Can you generate random text which then animates?

I am trying to make a HD display and just want some random text which animates in the corner.  I will be using a windings-type font.  In After Effects I would add a text animator and put a wiggle expression on the text offset.  Is there a way to do something similar in HitFilm?  I have HitFilm 2017.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    To wiggle the position of the text, use the Shake effect on it.

    If you're trying to get the letters/words to animate randomly, do you have Express or Pro? The only method I'm aware of to do that efficiently involves Pro.

  • I have Pro.  I want the letters to change randomly just so I have some symbols popping up on screen changing at random.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Particle sim. 

    First, I suggest this video. It's an older version of Hitfilm but procedure is the same.

    So you'll need to set up a Composite Shot for a texture holder. 

    Set up each of your Wingdings like Axel does with multiple images. Make sure you leave blanks. 

    Assuming you want one line of code, make a Quad emitter and turn on Boundary and Grid and set up X divisions to >number of characters< and Y to 1.

    Set Velocity to 0.

    In Appearance you'll set up the texture composite you made. 

    After that you have to juggle particles per second with lifetime so they blink in and out at the same time. Say you have ten characters and a spawn of ten characters per second. I'd set life to one second. Then a character dies right when the new one is spawned. 

    If you don't know the particle sim that sounded really hard. It's not, really.

  • Thanks.  I saw a preset for dropping text which used a particle emitter so thought there must be a way of doing it with particles, but hoped there was an easier way just like After Effects.  I will have a go at this method.

  • This kind of thing is something I've been trying to figure out for a while as well, so I couldn't help but take this for a spin.  However, I hit some obstacles along the way and thought I'd share my findings.  I'm still new to HitFilm's particle sim, so forgive me if some of the problems I'm hitting seem like no-brainers to the more experienced simmers.

    1. Character source setup.  I made my character source comp with a single text layer containing the characters A-Z (caps only) and digits 0-9 in a long row, and then reduced the comp dimensions to 100 x 100.  I then animated that text layer moving horizontally one character per frame, and keyframed the scale on a plane as a Set Matte source so that I could isolate each character on each frame.

    Initially I made the comp exactly the length I needed just for the characters (36 frames for 36 characters).  However, I discovered that the particle sim needs the source length to be as long as the sim lasts (duh), so I extended the character comp length.  Older versions of Pro will need to copy and paste keyframes, but with the new Pro I added the Clone effect to the text layer.  0 clones, Frame Loop set to Repeat, and length to 1.5 seconds (36 frames @ 24fps, my default comp rate).  Done.

    2. Particle Movement.  Following the suggestions above, I made the emitter shape Quad, Boundary and Grid checked, with the Grid values 10 and 1 for X and Y, respectively, to give me 10 character "spaces".  Velocity defaulted to 0, but I had to open Movement in the particle system and set Speed to 0 to stop them from moving.

    3. Overlap Solution. Even when setting Life to 1 second and particles per second to 10, I still got overlapping characters at 24fps.  However, I changed the comp to 10fps, Particles per Second to 100, and Life to 0.1 seconds.  Now all ten characters change on every frame, and there's no overlap.  Here's a 5-second loop made into a GIF:

  • I managed to get it working, thanks.  Quite a bit harder work than just telling AE to randomise text, it has to be said.

  • HitFilm is 6 years old.  AE is right around 25, it has to be said.  ;)


  • ..and what percentage of video content/projects require randomized text.

    No software does everything (all features). What are you giving up (market/users/projects) by not having feature 'X' verses actually having feature 'Y' or others. This circles around to the age/life of the product argument.

  • There are loads of things that are in AE I would like to be in HitFilm but conversely there are many things in HitFilm that I would like to have in AE.  And once I have paid for HitFilm I don't have to pay again, which is why I am trying to wean myself off using AE and start using HitFilm properly.  

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