Film Sensei's Stuff: How to Create a POP-UP Text Effect in HitFilm Express! (August 14, 2020)



  • @Triem23

    I like your parking garage method.   I did something similar to apply wiggle.

    A friend has aftereffects and I had him put a lower case "o" in the middle of the screen and apply wiggle(.5,40) which is the Andrew Kramer approach to a providing a floating type feel to aircraft.

    I brought the video into Hitfilm and point tracked the slightly moving letter "o". I then applied the tracking data to a point and parented the camera to the point.

  • @HitfilmSensei Nice tutorial! I followed it and it works well!

    I'm try to make a dogfight similar to yours, but Star Wars, so X-Wings VS TIES around a Star Destroyer.

    What I'm having trouble with is the lasers being fired from the ships. I have tried a particle sim, with point emitters placed at the gun points, cone trajectory with 0 radius, and the built-in sparks streak texture. The texture looks okay but is flat at some angles as it can't be billboarded...

    Any suggestions/ideas on how to get good looking Star Wars laser effects?

  • @ZachAlan_Productions I modified the Phaser effect to look more like a Star Wars / BSG laser beam. You could always hand draw lightning effects, but that would sort of defeat the purpose of the procedural nature of the project. :)

  • @ZachAlan_Productions. For particle weapons you have a few choices.

    One would be to stack up and synch 4 emitters for each weapon. In this case you'd have each emitter set to rotate 45 degrees. In cross section, that would look like an asterisk *.

    Another would be instead of using the sparks streak, to just use the default blob texture or one of the roundish textures (Smoke works well for this) but billboard it--in this case you really crank up the particles per second so that the smaller particles merge into a solid line. THis is a bit more riding the active keyframes, but it works well.

    ANOTHER option is to bring in a 3D cylinder model, attach it to an all-black copy of your ship model, then bury the cylinder inside the ship and occasionally animate it to fly out. This requires a bit more planning in setup, but it works really well. It's an adaptation of this technique, actually.

    Or, you can always try using different effects. Depending on how your shot is framed, you can always attach a start point to the cannon and then attach an end point several thousand pixels in front of the weapons point, then parent both to the ship model and use the Animated Lasers effect.

    Star Wars blasters aren't really shown to recede in arcs like physical objects. Star Wars blasters are strange in that no matter the distance covered, they take three or four frames to go from weapon to target. No foolies--grab a blu-ray and count it out!

  • edited December 2017

    @Triem23 @HitfilmSensei

    Thanks for the tips! I'll try messing around with these ideas...

    Also, cool fact about the Star Wars effect @Triem23. I need to look now...

  • I'm just sitting back watching the master at work @HitfilmSensei. You indeed are way ahead of me! I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to when Action Pro uses less keyframes and adds rotational data.  It'll make a chase scene look even more fluid.

    Along the lines of what @NormanPCN mentioned. Setting up cameras around the area, parenting one to the head point and follow point can really make for some interesting angles.

    Rock on my man!

  • Force Jump in HitFilm Express!

  • edited December 2017

    @HitfilmSensei here's a quick test of the Star Wars dogfight I was talking about.

    Needs work with lighting, grading, etc, but I think it's pretty cool how easy it was!

  • Yes, it does need lighting, etc.... However, that looks pretty good. I bet it was easy! The Follow Behavior is a pretty powerful tool.

  • While you're in the early stages, fighter movement reads as too fast for me based on apparent speeds in Star Wars films. I suggest retiming your keyframes by doubling all times. About half the current speed will be on. 

  • In addition to what @Triem23 says, I also think that the scale of the Tie Fighters and X-Wings is probably too big relative to the Star Destroyer. I would up the size of the Destroyer. As I watched it a second time, I was thinking about landing one of those Tie Fighters in the Destroyer. I believe that they are probably too big relatively speaking.

    @spydurhank is right, though. This is definitely a nice work in progress!

  • Shatter Text out of Rock in HitFilm Pro!

  • Dammit, Jay, I've been planning to do this one for a while now.

    Ok, so, everyone else, stick your text shatter map in a comp shot and add a plane underneath with some lightning (turn animation speed to 0, kill the glow) as well to make some cracks around the edges. Maybe some Diffuse or some Displacement/distortion to break up the edges of the text a bit. .

    Tooshka long ago determined that Hitfilm's shatter needs something three pixels or more wide to grab, so don't make the lightning too thin.  

    Make your lightning a darker grey than the text you can have shallower cracks in the Depth Matte. It will also help separate the cracks from the Text. 

    So, basically proceed as Sensei did except putting the text in a comp. 

    Now, the text and lightning map CAN be in the main comp under a grade, and the grade layer can be the shatter map., but lightning is a resource intensive (slowdown) effect. An embedded comp can be proxied... 

    There are several different ways to create or organize the shatter and timing maps, so feel free to vary up Jay's version or these notes. 


  • Thanks to @Triem23 for expanding upon the Shattering Text out of Rock tutorial. Very cool stuff! Also, thanks to @JavertValbarr (@inScapeDigital) for hosting the Project File in the HitFilm Marketplace. Below is the link to the Project File. Please note, the project file is built in HitFilm 2 Ultimate, so it can be used in any version of HitFilm that has the Shatter Effect.

  • Thank you everyone who commented on my little dogfight. I won't be able to work on it for a few weeks, but I'll keep all your suggestions in mind! :)

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  • Good one!

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  • Whaaaat!? Super cool. Thanks. :)

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