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Superstar Tutorial - Sequencing outside the grid with Shockwave

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This tutorial is in response to another thread that talked about Smooth Effects being placed outside the normal sequencing grid in Superstar and some of the effects that are capable.

Experience Level - Based on my abilities with Superstar I would rate this Tutorial as Intermediate. It is important to have a good working knowledge of Superstar and applying effects in the timeline. There is nothing tricky about applying the effects it has to do more with understanding what the Shockwave effect does and how it moves across the grid.

Some very good basic tutorials are located here; http://www1.lightorama.com/tutorials/ under the Superstar (Add On) heading.

In this tutorial I will only be using the Shockwave effect. In the picture below is the easiest way I could to explain what the Shockwave Effect looks like and acts. If you have ever dropped a pebble in a puddle and watch the wave expand outward from the point of origin, it's the same. The wave will get bigger as it moves. (ie. time passes)


In the video, I wanted the radius of the rings to show after it they had gotten bigger which means that my point of origin (pebble drop) must be outside of the normal sequencing grid allowed in Superstar. That is to say you are not allowed to start a shockwave outside the grid using the mouse. There is another way and that is what the main point of this tutorial is about.

In the picture below you will see that I have placed the Shockwave effect well outside the grid, to do this first add the effect inside the grid, then using the Center X Y coordinates adjust to where you want it start and end as shown by the red arrows. The Center X Y coordinates determine where the effect starts and stops. As you can see the effect will only place a portion of the effect on the grid.  This will cause a green shockwave to start at the top and outside the grid, as it grows larger (pebble in the puddle) it will pass over my grid and only show that portion of the effect. This what I want.


In this picture I have added another Shockwave effect and changed the Center X Y coordinates, this appears to place the effect totally outside the grid, however remembering the pebble in the puddle description, the wave grows as it travels and a portion of the wave (effect) will be seen on the grid. This takes some experimenting.


Now that you have seen how to add effects outside the grid, the next thing to talk about is the timing and placement of the effect on the timeline. Remembering the pebble in the puddle, as the shockwave grows it gets larger and takes more time to grow. Due to the distance that the shockwave effect has to travel to show the shape and size I want, I have to adjust the timing. The picture below shows that the effect starts at one point, but is not actually visible on my prop for another 2 1/2 seconds. This due to the travel time of the effect and where it intersects with the prop. In order to get the timing down, some experimenting is involved.


Hopefully I haven't confused you. To help understand the effects on the video, I have included a .lee matrix visualization file and a sample sequence of what is shown in the video and a snippet of the audio. I included this so that you can see and hear at what point I was trying to add the effects as it relates to the music.(timing) Feel free to download and play around with it. In order to make sense of the sample sequence it might be easier to delete some effects and focus on the one(s) you are interested in. As is, it is a jumble of effects that may be confusing, eliminating some may help understand what effect do what and at what timing they do it.

A nice feature of Superstar is the ability to open two versions of Superstar, what I have found useful is to open two versions then on one version delete extra effects and using the other version to copy and paste a little at time until you get the results you are after.

Unfortunately the movie does not do the sequence justice because the colors are washed out. They are more vivid when viewed thru Superstar. Now that Brian has added the Transparent, Semi Transparent and Solid features for an effect, I'm sure these effects could be made to look even better.

Video of a sample of the Shockwave Effects (multiple) applied to music.

In conclusion, writing a tutorial is not as easy as I thought it would be. I really run the risk of confusing people and that is not my intent. I'm hoping the description, pictures, video, .lee visualization files, and sample sequence will help you understand the process of creating these effects. All I have included should be able to work even with the Superstar demo, you won't be able to save but will get hands on with Superstar.

Superstar Visualization .lee file http://greatgooglymoogly.info/LOR Pics/my matrix 16x50.lee (Right Click -Save As)

Audio File snippet - http://greatgooglymoogly.info/LOR Pics/Black Betty TUT.mp3 (Right Click -Save As)

Sample Superstar Sequence - http://greatgooglymoogly.info/LOR Pics/black betty tut.sup (Right Click -Save As)


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I think this tut is awesome!  It brings in a level of knowledge that maybe some of us haven't tried.  We are truly only held back by our creativity and imagination.  Thank you for helping me expand mine!


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Thank you.  I am one of those guys that by default, think I am stuck in the box.  This certainly goes outside the box.  I never would have thought about doing this.  Now I am going to experiment with all the smooth effects to see just how far I can take them.

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