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Duplicating the Picture Frame Effect in the HP Commercials

By Eric Stammer

A while back on the Vegas forums, someone had asked the question of how to recreate the commercials weve all seen by Hewlett Packards digital photography products. You know the one, where the guy holds up a picture frame in front of his face and becomes a photograph he sets down on the desk. He does this multiple times, while the song "Picture Book" by Ray Davies and the Kinks plays in the background.

Well, after reading the post it occurred to me that this could be done quite easily with the great tools available in Sony Vegas software. So I sat down and created an example in just a few minutes and posted on the forum.

There are actually two ways to accomplish this which Ill outline below.

The first method can be used to create a simple form of the effect using the Pan/Crop tool only. But it limits the effect to a two dimensional effect. In the second example for a more natural and more complex effect well use the 3D composting of the Track Motion tool as well. Starting with the basics;

Example 1:

The first thing to do is the golden rule of production; Plan your shot.

In this example I decided to use a frame similar to the commercial, simply a cut out of foam core board. As you watch the example below of the raw shot I simply held up the frame, made a goofy face to distinguish it as the ?picture. Then I moved the frame off to the side.

View the movement

This is where using just Pan/Crop is limiting. If using this procedure, make sure your movements are as straight as possible across the frame. Either side to side or up and down to avoid any distortion of the picture frames angles.

Assuming now, that you have captured your clip and placed it on the timeline, go ahead and duplicate the clip on a track above it. This can be done by simply right clicking on the track header and selecting ?Duplicate Track. At this point lets be sure to label the tracks so that we can keep them straight. I named the original track ?main and the upper track ?picture.

At this point, your timeline should look like this:


Now move ahead and scrub forward to the point at which I have the frame up at my face and I make the goofy smile. With the upper ?picture track selected, split the clip using the ?S key, then delete the first section of the clip. This is the point when want the upper track to freeze the frame so it looks like a still picture. There are a couple of ways to do this; whichever you prefer will achieve a good result. I find it easiest to use a Velocity envelope. Just right click on the upper clip, choose ?Insert/Remove Envelope, and select Velocity. Now right click on the first point on the velocity envelopes left edge, the select ?Set To and type in the number ?0. Your screen should look like this:


Before we cut out the picture I like to add an effect to the top track temporarily to help distinguish my mask. So lets go ahead and select the Color Curves- Infrared effect and place it on the clip on the upper track.This gives us a high contrast image to deal with while creating and moving our mask. 

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