Making a new collage in MEP

terrypin wrote on 10/23/2014, 3:28 PM

Terry, since you seems to be doing more of these than the rest of us, could you open a new thread in the Discussions part and do this? Even better, post the methods under tutorials?

Does anyone read those tutorials?

Here are the detailed steps:


1.  Open a new project.

2.  Import your objects and apply the required effects. Typically these will now be in several tracks, from #1 onwards. (From experiment I think there is an upper limit of 31 objects possible in a single collage. They get unwieldy well before that though!)

3.  Move all of these so that they are now in track #6 onwards.

4.  Open the \Collages folder. On my XP PC that's at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\MAGIX\Movie Edit Pro 2014 Premium\VideoEffects\Collage\ but Win 7, 8 (and soon 10) systems will be different.

5.  Import Spacer.tif into track 1, with a duration equal to the total length of your collage.

6.  Open its properties and rename it to COLLAGE.

7.  Rename each of the collage objects, so that track #6 object is now named PH1, track #7 name becomes PH2, etc. Note there are no extensions and that PH01, PH02, etc will cause trouble.

8.  Reassure yourself by playing the project to ensure it does exactly what you want to see in the finished collage.

9.  Decide a suitable name for your collage file. This will eventually join all the other CTF files in the \Collages folder.

10. File > Manage movies > Export, and navigate to your \Collages folder if necessary.

11. Save the file for the moment as an MVD file, with your chosen name.

12. Using Explorer in \Collages, edit the file extension from MVD to CTF.

13. Still in \Collages, copy any INI file associated with an existing CTF and rename it to match your new CTF file. So for example if your new file was called 'Zin Corners.ctf' then the INI file you want is 'Zin Corners.ini'.

14. Still in \Collages, open translation.ini in a text editor. (It might be called translation_en.ini - only one must exist or you'll get trouble.)

15. Decide a suitable name for your collage. This could possibly be the same as the file name, which simplifies matters, but it's more likely that you'll want something more meaningful. It will have to be short, as you see from the built-in collages. You can change it later anyway. See my examples.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/iyotvyw2indfjjr/MEP-CollageNamesExamples-1.jpg?raw=1

16. Add a two-line entry to translation.ini. It can be anywhere but I try to place it in the appropriate section so that I can find it easily later. Follow the existing syntax. Here's a section of my translation.ini file, in which the first item is an MEP original and the other seven are new ones. The spacing in the names of the last three might look odd, but is to get the second line of the name looking OK. Experiment usually proves necessary!

[lslslsls_half_horz1]
name=>04 09

[4Stills-TinyGap-10]
name=>04 10s TinyBdr

[4#2-PIP]
name=>04 Lg+3small

[Zoom_Tile_Gaps]
name=>04 LgBdr Zin

[Zin Corners]
name=>04 NoBdr Zin

[Z-Tile-Gaps-WhtBrdrs]
name=>04 Zin   WhtBdr

[Zoom_Tile Col]
name=>04 Zo   WhtBdr

[Zoom_Tile BW]
name=>04 ZoBW   WhtBdr

17. Save the text file. You will only see the results after re-starting MEP. But meanwhile your new effect should appear in the UI (possibly requiring some refreshing action), with the filename as the collage name, including its extension, CTF.

18. Take a JPG screenshot of your collage at a point which will represent it usefully, typically at or near its end.

19. Resize it to a suitably small size, typicall 50 x 50 (not critical - some of mine are 90 x 60) and rename it like the CTF and INI, such as 'Zin Corners.jpg'.

20. Save it to the \Collage\Icons_video folder.

21. Export the collage as a WMV and save that in the now familiar fashion, this time to \Collages\Preview.

22. Done!

As I've mentioned before, I learned the basics of this years ago from Carl and Michael (mrverron). It's time-consuming stuff, but can be fun too.

Comments

browj2 wrote on 10/23/2014, 4:11 PM

Terry,

Excellent! Thank you very much.

That was thoroughly done and easy to follow.

BTW, the last tutorial that you posted, "How to use Effect Masks in MEP," has 3194 views. My one and only Vasco da Gama has 1130 views. Whether or not people actually read or watch them is another story, but probably many do.

Last changed by browj2 on 10/23/2014, 4:11 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

johnebaker wrote on 10/23/2014, 4:25 PM

Hi Terry

. . . . Does anyone read those tutorials? :-) . . . . 

YES  - me for one - I like to see how others do things.

John

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/23/2014, 4:25 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

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Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

Scenestealer wrote on 10/28/2014, 4:16 AM

Thanks Terry. Nice work.

Peter

Last changed by Scenestealer on 10/28/2014, 4:16 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

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johnebaker wrote on 10/28/2014, 8:21 AM

Hi Terry

I have followed your method using MEP 2015, however when I applied the saved collage to objects in a new project I got the error 'The effect cannot be displayed'

The issue appears to be caused by the original images used in the collage not being available in the Collage folder.

I replaced all the real images, transferring the effects to each, with the gs.png image already in the Collages folder, and then exported as per your instructions.

Works fine.

The maximum number of objects is 30 

John

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/28/2014, 8:21 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 10/28/2014, 3:36 PM

Hi John,

After successful initial creation, the collage should work OK as long as none of the orginal objects have been moved or renamed. The originals don't need to be in \Collages. As you've discovered, you could subsequently simplify the whole process by replacing all the originals with any JPG, PNG, BMP, etc, copying the effects exactly as you did. But having gone to all the trouble of making a preview icon and movie clip it's satisfying to call it a day at that point!  

One resource that comes in useful, especially with complex collages where you need to see the order your many objects are displayed (it's sometimes not as expected) is a set of numbered images. I've uploaded 40 here in case they prove helpful:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/adixdyus2qg19dd/Photo01.zip?dl=0

It's interesting that you found the object limit was 30. I thought so initially, but was later able to get 31.

 

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK

johnebaker wrote on 10/28/2014, 6:02 PM

Hi Terry

. . . . the collage should work OK as long as none of the orginal objects have been moved or renamed . . .  . The originals don't need to be in \Collages. . . .

However it does not work for me. From the testing I did the images do need to be in the Collages folder for MEP2015 or you get the error message as I described.

The final step in creating a collage effect is to replace the original images with the png file, in the Collages folder,  not only to make it work, but also for it to be totally independant of the original images being available.

John

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/28/2014, 6:02 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 10/29/2014, 3:31 AM

Hi John,

Well, maybe it's a 2015 change. But I'm successfully using many colllages whose original files are in various (permanent) locations, not in the \Collages folder. For example some were made using some of those 40 files I uploaded, which are located here: C:\Docs\My Pictures\Misc-Graphics\Test 169\40\

Also, when it comes to editing existing collages and using them as a basis for making new ones, a single generic file for all objects makes it harder to assess the finished appearance.

 

Last changed by terrypin on 10/29/2014, 3:31 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK. PC: i7 6700K, 4.0 GHz, 32GB. Most versions of MEP; including 2017 Premium. Using mainly MEP 2016 Premium.

johnebaker wrote on 10/29/2014, 8:39 AM

Hi Terry

. . . . a single generic file for all objects makes it harder to assess the finished appearance . . .

. . . . when it comes to editing existing collages and using them as a basis for making new ones, a single generic file for all objects makes it harder to assess the finished appearance. . . .

Both are true if you change the ctf back to mvd and load it.

However, for me, it is easier to modify an existing effect by applying it to real files, modify as required, create the example video and icon image and then substitute the generic file again to make it independant again.

I think we can agree to disagree on the final step because we both have different ways of working regarding some aspects of MEP.

The great thing for me is that you posted the method to create a complete effect which cuts down the amount of work I was having to do exporting the indvidual effects and having to reload them one by one to the objects on the timeline.

Cheers

John 

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/29/2014, 8:39 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 10/30/2014, 10:50 AM

 

Hi Terry

. . . . Does anyone read those tutorials? :-) . . . . 

YES  - me for one - I like to see how others do things.

John

Hi John,

FWIW, I submitted it as a tutorial 3 or 4 days ago ... but no sign of it yet.

 

Last changed by terrypin on 10/30/2014, 10:50 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK. PC: i7 6700K, 4.0 GHz, 32GB. Most versions of MEP; including 2017 Premium. Using mainly MEP 2016 Premium.

browj2 wrote on 10/30/2014, 11:06 AM

Hi Terry,

It takes a few days. The ones that I submitted on Oct. 23 showed up on Oct. 27, I believe. I think that they have to review them for subliminal messages.

Last changed by browj2 on 10/30/2014, 11:06 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

terrypin wrote on 10/30/2014, 11:19 AM

 

 I think that they have to review them for subliminal messages.

Damn! They're going to find mine then...

Last changed by terrypin on 10/30/2014, 11:19 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK. PC: i7 6700K, 4.0 GHz, 32GB. Most versions of MEP; including 2017 Premium. Using mainly MEP 2016 Premium.

johnebaker wrote on 10/30/2014, 3:44 PM

Hi Terry

. . . . FWIW, I submitted it as a tutorial 3 or 4 days ago ... but no sign of it yet. . . .

Thanks for that - has not appeared yet however as John CB says they can take several days.

. . . . Damn! They're going to find mine then... . . .

Ooops !    

John

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/30/2014, 3:44 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

browj2 wrote on 10/30/2014, 4:32 PM

Terry,

Aha! Now I know why I everytime that I look at one of your tutorials I have a sudden urge to go for a long walk.

Looking forward to your finished tutorial.

Thanks,

Last changed by browj2 on 10/30/2014, 4:32 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

terrypin wrote on 10/31/2014, 2:22 AM

 

Terry,

Aha! Now I know why I everytime that I look at one of your tutorials I have a sudden urge to go for a long walk.

Looking forward to your finished tutorial.

Thanks,

Hi John,

Sounds like you'll be disappointed then, as it's an almost identical copy of my post!

Are there any particular points I can help you with?

 

Last changed by terrypin on 10/31/2014, 2:22 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK. PC: i7 6700K, 4.0 GHz, 32GB. Most versions of MEP; including 2017 Premium. Using mainly MEP 2016 Premium.

browj2 wrote on 10/31/2014, 9:36 AM

Hi Terry,

There is one minor point. You say in Point 7 that "...and that PH01, PH02, etc will cause trouble." I downloaded your photos, thank you very much, and I noticed that they are numbered "Photo01,....02...03....." Is it the 01, 02 that causes problems or the "PH?"

Thanks,

Last changed by browj2 on 10/31/2014, 9:36 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

terrypin wrote on 10/31/2014, 10:40 AM

Hi John,

No, the numbering of my 40 photos is purely to identify them, quite unrelated to the collage creation rules.

When I use them to create a collage I open Properties and rename the object Photo01.jpg to PH1, etc. At an early stage I discovered that renaming to PH01 etc (the more logical approach IMO) caused failures.

Remember, we're talking about object names, not filenames.

@johnebaker: Hi John. That prompts me to wonder whether that distinction is behind the issue you raised up-thread?

 

johnebaker wrote on 10/31/2014, 7:00 PM

Hi Terry

. . . . At an early stage I discovered that renaming to PH01 etc (the more logical approach IMO) caused failures. . . . .

The issue using PH01, PH02 is caused by there being no reference to these placeholder ID's in the effects ini file as shown below.

 

As you can see the references are [PH1], [PH2] etc so when the ini file is accessed for arranging the layout it os looking for these placeholder names, you could in theory call them anything you like so long as they are unique and the object and ini file reference match.

. . . . Hi John. That prompts me to wonder whether that distinction is behind the issue you raised up-thread? . . . .

Not AFAICS.

 

Last changed by johnebaker on 10/31/2014, 7:01 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 11/1/2014, 6:59 AM

Thanks John. The puzzle over your issue remains then!

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK

johnebaker wrote on 11/3/2014, 6:38 AM

Hi Terry

. . . . The puzzle over your issue remains then! . . . .

No puzzle - I did not have a permanent folder with the numbered files as you have so I used what what provided by Magix so as to make adding collage effects as universal as possible.

There is also less reliance on another source of files which I must copy over from one version to the next. 

Cheers

John

Last changed by johnebaker on 11/3/2014, 6:38 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 11/4/2014, 6:43 AM

 


There is also less reliance on another source of files which I must copy over from one version to the next. 

Hi John,

Good point. I've got into a bit of a mess several times over that pitfall!

Do you still make 'realistic' icons and previews before you replace with PH.jpg?

 

johnebaker wrote on 11/4/2014, 7:36 AM

Hi Terry

. . . . Do you still make 'realistic' icons and previews before you replace with PH.jpg? . . .

Yes I do - I think it is better to use a real example to give a good idea of what the final collage will look like, just as with the Magix supplied ones, then just have the example with the empty placeholders.

John

Last changed by johnebaker on 11/4/2014, 7:36 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 11/6/2014, 2:27 AM

 

Yes I do - I think it is better to use a real example to give a good idea of what the final collage will look like, just as with the Magix supplied ones, then just have the example with the empty placeholders.

John

Hi John,

I've been trying to work out why I'm getting the following error message on a couple of previously working 4-object collages, after substituting PH.jpg as you do, and copying across the effects. Before exporting the MVD, it plays correctly, but on applying it to a fresh group of objects I get this:

Have you come across that?

There's obviously no collage already on the existing objects - they're just fresh JPGs.

Restart with fresh project did not help.

I tried changing the filename (both CTF and INI) and corresponding translation.ini entries, to no effect. I tried copying PH.jpg as PH1.jpg, PH2.jpg, etc and using those as my user resources in the collage, again with no change. I'm about to methodically redo the whole collage using my previous sources (outside \Collage) to see if that works.

 

 

Last changed by terrypin on 11/6/2014, 11:31 AM, changed a total of 5 times.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK. PC: i7 6700K, 4.0 GHz, 32GB. Most versions of MEP; including 2017 Premium. Using mainly MEP 2016 Premium.

johnebaker wrote on 11/6/2014, 12:53 PM

Hi Terry

Never seen that message probably because I substituted the placeholder images different to you.

After creating the collage with real images and exporting the preview file for each image I:

  1. copied the effects from the real image
  2. added the placeholder image to the timeline
  3. adjusted its length to match the image it is going to replace
  4. pasted the effects
  5. deleted the original image and then put the placeholder image into position
  6. changed its name to the appropriate PHx as required.
  7. created the final mxv renamed to ctf etc.

John

Last changed by johnebaker on 11/6/2014, 12:53 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX, MEP Premium, MEP 2016, and earlier versions, Music Maker Premium, Music Maker 2016, 2015.

Running Windows 10 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 1Tb + 2 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 x 2Tb ext HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

terrypin wrote on 11/7/2014, 12:42 AM

Hi John,

AFAICS that's exactly what I do! For each image in the collage.

In the examples I've been trying, the durations happen to be identical and the same as the default I'm currently using of 5 s, so step 3 was not necessary. And I assume you meant mvd not mxv in step 7. But I still get that exasperating message every time I subsequently use the revised collage.

Edit 1: I'm wondering if it could be due to the preparatory stage? In my case I'm importing an existing working collage CTF file, made with my methods. Then editing it using PH.jpg replacements and exporting the new MVD as described and renaming its as a new CTF.

Edit 2:  I think it's probably because I was being careless! On previous occasions I've always been able to use a newly-created collage without re-starting MEP (although of course its icon will at that stage show the file name, complete with extension CTF, not the intended new name entry in translation.ini, if any, because that always needs a restart). But for this 'collage revision to use placeholders' exercise we're discussing, it turns out I must restart.