.)

But ultimately consideration for VFX emerges from a directorial, editorial story perspective. A visual should not exist simply for the sake of existing.

Curious about what are some of the ways to use VFX with restraint or purpose in more subtle and useful ways?

 

Back to the Basics and Classics

A sense of film history is the best tool you can use when figuring out your shot. Think back to a world of Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling; a world of storytelling where it is not so much what you show, but what you don’t and how that restraint can serve the better purpose of your story.

Take for example, one of my most favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone, Eye of The Beholder (Watch it on Hulu.)

The Twilight Zone was created during the infancy of television, an episode conceived in 1960, almost 60 years ago. In Eye of the Beholder, the filmmakers obfuscate, misdirect, and use light and contrast as an unspoken character. The claustrophobic visual language creates a foreboding slow build, leading to a masterful, gasp worthy reveal.

 

Yet, you would think that since it’s almost 100 years old, it should be primitive in its filmmaking, with all that limitation of technology. Rather the opposite,  Eye of the Beholder manages to pack a gut-punch allegory on Nazism and conformity, against the backdrop of a totalitarian state, using mostly shadows, concerted camera movement and actors backs to camera. Even with such heady topics, nothing in the production feels cheapened, nothing feels lost to age, it holds up remarkably well as a gem of perfection.

 

With just light and camera direction The Twilight Zone achieves masterful commentary about the perceived value of homogeny in beauty. What we, the viewer, don’t see informs the story just as much as what we are allowed to see. This gives so much weight to the double-blind reveal. What does her face look like? Is she a monster?! What do the doctors look like? Eye of the Beholder remains riveting and engaging television by any modern measure. If they can do that with so little, there’s nothing you can’t do.

 

Technically Difficult and Time Consuming? Yes, if it serves story.

Way back in 1948, Alfred Hitchcock audaciously sought to create a seemingly single take film.  Rope was an amazing and difficult orchestration, with entire magazines of film taking up the length of each take. Hitchcock’s use of “the television technique” was unheard of and novel and considered by many “daring” for a mainstream director at the time.

This single take (“one shot”) approach popularized by Hitchcock has been adapted, paid homage to over and over since then, which only stands to show how clever the concept was in its infancy. From The X-Files to Birdman to Mr Robot, each new attempt at this concept acknowledges its roots and predecessors then ups the ante and reliance on VFX to create the seamless intended story effect. The most recent entry in this category may be to the 59 minute 3D shot in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

Don’t be discouraged if something technically difficult requires testing, rehearsal, pre-vis and blocking. A deliberate approach harkens back to my thoughts on Mise en Place for production. When you are able to plan for VFX during production process versus an afterthought, you’re putting they story front and center.

Mr. Robot is unique and well known for capturing accurate technical details about computing and hacking, so it’s no surprise that an immense amount of technical preparation went into creation of the episode with a special focus on the shots and camera movement.

 

This breakdown video shows everything from general environment clean up, stitching, tracking and compositing of multiple takes. All this is required to create a seamless and invisible shot. Read more from the director of Mr. Robot’s eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00.

Imagine if Alfred Hitchcock had the same kind of VFX capability. In Rope, Hitchcock wound up re-shooting the ending segments, because he was dissatisfied with the color of the sunset. Today, perhaps he would ask his team environment painters (Digital Matte Painters) to paint and adjust the background accordingly.  

 

Use Constraints to Elevate Story

Figuring out how to “make it work” in filmmaking is a feature not a bug. Famously there is a story about a director that wanted to shut down an entire freeway for a large multi-car crash scene. With a logistical nightmare of permits, stunt men and traffic the Producer griped “Can’t we just make it a reverse shot in a telephone booth?”

Never has there been a more honest and funny acknowledgement of such constraints than in a movie sequel like the Phil Lord & Chris Miller‘s 22 Jump Street – in which, if you didn’t know, is an entire movie is based on the construct of what a sequel is, and what happens in sequels. It’s fun.

Police Captain Dickerson, played by Ice Cube, makes it crystal clear in this movie, there is no budget for a big police chase like last time. As a reminder, Jonah Hill’s character yells to turn the car “whichever way is cheaper!”

This is called “making it work.” With a wink and a nod, 22 Jump Street opts to make all the action happen off screen.

It’s a funny moment with loud off screen banging and crashing. If this were a large tent-pole movie perhaps there would be hundreds of interior shots of CG robots and equipment being destroyed in real time. As the cars exit the other side of the building, Channing Tatum’s character quips: “Wow, there was a lot of expensive stuff in there.” We’re all in on the joke now.

The next time you feel you have to “show it all” think about these examples of unseen story in VFX, remember your filmmaking roots, commit to the vision, see it through and make something awesome.

 

Check out this fantastic video showing off some great hidden VFX. Remember, Visual Effects are a tool, just like any other. Don’t be limited in how you utilize them.

David Fincher utilizes Visual Effects to achieve what he cannot in a real-life scenario.

Creating Bullet Impact VFX Assets (Download)

You can download these HD bullet impact effect here

It’s been a while since we last added bullet impact effects to our FootageCrate VFX library, but this update has been worth the wait!

12 incredible new impact assets are a part of our latest collection, with 3 being completely free to download now. You can find the rest of our dust and debris elements here.

Download HD Dust Bullet Impact VFX Assets

These action-packed VFX elements range from 1080p to 4K, meeting the professional standards that you need to make your compositing project stand out. Each is at a consistent 30 fps, and have been pre-keyed to maintain perfect transparency, making it easy to edit them into your shot. Alternatively, you may choose the greenscreen versions which can be downloaded by selecting the MP4 file from the dropdown list.

If you haven’t subscribed to our Youtube channel, we would like to introduce you to our show VFXperiments, where we breakdown the magic behind creating these incredible effects for our community. Our latest episode covers these exciting bullet impact effects!

So now that you’ve caught up with how awesome these effects are, let’s take a look at how we can use them.

The first step is to pick which asset best fits your shot. Is the bullet impacting the floor? Perhaps a wall? Whatever the case, the available variations will meet your needs.

Download HD Dust Bullet Impact VFX Assets

Grab your footage, (in this case I’m using a photo from Pexels.com) and use a compositing software such as Adobe After Effects or Hitfilm and add the bullet impact into your project. If your footage is moving, you can use one of the built-in camera trackers immerse the effect into your video.

Download HD Dust Bullet Impact VFX Assets

Luckily for us, adding these bullet impacts to your video is surprisingly easy thanks to its built-in alpha channel! All we need to do is color correct the layer to match the footage. This can be achieved by applying a tint effect and selecting the colors of the impacted surface as the color to blend into. Making it slightly brighter will then give it the atmospheric-glow that we see in the real world.

Adding some shading can also work wonders! Take a look at the bottom left dust burst for example, where half of the smoke has been covered in shadow. You can recreate this by duplicating the dust burst and having the lower layer darker than the one above. The top layer can then be masked so that only the area in sunlight is visible. This is one of the most effective ways to make your bullet-impact look lifelike!

Download HD Dust Bullet Impact VFX Assets

You can use the tint effect for other scenarios too, with the video covering how to use these impact assets to create an alien sci-fi weapon effect. Additionally, you can tint the footage red to create an instant blood burst!

Download HD Dust Bullet Impact VFX Assets

We’re excited to see what you can create with these bullet impact VFX – get started by downloading them today.

If you’re interested in our other huge collection of assets to fuel your creative projects, check out our tank VFX assets.

Top 5 Mistakes Freelance Videographers Make on their Website

1. Show Yourself

If you don’t have an About Page, or no photo of yourself on your About Page, get one. People are hiring you to show up at their workplace, wedding, event or venue. They want to feel like they know who you are before you show up. If your potential client is trying to decide between you and someone who has a clear About Page or bio, you’re out of luck.

get more work as a videographer

2. Don’t Look Cheap

Don’t have a cheap looking website.  Hire someone off of Upwork.com, or maybe find someone on Linkedin. If you have the chops to do it yourself, by all means go for it. But if you don’t, hire. Search your local area for “(local area) Videograpy” on Google and check out the top results. I bet you their websites are looking sharp. If you want to be competitive, make sure your site can hold its own.

 

3. Reel them In

Keep your reel visible, and up to date. Keep your reel’s project-file easily accessible so you can swap old shots whenever you get better ones. Then just export, upload and replace the embedded video. Don’t try to fit all your work in your reel, only show the best. The sweet spot for length is around 1:30 – 2:00 minutes. I know some freelancers making over $100k a year, and their reel is just one minute long. Hit your clients with the reel on the home page, but if you have audio make sure to turn off the auto-play feature. Auto-play reels are great, as long as music doesn’t come blasting out of your client’s speakers.

 

4. Narrow Your Scope

Just promote your videography skills. You may be a photographer, or have experience with logo design, but those skills will not help you get videography projects. If your website showcases portfolios from other fields then your potential clients won’t think ‘specialist’. Don’t give your potential clients too much to sift through to find work that relates to their project. Only show the type of work that you want to get more of.

get more work as a videographer

5.  Polish it Up

Show only your best work. If your clients are serious they’ll click around on your portfolio, watching segments of your videos to see if you have the talent they need. If you have any garbage work on your portfolio they will find it. Focus on quality, quantity may do more harm than good. I’d suggest no more than fifteen videos on any given portfolio page (i.e. weddings, events, corporate profiles, etc.)

Keep your video showcase clean. Have minimalistic thumbnails that you put some actual work into. Vimeo is wonderful for hosting your videos. Uploading videos directly to your website can cause lag on load-time or playback, and Youtube videos have too many overlayed links and information.

 

Are you a videographer with some tips to share? Let me know if the comments!

How We Increased Our Youtube Subscriber Count

We started our Youtube Channel in 2009, 10 Years ago.

ProductionCrate’s subscriber count is just around 68,000 today. In the last 365 days we have grown by 44,369 subscribers, about 65% of our entire subscriber count. That’s about 9 years of little to no growth, and then an awesome turn of events.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know we are not a massive channel. We’re not quite at the 100,000 Subscribers mark, or anywhere close to the Gold Play Button’s 1 Million. But we are growing, and most of that growth has happened really fast. I’ve received a few requests asking ‘How do I grow my Youtube Channel?‘ and ‘How do I get More Youtube Subscribers?’ so I figured this was a good time to share what we have learned so far. Keep in mind, this is what worked for us, it won’t necessarily work for all creators!

get more followers on youtube

Format is key. Trust the format.

This is my holy mantra. The words that bring me back anytime my brain goes off on a tangent or if I’m not sure of my next step. You need to develop a format for your channel, show, series, whatever. There is a very direct, very clear connection between our formatted series and our Youtube channel’s growth.

Some of you are familiar with the Saturday Morning Tutorials, a weekly tutorial series we have developed. The first episode went live Jun 8, 2018. Right about the time our subscriber count turned for the better. It was different from other tutorials we have made in one big way, it has a tight format.

By format, I mean a system of steps, rules, branding and consistency that keeps the entire series cohesive. We start each episode off with our title animation and the exact same Voice Over, then jump right into the narrative sketch. After is the Channel’s title animation and then we jump into the tutorial. The series always has the same two hosts, which allows for some ad-lib banter. It has an ongoing story with recurring characters, which connects episodes. We try to shoot with a regular schedule, shooting two sketches in a day and releasing them over the next two weeks, on the same day of each week, and the same time. The system allows us to create faster content but also helps us stay true to the overall concept of the series. If you want to learn more, check out this Making Of video.

In with the Good, Out with the Bad.

We didn’t start the series with an extremely tight format. Things evolve naturally, if something worked, we stuck with it. If it didn’t, it was scrapped and we tried something new. Don’t stick with something if it isn’t working, try a new angle or concept. Saturday Morning Tutorials didn’t start with a title animation or a conscious choice to maintain character arc, those are just things that seemed to work well, and so we made sure to maintain consistency with  them in each episode. Things got progressively better and tighter, and our audience continued to grow. Now we are trying to apply this success to new series, like VFXperiments and Davesplanations, both shows with an active format but still loose enough that we can adapt them as they develop.

Play to your strengths.

Don’t try to mimic another channel’s personality. Adrian and I work together every day, we have developed our own banter and that translates well for the tutorials. Our rhythm works because it is us, if we were trying to mimic Bob Ross we would fail horribly.

You’ll never find success if you’re making content you don’t care about. Follow your interests, passions or curiosity. If you’re bored making your videos, anyone who watches them will be bored too. It will be nearly impossible to maintain consistency and you’ll dread having to edit each one. Don’t do it.

Get Better.

Your audio needs work. You can get better lighting. Your edit can be tighter, or maybe you can let that shot sit for longer. Your workflow is slow or maybe you’re using outdated techniques. Your work will never be perfect. Don’t get cemented in your ways. Keep learning, stay up to date on your equipment, and keep trying new things. If there is one glaring, obvious annoyance you feel about your work then change it. It is too easy to be complacent, you need to be active to grow.

Don’t Burn Out.

Some of our episodes are awesome. We went above and beyond, polishing every cut and fine tuning every scene. Other episodes are just so-so. The latter usually happens when we’re reaching a burn out point. Too much work, not enough passion. If your heart isn’t in it, it’s going to show. For us, we took some time off. We tried new shows, wrote new characters, and found the passion again. It won’t last forever, but that’s okay. We’d prefer to take a moment to fall in love with the work again instead of forcing ourselves to hate it.

 

Do you have any tips and tricks you use? Or any questions you would like to ask? Disagree with everything I have said or found a bit of value? Let me know if the comments below!

How to Make an 8-Bit Effect

8-Bit is back! You’ve probably noticed the growing popularity of this retro style. We’ve seen it in titles and openers, logo animations, indie games, VFX Shorts and many more. Let’s take a look at how to achieve this style. We’ll be using After Effects but if you’re a Hitfilm User you can find an awesome tutorial here.

We’ll show you how to make this 8-Bit style in AE, but you can also download the preset here

For our effect we chose this aerial explosion from the popular Anime and Toon Category to give it that 8-Bit look.

cartoon explosion assets

Import your clip or effect into After Effects.

A popular technique in AE for achieving the 8-Bit look is by using the Mosaic Effect, but we find it far too difficult to achieve the perfect squares and pixelation needed to pull this effect off. Instead, we’re going to use CC Block Load.

 

Drag CC Block Load onto your footage. Set the Completion to 0. We set our Scans to 3. For the number of scans, use to your discretion. Uncheck the Start Cleared selection.

Classic 8-Bit games were limited in what colors were available. While our explosion doesn’t appear to have too many colors, we can still limit the variation and add some color degradation with the Posterize Effect.

 

Add the Posterize Effect to your layer. You will instantly notice some color degradation. Play with the level. Depending on your footage you can find the right look for you. We suggest adding these effects to individual layers but staying consistent with the CC Block Load scan number for pixel consistency.

One additional item you can change is your composition’s framerate. We are going to change our comp’s from 29.97fps to 15fps. To do this you can go to Composition>Settings or just hit Control K (Command K for Mac) and change your framerate there.

learn to make an 8 bit explosion

For the final step we want to get rid of those semi-transparent pixels. This can be done quickly with the Levels effect. Drop the levels effect onto your layer, and select the Alpha option from the drop-down.

 

Select the Alpha Input White number (32768) and type /2 for (32768/2) and deselect. Now your number will read half of that, or 16384. Copy that number and paste it into your Input Black. Now you have crunched out those semi-transparent pixels!

Now you have your 8-Bit style. Mess around with the Anime FX and see what works best for you.

8BIT AFTER EFFECTS

 

Want to keep learning? Check out this Bouncey Text Tutorial in After Effects

the Unexpected Dominance of Premiere Pro

In 2009, at the peak of its powers, FCP 7 was replaced with FCP X.

A 2007 SCRI study reported that Final Cut Pro made up 49% of the US pro editing market and Avid at 22%. A published survey in 2008 by the American Cinema Editors Guild placed their users at 21% Final Cut Pro, with the rest AVID Media Composer. With a suddenly different landscape, Adobe Premiere Pro emerged as the app of choice for FCP 7 editors. At the time, Premiere Pro did not have the popularity of FCP & & AVID Media Composer.

Fast forward to 2019, with the over 12 million subscribers of Creative Cloud,  Premiere Pro is very popular and positioned to be the editing app of the future.

These days PP is used to cut features (Deadpool, Gone Girl) and it has become part of the Big 4 (Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, and Apple Final Cut Pro X). Filmmakers and Editors will probably always argue about which is better, just like photographers argue about Canon vs Nikon, DLSR vs Mirrorless, etc. (so feel free to voice your opinion in the comments).

So here are my unscientific thoughts on why Premiere Pro may be the editing app to beat in 2019 and beyond.

Adobe has continually evolved and innovated

Like myself, a lot of editors saw Premiere Pro as a continuation of FCP.

 

Yeah, CS3 was a step back from FCP 7, but since then the Adobe team has steadily improved and innovated at a brisk pace. Features that stand out to me are the responsive and easy to use Multicam, the ability to blur faces/copyrighted info with the builtin masking/tracking tools, Warp Stabilizer (stabilize handheld footage), and the Essential Graphics Panel (create titles and customize templates).

 

In 2017 they added a future looking feature with the addition of built-in VR tools (formerly Mettle’s Skybox VR and 360˚ ).

 

Integration with Photoshop, AE, Character Animator, and extensive selection of third-party assets

Photoshop and After Effects are both industry standards, and integrate very well with PP. My workflow is to import layers PS and AI into After Effects, and then take that into PP via Dynamic Link.

The 2019 versions of After Effects and Character Animator add powerful features like Content-Aware Fill, easier puppet rigging. And improved lip sync.

Third Party plugins let you customize PP and really extend an already robust toolset.

 

ToolFarm is a poplar vendor of everybody’s plugins, and there are marketplaces like ProductionCrate that offer free and paid elements, templates, and scripts that can be used in PP and AE.

 

I often use ProductionCrate’s light wrap script to get better composites when keying with Keylight in AE.

 

Premiere Pro integration with AdobeExchange

Using Adobe Exchange, Premiere Pro and other Adobe apps offer extensions, plugins, and scripts (paid and free) that integrate with other companies products.

Popular options are video review from Frame.io and Wipster.

Inside of PP, go to Window > Find extensions on Exchange. Download what you want and the extensions will then be installed (PP must be closed). Select the extensions you have installed (Windows > Extensions), and then add to them a custom workspace for quick access.

Creative Cloud owners already have Premiere Pro

If you have the Creative Cloud “All Apps” Plan, then you have Premiere Pro/After Effects as part of it.

Companies already using industry standards Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and InDesign can use Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator, Audition without spending any more money on software.

As of 2016 had approx. 12 million subscribers. Statista estimates 19.74 million by 2024.

Adobe offers the All Apps plan for $52.99 a month (Students/teachers are $19.99/mo the first year, and US $29.99/mo after that.

Mobile apps integration

 

Mobile seems to be the next frontier for creatives in all industries, and Adobe has a whole suite of Mobile Apps (Spark, Capture, Adobe XD) that sync with desktop apps.

Being able to start working on your phone/tablet and then finish that work on a desktop app is a smart philosophy.

Premiere Pro Rush is a streamlined version of Premiere Pro that runs on a computer or mobile., and it is a tool for hobbyists/producers to cut in. It seems like a similar idea to Resolve 16’s new “Cut Page” but is a standalone app instead of being part of the app.

You can start work on your phone/tablet, and then continue editing in PP bu using “Open Premiere Rush Project…”

It’s Cross-Platform

Cross-Platform support is a big one, as it really increases the number of folks using PP and Adobe in general. In the last 3 years, Mac users have been disappointed with the lack of pro machines (still waiting for the Mac Pro trashcan replacement), and the PC offers more choices, hackintosh and build your own options.

So are you using Premiere Pro?

Share your thoughts and insights in the comment below.

The Composing Team behind SoundsCrate

The team at Suite Tracks produces your exclusive music at SoundsCrate

Their tracks are unique, from the hard-hitting Hip Hop tracks to the fear inducing Suspense category you will find music you couldn’t ever find anywhere else. Suite Tracks takes pride in creating non-generic content for the Crate Community.

Gerardo Garcia Jr. and Isabelle Engman are a composing team based in LA, graduates of the prestigious scoring program at USC where they instantly connected and have been working together ever since. After several years of collaborating, they have found their unique sound. Working with clientele like Microsoft/Xbox, HBO, Sony Pictures, and of course ProductionCrate, they have proven that their music meets the highest standards.

Gerardo, who is a Texas native, comes with a long background of practicing and perfecting his composition skills. He has a strong background in orchestral music. Gerardo has an impeccable ability of coming up with the catchiest of melodies.

Isabelle is originally from Sweden. She started her music path playing piano, born with only one hand. She later steered into composition and scoring, assisting established composers behind films like Let The Right One In (2008) and the Grand Prize Cannes Winning Armadillo (2010). Isabelle has also worked professionally as a songwriter/producer for established record labels.

Combining their individual knowledge, experience, musical and ethnic backgrounds allow Suite Tracks to be an extremely versatile team.

One of their recent completed projects Sterling premiered at SXSW and will air on HBO in the spring of 2019. They are currently in post-production for an upcoming interactive series in collaboration with Sony Pictures/Ekko Media.

Suite Tracks will continue to produce original and exclusive content for ProductionCrate users. Every month 10 New tracks will be added, and the quality will continue to dwarf your expectations.