burns can be very over used in professional action spots films, such as skiing

and skateboarding. The trick is to use burns when you have a “boring” clip in

your edit, to make it more interesting to watch. When I was editing, I wanting

to use a burn in my time line, but as I am shooting for a hobby with no budget,

I could exactly shot real film to achieve my burn. So this little tutorial is

about how to make a simple film burn, free and easily with very little effort,

but the results are quite effective. 



UPDATE as of 21/8//08

It has just come to my attention, that fotosearch has recently changed

their layout of their website. They have now deleted all their

downloadable previews, and are now previewed on their site using flash.

Lucky i have had some stored on my comp, and have uploaded for everyone.

I have packed 11 into an Zip (use winRAR if you cant unzip it) that can be downloaded here.

Continue to Step two.


through this website ( and find a stock burn you would like

to use. (Easiest way is to use a search bar). Best choices are one with as

little as black as possible, as this will need to be keyed out, which I will show

you later in the tutorial.  But for now

chose a burn that suites your footage, and download the free sample. is really handy for other

stock photography as well, with maybe useful in your low budget projects, so

have a look around.




you have found your burn and extracted it, import it into your project. Drag it

into your time line into the video column above the clip you want the burn to

be on.




the clip so that the water mark has been cropped off the screen. Do this by

selecting the clip and the dragging out the corner in the preview screen.




you should have a preview screen, full with burn and watermark cropped. Now cut

the clip to shorten to desired length of burn and arrange on time line where

you want burn the start on the footage.

Now your preview screen should look something like this:




into effects>Video effects>Keying. You should see the effect in that bin

called “Lama key”, apply the effect onto you film burn clip by dragging it onto

the clip. Now navigate to your effect control tab, which by default is in your

monitor window. You will now see the Lama Effect applied to you film burn clip.


will notice now that your film burn has now gone slightly transparent in your

preview screen.




the threshold setting of the lama key in the effect control tab to around 95%

(Or what you think suites your footage)

For  further adjustment you can play with this

setting, and also use the opacity setting of the burn clip.




finish off the burn, it’s nice to add and addictive dissolve to the start of

the burn and a cross dissolve to the end. My addictive dissolve was .7 of a

second long and cross dissolve was .2 second.




you’re are done, render clip and see how it looks. Just play with the Lama and

Opacity to lighten or darken burn.

I compiled the sample i used in this tutorial and uploaded it so you can see how it can turn out.

View the sample video here. (Note: The burn is pixilated at the end, this is just because of the compilier/compresser i used).