Desk phone blinking lights

So I have this digital desk phone with round buttons that have to light both in a steady fashion (line active) and blinking (line busy).

I really looked into hooking up the phone with some CISCO test utility on a laptop and decided even if I could, managing the practical effect and timing it with the actor offstage is a lot of work on set.

So, given I have a steady camera shot (no tracking/roto needed) how can I make these buttons flash and glow in post? I've read some of the blinking light tutorials on 3d models, but this is a phone with close-ups. There may be angled shots, not just face-on shots...surely a complication. And yes, hands over phone, clean plates needed for same angle of phone. I get all that.

Just what WOULD be the best technique in post with HitFilm? I'm thinking after you folks tell me, I'll want to back to the practical on-set controller!


  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited December 2017

    @aknittel You're probably going to have to do the effect(s) with a series of masks.  If you have a steady lock down shot, you could also grab a frame and take it to your paint software and create mattes for the buttons.   Then bring those in and combine with the background footage to apply glow on a button, etc.   I'm thinking the Set Matte effect would be helpful.

    Take a look at these tutorials from HitfilmSensei.  The first one uses Set Matt and the second one shows how to quickly create a hold out mask so your actor can pass in front of an effect.

    This thread may help, as well:


  •  You can also search the Forum using the magnifying glass icon at the bottom right of the page.

    I prefer this method though.   Put the following string in your browser's search engine window:

             < "set matte" >

    But remove the brackets <>.   This will search for any discussion that includes Set Matt, but you can replace that with another subject and do the same thing.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited December 2017

    Speaking of Set Matte, here is an excellent tutorial by the master @SimonKJones.  Although this is for an early version of the software, the same principles still apply.

Sign in to comment