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BlurMaster (PowerDirector version): Tutorials & Tips

How to Apply BlurMaster                          BlurMaster main help page

In CyberLink PowerDirector 12 (or later):

1. In the Transitions Room tab of PowerDirector (version 12 or later), drag-and-drop BlurMaster from the Pixelan section onto the transition overlap between two video clips in a track of the timeline.

2. Click the Modify button above the timeline (or right-click the transition and choose Modify), then click the Stand-alone Effect button to open the BlurMaster main window.

BlurMaster Easy Steps

BlurMaster tutorial for CyberLink PowerDirector
Instantly load a pre-made effect from nearly 750 cool presets (plus your saved favorites) via a large animated Effects Browser window. Or Alt-click for a standard Open dialog.To create a new effect or to modify a preset...
(1) To make initial changes towards a desired look, use the Blur Clip 1/2 sections of the plugin to adjust main blur settings. To quickly try pre-made settings, click the section’s blue FX folder Section Presets button -- a Pixelan exclusive!
(2) 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. For detailed help per control, see below on this web page.
(3) Set the transitions’s ease-in/ease-out, holds, or other timing as desired. You’re done! To save your new/modified look in our large visual Effects Browser for easy future re-use, click the Save button.

Basics Within BlurMaster

(A) Load a Recent Effect. Click “Recent” to instantly access a submenu of your recently applied effects, saving time.
(B) Undo/Redo. Click the green arrows to undo or redo your prior steps – great for experimenting with new looks/variations.
(C) Serial/Version Info. Click the Pixelan logo to access this info.
(D) Help. Click the blue ? button to access BlurMaster help.
(E) Preferences. Click the asterik to adjust preferences for preview playback size and speed, time units, help text visibility, setting the default BlurMaster effect, etc.
(F) Save an Effect. Click the disk to save a favorite effect as a preset you can re-load instantly.
(G) Clear Settings. Click the minus sign to clear current settings.
(H) Apply. Click the green check mark to apply the effect & close the window. To exit without changes, click the X in the top right corner.
(I) Section Presets. Click an FX folder icon to instantly change only the controls in that section via handy presets we have developed.
(J) Expand/Collapse Sections. To expand or collapse a section, use the “twirly” at the left of a control section.
(K) Keyframing. Click the stopwatch icon to vary the control over time. A separate Keyframes window will open (see additional Keyframing help below.) Right-click a stopwatch to clear keyframing.
(L) Context-Sensitive Help/Tips. Hover your cursor over any control or area to see extensive context-sensitive help and tips.
(M) Keyframes Window. Click to open/ close the Keyframes window. See below on this page for tutorial help about the Keyframes window.
(N) Preview Controls. Use these standard playback buttons to preview your effect.

BlurMaster Saved Settings and Presets

BlurMaster has two types of presets -- Effects Browser presets and Section 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 (as shown by the smiley in the above illustration) to open a wonderful large Effects Browser window to visually choose/compare from over 750 pre-made presets (including those you have made and saved for future re-use). (1) 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. (2) 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. (3) 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. The Effects Browser is shown below. To save your own custom presets in the Effects Browser, use BlurMaster controls to set up the desired look, then click the Save button in the main BlurMaster control area.

BlurMaster transitions Effects Browser

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, right-click the Click here to load a preset... button. To use a standard Open file dialog box, Alt-click the Click here to load a preset... 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, hold the mouse pointer over the right panel then use arrow keys or the mouse wheel.
• 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, right-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), right-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 right-click menu.
• To rename a preset that is in the My Favorites folder, right-click the preset there and choose Rename this preset. To remove a My Favorites preset, right-click and choose Delete this preset.
• To hide any preset, right-click the preset and choose Hide this preset. To show all hidden presets in a folder, right-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.
• To toggle between viewing the source file image and the BlurMaster preset, click the top large preview image in the Effects Browser.

Section presets

Unlike the most Effect Browser presets, these change ONLY some or all controls in ONE section of BlurMaster. Mixing presets from several sections is a quick and easy way to try hundreds of fresh transition variations. Click a blue FX folder icon at the right side of a BlurMaster control section ("I" in the above illustration) to instantly change ONLY the controls in that section via handy presets we have developed. Use this to quickly and easily make hundreds of new effect 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.

BlurMaster Preferences Settings
BlurMaster transition preferences

In the Preferences settings, you can customize BlurMaster significantly to your video editing system's power and your working style. At right are the default Preferences Settings. Four Preferences options in particular may be handy for you to change (all shown with an adjacent red triangle). If you have very fast video editing hardware, consider turning off "Drop frames to maintain preview pacing." If you also have a high-resolution monitor and are editing with HD or larger footage, consider turning ON "Use largest available preview" which will use the largest preview size in BlurMaster that can fit in your monitor while still leaving sufficient room for BlurMaster's controls. Note that your choice for this setting will appear the next time you open BlurMaster's window.

After you become more familiar with BlurMaster, consider turning off "Show pop-up text and help text." That will leave more vertical space for the section controls and also reduce any distraction from the ever-changing help text. Last but not least, you can easily set a new default transition anytime within BlurMaster. Set up the transition control's as desired, then go into the Preferences dialog and choose "Make current effect the default."

Keyframing in BlurMaster

To VARY a control over time, use BlurMaster's powerful but easy-to-use keyframing. First make sure the transition's duration is set to what you want in Premiere's timeline. Then follow the simple process below. Letters shown in quotes refer to the illustration in the Basics Within BlurMaster section above.

1. Go to the frame where you want a control's value to BEGIN to vary over time during the transition. There are several ways to do this: use BlurMaster's built-in Preview Controls ("N"), or enter a frame time in the Current Time/Frame box ("P"). Or click the stopwatch icon ("K") next to the control to open the Keyframes Window, then drag the blue vertical frame marker left or right.

The Keyframes Window graph vertically shows the control's value plotted over time (horizontally, from 0% to 100% of the transition's duration). In this example, the transition's Progress is linear from 0% to 100%.
BlurMaster Keyframing Tutorial 1

2. Adjust the control's value in the main BlurMaster window. In the graph, if a keyframe already exists at the current frame, the adjustment will raise or lower that keyframe. If a keyframe doesn't exist, the adjustment will insert a new keyframe in the graph, as shown at right.

Changing the control's value adds a new keyframe, if not already present. TIPS: To hold/freeze the transition's progress, horizontally flatten all or part of the line. To experiment and revert if needed to earlier keyframing, use the Undo/Redo buttons ("B") in the main BlurMaster window. Note you can adjust keyframing while previewing plays.
BlurMaster Keyframing Tutorial 2
HANDY TIPS: Another way to add a new keyframe is to click ON an empty segment of the keyframe LINE, then drag that new keyframe wherever desired. As you drag, coordinates will appear and the preview will update. To move a keyframe only horizontally or vertically in the graph, Shift-drag it. To fine-tune the position, click the Zoom (+) button in the graph's top-left corner to zoom in, then drag as needed. (Repeat to zoom further.) To precisely position a keyframe, right-click it in the graph and choose Enter coordinates.

3. Use a bezier curve to accelerate or decelerate the control's value over time. Straight keyframe line segments as shown above represent a linear (constant) rate of change in an effect's value. To smoothly accelerate or decelerate it, which can provide a more professional/realistic look, curve the keyframe line by dragging a bezier curve handle.

Attached to any active keyframe are two bezier curve handles (one handle if a start or end keyframe). If the handle(s) are not visible, click the keyframe (or move the blue vertical frame marker near it). To decelerate, create an downward curve (shown). To accelerate, create an upward curve.
BlurMaster Keyframing Tutorial 3
To delete a keyframe, right-click it in the graph and choose Delete keyframe. Or click the Delete Key (-) button above the Keyframes window. To delete ALL keyframes for a control, right-click the control's stopwatch icon. To delete ALL keyframes for a control AND revert to the control's default value, right-click in the graph's gray background and choose Revert to default.

More Keyframing Tips

Keyframing presets button for Progress• To quickly chose from several handy keyframe presets for the Progress control, click the small Presets button to the right of that control.

Keyframing Window button• To hide/show the Keyframes Window, click the Keyframes Window button ("M") below the preview's bottom right corner. Note that each keyframable control has its own keyframes graph. To see the keyframes graph for a particular control, click the stopwatch icon at the left of that control. Or click in the turquoise color bar that is above the keyframes graph.

Keyframing graph button bar• To jump to a keyframe, click it in the keyframes graph. But among tightly clustered keyframes, sometimes that can be difficult. Or you may want to activate a keyframe without accidentally changing its position. The solution is to use the button bar above the top right corner of the graph. For example, to activate the next or previous keyframe, click the Next Key or Prior Key button.

• To copy and paste an ENTIRE keyframe line into another control, right-click the Keyframes graph background and choose Copy or Paste. Note that if copied values do not fit within the parameters of the paste location, they will be modified. To match ONE keyframe's value to another keyframe, right-click the keyframe that has the desired value, then choose Copy value. Then right-click the other keyframe and choose Paste value.

• To adjust an ENTIRE complex keyframe line you've created, right-click the graph's background and choose an option to invert or flip the keyframe line, or Scale/Move to scale its peaks larger/smaller or shift its timing ahead/back -- a great timesaver over manual adjustment.

• To customize the Keyframes graph display, right-click the Keyframes graph background to access four Appearance options, such as to show/hide the graph's grid lines or scroll bars. Any change will be remembered. Save window position opens the Keyframes window at a consistent screen location. Attach to main window keeps the Keyframes window attached if you move the main window.

• To move a bezier handle that is on top of a keyframe,click to activate the keyframe that "owns" that handle. Then Ctrl-drag the bezier handle where desired.

• To stay at a frame while adjusting keyframes elsewhere, right-click the graph's gray background and deselect Sync preview. This can be handy, for example, to adjust a bezier curve while seeing how it alters an earlier or later frame's look.

• To snap a keyframe to the vertical playback marker position (when Sync preview is off; see above), position the vertical playback marker where desired, then right-click the keyframe you want to move and choose Snap to Time. If the marker's position is not possible because it is beyond an adjacent keyframe, the command will not be available.

• To make automatic bezier curve adjustments (instead of dragging a handle), right-click the keyframe and choose Convert keyframe to. Then choose an option shown below. To modify ALL keyframes in a graph, right-click the graph's background and choose Convert all keyframes to.

Linear -- remove all curves in the keyframe
Smooth -- decelerate before & accelerate after
Bounce -- accelerate before & decelerate after (opposite of smooth)
Smooth In -- decelerate before
Smooth Out -- accelerate after
Bounce In -- accelerate before
Bounce Out -- decelerate after

To zoom in, Alt-drag in the graph where you want to zoom. To zoom in vertically to the range where keyframes exist, right-click the graph's gray background, then choose Fit graph to keyframes. This can help you to fine-tune values in relatively flat keyframe lines. Other ways to zoom in vertically are: drag inward the vertical scroll bar, or Shift-click the Zoom In (+) button. Shift-click the Zoom Out (-) button to vertically zoom out. To bring the blue vertical playback marker into the zoomed region, click in the numerical scale above the graph.

Detailed Help on Each BlurMaster Control


Blur Clip 1/2

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

NOTE: When applying BlurMaster onto a single non-overlapped clip only one Blur section is active. When applied on HEAD only Blur Clip 2 is active, when appliead on TAIL - 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: BlurBlender automatically varies the blur strength so that the transitions always start/end with a crisp image. You not need to keyframe the blur strength from/to 0%, 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: When applying BlurMaster onto a single non-overlapped clip, 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. "RGB blur within alpha" retains sharp frame edges in clips that are smaller than the project's frame size. "RGBA blur" variations are handy for text blur since the alpha channel is also blurred.

Progress Control the transition's progress over time, typically changing in value from 0 to 100. To ease-in/out the transition, adjust its start/end keyframes or add additional keyframes. To hold a transition, set two adjacent keyframes to equal value.

go to BlurMaster's main help page