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SpiceFX 6 Blur-Sharpen Wizard Gives You Full Visual Control in Clips!
Give yourself complete control over blur effects and sharpen effects in Windows Movie Maker! This new SpiceFX Wizard provides several blur types, including a handy Smart Blur that retains sharp edge detail while smoothing other areas in your scene. Adjust the blur (or sharpness) radius and strength, as in Photoshop. Vary the blur or sharpen effect within the scene, such as to blur only near the frame edges, or blur a face to obscure face identification, or blur a license plate, etc. Very handy for Movie Maker users!
The Blur-Sharpen Wizard can emphasize your main subject by seamlessly adding a feathered, soft blur to the surrounding background. It therefore can give a greater sense of depth of field to the composition. Note that the blur location can be keyframed to move with your action, if needed.
You can also create visual moods and nostalgic looks by applying a blur effect or sharpen effect only to outside surrounding areas of the frame. Many blur and sharpen looks are available -- just a few are shown above. Great for wedding videos, event video, sports videos, etc -- any scene that has a single area of interest.
The Blur-Sharpen Wizard's ability to only blur a small area within the scene is handy for many uses, such as to obscure license plates in security videos or real estate clips, blur a face in the foreground/background of a video interview, etc. Wherever you want to apply the blur, just drag it to that location in the Wizard's preview.
Tutorial: 6 Easy Steps to Using the Blur-Sharpen Wizard
Double-click the Wizards for Movie Maker icon on your desktop (installed by our demo or purchased version). Or choose it in your Start > Program Files > Pixelan menu. Then the Wizards window will appear. If necessary, choose Blur-Sharpen effects from the top submenu to see the below.
1. Optionally, click the Reference Clip button to load a still-image of the background video (.wmv, .avi, or .mpg format) or photo (.bmp, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tga, or .pct format) you will use with the effect, for reference to better decide on adjustments to your scene.
TIP: Reference images are ONLY for reference in a Wizard. They are NOT part of your custom effect. The Movie Maker TIMELINE is where you will apply your exported effect to any image.
2. Click the Style button to select the type of blur or sharpen. To retain edge detail, for example, choose Smart Blur. Click Radius and Strength buttons to alter the intensity, as in Photoshop.
TIP: Unsure how much blur or sharpening is needed without seeing full-size results in Movie Maker? Create a slight Blur-Sharpen effect, then apply the effect more than once to the same clip in Movie Maker, as needed.
3. To apply the correction only to part of the image, click Shape, Size, and Edge buttons. Several shapes are available, including small ones handy to blur identification. Drag the preview’s center handle to position the effect. Or right-click to position precisely. Edge sets the softness of the effect’s edge.
4. To move the effect area in the scene over time, click the Shape button’s triangle to set keyframes. Keyframing steps are described in the tips below.
5. To create more than one custom Blur-Sharpen effect, click the Bin button to select another bin, then repeat steps 1-4 above.
6. When you are done creating accents, click the Click here to export button to send your custom Blur-Sharpen effects into Movie Maker. Re-start Movie Maker, then the effects will appear at the TOP of Movie Maker’s Effects list as "Blur-Sharpen 01" "Blur-Sharpen 02" etc., ready to be dragged onto any video or still-image clip in the Movie Maker timeline.
Blur-Sharpen Effects -- Tips and Tricks
Note: All of these tips are also in the built-in Help panel that appears with Blur-Sharpen.
• To revise a previously exported Blur-Sharpen effect in Movie Maker: 1. Revise the effect in this Wizard. 2. Click the Click here to export button. 3. Re-start Movie Maker. 4. Drag the SAME effect onto your clip to replace the prior version. Important Tip: Revisions will NOT affect any other project. Each Movie Maker project file retains the Wizards information that was active at the time of applying it, no matter what Wizards changes occur later.
• To apply a blur or sharpen to only part of a clip’s duration, split the clip into a couple of pieces in the Movie Maker timeline (use Movie Maker’s Clip > Split command) where you want the effect to start/end, then apply the exported Blur-Sharpen effect only to the desired piece.
• To apply multiple blurs/sharpens to the same clip... create the effects, each saved in a Bin, then export and apply several (up to six) to the same clip in the Movie Maker timeline. Combining blurs and sharpening can lead to interesting results. Play with the order of effects.
• To move an Blur or Sharpen area linearly during a clip, click the triangle in the corner of the Shape button to open the Keyframing window. Then: (1) Click the Add Key (+) button in that window to add an End keyframe. (2) In the Preview window, drag the blue (and red) center handles to desired start (and end) positions. For precise positioning, right-click on them.
• To keyframe a more complex movement of an effect area, follow the above steps, then: (3) Click the Add Key (+) button again to add an intermediate keyframe, labeled as "1". Slide that keyframe left or right in the Keyframing window to move it earlier or later in the clip's duration. (4) In the Preview, drag the center cursor to move the (green) intermediate frame to a desired position. (Changing your reference clip may be handy as a guide for the position.) To add more keyframes, repeat these steps. Seven are the maximum.
• To load a Reference Clip image that has a different format than the Wizard can show (thus a clip that is not in .wmv, .avi, .mpg, .bmp, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tga, or .pct. format), place the video clip or still-image in your Movie Maker timeline, display a desired frame in the Movie Maker preview window, then choose Tools > Take Picture from Preview. This will save a separate image file on your drive. Then load that image into a Wizard by clicking its Reference Clip button.
• To copy/paste a Bin's effect to another Bin in the same Wizard, right-click the Bin. This is handy to organize your effects and to create several variations of a complex effect.
• To undo/redo, click the small buttons at the window's top right corner (if active). Up to 100 undo/redo levels are possible -- great for experimenting with different looks.
• To optionally append up to 16 characters to an effect’s name to help you remember its intent when viewing Movie Maker’s list of effects, use the Add to Name text box.
• To change the Wizard’s preferences, such as preview duration, video format (NTSC or PAL), aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9), and more, click the white Preferences button at the bottom of the window. For best preview accuracy in the Wizard, match the video format and aspect ratio to your Movie Maker project. These values will not alter your exported effect; they are only for the Wizard’s preview.
• To save a favorite Blur-Sharpen effect (or a set of effects), click the Save Favorites (disk) button. To load it later, click the adjacent Load Favorites (folder) button. Note there is no need to save a favorite unless you intend to use the same effect in a future project, because each Movie Maker project file holds all Wizards info applied in that project. That remains true even if you later use the same bin to make a new custom item for a different project.
• To clear only the currently displayed effect, or all effects in this Wizard, or all exported items in Movie Maker from this Wizard, click the yellow Clear (-) button at the window’s bottom. Clearing all exported items is how you can create a fresh set of custom Blur-Sharpen effects for each new project. Note that existing projects will still retain their earlier Blur-Sharpen effects unchanged.
• To exit the Wizards, click the green Save and Exit (check mark) button in the lower corner of the window. Although you must re-start Movie Maker each time you export items from a Wizard, you can keep the Wizards window open for reference or further changes.