Is there a place where i can make a request for something i need in HitFilm Express?

I need a slight change in the lightsword effect but i don't know where exactly to make the request.


  • I want to be able to adjust the roundness of the tips of the two point lightsword effect. It often looks unrealistic when the lightsaber effect spills onto the hilt. It makes it look as if it's just been pasted onto the footage.

  • Thank you for the link.

  • I'm confused. Would you expect a glowing light to not spill onto the hilt? And everywhere else? What would stop it? 

  • @BlackArtStudios The Two Point Auto has a problem with that, I agree. Maybe adding a "Flatten End" checkbox? My solution is to use the 4 Point Effect where it is obvious. It looks great on the other (tip of the blade) side, though! The other solution is to make a duplicate of the main shot, rotoscope out the saber handle and place it on top. The problem with that is that the glow doesn't overlap like it should (what Palacono is saying), and that looks fake also.

    @Palacono It is not the spillover of the glow that is the problem. The problem is the roundness of the light sword core itself. You either have to overlap it over the hilt or bring it up to the hilt therefore exposing the blade prop. Either way, it doesn't look right. It is usually only a problem if it is a closer up shot that is fairly still. That is why the Four Point is the best solution in my opinion.

  • @Palacono He doesn't want to prevent the glow from spilling.  He's talking about the base shape of the light sword, the fact that the ends are rounded off.  Say you have a shot from behind an actor who's holding a lightsaber, and the saber is pointing away from camera.  The silhouette of the hilt would obscure part of the sword shape, making that end more concave, but the lightsword effect is always rounded on both ends, which may make it feel "pasted on" in that situation as the OP indicates.

    @BlackArtStudios While the lightsword effect doesn't have built-in controls for adjusting the shape, you can use masks on the lightsword layer to control what part of the sword is visible.  A bonus is that it only affects the core sword shape, not the surrounding glow.

  • Inverted mask... perfect!

  • edited November 2017

    @HitfilmSensei @jsbarrett Cheers both. Gotcha! It's when the hilt is closer to the camera than the blade. ;)

    Small circular disc mask attached just at the blade/hilt join should fix that.  Make it 3D and have it face towards the bottom of the handle, like in the Iron Man HUD.

    Would anyone else really notice that though? Sometimes Editors spot things no one else would in the fleeting sweep of a sword in an epic battle because they had to track/roto every frame.

    If the battle is less than epic and the viewers' eyes start wandering around: different problem altogether. :)

  • 4-point lightsword has a roundness control. Masking may still be required since different sabers have different shaped guards. Then there's the apparent change in guard shape depending on the angle of the weapon. 

    Now, this is where I get snippy and say don't be so damn lazy. Up through EP III lightsabers were drawn, by hand, on each and every frame. Up till two years ago you'd still have to do it by hand (note After Effects doesn't have a dedicated lightsaber type effect. It requires a third party--but free--plug in). 

    Mask the guard, dude. Hell, there's a tutorial on this on the official Hitfilm channel. Right now you're asking Hitfilm to automagically determine the exact shape of the saber guard as well as its orientation in 3D space to automatically mask the end. This is an utterly ridiculous and near impossible  thing to ask for. Roto the guard. That's a very small task. 

  • edited November 2017

    I was never asking for HitFilm to automatically mask out the end. Rather, I was asking for a new property in the lightsword effect to be able to manually animate the roundness of the tips using key frames; similar to that in the after effects saber plugin.

     And yes you're right, I think HitFilm is the only software that makes creating light saber effects easiest. I also considered masking out the hilt earlier and sure, that's possible.

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