Dawn's Project Thread

edited December 2016 in HitFilm User Gallery

So, I've made my first book trailer for my novel, To Inherit a Murderer.  Of course, this is also my first attempt at uploading a file to YouTube. (Sigh.)  Anyway, input and critique appreciated. I've got a tough hide from years in publishing, so don't be afraid to tell me it's...er...that brown stuff. :D




  • Try a version with the eye stabilized. To my eye its movement is disharminous. Otherwise, love it! 

  • Okay. Thanks, @Triem23 !

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited December 2016

    If you haven't done stabilization in Hitfilm yet, @inScapeDigital has this tutorial. 


     Also, others might disagree with me on the eye. Its movement adds an unsettling touch you may want, but I think the jumps in the loop would accomplish that on a stabilized version. 

  • And, again, thank you, @Triem23 !

  • edited December 2016

    @Triem23 : here's the stabilized version. Better? I'm not sure, because, since I've been working on this for hours, my eyes...and brain are quite dead.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited December 2016

    You're done. Have some cocoa and relax.

    Perfect. Not what I was initially thinking it would look like, but even better! 

    I was thinking of stabilizing just the eye layer, but you stabilized the final comp. This transfered the motion of the eye to your overlays. This is actually very cool, because the center pupil holds focus, while the overlays "swim" a bit. Still unsettling, not jarring.

    Actually I lie. One last pass. The stabilization crop is messing up the bird and cover. On the crossfade to the bird, set some keys to take the video layer back to 100% scale at position 0,0 and Rotation 0. It can be a slowish move using Smooth keyframes, ending right when the bird launches itself. 

  • Well for a first / 2nd attempt I think you have done well. It certainly says creepy murder type stuff to me. Personal observations, might be a tad long given it really isn't changing all that much. The black ink is very distracting on the for ground, I am sure it is trying to tell me something, maybe blood. Have you considered instead of having it on a layer above the eye putting the ink effect just in the eye ball. If you scale it down to the right size then use a mask if needed to get ride of anything you don't want from the ink layer and make sure the layer is blended to ADD or SCREEN. I personally (yep my thoughts only) think this would look better. You might use a FEATHER on the MASK to make it blend better. Getting the ink to stay in the right place on the eyeball will need a single track. You should get a good track of the black object in the eye. Once it is tracked make a new POINT (ADD > Layer > Point) and make sure the track data is sent to this point. Then you can link the INK layer to this point (remember to go into the INK tranformation properties and ZERO the position values to have it move to your new track point. To then make it on the edge of the eyeball, set the Horizontal value to the correct position (drag the INK layer handle to move it to the new correct postion). https://hitfilm.com/reference/hitfilm-3-pro/index.html?tracking.htm

  • My only critique is it's a little long. Otherwise, the concept is cool and certainly indicates some creepiness. I like the soundscape!

  • Thanks @Triem23 and to @Andy001z : Okay. First, I have to snow blow and shovel barn roofs. We got heavy, heavy snow after I went to bed. I'll tear it down and do it again and see if I can get it right.  Someone on G+ suggests that the eye is there too long. I may shorten it just a bit. It is long for nothing much happening. I was going for noir and for art, rather than commercial.

  • edited December 2016

    @StormyKnight : Thanks. I think so, too. It is a bit too long.

  •  Noir it certainly is. Like I said I like it, just depends on what the target audience is and where it's going. Have fun, and SO jealous of the Snow, very WET and Windy here in South Wales, UK.

  • Wow! That's not what I was expecting for the stabilized shot either and I have to agree with @Triem23 what you did worked even better!

    I also agree with the others on the length of the eye clip but rather than just shortening it I would try doubling the speed of that section. You'll cut the time by half and I think that will do nothing but add to the unsettling feel of the overlays.

  • @Andy001z : Ah...you'd get so tired of snow were you here to live with it. For instance, today, I got to hire in two men to help remove snow from barn and outbuilding roofs because, after the snow we got, here comes the rain on top of it, turning feet of fluff into something akin to what you get in a slushy, all of it weighing tons. And then there was the snow moving machine than wound up sliding itself into stuck down in a deep ravine, thanks to that same rain falling on snow which, of course, was sitting on ice. So, after a huge day of hard labor, I get to wear my knee brace because, stupid me wasn't wearing it when I was getting the machine unstuck. Never run chains in deep, sloggy snow when still healing from the last nasty accident you had because of surly livestock. :D 

    @Aladdin4d : Hmmm. I'm digging around in the file, right now.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. Odd thing is it's already generating sales of that book, so something worked. :D  I'm trying to figure out stuff in Hitfilm that is completely new to me and I'm soooo struggling. I feel like a complete idiot.


  • Dawn, don't feel like an idiot. VFX has a pretty large learning curve. Your past experience with other software should help you understand basic principles and figure out how certain things work (blending modes are the same between Hitfilm and Photoshop, for example) but you also have to unlearn habits from other software for things Hitfilm does differently.

    @Andy001z yup, living in So-Cal, I'm chilling in a short sleeve T-shirt... 

  • edited December 2016

    @Triem23 : I find what you say is true. I have no problems using shortcuts I learned in years of graphic arts--layers, blending, gamma levels, threshholds, histograms, the like. I don't really have problems with 3D, even though in video, 3D seems more 3D, even though it's not.  My problem is the technicals, the whole new realm of terminology, and, mostly, the whole temporal aspect to the art. A video is a lot like a novel in that it has an emotional and a story arc. It's got cameras, just like fiction has. But it's got that exponentially. Every scene and moment has significance and it aggregates as it moves along its temporal expression. If you err, your error is compounded in effect because of what came before, making what comes after  completely fall apart.

  • @Andy001z -4°F/ -20°C here with a nice coat of ice over everything and your are most welcome to take it ;)

  • @Aladdin4d : Oooo.  We just came out of two weeks of that. You got the wind, too, driving the chill factor down to Antarctic conditions? Gotta love it.  I managed to keep anything from freezing, but one of the neighbors had his drain pipes freeze up. No fun.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited December 2016

    @DLKeur Yep we got it here but luckily it's not staying long this time. We didn't have anything freeze but the daughter's supply pipe did. My 2 year old granddaughter told her "It's ok PawPaw fix it" so I guess I have a project tomorrow.

  • edited December 2016

    Uh-oh. Got volunteered, did you, @Aladdin4d ?! You got access to a salamander?  Inflow pipes in my experience usually tend to freeze right where they come out of the ground. Sometimes just a hairblow dryer works if you can't use a salamander because there are too many flamables about. Not trying to tell you your job, but that's been my experience with that particular misery. Our water lines are down more than four feet so they usually only freeze in 'odd' places, and at 'odd' times...as the temperatures start warming up from sub-zero. Fun, fun, fun!  (Not.) May it be a quick, easy fix.

  • @DLKeur I do have access to a salamander but didn't go with it this time. I do some documentation work for an asbestos abatement contractor that's also a good friend and he loaned me some gear including enough stainless containment panels to knock up a 4 sq ft non-flammable mini containment around the line, 2 12" x 24" 4800 watt IR heat panels normally used for tile removal and a 10Kw generator.

    15 minutes to set up the containment. another 10 to rig up the panels. 10 minutes after that not only was the line thawed but the ground was warm to the touch roughly 8" deep throughout the containment :)

  • Oh, lucky you. Congrats on a fine job well done quickly, @Aladdin4d ! :D

  • edited December 2016

    My second novel trailer, this one for my novel "Old Hickory Lane", and, yes, the stutter is supposed to be there on the curvy road, though my husband hates it.  


  • @DLKeur  Very nice.  I quite like the stutter myself.  To me, it makes it a touch more interesting trying to figure out what you are seeing exactly.

  • @tddavis : Thank you. I thought the stutter added to the 'eerie' and 'strange' feel I was trying to evoke. And it's symbolic, as well, very much matching the novel's theme.

  • Stutter works for me. Feels like a "true crime" show from the 90's.

    I mean that in a good way. :) 

  • Kinda has that "Twin Peaks" feel.  Eerie, spooky.

  • edited December 2016

    Thanks, @Triem23 & @Stargazer54 .   Then, I guess I was successful. While it isn't true crime, it is a lot like the beginning of Twin Peaks, I guess, though not the end, for sure.  (Remember the end of that series?  Absolutely strange.)  Warren Jeffries is a highly skilled veterinarian, but he's also half Native and has healing skills. He's in a battle with himself...and carries a great deal of resentment against the bigotry he's suffered because of both his white and his Native heritage, resentment that prejudices him against others. He's also unaware that he's got this huge chip on his shoulder. Despite these problems, he endears himself to the crusty farm and ranch folk whose animals he saves and cares for. A bad love affair clouds his future, but, in the end, he makes the 'right' decision, returns and uses his healing skills in a horrific emergency involving a horse trailer, an incident I witnessed. In fact, most of the animal emergency incidents in the book are straight out of my own life, including the tiger and the bear dogs.

  • So I'm still working on my SF novel trailer. Gawd! And I thought graphics was labor intensive. Straight graphics is NOTHING compared to the amount of work and persnickety work, at that, for video. It's like exponentially exploding as I work. You could have warned me, guys and gals. This is not for the meek of heart and weak of mind.

  • Yes it can be overwhelming.  Best to to work on things in small chunks.  Instead of working on trying to figure out 5 elements in a scene, break off one element into its own file and work through that until you understand how to make it work.  Take good notes, then tackle the next one.  Doing it all at once can be a rabbit hole.

  • @Stargazer54 : Yeah. That's been what I've been doing, but, even then, it's...wow.  I little 30 second snip can take dayz! It's fun, but I cannot believe the time investment one must make to "make it happen!"

Sign in to comment