Grading in the Editor

Hi all,

Ok so I have a bunch of comps that are on my Editor timeline, they all play fine and is good, I want to a Letterbox to the film so I create a new Video Layer, call it GRADE and put the letterbox effect. Only trouble is it is doing some odd things. In order to see the effect at all I have to have the blend set to NORMAL anything else and its gone. Next the effect only works on part of the project (yes its a full length effect covering all below layers). The same comp on another layer goes black to start with then kicks in. Its all very odd, am I doing something very wrong.




    edited November 2016

    I HIGHLY recommend making HitFilm do 1920x817 instead of 1920x1080 (or equivalent for different resolutions), you will get the black bars added automatically in places like YouTube and media players.

    Do you see that it's cropping 1920x1080 automatically down to 1920x817 visible?

    Here's the final result in YouTube:


    Is this not possible due to some reason, that we're not aware of? :)



  • @CNK yes I could do that, but my frustration is with my understanding of how effects that seem to be able to be applied in the editor on a video layer work. I think I have a theory, Effects applied to a video layer only apply to that layer, but if that is something like LetterBox then it will overlay the other video tracks and show up, where as a colour adjust meant on the grade video track is only applied to that track and therefore if that track is empty it makes no effect on the others. This might be overcome with the blend mode but I am still fuzzy on this, dam I know there is a tut on this, must find.

    edited November 2016

    Maybe this is a bug, I'm seeing the same thing. But I would have never found out because I use the method I showed above for all letterboxing.

    Since you're in the Editor timeline, have you tried selected all your clips, then dragging the Letterbox effect on one of them (doesn't matter which one)?

    I'm having a little bit difficult time to understand exactly what you mean, but right now we have 2 solutions to your problem (I think)?


  • Having looked at it again, I think it's just the way the thing works. If you need to apply the same grade / effects to your editor, it seems you have to copy them from one to the next to the next. There may be some logic in this. For example some footage might need tweaking individually. However, something like letter box it would of been nice to do it in one place.

  • To apply a letterbox over your entire Editor Timeline.

    Step one: Create a Composite Shot the length and dimensions of your entire edit.

    Step two: Create (or drag from media bin if you've already got one) a white plane.

    Step three: Apply Letterbox effect at proper aspect ratio to white plane.

    Step four: Drag this Composite shot to a track above everything else in the Editor Timeline.

    Step Five: In this track's Layer Controls set the Blend Mode to "Multiply."

    Step Six: Render.

  • @Triem23 OK I kinda feel you said that with gritted teeth "COME ON ANDY!!!"... I'll give it a go.

  • edited November 2016

    @Triem23 OK did it, and and and... it WORKS...  "Of course it works!" mutters Triem from his throne on high. I think my mistake was thinking I could apply the letterbox in the editor on the video layer of that comp, but this clearly has issues. This way works.

    Does this work for other effects, like colour grading etc, apply to this comp then Multiply and bingo?


    Just tried it, that seems to work, set colour weels to PINK and I get a PINK death star!

  • @Andy001z no gritted teeth, but a bit of a headshake. Complex color grades are still a bit of a bitch to do on the Editor Timeline, but a Letterbox is just a matte. 

    Might be better to save a PNG of the comp shot with the bars, bring that in as the top layer and set to Multiply. Takes out another embedded comp to render and its not worth disc space to proxy. 

    Another alternative is to render a PNG of black bars on a transparent background. That changes a blend mode calculation into a straight alpha composite. Might be even faster. 

  • Thanks for your help @Triem23 let me polish that Moderator badge for you sir.

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