Tutorial: 2 ways to add a PIP (Picture-in-Picture) effect with the Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro

One of the features of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro that I love is the is the Picture-in-Picture, or PIP effect. For those not familiar with PIP, this means you can have the output from HDMI 1 on the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro displayed in a frame over the top of any of the other HDMI inputs in your output stream.

Say for example you have 2 inputs; HDMI  1 is the feed from your desktop monitor showing some software you are reviewing or a technique you are explaining, and HDMI 2 is from a camera facing you explaining the process.

There are two ways of approaching this – one just using the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro and the other bringing the Blackmagic Design ATEM Control Software into the act.


In the first way, just using the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, by selecting a PIP type on the console (the section I have drawn a red box around above) and pressing the ON button in the Picture-in-Picture panel, whatever is in the output from HDMI 1 will appear in a small box at the top right and over the top of the other currently selected HDMI unput. Note that in this method, the content to about in the PIP MUST be in HDMI 1. You can change the position of the frame by choosing a different location button from the panel.

In method number two, you basically follow the steps as in method one, but have a lot more control by using the DVE section of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Control Software.

Effectively, PIP is what is known as a DVE or digital video effect and uses an Upstream Key to do its magic.

PIP 2To achieve this, whilst offline, set up the PIP as you want using the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, and then using Blackmagic Design ATEM Control Software, find the Upstream Key panel in the switcher section, choose your source HDMI (here I have it as Desktop which is HDMI 1) and then using the position and size buttons, you can change the size and location of the PIP.

(Note: in the Blackmagic Design ATEM Control Software you can change the label names for each HDMI input.)

As you can see, you can also add masks, shadows, add a border and change its size and colour and more. To learn each of these, I find it best to simply have a play and see what happens with different parameters.

One thing that I’ll cover in a later tutorial is creating macros using the Blackmagic Design ATEM Control Software. With macros, among other things you could automate the PIP process so you don’t have to set the size, position etc each time; just store all the parameters in a macro, and when you need it, call the macro into play and voila! All done autotragically.


Roger Waters. Comfortably Numb 2022. A Very Different Take Using CGI

I am an unashamed Pink Floyd fan, and also love Roger Waters (who left the band bloody yonks ago).  I had an article a few weeks back about the Pulse video and especially the track Comfortably Numb, which I think I described as a masterpiece in video and visual production overall.

Well, Roger Waters has just released a solo version of it called Comfortably Numb 2022. It is described as a “Dark”: version. It is that, I have to say; and with no guitar solo which was the highlight of previous versions. But it is extremely haunting for other reasons, not the least being the brilliant use of simply almost monochrome CGI panning over a landscape.

You can read into this whatever conflict you will – or all conflicts for that matter – but it does use music and video to project intensly powerful emotions I think, and is a masterclass in video / music creation of simplicity not needing more than careful thought of what exactly you are trying to portray or say.

See for yourself.


Spotlight on The Changed

Discover how Taylor Warren, the post-production supervisor on the sci-fi thriller, used the Boris FX Suite to tackle invisible effects and create the subtle visual language of the edit.

Taylor Warren is a post-production generalist who works in central Connecticut out of a 1940s barn he outfitted with a full post suite. The location sounds both bucolic and like it might be an ideal place to escape The Changed. The sci-fi thriller stars Tony Todd (I cannot see his name without thinking, but never saying Candyman) and harkens back to Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) style movies.

See here for all the details

Tutorials: 2001: A Space Odyssey Stargate and the “Inception” effect for drone shots

From  two of the most famed directors (and writers) came two of the very best effects. Here is how you can re-create them.

The 2001: A Space Odyssey stargate

Created in 1968 so no CGI back then, the stargate was created by filming coloured gels through a slit in a screen while moving the camera forward. Here is a way of mimicking that analogue method using Adobe After Effects. If you don’t have After Effects, you can download a trial version here. And you can get the completed project file here.

The Inception Effect

I admit to never (at this stage) having seen this fil, but friends who have rave about it. This tutoeial shows you how to create the “Inception” effect using drone footage. If you don’t have any, you ncan download 2 clips for use in the project following info in the tutorial. You can download the completed project here.

Again, if you don’t have After Effects, you can download a trial version here.

DaVinci Resolve Fusion; An Intro Tutorial

Fusion is a part of the full DaVinci Resolve video editing package and is used to create cinematic effects and motion using a set of 2D and 3D tools. You can use Fusion for rimple retouching of colour or creating massive special effects as seen in movies like the Hunger Games, the Avengers ar Terminator Genisys.
This is a tutorial to the basics of Fusion to get you started.

Knoll Light Factory

Anyone who has seen the Star Wars prequels, episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine or the movies The Abyss or Pirates of the Caribbean has seen John Knoll’s work
And if you look at the credits for Adobe Photoshop, you’ll see his name there too as one of the original creators.
So it will be no surprise that John Knoll’s Light Factory is a staple for motion graphics creators with After Effects.Yes he invented that too!


Trapcode Shine plugin with Adobe Premiere Pro

Want to create a misty forrest, moody underwater scene or a dazzling sunrise or sunset?

Well then Trapcode Shine is just for you.Trapcode Shine is a plugin for Premiere Oro that the makers say “brings light and life into your motion graphics and visual effects” This tutorial takes you through a typical Trapcode Shine session as an introduction to what the plugin is capable of.

You can view the tutorial here


Introduction to Red Giant Universe With Vegas Pro

Red Giant’s Universe has a multitude of uses from transitions to simulating holograms, to bokeh effects to animations and glows and lights to text effects.

In fact, you could use no other plugin than Universe and still never use it to its full extent!
n this tutorial, you’ll be taken through a\ sample of using Universe and gain a feel for how it all comes together so you can then step out by yourself an experiment!