Power Window – Instructions and Tutorials

The Power Window effect allows to create a power window on the source clip. Both rectangular and elliptical shapes are supported. They can be repositioned and rotated. Both the inside, and the outside can have offset, gamma, gain and saturation adjusted globally, and if need be, on the channel-by-channel basis (RGB).


Version 1.2 note: the Lift control has been renamed to Offset to accurately reflect the functionality. See an excellent article by Alexis van Hurkman for details. Also, the CDL color mode (now default) uses a different order of operations. It will be explained in another tutorial.


The plugin can be found in the effects group “Creative Impatience”, and is called “CI Power Window”. To apply it, drag it over the layer, to the effects panel, or in CS6 double click.


Power Window Interface.

Window type allows you to choose between rectangular and circular shapes.

Window controls group is collapsed because it is strongly recommended to use the GUI to position the shape. To use GUI, click on the effect name in the Effect Controls Panel, and adjust the size, position and rotation using handles in the Program Monitor. There are following controls within the group:

  • Point of origin determines the center of the shape.
  • Width and Height set the width and the height of the bounding box. In case of elliptical shape they determine its both radium.
  • Angle allows you to rotate your shape around the point of origin.
  • Feather determines the amount of feather in pixels that will be applied to the inside of the shape.
  • Alpha falloff lets you choose between various types of feathering. Gaussian is the best, although it is also most computationally expensive. Linear is the fastest, and works reasonably well on most clips.
  • Invert will toggle what is considered the inside and the outside of the shape.

Offset, Gamma, and Gain sliders will affect the inside of the shape globally. Adjusting the offset slider moves the whole histogram up and down, gamma affects the midtones via power function, and gain mutliplies the color value, affecting mostly the highlights.

Saturation slider will adjust the saturation of the inside of the shape.

Inside RGB controls group contains Offset, Gamma and Gain controls for each RGB channel affecting the inside of the shape.

Outside controls group contains Offset, Gamma, Gain and Saturation controls affecting the outside of the shape.

Outside RGB controls group contains separate Offset, Gamma and Gain controls for each RGB channel affecting the outside of the shape.

Clamp black will make sure that there are no values lower than 0.

Clamp white will make sure that there are no values above 1.

Clamp black on input is used to make sure that the gamma power function does not cause errors in rendering of the effect. It should be switched on if you are adjusting gamma. The downside is that any crushed black will not be recovered. See also the Color Model description to learn how this control affects different modes.

Mix control allows you to dial back the changes to the image. The value of 1 equals 100% of the changes, 0 equals the original image. This control can also be changed by the vertical slider in the GUI.

Color Model popup allows you to choose the color model which you prefer to work in. Legacy applies the gamma correction first, and then multiplies it by gain, and adds offset to the result, while CDL compliant first applies gain, then adds offset, and at the end applies gamma correction to the resulting value. Note: All versions of the plugin before 1.2 work in Legacy mode.

Graphical UI

After clicking on the effect name, both in Premiere Pro, and in After Effects, custom controls will appear in the comp/layer window or program monitor.

The outside rectangle and rectangular handles control width and height parameters.

If an elliptical shape is chosen, the ellipse will be displayed to show the outer extent of the shape. For rectangular shape only the rectangle is shown.

Four round handles in the middle of the rectangle sides control the feather parameter. Drag any of them to the inside to modify it. Right now they might behave a bit erratically when the vignette is rotated, and also there is no limit on the feather size.

The point handle in the middle moves the vignette’s point of origin.

The slider to the left of the center is the mix slider going from 1 (100%) at the top, to 0 (0%) at the bottom.

The round handle with the line connecting it to the point of origin is used to set the shape’s rotation.

Creative applications

Did you find a creative application for this plugin that was not envisioned? Share the idea with the rest of us!

10 Responses to Power Window – Instructions and Tutorials

  1. david says:

    great valuable plugin, many purposes, thanks! in my premiere 5.5 i notice there is some ‘crack’ in the corners of the square shape, seems like the sides don’t connect fully/smoothly. also sometimes when i pause i see some artifacts in the image, but that goes away once it is playing again. if the plugin was be cuda accelerated it would be perfect, any chance on that? i’d pay for it.

    • BartW says:

      Thanks. You can use Gaussian Alpha falloff to amend the corners, although it’s a bit more CPU-taxing. CUDA accelleration is planned at some point, although I’m not sure I will be able to make it work in CS5.

      • david says:

        i’d upgrade to 6 for that. so far CS6 has only limited value for me, but if i could use this plugin accelerated i’d switch! (and pay for the plugin as well of course)

      • david says:

        strange, i can’t seem to render/export a power windowed project properly.. no matter how high the bitrate the windowed area stays blocky, as if the bitrate is very low there.. is this some bug?

        • BartW says:

          Not that I know of. What are your sequence settings, and what OS are you on?

          • david says:

            it seems something else is going wrong, not related to the plug in. i will test and let you know if it has something to do with it after all.
            thanks for the quick reply btw.


  2. david says:

    there is something weird, can’t put my finger on it.. i use cs5.5 win, and work with avchd 50P footage. as timeline i tried “hdv” and avchd. is it possible to send an example (still image?)

  3. theadriscj says:

    Hello! Sorry but I just can’t seem to install this :/ I’m running Premiere Pro CS6 on Mavericks, a little help please? Thank you!!

Leave a Reply to BartW Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.