Create your very own portal effect inspired by none other than “Portal” the video game — completely within Adobe Premiere Pro.
As a big fan of the Portal series, I’ve always been enamored with the color and style of the portals in the game. Trying to recreate it in a video always seemed like it would require very extensive work in After Effects — and a whole bunch of technical know-how. Thankfully, our friends over at Cinecom.net have found a way to create this stunning effect (that just about anyone can recreate) in Premiere Pro.
Cut Out Green Screen Portals
To begin creating your very own portals, you have to start with the essentials. That means a keyable surface for your portal. Take some green wrapping paper and cut out a portal-sized ellipse. Make sure that you avoid any creases or folds in your paper, since it can cause problems when keying out the green later on.
Setting Up the Shots
Creating the scene with your portals requires two locations and six different shots. First, you need the location where your subject will enter the portal — and a place where they will be exiting. Record shots from the “view” of the portal as well so you can fill your portal’s space. You will need a shot of the subject jumping onto the marker, and an empty shot of the room for the background during the masking phase. Make sure to record these shots on a tripod — you want both shots to match up exactly when editing in post.
Putting It Together in Post
Place the shot of your subject jumping into the second track of your timeline. Apply the “Ultra-Key” effect to the green screen to key it out. Then take the shot you recorded from the other room’s ceiling and place it on track 1. This will reveal the shot from underneath the portal. Adjust it using scale and position to make it look like you are looking through the portal into the other room.
To add the “Portal” ring, take these clips provided by Cinecom and add them to your project. Place the clip on your edit, and remove the background using the “screen” option in the clip’s opacity blend mode. Since the portal is only manipulable in a 2D space, add the “Basic 3D” effect to fit it exactly onto your keyed-out space.
Creating the Animation
Next, find a spot in your timeline after your subject has jumped and is floating in the air. Cut there, and add a “Frame Hold” using the clip’s right-click settings. From here, you need to mask out your subject. Go into your clip’s settings, and create a mask using the mask tool. Be as precise as you can — you don’t want your subject to carry any of the background with it. After masking, carry that clip to the V4 spot in your timeline, and fill its previous spot with your “empty” shot. Don’t forget to key out the empty shot’s green screen as well.
To make the effect come to life, you need to animate your masked-out subject. Create a nest inside your clip, and apply the “transform” effect. You may need to play around in the settings to get the gravity and timing right, but as long as you get the subject from point A to point B, you’re golden. Lastly, disable the composition’s shutter angle on the clip, and ramp its shutter angle to 180 to get a natural motion blur.
To finish the effect, you need to create a foreground in your portal through which your subject can disappear. Duplicate the empty shot and the portal and place it above the masked-out subject clip. Draw a mask around the foreground of the portal on both clips. Now, when your subject falls, they will fall through the portal, and not over it.
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