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Creating plasma wipes for Avid Media Composer

Avid Media Composer includes a 'plasma wipes' effect category that allow you to perform some interesting wipes. What many Avid users may not know is that you can create your own plasma wipes that will show up in the effect's palette.

Check out this short video that was created using a plasma wipe from an exported frame of it's own video clip!

Continue reading for a full text based version of this same Media Composer tutorial.

You'll need one additional piece of software, preferably Photoshop in order to create your own plasma wipes. This is because the plasma wipes are created from .raw images.


You can create your own plasma wipes to create dynamic transitions such as:

-Paint on effects
-Burning Film
-Dynamic Wipe Patterns

There is no limit to the number of Avid effects that you can create by making your own plasma wipe effects.

The Avid plasma wipes show up in the Avid effect's palette.


The plasma wipe effects are created from a black and white image. The contrast of the image is what creates the actual wipe. Anything can be turned into a plasma wipe! Just make sure the image has some contrast. The contrast is what makes the plasma wipe work.


The Avid plasma wipes are located in the following directory:

Program files/avid xpress pro hd/supporting files/plasmawipes

There are a few rules to keep in mind when creating your plasma wipes so that Avid software will correctly see them. Your image must be:

- exactly 720 x 486
- grayscale
- 8 bit
- .raw image format

The first step is to create an image that is 720 x 486. If your using a digital photo, simply crop the image using the Photoshop crop tool.


Next, navigate to the image/mode menu within Photoshop, and set your image to grayscale.


The last step is to save your file as a .raw (photoshop raw) image. Make sure you save it into one of the plasma wipe folders. If the Avid software is still running, you will need to relaunch the software. When finished you should see your new plasma wipe in the effects palette.

Drop the plasma wipe, as a transition, between any two segments in your timeline. Then enter into the effects editor to adjust the plasma wipe parameters.


To make the plasma wipe transition look cool, make sure you adjust the width and softness controls.



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