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BlurMaster (After Effects version): Tutorials & Tips

How to Apply BlurMaster Plugin in After Effects                          BlurMaster's main help page

BlurMaster is applied like any plugin effect in Adobe After Effects. Simply drag-and-drop it on a timeline layer, from the Pixelan folder of the Effects and Presets panel of After Effects. BlurMaster interface will appear in the Effect Controls panel of After Effects. See below for the basic steps to using this plugin. In a few minutes of seeing the below and then experimenting with the BlurMaster plugin, you will have much of the creative power of BlurMaster at hand for your projects.

Basics Within BlurMaster

BlurMaster tutorial for Adobe After EffectsSingle-Layer Transition:
(1) Set the transition's progress over time, using the Progress control. A typical linear transition is 100 to 0 at a layer's head, or 0 to 100 at the tall. To ease-In/out or hold the transition, add additional keyframes or select a handy preset in the Progress Presets menu. Presets say "HEAD" or TAIL" to indicate which side they are most appropriate for.
(2) Click Click here to load a preset... to visually choose from hundreds of pre-made transitions (plus saved favorites) in an animated Effects Browser window. Take a look at the BlurMaster Presets section below to see which presets are most appropriate for clip's HEAD, TAIL or for between 2 clips. Click Recent to quickly load a recently used preset. Click Menu to quickly load an effect via a pop-up menu. Or Open for standard Open dialog box.

Transition Between Two Layers:
If None is selected in the Layer menu, BlurMaster will reveal lower tracks -- and some controls (like Blur Clip 2) will have limited functionality. To create a transition between two layers choose which layer you are transitioning to or from, using the Layer menu, then proceed with steps 1-2. It can be any layer in the comp; Its Video switch can even be off. Pre-compose the layer at first if necessary*.

COOL TIP: To save time positioning section preset keys where two AE layers overlap: Make sure the Layer control in BlurMaster is set to your overlapping layer (i.e. the other half of the transition), then choose a Progress preset within BlurMaster. The Progress keys will automatically be placed in just the overlap. Thereafter, you can choose any other section preset and its keys will likewise be correctly placed within the Progress keys. To temporary turn off this feature, Cmd-click a section preset.

To create a new effect or modify a preset, do the steps below...

(3) Use the Blur Clip 1/2 sections of the plugin to adjust main blur settings. To quickly try pre-made settings, click the Section Presets button -- a Pixelan exclusive!
(4) If needed, untwirl other sections of the BlurMaster plugin to fine-tune further. Add blends, mix in a subtle iris or linear shape to influence the transition’s progression.

You’re done! To save the custom BlurMaster transition you've created for future use, click the Save button. A standard Save dialog will appear. We recommend saving in the "My Favorites" subfolder provided.

* It may be necessary to pre-compose the second or both input layer(s) before applying BlurMaster if they have differentt sizes/positions, are text or 3D layers.

BlurMaster Saved Settings and Presets

In BlurMaster for After Effects there are THREE ways to access presets -- Effects Browser presets, Section presets, and AE Animation presets.


Effects Browser presets

This is the most powerful and visual way to access presets and is where hundreds of transition presets are located. Click the Click here to load a preset... button at the top of BlurMaster to open a large Effects Browser window to visually choose/compare pre-made effects. The Effects Browser is shown below. To explore presets, click a folder in the left pane, then click a thumbnail image to see animated preview. Double-click to apply. To save your own custom presets in the Effects Browser, use BlurMaster controls to set up the desired look, then click the Save button.

Presets for Single-Layer transitions:
If None is selected in the Layer menu some features are not available and some presets will look complete only when applied between two layers. Main presets use the same blur for clip 1 and 2 and are equally good for either transition between two clips or for a single clip head/tail use. Presets in More Presets for Between 2 Clips folder use different blurs for clip 1 and 2 or some features not available with a single clip and will look complete only when applied between two clips. The Section Presets folder contains over 200 pre-made blur presets for Clip1 ONLY and Clip 2 ONLY. These presets change ONLY controls in ONE Blur section of BlurMaster. Use presets in this folder to quickly and easily combine different blurs for clip 1/2 and make hundreds of new blur transitions. Section Presets for Clip 2 will have no effect if None is selected in the Layer menu.

Time-saving tips to load presets faster:
The Effects Browser is fast, but sometimes you may already know which preset you want to use, such as when you are applying the same preset repeatedly in a project. In that situation, selecting a preset by one of the following methods can be faster... To see recently chosen Effects Browser presets, click the Recent button. For a drop-down menu of Effects Browser presets, click the Menu button. To use a standard Open file dialog box, click the Open button.


Handy tips while working within the Effects Browser:
• To scroll through presets in a folder while keeping your eye on the top preview image for comparison, click a thumbnail in the right pane then use arrow keys.
• To increase/decrease the thumbnail image size, use the Size button at the bottom of the Effects Browser.
• To copy a favorite preset into the My Favorites folder located atop the left column of preset folders, Control-click any preset image and choose Copy to My Favorites. To copy the preset into a subfolder within that folder (such as if you want to organize presets per project or per client), Control-click the preset and choose Copy to My Favorites >> [new subfolder]. You can then name the subfolder as desired. After the subfolder is created, it will also appear in the Control-click menu.
• To rename a preset that is in the My Favorites folder, Control-click the preset there and choose Rename this preset. To remove a My Favorites preset, Control-click and choose Delete this preset.
• To hide any preset, Control-click the preset and choose Hide this preset. To show all hidden presets in a folder, Control-click any preset in that folder and choose Restore all hidden presets from this folder. To temporarily view the folder's hidden presets, which can be handy if you just want to momentarily browse them, choose Temporarily show hidden presets.

BlurMaster Effects Browser


Section presets

Unlike the Effect Browser presets, these change ONLY the controls in ONE section of BlurMaster controls. Within any section (aka "twirly") of controls, choose from the Preset menu. Mixing presets from several sections is a quick and easy way to try hundreds of fresh blur transition variations. For example, try different Blur presets for Clip 1 and Clip 2 without affecting what you have set up in the other controls of BlurMaster. NOTE: In Blur sections you can make even a two-step adjusments. Select the "main" Blur settings from some submenu with a prefix "Step 1" and then try the offset presets in "Step 2 - Add Offset" submenu.


AE Animation presets

If you prefer, you can save BlurMaster presets as animation presets in the usual place within After Effects, by selecting BlurMaster, then choosing Save Animation Preset from the Animation menu in After Effects or from the Effects & Presets panel menu.

Detailed Help on Each BlurMaster Control

Layer Choose which layer you are transitioning to or from. It can be any layer in the comp; its Video switch can even be off. If the layer has effects or masks, precompose the layer first. If None is selected, BlurMaster will reveal lower tracks -- and some controls (like Blending) will have limited functionality.
Control the transition's progress over time, typically changing in value from 0 to 100. A typical linear transition is 100 to 0 at a layer’s head, or 0 to 100 at the tail.

Blur Clip 1/2

Adjust the main BlurBlender controls. Choose a section preset at right for common settings.

NOTE: If Layer>None is selected - only Blur Clip 1 is active.
Blur Type. Choose the Blur type. To turn a standard blur into a linear blur, use the Stretch slider below. To turn a radial blur into a spin or spiral blur, use the Stretch and Angle sliders below.
Size. Sets the maximum blur strength. To create extreme blurs, manually enter a value greater than 100. NOTE: BlurMaster automatically varies the blur strength so that the transitions always start/end with a crisp image. You not need to keyframe the blur strength, unless you want to modify the blur progress.
Stretch. To stretch a blur into a linear, spin, or radial blur, adjust towards 0% or 100%.
Angle. Set the direction of a linear, spiral, or offset blur.
Blur Offset. For linear blurs, the Offset controls can create wind trailing effects. For radial blurs, rays and various spin and zoom effects can be created. See the section presets in "Step 2 - Add Offset" submenu for examples. NOTE: If the Stretch control above have value of 0% or 100% only one of the Offset directions will be active.

Cross Style Cross blurs are available to blur in two perpendicular directions and blend the results, creating various crosshatch textures. For this effect, set the Stretch slider towards 50%.
Radial Blur X/Y. Position the radial blur center point.


Optionally use Photoshop-like blend modes and glows in this section to create new looks.

NOTE: If Layer>None is selected, some blending modes can produce irregular visual results. In this case, set the Blending slider to 0%. Tip: You still can use modes like Lighten and Darken to alter the transition brightness, experiment with Blending values outside the 0-100% range and use Glow conrols.

Blend Mode. To fine-tune the blur, choose a Photoshop-like blend mode. To see these blends, make sure that the Blending control below is not 0.
Blending. Set the opacity of the blend mode above. 100% is pure blending, for unusual looks, enter values outside the 0-100% range.
Glow. Optionally add a glow to enhance the effect.
Glow Size. Increase to spread the glow further into darker areas.
Glow Color. Select the glow color using the eyedropper or color controls.

Glow Mode. Set how the glow mixes into the images. "Add" tends to brighten or tint towards the chosen glow color. "Overlay" replaces the image with the chosen color.

Shape Mask

Use this section to conform the blur to a shape. Choose a section preset at right for common settings.
Shape. Choose a shape from several geometries.

Strength. Set how strongly the blur conforms to the chosen shape.
X/Y Position. Position the shape within the image by dragging the center point. If "Linear" is selected, you can adjust its angle by moving the center point. For more precision, enter numerical values.

Text/Alpha FX For titles and source clips with an alpha channel, this sets the alpha channel processing. "RGB blur" affects only RGB channels. "RGBA blur" variations are handy for text blur since the alpha channel is also blurred.

go to BlurMaster's main help page