Introduction: Creating Explosions in Pinnacle Studio

Hey Guys.

I've seen a lot of places that offer advice on how to do effects in many different video editing programs, but not many for Avid's Pinnacle Studios. Sure, You can't beat After Effects for effects editing, but the software is much more expensive and maybe you didn't buy a program intending to do that many effects.

What I'm going to do is explain how to do a simple explosion effect in Pinnacle Studio 12, which is the newest version of the software.

The following video was created as a example of the effects... It is made entirely in Pinnacle.

The effect I will teach you begins after the 1:20 mark.
In the following Steps I will show you how to create these effect.

Step 1: Step 1

Imagine, if you will, that you have two actors running away, just as an explosion occurs behind them. To make things easier, place your camera on a tripod and do not move it. First, film the area with no one in it (just incase), also grab a few seconds of complete silence to use incase you instruct your actors and need to be able to cover up the deleted audio. Now film the actors running away from the explosion.

Step 2: Step 2

The explosions I used in the video were free footage I found at

This site is great with a lot content and fast downloads.

Choose an explosion that will look correct in shape and direction(front or side) that you will need- depending on the angles you filmed the running from. The explosion I decided to use was against a black background rather than a blue or green one.

In the case of the blue or green background, you can use the chroma key effect to overlay these effects, but you need to do something different for footage against black.

Step 3: Step 3

I suggest first, editing the clip that you want to add the effect to. In the Bomb Squad video notice that in all cases of an explosion effect that the actors exit the area of the effect before it occurs. This prevents the need to create masks. After editing the clip, which I will call the background clip, to the appropriate length, open up the explosion file. Add the explosion as the overlay layer on top of the background clip.

Step 4: Step 4

Add the Luma Key effect to the explosion clip. Adjust the sliders until the black of the background is gone and the explosion remains intact. Now you should be able to see the background clip behind the explosion.

Step 5: Step 5

Now add the 2D editor advanced effect to the explosion clip. Adjust the horizontal and vertical sliders to position the explosion in the appropriate place. Now adjust the size of the explosion until you are satisfied with how the explosion looks.

Step 6: Step 6

Now decide where in the video the explosion begins and when it will reach its largest size. In our video, I added the color correction effect to the background clip. Then selected 'use keyframes'. In the area where the explosion will begin add a keyframe and set the sliders to 0. In the moment when the explosion will be its largest add a keyframe and adjust the brightness up until the clip looks illuminated. This will make the explosion look like it is effecting the area around it with light.

Step 7: Step 7

Congrats on completing the effect. You can really do tons more to the clips to make it more believable- feel free to play around with the software until you come up with an effect you like.

If this helped you, please- let me know.

Also Comment on and Rate the video if you'd like to. Thanks everyone!