Is the motion blur setting and/or effect tied to the project framerate? I want to add the effect to a 60fps clip that will be exported at 24fps. I figure that the higher raw framerate would help this effect show better in the export.
Actually your thinking is almost exactly backwards.
Motion Blur is a function of how long a camera's shutter is open. Most commonly (on a film camera) a shutter is open for half the frame rate. This would be 1/48 sec for a 24 fps shoot and 1/120 of a second for a 60fps shoot.
The higher the frame rate the less motion blur.
Fortunately Hitfilm lets you dial up totally unrealistic motion blur.
In the Motion Blur settings for a composite shot (or in a motion blur effect) the more you increase "Shutter Angle" the more blur. 180 is your "real" number. Anything over 360 is "impossible," but Hitfilm lets you go to 720!
Just set "Shutter Phase" to negative 1/2 of Shutter Angle. So, if Angle is "360" phase is "-180."
EDIT: Just learned that motion blur composite settings only work with 3D layers and that the effect is for 2D, though it's causing some distortion on the clip (specifically on the HUD elements in the recording). Given this, what is the best way to work with this effect on footage?
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