Working with Vignettes in the VSE

In the same way that you can sculpt clay or wood, vignettes let you shape light and shadows. They can add depth, atmosphere, mystery, or wonder to your digital images. A vignette mimics subtle effects of human vision reproducing fall- offs in color perception and brightness around the periphery of our field of view. Blender has many tools that can be enlisted in building vignette effects. In this tutorial series we will construct vignettes in the Video Sequence Editor using the Image Editor's mask tool, learn how to duplicate, animate, and move a vignette around the timeline, and discover how to build vignettes in the compositor.
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Vignettes are the Colorist’s sculpting tool.

feature_04In the same way that you can sculpt clay or wood, vignettes let you shape light and shadows. They can add depth, atmosphere, mystery, or wonder to your digital images. A vignette mimics subtle effects of human vision reproducing fall- offs in color perception and brightness around the periphery of our field of view. Technically a vignette is the actual fall-off in brightness across an image towards the edge. The darker less saturated borders drive the viewers attention back toward the focal point.

What You Will Learn

Blender has many tools that can be enlisted in building vignette effects. In this tutorial series we will:

  1. Find out how to construct vignettes in the VSE using the UV/Image editor’s mask tool.
  2. Learn to duplicate, animate and move the vignette around the timeline.
  3. Discover how to build vignettes in the compositor.

feature_03feature_02 We will be using Adjustment strips in the VSE to build reusable effects allowing us to reconstruct space in our images and add atmosphere that may not have been there after initial art direction and rendering. You can even relight a shot to enhance storytelling, by communicating a changed sense of mood. By animating a vignette you can influence or change the focal point of a shot entirely over time. Use them very subtly or use them aggressively. You can rescue poorly considered or badly executed shots. Sometimes you just have to fix someone else's decisions. Vignettes to the rescue!

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Author

David McSween