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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.


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 use Foundry’s 3D Camera Tracker in HitFilm

Add 3D models and VFX to your video footage with the Foundry 3D Camera Tracker! This tool (included in HitFilm Pro and can be tried for FREE) allows you to take any pre-recorded footage, track it, and add CG elements flawlessly, creating incredible levels of realism, production value, and storytelling potential. Zach takes you through the entire process so that you’ll be able to create the VFX shots you’ve always wanted.

Splinter Cell Matrix Digital effect

Night vision effect tutorial (inspired by Splinter Cell)

So, you want the scoop on how to create awesome night-vision inspired shots from The Splinter Cell: Part 2? Well, look no further; HitFilm expert and VFX Supervisor Simon Jones shows you how to generate this awesome effect with HitFilm Pro.

So, you want the scoop on how to create awesome night-vision effects inspired by The Splinter Cell: Part 2? Well, look no further; HitFilm expert and VFX Supervisor Simon Jones shows you how to generate this awesome effect with HitFilm Pro.

Catching up with Simon Jones

It must have been great to get back together with HitFilm users Atomic Productions. What drew you to the project and what did you find challenging?

“It was an important moment for me, in that it reminded me that I’ll always be part of the wider HitFilm community and the Atomic guys gave me a chance to exercise those VFX muscles. The challenge my end was simply volume – the sequel had four shots, each of which was more complex than the one in the original.”

What was your workflow like for this project?

“This time around they’d shot a lot more material, meaning several green screen plates and photography of the location. They gave some direction on the general story context of the shots – there was to be an escalating sense of panic, starting off with guards completely unaware of Fishers’ presence, and finishing with them firing their weapons in a panic. The process for each shot involved finding a suitable background image, keying out the actors, converting the image into a projected 3D environment and comping it all together.”

What creative decisions did you make?

“I wanted to increase the sense of depth to the spaces for the sequel, which meant creating more complex 3D projections. Some of the shots required basic modeling of various props and scenery elements, as well as painting out certain items in order to create a clean plate. Then there was some work to add simulated shadows for the actors.

After the shot existed in 3D, I could then run a colored light through the scene to create the ‘scanning’ effect, with some additional timed effects on the green screen’s layers to make it look like the actors have been ‘tagged’. With more time they could have been even more detailed and refined, but they hopefully do the job in the context of the film!”

In a more general sense, do you have any advice for an indie filmmaker or VFX artist looking to collaborate on their first fan film?

“Collaboration is all about trust and being open. As long as you have the best interests of the project itself in your mind, then you’ll help each other do better work. That goes for anything, really, not just filmmaking.”

Well, that’s all from us, be sure to let us know what you thought of The Splinter Cell: Part 2 and Simon’s guest tutorial. Also, why not send us your use of this super cool night vision effect to showoff@fxhome.com.

Until next time,
The HitFilm Team

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Simon Jones

Simon Jones

Simon Jones

Simon Jones