Newsletter #168 - Sept 22, 2006
Rehan's ShaderTFX for Vista's Movie Maker 6


This thread about Rehan's ShaderTFX pack for Vista's Movie Maker 6 started on July 22. In the opening post Rehan said he was ready to have users do some beta testing.
Dozens of posts and two months later, after resolving installation and performance issues, Rehan issued the official version 1.
Vista coding is different enough from XP to separate real programmers from hackers like me. Rehan stands out in the forum, and is now on a pedestal getting some earned accolades. While he takes orders, I'll give it a once over, write this newsletter, and see where we can start hacking it.
Before getting into it, here's....
a couple notes...


I finished my 4 software reviews at the 11th hour of a tight schedule... thumbs up for Serif's Page Plus X2 and Ulead's PhotoImpact 12. Not so with IconCool Studio 5 and Fun Morph. You can read the reviews on BrightHub after they get through the editorial process. 


Thanks to Brad Dahlquist and others in Microsoft who read the newsletter note about my frequent Outlook Express error messages. He sent some ideas and uninstalling Windows Desktop Search 3.01 resolved the issue. It was the indexing of my files, including email folders, going on in the background as I worked with Outlook Express, that resulted in the popups. Nice to have the help!! I'll probably go back to installing the beta of the Windows Live Photo Gallery again.



.... back to the main topic...

Rehan's ShaderTFX
The first question I got in my YouTube inbox about one of the sample clips was 'what is ShaderTFX?'. I responded 'it's a pack of 116 transitions developed by Rehan'. Many on the forums at have been drooling over it since the beta phase started.
I should have noted that it has 6 effects too.
Downloading and Installing
Get it from this ShaderTFX page on Rehan's Website.
The setup file is SetupShaderTFX.msi, version 1.0.30. Double-click it and it'll go through a usual windows installation. The installation adds 4 dll and 4 xml files to the Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX folder, which make for some good study files for anyone wanting to dive into the making of custom items like these.
the c:\Program Files\RehanFX folder has subfolders and contents of:
        Wipe folder
            50 jpg files (study and replace with our own pictures if you're inclined)
            9 png files (another group ready for study and tweaking)
Trial Period
        Shader.fx - 9/17/07
        ShaderCommon.fxh - 9/3/07
        ShaderTFX.dll - 9/20/07 

Trial period and registration
The new transitions will be there when you restart Movie Maker 6 after the installation.
When first clicking on any of the new transitions you'll get a popup notice that you have 14 days to try it before purchasing.
Use the 'Continue Unregistered' and it'll work fine without embedding a logo, big X, or whatever...
After the trial you'll need the purchased code to continue.
Registration Code accepted

The Features...
Transitions - ShaderTFX adds 116 new ones, which fall into four groups... starting with 10 blue and 10 green screen choices.
Blue and Green Screening
Then 23 for Picture in Picture.
14 colorful gradients.
59 wipes that use .jpg and .png files in conjunction with a standard wipe transition.

I previewed them all, and made a few sample clips.
Standard ProjectFor a chroma blue sample (bluescreen), an aquarium tank provided a nice blue background for a couple jellyfish in the foreground...
 Bluescreen Sample

Picture in Picture
I got myself pretty confused keeping track of this sample clip made with just 2 source files. The skiing clip is a standard aspect ratio one, and the jellyfish is a widescreen story. 
I toggled the MM6 project settings between standard and widescreen. Then I saved them to custom profiles that I use when heading to YouTube, the standard project to the widescreen profile and the widesceen project to the standard profile. Got it?? No reason beyond testing to see what happened.
These two frame snapshots were taken in Movie Maker 6. The only difference is the setting being standard 4:3 for the above one and widescreen 16:9 for the below.
Standard 4:3 Project... at YouTube - saved with a custom widescreen 16:9 profile
Widescreen 16:9 Project... at YouTube - saved with a custom standard 4:3 profile
Widescreen Project
The skiing clip is full windowed above and with black left/right borders below, a bit hard to see with the overall black background.
The jellyfish story is 'letterboxed' above and full windowed below.
Note how the text differs in each, adapting to the different amount of space available to stretch into.

Gradients and Wipes
Wipe-Crack Sample
Wipe-Rain Sample
The gradients and wipes use the .jpg and .png files mentioned above... making it so easy to swap them out with your own images... or add new XML files that do the same thing. 

The package includes 6 electric color effects. I didn't make any sample clips with them.

Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?
The installation was easy, registration worked, and all the items performed well. I'm not the first to say it, as that's the feedback from forum users who have been following the development all the way through. 
Get the package and try them yourself.
Have a great week!!