Palacono's Bugs'n'Misunderstandings [#52 Hitfilm Framerate issues (Link only)]



  • @WhiteCranePhoto couple of basic, quick roto suggestions. First, remember to "paper doll" your roto. For, say, a person, it's better to do upper/lower arms, upper/lower legs, torso, head, and maybe hands/feet and separate layers. Second, work from closest to camera to farthest from camera. Remember that if a layer on top of another layer, the upper layers are automatically holdout mattes. This means closer layers need to be precise, but farther layers can often be sloppy (because parts are under the holdout.). 

    No matter what, roto is tedious. 

    Did you see the HF4 mocha roto tutorials on the Hitfilm channel? Imagineer's Martin Brennan would often do a garbage matte to track a section, then parent the roto layer to the track. This pulls the roto layer into position, meaning you only have to adjust shape. 

  • edited March 2017

    New Bug: #44 Loose Tracking Bug, HF3P to HFP2017

    I reported this ages ago and was told it's not a bug. Well, further, more thorough investigation reveals: it is. :)

    And it's still there in HFP2017 Update #3. :(

    tl;dr: Tracking is less accurate in HFP2017 than in HF4 and HF3 and gets the maths badly wrong when it combines the weird sub-keyframes it now generates on a simple Transform with some normal keyframes.

    Read on...

    The last version that tracked both accurately and quickly was Hitfilm 2 Express (and probably HF2U, but I didn't test it).

    HF3 was a lot slower and would regularly lock the keyboard out while it tracked way past where you wanted to try and stop it. It also tracks very, very, very slightly differently. :)

    HF4 was a little better at giving you back keyboard control, but as the video shows: it introduced the sub-keyframe problem when Transforming a Point. Hardly useful and might be indicative of other inaccuracies if there is a shared function somewhere else.

    That I was told is not a bug. Well, watch the video and see.... :D

    Aside: At least HF4 fixed the "wrap around past 360 degrees" problem that meant loading .ma files into HF3Pro was a bit of a lottery as some numbers would just flip to NaN and make the object invisible on certain frames. But a patch was not released for HF3Pro, and as I only have HF4 Express, not Pro, I - and everyone else who didn't upgrade - was SOL and still can't load in camera tracking data from AE, Voodoo or VideoTrace without it going screwy.

    Anyway, back to the point... :) in HF4Pro/Express the subframes Transform error means that tracking info is inaccurate and, worse: if you loaded in data from other versions, while that would remain as it was, subsequent tracking done in HF4 (or now HFP2017) and combined with what should be the same values means that you get random glitches.

    Can we have the HF2E tracking code back that was both more accurate and faster? ;)

  • New Bug: #45 Set Matte Enthusiasm Bug, HF1 to HFP2017

    tl;dr Matte Cleaner is too aggressive and removes things it shouldn't.

    I've often had problem getting clean Mattes generated from other layers: Luminance for sky replacements, Colour cutouts, Greenscreens etc. and I've always just assumed that was a limitation I'd have to put up with, or the assets just weren't 'good enough' in some way.

    But I finally worked out what it is. A bug.

    Matte Cleaner's choke bites way too hard into a subject's edge, even on the lowest possible value of 0.1, with a range that goes up to a very generous 128. This generally means that after playing with it for a while, I end up turning it off completely and just live with the edging, as that's better than having it over-aggressively eroded.

    This probably affected all previous versions of Hitfilm as it's still there in HFP2017 Update #3 (I've previously been using HF3Pro and HF4E) as the video demonstrates.

    So I had something 'good' to illustrate the problem, I used one of FXHome's photos from their PhotoKey example assets, with a Green Screen Portrait Image that's 4096 x 6144 pixels, as well as a resized 720 x 1080 version to show what more often happens with standard-sized video footage. It's not just with Greenscreen that there is a problem though; Luminance, Difference and other keys are similarly effected.

    As you'll see at the end of the video: Spill Removal, Matte Cleaner and Color Difference Key all do something else weird with oversized assets and I remember that I've seen that jumping happen on quite a few other Effects, so once you start looking, you'll see it elsewhere. That offsetting could make all the difference when trying to line things up correctly.

    HFP2017 Pro has the ChromaKey function not available in Express, which has more adjustments and does a better job on Greenscreen (although turning on 'Adaptive Color means the Gain slider's influence becomes seemingly random and very steppy) but that can't be used in all the places you'd want to clean up a Matte, so isn't a solution.

    That first step is a doozy and the effect between 0.0 and 0.1 is bigger than that between 0.1 and 10.0 and that just needs to be balanced so that the curve is much, much more gradual. Hopefully it's a simple typo on the ranges used and can be fixed fairly easily.

    While I'm on the subject, I've noticed a certain steppiness in other 'alpha manipulation' effects before, so perhaps there is a common function that's used by several and they'll improve when this is fixed as well?


  • I've seen matte cleaner be pretty aggressive/strange. Before HF added AA to QuadWarp I tried to use Matte cleaner to feather the edges and woof it reacted unexpected. Original forum thread.

  • edited March 2017

     @Norman PCN As I see I responded to your original thread, which was branched off one where I was complaining about Quad Warp (it's still not great now) I won't add more. ;) But I just remembered I'd forgotten to post what would be nice to have in Hitfilm.

    This from AE.  Not the Roto Brush - although that would be nice too :) -  but some finer control of the Matte. Or, for now, one that doesn't have that huge first step.

  • New Bug: #46 Hitfilm doesn't like this 'Woodcut' Font

    I know these get read, so here's an easy one. :)

    Everything but Hitfilm likes this font.

  • Fonts can be trouble. Even in Vegas/MS you have problems with fonts post V12 when the Titles & Text generator started using GPU and thus their own font glyph parser where the Legacy and Protype text generators do not have problems because they use the operating system font engine.

    OpenGL apps like Hitfilm have to use their own font engine to convert the font glyphs. These third party font engines are often quirky because out there in the wild west the fonts we can download are often quirky. 

    NewBlue Titler Pro is also GL based. I had fits with NewBlue titler Pro and purchased a font tool to work around them by cleaning things up. Things like bold being used when it should not be.

    Still the GL font engine that NewBlue is using is better than the one Hitfilm is using. I think Boris 3D text in GL as well and the font engine they are using is better. None of the GL based font engines I have come across support font kerning table data and that sucks.

    The Hitfilm font engine only supports installed fonts that are also copied to the Windows fonts folder. FxHome did/does not consider this a issue a bug. Woof.


  • edited March 2017

    @NormanPCN I'd previously done a quick test with Boris and it was OK with it, but I played about some more and it does go wonky on one of the presets, but all the others worked OK.

    NewBlueFX Titler Ex (the cut down SMS 12 version) seems fine with it in SMS12 and 13, even with lots of layers and outlines and extrusions.

    Can't remember where the font came from, I thought it came with Windows as it's not something I think I'd have bothered to download; and it's in the Windows font folder.

  • I don't think it is a Windows standard font. NewBlue Titler installs a bunch of fonts. I'm not sure if Woodcut is one that NB installs.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
  • edited March 2017

     OK, good detective work. :)

    Anyway, it can't be too 'broken' if AE, SMS, MVS, Word, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, Boris (mostly) and NewBlue are all OK with it.

    So maybe whatever library that Hitfilm is using could do with a minor tweak or two?

    And the devs know where to get the font to check with... ;) 

  • edited March 2017

    New Bug: #47 Lens Blur Error in Manual and Scaling Bug?
    The manual states that Lens Blur works by having White as fully in focus and Black as fully Blurred, which is incorrect. Grey is in focus and Both Black and White are Blurred.

    So this image with a Grey Plane, with two small Black and White planes over it, produce blurred areas only where they are (Lens Blur Effect is pointed at the Grade Layer above them and using Luminance).

    But, the blur extends vertically outside the size of the planes.  This was because the image was actually 1920x1280, not 1080, so the blurred areas seem to be stretched along with the image. Masks are similarly affected. Deforming the image even more shows the blur moves around even more.

    So the manual is just wrong: easy fix; but is the other behaviour a bug , or a "feature"?

    Edit: If the Effect is applied to a Grade Layer above everything else instead of to a layer itself, then it works as expected. The scaling that is, not the Grey/Black/White; that's still wrong.

    That's in Pro as well as Express, BTW. See last image. Blur.jpg Blur2.jpg Blur3.jpg Blur4.jpg Blur5.jpg

  • edited April 2017

    New Feature?: #48 Matte Cleaner Choke Texture Density

     Just a quick one; playing with Matte Cleaner again (see #45 for how slightly over-enthusiastic it can be) to try and cut through some Ink.

    tl;dr My idea was for Matte Cleaner>Choke to gradually unerode the edges of some Ink in water so that something could appear to pass through the ink and make it look like the ink had a more 3D look. Was next hoping to try it on some smoke; but it didn't work. :(

    Firstly, Choke did not gentle erode the edge, as I was hoping, but turned the Matte into a much whispier and distorted version of the matte shape as the choke value was increased, so it didn't look convincingly like anything was passing through the Ink, as it was changing too much.  I was hoping for something that would more or less shrink the shape from the edges inwards, but the whole texture changed.

    I then noticed that the scale of the plane that had the Set Matte Effect and the Matte Cleaner Effect was affecting the Choke behaviour. No idea if both Effects are interacting or if only Matte Cleaner is affected, as there is no (easy?) way to test the result of using just one of them. 

    So, bug? Feature? Something that could be changed, or supplemented with a differently working Matte Cleaner? Dunno. I just fine 'em. :)

    This is slightly similar to the behaviour I noticed with Projector, in that the size of the plane being projected on has to be 1:1 or larger than the texture being projected, or the resolution of the projection itself is degraded. Bug/Feature #9 if you're interested. :)

  • edited May 2017

    New Feature?: #49 "Real" 3D Text in all Hitfilms

    This isn't a bug - well, it is - but it's more like a fun feature and one I've been meaning to do a video about for a while.

    tl;dr: "Real" 3D text, that extends into the Z plane. Yes, the quotes around "Real" need explaining. Watch the video. ;)

    If there was a way to make it more controllable - and when you see the video you'll understand what that means - then the ability to distort Text reliably would be amazing. You could have true 3D bevels and lots of other cool effects.

    As it is, you'll see at the end of the video that you can use a 3D projected image of your text in the 'rotated' Composite, as a Displacement on that layer in the 2D view; which would then get re-projected in 3D. :D In the video the Black and White separates the edge from the centre, but shades of grey would give you smooth Bevels. ;)

    BTW, this only works with Text, not other planes, which is a shame because that could be awesome!

    Give it a go! :)

     Edit: Actually, just adding some Blur to that imported frame produces enough graduations in black to white that you get some pretty nice results. :D Blur.jpg

    Add the other plane behind to fill in the holes in the colour of your choosing. Blur2.jpg

  •  Just an update. I thought there had to be a way to rotate the 2D Effect of a Displacement Map source so that it could retain it's 3Dness, in more ways than being limited to just using a matching source image and a static destination frame... and there is.

    Rotating the Source at the same angle (Rotation values were cut'n'pasted between them) as the final 3DUnrolled version means that the Displacement Source in the middle - even though that looks like a mess and not at all like the result - produces...a perfect projection.

    So, two wrongs do make a right. :D

    Here's the Project file to have a play with.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Clever. I've experimented with ways of using displacement, parallax and caustics for 3d text effects, but I've not tried this particular method of yours, which gives some really nice rounded looks.

  • edited May 2017

     @Triem23 And that's just using the same text as a Displacement Source with a Blur value of 2.0 whacked on it. :D

    If you manipulated the text in more creative ways you could get bumps, slashes, holes, wiggly edges, etc.

    Edit: Just to check, even removing the Black outline effects the displacement, because of the different coloured areas having different amounts of influence, as shown here:

  •  And of course the Displacement can be vertical, as in the first example below.

    Add another layer, drop on some Matte Cleaner>Choke and Feather it a little, choose complementary colours to simulate reflection, add some blur and you get the second example. 3D 2.jpg 3D 3.jpg

  • @Palacono  Great job!  That last image with the black background looks sweet and metallic.  Does that have Caustics applied?  It has the look for sure.

  • edited May 2017

    @tddavis Nope, still just messing with that single Displacement now and I've removed all the keyframes and set a single Displacement amount.

    Download the project file and have a play yourself. ;) I guess that's what Caustics is doing mathematically in some way, but I've not really played with it at all.

    Edit: Had a play with Caustics and couldn't get close to this, unfortunately. Maybe I need to layer that too. Adding simple Caustics (or Chromenator)  to the text then doing this produces even weirder effects. :)

    Just tweaking one small thing, or sticking another layer on,  or adjusting the width or absence of the outline on the text makes so much difference it's silly. I have found that the lumpier, or more intricate the text the more interesting the results.  Just changing the font (apart from the last few with a Drop Shadow on one layer that also made a difference in weird ways, depending on how far away it was from the text) and you get all these. :D 3D 4.jpg 3D 5.jpg 3D 6.jpg 3D 7.jpg 3D 8.jpg 3D a.jpg 3D 9.jpg 3D d.jpg 3D e.jpg

  • edited May 2017

    New Feature/Misunderstanding?: #50 Proxy/Export Overrides Particle Preview Flag

    This obviously hasn't affected anyone to date, but I was attempting to recreate one of Tobias' (Surfaced Studio on YouTube) AE tutorials in Hitfilm 4 Express. As @Triem23 is (possibly) going to demonstrate  soon with his Space Nebula tutorial, you can do particle effects in Express if you're creative with what's available. ;) But he's evidently not doing this, or he'd get the same problem.

    If you're a little too creative, it's not too much of a surprise when things act a little differently, but it is a shame as it would have been very useful for Express users.

     Missile Smoke in Preview mode (and others) works quite well for a magic wand if you fiddle about with the dots to make them twinkle etc. Smoke was also an option, as it has a Gravity parameter, but there is no Use Layer on the Position for that, so it's easier to use a parented point and then add manual downward drift in Missile Smoke.

    As the video shows: in RAM Preview mode the Effects work as expected, but when a Proxy is generated in both Hitfilm4 Express and Hitfilm Pro 2017, the Preview Flag is overridden and you get the full Effect instead... even if you didn't want it.  Nice for a flaming torch if you're doing a Villagers Storming the Frankenstein Castle scene, but not what I wanted here. ;)

    Unfortunately, that also applies to the final Exported video, which makes this method of generating particles unusable. :(

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    My galaxy didn't use particles. 

    Not a bug. Would be considered desired behavior, so if one is adjusting settings in a preview mode for speed, then forgets to uncheck preview, the theoretically desired output is automatically obtained. 

  • edited May 2017

    @Triem23 Yeeaaahh, OK I'll give you that one. I'll edit it to a 'Misunderstanding' as I am a bit thick.  ;)

    Anyway, just realised - and tested - that you can modify the .PNG for the smoke and it works again. Also instead of a dot you can make your own little star shapes, although these were only scribbled quickly, so look a bit tatty. :)

    Not using particles?   Hmmm...OK, I'm going to guess...lots of planes suspended in 3D covered in dots? :D

  • I'll agree with Palacono that this should be considered a "bug".

    The user, aka Diety, purposefully and specifically clicked an option. The app should not override that decision of the user at render.

    Effects can always have unintended and creative alternate uses so why override user decisions. Okay, the "preview" property name makes it seem reasonable to override a user decision. What if the property name was disable particle textures.

  •  How about an override on the override in Options? ;)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @NormanPCN can we meet at "non-optimal implementation?" If the software is told to override and properly does so then it's not, by definition, a bug. :) 

  • @Triem23 But who told it to override? If it's written in a comment in the source code only visible to the programmer, does that count? :D

  • edited May 2017

    I'll agree that if FxHome intended to override the user decision, in this case Preview, then it is not a bug of their intention.

    I submit that it is a "bug" because they are overriding an explicit user decision/choice. Clicking an effect property. Who is correct? The user or the developer? As I said, the user is also known as a Diety. It's a principle/philosophical viewpoint for me.

    The user clicked an effect property to get a certain look and the app changes that look from playback to file export. Playback is really just a render like export. It is not to a file but to the screen. 

    I once tried using Hyperdrive in what could be considered an unintended manner. I was experimenting with stuff trying to get a look that I probably would not know was "it" until I stumbled across "it".

    Hyperdrive has what I consider a "bug". It ignores the Transform property group. Specifically rotate. It obeys other Hitfilm rules of execution while ignoring transform. To me it is a "bug" because it violates a rule, but I am sure Hyperdrive does exactly what was originally intended.

  • edited May 2017

    New Bug?: #51 Grading Transfer in HFP2017 Not as Good as HF3P

    tl;dr: Grading Transfer between two frames in HFP2017 is not as good as in HF3Pro. It's also very slow on large images (about 8 seconds per frame on my ageing CPU and GPU) and so, I'd assume: with large video assets too.

    Video shows it all really. HF3Pro does a much better job at copying over the Color Grade from one image to another, whereas HFP2017 has a yellow cast to everything. It's also just as slow in HF3Pro - I've probably only tried it once before so didn't really notice, or thought it would get updated and moved on.

    The same project was used to export a frame from HF3Pro, then loaded into HFP2017 update #4 to see the difference.

    An additional side issue of masking and scaling is the noticeable slight frame jump between the reloaded 1080p image and the larger assets in the 1080p project. That does not happen in HF3Pro when the same image is loaded in and toggled on/off, so that could cause problems if using exported frames as clean plates in HFP2017, which is not the case in HF3Pro.

    I'll do another video later to show some other strange resolution changes in the viewer when using Curves and Colour Temperature to do the match manually and also Curves ignoring some changes entirely.

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