Video editing & visual effects

HitFilm Pro

HitFilm Pro

Create mind-blowing VFX with the industry’s biggest VFX toolkit. HitFilm Pro comes with 870+ powerful visual effects, 3D camera tracking, particle simulation, and everything you need to produce professional VFX from start to finish.

Latest Blog Posts

New Release: Imerge Pro 2021.3

The Imerge team has been hard at work to bring you the next Imerge Pro release just in time for the end of summer. We’ve added 8 new effects, a new-and-improved effects menu, and new ‘effect stack’ presets to speed up your workflow. Keep reading to learn what’s new in Imerge 2021.3.

How to create realistic lens blur and depth in HitFilm

Want to level up the quality of your composites? While not usually the focus of the scene, the type of blur you use in your VFX work can make a huge difference in the overall realism of the shot. In this tutorial, Zach introduces you to the Lens Blur effect and explains how it can be used

How to create a freeze time effect

Inspired by the most iconic scene from The Matrix, the bullet time effect is the best way to capture the most intense action scenes! Today we’re using HitFilm Pro and its built-in Foundry Camera Tracker effect along with footage taken with CamTrackAR to show you how it can be done easily and on a low budget.

Color-corrected-skin-tones-girl-on-street-color-separation

How to color correct skin tones in any NLE

Learning how to color correct skin tones can be a difficult thing to master. Luckily, finding that ‘sweet spot’ is a lot easier than it seems and can be achieved in a few easy steps. In this article, we’ll show you how to color correct skin tones in any NLE.

How to create Superman’s heat vision effect

Learn how to create a supercharged Superman heat vision effect inspired by Zach Snyder's Justice League!

Want to join the Justice League and incinerate your enemies with lasers? Today we’ll guide you through how to create Superman’s supercharged heat vision effect, as seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League! 


Step 1: Shoot your footage

How to create Superman's heat vision effects blog filming setup

Utilizing various camera angles is an effective way of enhancing the narrative and tone of your film. We recorded our actor, in front of a green screen, at a low angle for our hero shot. This is perfect for making the subject appear strong, powerful, and courageous. 

Two point lights were positioned on either side of the actor to help match the shot’s lighting to that of the background plate. We also used some interactive lighting whereby we flashed a red LED in front of the actor’s face to simulate the glows emanating from the firing lasers.


Step 2: Key the footage

How to create Superman's heat vision effects blog Masking the head and torso for chroma keying

Once you have recorded your footage, you can import it into a composite shot in HitFilm. Once imported, begin to key out the green screen. We did so in two parts, inserting two grade layers above the footage layer; within one, we roughly masked around the actor’s torso; in the other, we masked around their head to allow for more precision to retain the intricate details of their hair. We then applied a Chroma Key effect to both grade layers and amended the effect’s settings to achieve the perfect key.


Step 3: Create a moody background

How to create Superman's heat vision effects blog creating the background

The background was created in a separate composite shot and consists of a simple stock image from Pexels.com. The Curves effect and various other color grading effects were used to desaturate the image and increase its darkness. Sparks and smoke were added using some ActionVFX assets, which had their Blend Mode set to Add. A portal was created using the Fractal Noise effect on a plane layer which was then masked into a circle shape. This composite shot was then imported into the first composite shot as a layer. The Lens Blur effect was added to this layer to imitate the appearance of depth of field. We increased the effect’s Specular Threshold and Opacity Curve values to enhance the effect’s realism.


Step 4: Create the laser beams

How to create Superman's heat vision effects blog creating the laser eyes

Create a Plane layer and set its Blend Mode to Screen. To this layer, add a Radial Gradient effect and set the Blend mode to Add. Position the effect over the actor’s eyes and scale up the Elliptical Deformation value to 1.00. Be sure to set the color of the Outer Radius to orange and the Inner Radius to white. Then, apply a Diffuse effect to the layer to soften the gradient.

To create the actual laser beams, you can use the Lightsword Ultra (2-Point Auto) effect found in HitFilm Pro and the VFX: Neon lights add-on pack for HitFilm Express. You can also use the free Lightsword (2-Point Auto) effect in Express to achieve a similar look. In the Lightsword Ultra settings, set the Position to Left Eye Track and position the laser to point in the firing direction. Under the Distortion settings, increase the Distortion value to your preference and change the Type to Energy. Lastly, turn off the glow effects (as we’ll use other effects to better achieve the desired look).

To the Plane layer, apply a Demult effect and a Lightsword Ultra (Glow Only) effect. Change the Lightsword Ultra (Glow Only)’s Inner Glow color to pale orange and the Outer Glow to red. Adjust the Width to your preference and increase the Flicker settings to introduce variation. Add two Glow effects with their Blend mode set to Screen and adjust their settings to emit an intense bright light.


Step 5: Color grade

How to create Superman's heat vision effects blog the final color grade

For the final color grade, apply the Curves, Bleach Bypass, and Film Grain effects to the Composite shot. The Lens Dirt effect (with a custom texture) can also be applied for a grungier aesthetic. To heighten the drama, add a Shake effect which is keyframed to trigger upon the actor punching – this intensifies the appearance of punch, giving it a larger impact.

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Hannah Odebode

Hannah Odebode

Hey! I'm Hannah, the intern! I'm the person that gets to answer all of your questions and respond to your lovely comments on our socials. I have a great love for all things thriller/horror-film related and my favorite film as of yet is Parasite. 😊
Hannah Odebode

Hannah Odebode

Hey! I'm Hannah, the intern! I'm the person that gets to answer all of your questions and respond to your lovely comments on our socials. I have a great love for all things thriller/horror-film related and my favorite film as of yet is Parasite. 😊