The Science of Genetic Modification (live action science video)

I'm a fairly new Hitfilm user, but I was incredibly excited when I learned that Khan Academy would be hosting another Breakthrough Junior Challenge this year (to make a 5-minute video about a difficult science topic).

Having just finished a FutureLearn course on Hitfilm, and coming from a background in Premiere Pro, I created a video about genetic modification. I did lots of basic animation, plus some motion tracking and keying. Also, since the audio wasn't that great, I re-recorded large portions of it using Audacity.

I'm planning on making future videos about science topics on this channel, which I'll probably post here if people are interested.

So, what do you guys think? What can I improve for future projects?

P.S. - For interest's sake, several years ago I ran a small YouTube channel that posted short films made in Kerbal Space Program, which can be found here.


  • I thought it was very well presented and also pretty interesting. :)

    Notes are: sound went a bit quiet around the 1min mark and overall the contrast seems a bit low. You look a bit ghostly. :D

  • edited October 2016

    I dig this, this could honestly be the next Vsauce down the road, keep it up :)

    its like the 'Adam ruins everything' style of education but applied to science

  • Well done!   That's a lot of work for one guy (shoot, edit, be the talent, do the graphics, etc).

    A small comment: Something that might add visually would be to blur the background slightly when you do your closeup.   That would help bring a little more life to your virtual set by introducing some depth of field.

  • edited October 2016

    @Palacono: Thanks! Interestingly, I never noticed that the contrast was low, but I do see what you're saying. Perhaps part of it has to do with the fact that the background has a much higher resolution than the original footage of myself, so I don't blend in very well.

    @TriFlixFilms: Yes, Adam Ruins Everything was a big inspiration for the kind of video I was hoping to make! Their video on fingerprints gave me the idea to open with an outdoor "spy movie" shot.

    @Stargazer54: Great idea! I didn't think about that, but it's an easy way to make a 2D scene look more 3D.

    By the way, here's a list of changes I would have made:

    • Add some animation to the hologram using a particle emitter and some flicker.
    • Wear a lab coat (sadly, none were available).
    • Use a 3D laboratory room instead and different angles (mine was based off of this image).
  • edited October 2016

    Just a short and fun behind-the-scenes video I made:

  • edited October 2016

    Holy smoke, you did all that in Hitfilm 4 Express?

    I just watched it again and you can pick any 4 seconds of your main video and it contains about 20 effects!  If you don't win or place, then it won't be from lack of effort. :D

  • @AndrewTheHansen - Bravo! Not only was the video great but I actually learned more about GMOs than I knew before....which wasn't much to begin with. Now I can make my own GMOs! Here kitty, kitty, kitty.  Good luck on the Breakthrough Junior Challenge and hope to see more stuff from you in the future!!!

  • Well done!   I echo what StormyKnight said.  I also learned more about GMO's then I knew before and I learned it in a very entertaining way.  Good luck on the Breakthrough Junior Challenge!

  • edited October 2016

     Thanks everyone! Much appreciated! I'll continue posting more stuff here, and rename the title when necessary. 

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