Motion Graphic Presets? Yes please! :^)

I already added this to the wishlist, but as that's a mile long and I think this is:
a) Exceedingly easy to add (yes it is, don't look at me like that) and
b) One of the most market disrupting changes you could make to Hitfilm; I thought perhaps a video might help explain things better. :)

If Hitfilm wants to compete with AE on more fronts, then one of the things AE does well - and there are always questions about it on the forum - is Motion Graphics. There have been some "slight nods" in that direction in Hitfilm... but the easiest, fastest, most effective way to compete is to have one, single, simple effect that does nothing but hold keyframes.

It's basically a Super Point in the form of an Effect, but perhaps with its own Parent Field, or 'Use Layer' dropdown so you could concatenate them, definitely a Motion Blur switch, perhaps a Blend Mode field and definitely: Opacity and a Centre Point; for Zooms to come from etc. Like the Scale Pivot in the Dropshadow Effect. All keyframeable.

With that you can create a thousand and one simple, reusable Presets, drag them onto anything you like, combine and stack them and have instant Motion Graphics as easy as falling off a log.

Loading and saving little Projects and Composites to try and do the same thing just isn't practical - so almost no one does it - and when you've seen the video, I think you'll agree it's a way to pull people into Hitfilm very easily indeed. VFX it ain't but an AE kicker it could well be. It would empower people enormously. Then when they see what else Hitfilm can do and.... bye bye Adobe's market share. :D

The few simple Presets use some of the Effects where you can manipulate motion and save it as keyframes, and even with those few things  you can see how - done properly - it would massively open up Motion Graphics for Hitfilm for a pretty small amount of effort. No excuses; it would be tiny.

FXHome could provide a little set of fairly simple bouncing, whizzing, wobbling etc. presets to start the ball rolling (and bouncing and deforming), but they could also maybe sell (cheaply) packs with more involved ones. People could manipulate them, by speeding them up, slowing them down, combining them and saving as more presets themselves. Presets are great, and I don't think people realise how useful they are or use them enough.

It's not only for 2D or Text. Recording interesting 3D camera moves would also be great, as well as on objects and images.

Apply Presets to text, images, lower thirds, logos, intros etc. and the scope is endless. If one of FXHome's coders cannot create a simple Effect to do this in a single afternoon, I'd be very surprised. I reckon @Ady could knock it out in a few hours. ;) There must be a drag'n'drop 'roll your own' Effect template that would make this an absolute doddle to do.  If not...seriously?

This could easily be include in the next update and incorporated into Hitfilm Express 2017 at launch. After all, what else could possible be as important for kicking Adobe's backside? Another light material bumpmap noise option for the 0.001% of people who'd actually use it? A monkey could make great Motion Graphics videos with something like this, then look at all the other stuff Hitfilm can do. ;)

The default name is somewhat tricky: crack open the Thesaurus and Empty, Null, Holder, Motion, Dummy, Pseudo, all seem wrong. It's basically a keyframe container for a load of Transforms, so....Transport? :)

You'd obviously rename them to what the Preset was doing "Fly Left + Zoom & Bounce" etc. when you'd made it, so it doesn't much matter what it starts as, though.

Considering what's possible by bodging together some of the existing Effects: done properly, the sky's the limit! :D

See this video for how easy it can be done in AE and I think it could be almost as easy in Hitfilm:

So, if you want something a lot better than my attempts in Hitfilm, make some noise in this thread and see if we can get it kicked up the wishlist. :D



  • That would be so, totally, awesome! YYYYEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

    We need that for Hitfilm :)

  • edited April 2017

    @Palacono  Great idea!  Decided to play with this as I have had HF Pro since January 2016 and just upgraded to 2017 this January but never had a clue this effects were there.  I have lots of exploring to get around to doing... However, I cannot seem to find that motion folder under presets in HF 2017 Pro.  Was this changed with the new release from your version of Express?

  • edited April 2017

    Yes. Great idea considering the hot topics all seem to revolve around Motion graphics and text.

    If I may though...AE doesn't hold a candle what Motion 5 can do with text animation. If you going at Motion text you need behaviors and lots of them. There are around 200 behaviors in M5 without building your own.

    On the basic end - anything from arrange in/out, fade words/letters, slides, tracks, grows, shrinks, spins,rotates, throws, pops, scales, drifts, blurs...ect.

    Then you have Continuos text like celebrate, frightened, kookie, quiver, shock, sketchy, wacky etc

    Or Energetic text like springy, tadpole, static, tear, peek, marbles ,magnetic, jumps, twirls, zaps..etc.

    Other things like glows, highlighters, subtle's...

    Then onto Animated behaviors like scrolls, sequences, tracking, type on/off...etc

    All....from a software that cost $49.00

    It would be nice to see Hitfilm incorporate behaviors like this but honestly I don't see it happening. I'm under the impression that HF is a VFX /Compositing software and not a Motion Graphics/Compositer?

    IMHO...setting points is ridiculous when it comes to animating text.

    Looking forward to see what develops.

  • Another thing Hitfilm could do is add 3D models to their FREE product that way people would flock to Hitfilm, leaving AE in the dust.

  • @tddavis I made the Motion folder and the Presets within it, as I also made a folder called Extras, just to keep things tidy. As I add more I'll probably start adding subfolders.

    All the functionality exists in various Effects, it's just (currently) a case of exploiting specific features from various Effects. They could all be combined into one pretty simple Effect very easily.

    I know Hitfilm is all about VFX, and I'm not suggesting adding something that's outside its core abilities, like drawing, and this would be such an easy way to attract people to the product.

    Currently people are attracted by the word 'FREE', but might not look further if they're not into Composites, Layers, Tracking and Green Screens etc., but once it becomes someone's main editor, they'll explore, appreciate, buy addons, upgrade. :)

  • @Palacono  Thanks for explaining. I finally had thought that might be what where you got it.  That was a great idea by the way.  And, yes, there is a lot of discussion I see from users about using Hitfilm that way and even I, in my limited abilities with it, could use something like that some times.  Don't know if it's possible but you should put your preset folder up for sale on the Preset Marketplace.  I'd certainly get it...

  • @GreyMotion Well, I mentioned AE primarily as it seems to be well covered with YouTube Tutorials and because, even though it's not specifically designed for it, it does it well and has become a de facto one stop shop for more or less everything. 

    Anyone making a Plugin makes sure it works on AE, because then they have a massive potential audience.

    But, no reason why FXHome couldn't get themselves a copy of Motion 5 and duplicate all the actions in a little 'Motion Graphics Add On Pack' once (I'm saying once, not if, because I'm confident they understand how business works ;) ) the Effect  is implemented. In fact it would probably be a good idea, just to make sure they have all the bases covered with the various fields they'd need to implement.

    Measure twice, cut once... although that's not an excuse for dragging it out for a year. :)

  • @Fulcrum2016 They're not going to add what used to be a $100 add-on for free. Less people would purchase Pro, and they would lose money.

  • Yeah true. BUT there are 'those' of us who would like to make space fights too!

  • With express.

  • @Fulcrum2016 And I'm sure FXHOME would like to stay in business just as much as you would like to make space fights.

  •  Probably more so... :D

  • Heh heh yeah, true ID. You got me there. 

    But while we're on the topic, how would you do that in express?

  • @Fulcrum2016 You'd start another thread and ask there. ;)

  • @Palacono - Stupid question ahead.

    Does HF 2017 allow for the individual control of characters AND words?

  • Not within Hitfilm natively (see below for more on that ), you only have manual control if you create a text layer for each letter or word.

    So, if you wanted to do something like the words flying in at the end of my presets example video,  then you'd cut it all up into letters (which would be slightly tedious), spread them out a little on the timeline so they arrive one after the others (not so bad), highlight them all at once, then drag the preset onto all of them (the easy bit). Or similar for any other Preset behaviours you make.

    Actually: that's for Express. If you have Hitfilm Pro 2017, then you have the Boris Plugins, which has the Type On Text Effect. :)

    Boris only does letters, not words, and you can have them be revealed/animated forwards, backwards or randomly.

  • edited April 2017

    @GrayMotion actually, if you're going to manipulate individual letters, cutting words up isn't too bad if you've already placed the words. Take each word layer, duplicate for the number of letters, then edit each one in turn; using the remaining words to help you see where to slide the letters over. Works for all except the last letter, which you can do by eye. ;)

    I did the first two words - reversed the fly in direction for the second word - and the last, also reversed.

  •  ...some noise. aka +1


    I would agree that some mechanism to save items from the transform property group to a preset is critical for easy common motion graphics type movements.

    I had thought that Hitfilm having a tweener(keyframe) generator could be enough for most. Some dialog where we select one or more common animations and it generates the necessary keyframes between two selected points. A selection of the most common MG animations should be easy build since they are all simple mathematical curves over time. That would/could cover a big percentage of user use.

    I assume (many of) your example Hitfilm MG preset effects are using the Perspective warp effect. That is pretty slick what you have done.

    It is limited in the ability to motion blur. The optical flow motion blur effect kinda sucks, whereas the layer(transform) blur works quite well. Also, multiple/sequential 2D pixel warps cannot be the best for ultimate quality.

  • edited April 2017

     @NormanPCN Cheers, I thought more people would want to do it, but clearly a teeny tiny percentage of the 1,000,000 downloaders come to this forum. :( Yes, Perspective Warp was one of the effects used for a couple of them. :)

    There were a few others. If you look closely, the names contain a few letters of the original effect to remind me what they were, as there are several ways to do zoom 'bounces', one has Motion Blur within the effect and one does not,  but that has other benefits/restrictions. 

    The last one with the flying letters ( only one with lateral motion ) is a bit of a square peg hammered quite hard into a round hole. ;) 

    Any more guesses? 

  • edited April 2017

    The text animation and vector import features are the precise reasons that I keep a Mac around with Motion loaded. Not to disrespect HitFilm, but I believe in having more than one arrow in the quiver.

    The Mac in question also has an older version of HFP installed so I can export animation from Motion as an image sequence, where necessary,  and composite in HitFilm.

  • @Palacono If I were to guess, your square peg into a round hole might be using the environment map viewer (360 video in 2017) to do something other than intended.

    Did you try using points to do the saved animations. Parenting could maybe handling the stacking of animations. It's not a preset but one can have all the animations saved in a comp and copy/paste as necessary. The unparent operation is likely problematic when wanting to change animations from one to another. Initial setting might be okay. A change might require a reset of some transform property groups before parenting new stuff.

    The ability to just drag+drop+stack animations onto an object, with letter/word/line/para options, is a main thing I like about NewBlue Titler Pro. Beyond its trivial ease of use. You cannot create your own animations that act the same way (drag/drop/stack) but they have a reasonable stock selection and of course try to sell you more.

    Boris Titler Studio seems much like Hitfilm. You save a keyframed thing in a "comp" as a template and use/copy that to start something new. No stacking ability. At least Titler Studio  added letter/word/line animation options to the Type On feature. What's weird is that Studio has two separate Type On features. The "new" one should have maybe used a different name.

  • edited April 2017

    @NormanPCN good guess (and I'll have to have a look into that :) ) but no, it is using Drop Shadow; which sadly means it only works on single colour text and not other objects/planes. It's actually manipulating the Scale Pivot, with Shadow Only:On, Opacity: 1.0, Penumbra:0.0, Colour:White

    Others are Shake, Magnify, Bulge and Zoom Blur, which can do some freaky stuff you couldn't actually even do with the Super Point Effect alone. ;)

    Points can do many things (needs Opacity and a few other things though) and I played with those first; but loading and saving little comps - although you can build up a library of them and store them in a mini-project that you loaded up as a default project file - is just not very practical.

    Take the flying text. If I wanted each letter to fly around separately, as in the last video, I'd need a separate Point for each letter to be parented to because they all start at different times. That's double the number of layers unless I perhaps added a Time Displacement Effect to each letter to share the same point, which would also be a logistical nightmare. Drag and drop the movement on there as a single Effect instead and...done; hence the suggestion. Having separate 'arrive' and 'exit' animations is as easy as adding both Effects to something and sliding the motion points along the timeline for the 'exit' one for the relevant delay.  Piece of Gateau. :)

    I've only used Titler Ex (cut down) with Sony Movie Studio and Titler Pro Express (utter barely-Editable junk) with Magix Vegas Studio. Titler Ex only allows two paragraphs, but you can add more versions of the effect to a layer, so you can still do a fair bit with it, plus you can put sections next to each other on the timeline, so one deals with arrival and the second with leaving. It's just tricky lining up the end of one with the start of another when there are no coordinates shown anywhere, but works well enough.

    Not been overly impressed with Boris, even the built in text animation in Sony/Magix has more options for letter, word, line, paragraph animation and I don't like Boris's default plasticy looking materials. It takes (me) longer to get something usable than with Titler.

  • Very interesting. Thank you for your input and your detailed explanation, it is much appreciated.

  • @Pencilandinc I looked some more at what Motion 5 can do and for the price it's pretty amazing. Almost worth looking into one of the ways to run Mac software on a PC.  :)

    @CedricBonnier Cheers! :)

  • @Palacono Look into Virtualbox

  • edited April 2017

    @Palacono I figured there must have been something about points/parenting that would get out of control and/or fall apart. It just was not immediately obvious to me when I thought of asking.

    FWIW Beyond your idea, I'll just toss a couple of additional ideas related to drag/drop animation ability.

    If something like the superpoint think was not feasible to the Hitfilm pipeline or to have more options/tools for users to get the job done quick and easy. A effects like the Universe Logo Motion effect allows quite a bit of keyframeless animation ability. Hitfilm already has most of these functions implemented (position, scale rotate, opacity) so this is something of a centralized UI to access this stuff and importantly, access within an effect. Stuff like idle animation controls would be new stuff. The idle has your bounces, swings, wiggles and so on. This one effect can cover the commonly/frequently used animations, all with sliders for amplitude control. As implemented in RG this effect is 2D/raster/pixel. Not ideal/proper for 3D text that is lit.

    The ability to do stuff keyframeless is kinda important to Hitfilm since the NLE (very sadly) cannot keyframe. Beyond text MoGraph something like this can be used in dynamic slideshows and ken burns type stuff. Something tedious to do when you need to create a gazillion comps.

    If something like the superpoint ability exists, then the following is baby steps from there. A keyframed animation is fixed in the amount of movement and bounce and such. So one often has 1/2/3 variants with different amplitudes and such. For the common animations one can have an animation effect for each. Now you have sliders to control amplitude of certain movements for infinite flexibility. Under the covers they are not using anything different that your superpoint idea. Position, scale, rotation, opacity. Many common animations are just simple curves/formulas. The slider is often just a coefficient in the formula.

    Example animation controls from NewBlue.

    I would bet that some MoGraph animation/effects could sell as an expansion pack to Express. HUD anyone.

  • @NormanPCN Oooh, I do like the Universe Logo Motion Effect...lots of sliders....maybe too many? :D

    I have some other Universe Effects, so I might have to see if there is demo version of that I can run in Hitfilm to have some fun with. ;)

    Re: the NewBlue stuff, I know there are lots of much better ways to do what I was suggesting, and even just having adjustments on curve and wiggle scales etc., similar to the amplitude and frequency sliders in the Waves Effect would allow lots of variations on a single animation 'type' rather than having lots of individual Presets. Although you'd inevitably end up saving Presets with slider positions you liked. :)

    My main idea was K.I.S.S. just to get the ball rolling because creating it would be virtually "drag, drop, tweak, done" with what already exists. I was hoping it might be worth doing to test the waters at almost zero development cost and yet still be very useful. Once you've made one set of Bounce Keyframes you can cut and paste them to just about every other parameter type: scale, angle, position, opacity etc. singly or in combination and get ridiculous amounts of variation. That wouldn't preclude FXHome adding something more sophisticated later if the interest made it seem viable enough to spend more time on development.

    Also, being able to make quite simple, and yet interesting, motions very easily might attract people for whom something like the dozens of sliders on the Particle Systems Effects are just too overwhelming. And that would include me. ;)

    Finally: my suggestion came from pure, unadulterated, laziness. :) Having done something that I might want to use again, I only want to expend the effort once, then forever be able to reuse the Effect with a single command. It's what I used to do when programming in Assembler: create 'words and phrases' using the macro function, then writing programs is like writing a document by only having to type a few letters per sentence and the rest is filled in for you. ;)

    @GrayMotion Cheers! Will do. :)

  • @Palacono The RG logo motion does have a lot of sliders but that gives it varied functionality and it does support presets for good starting setups. Actually there are a lot more controls. I did not expand the idle animation property group. Lots of controls there but generally you are going to use one of them and not the others (spring, wiggle, pivot, hover). 

    I like the K.I.S.S. way and I am certainly a lazy SOB. Drag/drop is the way for most of us. If not a canned animation then a generalized effect needs presets for the KISS way. Probably the best item about your proposal is that it is user defined and yet still extensible/stackable. Users can build up a database of animations (e.g. preset marketplace) for Text MoGraph or an Immelmann for an X-wing.

    While I am spitballing ideas for Cedric read.  

    Your superpoint animation effect is first. My first extension idea was that one can additionally offer some other animation effects with sliders to control amplitudes and such. One has to make an editorial decision as to what common movements you include. An alternate path to that same result would be for the super point effect to have a button to open a tweener dialog. In that one can select a motion from a list of common motion types with some slider control(s) of necessary motion params (e.g. amplitude, speed, etc) and then the tweener generates the keyframes into the superpoint effect. As I said previously, once you have your superpoint then it is baby steps to build onto that to give flexibility of things like amplitude etc. Separate additional limited effects or a tweener generator. Two sides of essentially the same coin.

    Of course since many animations are just basic formulas. Expressions for keyframes can kinda fill that duty as well. To make that easier for laymen, one just provides various formulas by name with parameter(s) rather than make us type in the math. Also allows for a greatly simplified expression parser.

  • @NormanPCN well, we can only plant the seed and hope. It's certainly been well watered by now. ;)

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