How would I do this effect in Hitfilm pro-2017 starting at 10:40  changing black and white values?


  • @Andersen01498

    I didn't watch the whole thing through but the basic set up would be done exactly like this tutorial shows except for how you create the composite shot.  Some terminology that is specific to AE will have to translated to Hitfilm's way of operating but the basics are the same.   Avoid the tracking part by filming on a locked down tripod for the base scene and the arm or person on a green screen set up, then it's just layering and blending in a composite shot

  • edited September 2017

    @tddavis well how do I do the black and white value thing starting at 10:40 


  • You can't. It's specific to AE. But you could achieve a similar effect with Masking of the character coming out of the ground so it appeared in front of the nearest section.

  • @Palacono there has to be a way to tell the black and white values of the image sequence


  • @Andersen01498  Ah, I didn't get that far into it, but I have never experimented with EXR formats so I am really glad Palacono gave you advice on that.  Yeah, that'll some tricky masking for sure, but doable, I think.

  • @Andersen01498 It's not just black and white values.  It's an embedded depth channel that's part of the EXR version of the ground burst effect.  The plugin used in the demo you shared has the ability to use that depth information.  A search of the HitFilm Pro docs does reveal some info about depth maps, though not having Pro myself, I don't know how its implementation compares to AE.  However, my gut feeling from reading the docs is that it's talking about internally-created depth maps, not those that are embedded in imported media:

  • @jsbarrett do you think I can convert exr format to another format, would that be an easier way to use black and white values 

  • @Andersen01498 I don't think the format is the problem.  HitFilm doesn't (to my knowledge, based on what I see in the docs) support using depth channels in any format. 

  • edited September 2017

    I believe you would have to extract the the extra EXR channels into separate EXR files. One for each extra channel you want. Then import each separate EXR into Hitfilm.

    Probably the only channel you can use in Hitfilm is the depth channel and you would probably use that with the depth mask effect. No idea. Never tried it.

    I do have a couple of the ActionVFX 3D debris packs.

    @Aladdin4d Any tips on util(s) to extract the EXR channels.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited September 2017

    @NormanPCN I was just looking at something new for that right as you posted!

    Anyway yes splitting multi-layer OpenEXR files into individual files will work and HitFilm Pro 2017 can make use of the depth maps much as in the tutorial with a 3D model or particle sim layer set to 2D by setting the Depth Source Layer property to the depth map layer but......

    Splitting EXR's can be a major pain. If you're making the assets from scratch, you should render the passes to separate sequences to avoid that. If you can't and have to go multi-layer then the usual way to split the sequence into individual layers is to resort to Python and/or the command line. exrSplit is for Python and its dependencies require the OpenEXR libraries and a C++ compiler which is a lot to install.

    OpenImageIO can work from the command line or with Python but Windows binaries are almost non-existent. Nico Rehberg provides unofficial Windows binaries. The latest is from August of 2017. Docs are included but you might want to review the OpenImageIO website too. I haven't used OpenImageIO in quite a while and I'm drawing a blank on how to actually use it.

    There are also a few unofficial builds with Python 2.7 bindings. They are available on the Unofficial Windows Binaries for Python Extension Packages.  The newest version there is behind the current stable release but it should work. The OpenImageIO mailing list does have some example Python code for splitting layers into individual files. 

    I recently learned about a new, free plugin for Photoshop released Dec 2016 for working with OpenEXR images called Exr-IO that looks really really handy. Definitely the way to go if you have Photoshop but I'm no longer a Photoshop user so I can't say more about it than that.

    EDIT: I switched to Affinity Photo and Designer earlier this year but working with multi-layer OpenEXR files is not something I had tried with either one yet. Affinity Photo seems to handle them quite well and it looks like it would be pretty easy to batch process a sequence extracting selected layers.



  • I tried using Affinity Photo but had no luck. Affinity reads EXR with all channels. I tried deleting all the channels but the depth channel and I renamed the depth layer to RGB.

    It saves but the depth channel gets inverted. Even if I figured out how to work it, this is a lot of labor since an image sequence is a lot of images. I suppose an automation macro could be recorded.

  • @NormanPCN Select the Export Persona, switch to the Layers panel and select the layers you want then click Create Slice. Now go to the Slices panel and you can create an exportable slice for each layer. You can set individual export formats and options for each layer. You can export all or just click each one to export individually. 

  • So in simple terms what should I do if want to extract the channels 

  • Note, I actually discussed this in the Wishlist. Relevant section pasted below.

    @Andersen01498 Hitfilm supports depth channels. A depth channel is a grayscale image where white is close to the camera, black is distant. A depth map becomes a source layer for a Set Matte effect used to limit other effects and parameters. Other color effects can be used to modify the gray values to focus them where needed. There are VideoCopilot and Surfaced Studio tutorials for Ae showing similar workflow (except Ae uses "Track Mattes" instead of Set Matte).

    Example: to use a depth map to add Lens Blur--one would either have the depth map in its own Composite Shot or buried under grade layers in the main comp, depending on workflow preference. For this discussion the depth map is in an embedded composite shot. So... We have our render in, we have our depth map comp on a layer and muted. We stick a Grade Layer on top of the render and add Lens Blur followed by Set Matte. The Set Matte uses the depth map as source layer, matte type is Luminance, blend mode is Replace. Now the Lens Blur applies to white areas of the depth map, lessening as the map falls to black. Ok, so now we want the blur changed so things are sharp halfway out but blurred foreground and background. Great. We'll go into the depth map comp and add a Curves filter to the depth map render. We'll add one point to the curve in the center and pull that all the way to black. We'll take the existing black point and pull it all the way to white. This changes the depth map to be white close to and far from the camera and black in the middle distance. Now the lens blur effects fore and background and leaves midground alone. 

    This is the standard procedure for using Depth Maps in any layer-based compositor. 

    If it would help I can find the tutorials I'm thinking of for Ae to use as reference. They're pretty easy to "translate to Hitfilm."

    In fact, I've created and used Depth Maps in Hitfilm as far back as Hitfilm 2 Ultimate!

    Hitfilm Pro 2017 has effects specifically for Depth Map/Matte creation inside the software.

    So the real issue here is extracting the Depth Channel from the EXR. I'll talk to the ActionVFX team to see if it's feasible for them to post a version using split PNG sequences for users of compositors that don't read multichannel EXR. Boris RED is another example. It's totally doable for them if they can dedicate an older computer to just do batch extractions. Almost zero cost in manpower, but expensive in run-time.

    I THINK this VideoCopilot tutorial is the one I'm thinking of where Andrew Kramer just uses color grading tools to modify a depth map and uses track mattes to apply the depth matte.

  • @Triem23 thank you for your help, please let me know as soon as possible what you hear from the Action vfx team thanks again

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