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Star Trek Transporter Effect

This tutorial shows you how to create the Star Trek transporter effect. Play the video clip on the right to see the finished product.

You will need a video editing package capable of using layers and mattes. This tutorial uses Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Photoshop, but the same technique can be used with any common video editing application. We will assume that you know how to use the relevant functions in your program but if you have trouble with any step, feel free to ask for help in our forums.

This tutorial is based on two video files and one audio file. You can either:

Step 1: The Files and Project

The first task is to gather the required files and create the project.

(1) The Transport Scene

The first and most important video clip begins with an empty scene. The subject walks into shot and assumes their "materialized" position, then begins acting as if they had just beamed in. If you want to make your own transporter effect you will obviously need to provide this shot yourself.
Note: The shot must be steady — use a tripod.

The main shot

(2) The Transporter Sparkles

The second video clip provides the sparkling effect. This is a five-second clip of full-screen flickering sparkles on a black background. You can make your own sparkles or download the clip used in this tutorial (below).

Sparkle Clip

(3) The Audio File

We will also add a transporter sound effect which is the same duration as the sparkle video clip.

Download files (optional)

All video files are MPEG-2 format with 4:3 aspect ratio. You'll need to make a couple of decisions before choosing the best files to download:

1/4 frame video project
Transport Scene: PAL 360x288 25fps (2.4MB) NTSC 360x240 29.97fps (2.4MB)
Sparkles: PAL 360x288 25fps (1.3MB) NTSC 360x240 29.97fps (1.3MB)
Transporter Sound Effect: WAV file (65KB, PAL or NTSC)  
Full-frame video project:
Sparkles: PAL 720x576 25fps (9MB) NTSC 720x480 29.97fps (9MB)
Transporter Sound Effect: WAV file (65KB, PAL or NTSC)  

The Project

Create a new project in Premiere with four video tracks and two audio tracks. Import the video clip you will be using for the main shot, the sparkles video clip and the transporter sound effect file.

Next Page: Prepare the Shot