DARKNESS UNVEILED - Lightsaber Duel - LCC 2018 (11/1/18)



  • Yea, I got it, I will do that, instead of showing pretty much the same stuff, thank you for your comment :)

  •  Bologna Man is back! Watch as he does normal stuff around the house, but does not know there is an Eclipse!

    This was something really quickly put together, with not much thought, but here it is!


    I edited it all in Hitfilm Express 2017 :)

  • Here is my first entry for Production Crates monthly contest!

    -Theme: Use the line "This is not even my final form" (or something similar to that) so that is what we did ;)

    10 seconds... of course :) Enjoy!


  • Thanks, next one to come out soon :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    So much for the paperless office v

  • Here is my final entry for the same contest! Now this one was really fun! And if you do not know what happened (especially at the end) ask!

    Same rules that apply to the previous video, enjoy :)


  • Strangely compelling to watch as everything is happening so fast :) , but...crossing the 180 degree line at 4 seconds, then back at 6 seconds initially made it look like there were two people. If you wanted a different view and had only shot with a single camera, then zooming in on a detail - face, the box thing, etc. - might have been better/clearer.

    Plus, the audio is muffled again. I thought you won a Rode mic at some point?

  • +1 to the comments from @Palacono.  All the line crossing confused me as well until I watched it a couple more times.  And while I'm all in favor of crazy slapstick behavior and line delivery, it falls apart when the lines can't be heard clearly.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Agreed. Great concept, and the effects work well, but the line crosses do make it hard to follow. 

  • Hey guys @Palacono @jsbarrett @Triem23 Glad you all liked it for the most part :) I do have a Rode mic, so I do not now what happened? And when I was editing it sounded good on my headphones? I do agree with the line crossing, I should have done closer shots, thanks guys for all the tips, I will try better next time ;)

  • Headphones can be deceiving. You may have the headphone volume turned up so it sounds good, but the actual audio level might be low.  It's always best to check the actual level with HitFilm's meter.  Work on the dialog level first before adding sound effects or music.  It should be as close to 0dB as possible without clipping (going into the red).

    As a test, mute everything in your project except the tracks that have your actors' voices.  Play through it and note the highest point where the white line holds in the meter.  What is it?

  • edited August 2017

    The part where he said "this is not my final form" was at 0db, and the guy at 0:4 was like at -3 to 0 db, I think the problem is that he was saying it really fast (and that is why it is not as clear), so that we can get everything in ten seconds, it is so tough to do that!

    I do have the headphones up pretty high, and the thing is that when I do get the levels good just on the dialog, when I add sound effect it goes to like 5 to 10 db so I try lower down both dialog and sounds :( maybe that is the problem, oh well I will try next time!

  • @jsbarrett @Palacono I think you two already know this information, but, just in case...

    HIS_Films without going TOO deep into the topic, Hitfilm still lacks one essential audio feature that will be a game changer when/if it's added. 

    Here's hoping Hitfilm 2018 adds a Compressor to the audio effects. 

    Long story shortish, when using a Compressor, an audio threshold is set. All audio signals above the threshold get squashed down by a user-defined ratio, compressing the loud part of the sound into a smaller dynamic range. Then a gain adjust is applied to re-raise the top volume peaks. This has the final effect of raising the level of quiet sounds while keeping loud sounds from clipping (a Compressor with a very high compression ratio--effectively "nothing gets louder" --is called a Limiter. Sometimes you'll see "Compressor/Limiter."). 

    Compression is very important on the human voice, as the voice is very dynamic and can literally jump over 30db between syllables! 

    So, for the line "This is not my final form," your actor said, "THIS is not my FINal form!" It's either the "THIS" or "FIN" that hit 0dB, but the rest of the line is probably down at -12db or lower. 

    For Hit-U tutorials I edit in Vegas Pro, but my audio chain has two compressors. My voiceover chain has a compressor with a - 32dB threshold and a 2.5:1 compression ratio. This reduces that 32dB of dynamic range to 12.8dB with 20dB of gain to bring the peak level back up. The second compressor is a limiter at - 2dB Threshold (infinite compression ratio) and 1dB of gain. The limiter just chops off any really loud peaks that might have snuck in. 

    Incidentally, adding a low-threshold, low ratio compression tends to boost apparent vocal bass. It's part of the "radio voice" sound since compression ratios similar to my Hit-U VO are used on DJ mics on radio stations. 

    Anyways, I wouldn't be surprised if Hitfilm added compression in Hitfilm 2018. Hitfilm 3, 4 and 2017 all added what (at that time) I felt was the single most important missing feature. I've been arguing (in the sense of "presenting a case," not, "fighting,, ") with the devs that a compressor is the last essential audio tool Hitfilm lacks, because the human voice is so dynamic. 

    Not quite "essential," but very nice to have would be a "Noise Gate." a gate sets a Threshold level. When audio is below the threshold the channel is auto-muted. When audio is above the threshold the channel is active. For Hit-U tutorials I have a gate before the compressor at about -50dB. This cuts most ambient noise (like cars) going by when I'm not actively yapping. 

    So, point of that post is, right now Hitfilm is lacking a tool specifically important to controlling voice levels. For now I'd suggest setting up a custom export template where you uncheck "Export Video." when you get near the end of an edit--once you lock picture and get into audio--you can render out dialog tracks (whole project as a single file) to a "blank video," take them into Audacity to compress, then export from Audacity, bring back to Hitfilm, then start mixing SFX and music. It's a couple of extra steps and a round-trip workflow, but it will make a huge difference in how you can control dialog. 

  • I'd actually prefer to not have a specific compression effect built in, but support for OS-native audio plugins (AU, VST, etc).  That would be supa-cool.

  • @jsbarrett agreed, but, since Hitfilm currently has audio effects, I'd like to see a native one. I think that's more likely than adding a VST framework that would probably be Pro-only. 

  • @Triem23 Wow, thanks for all that info, it helps a lot, that is what I will be starting to do, bringing my dialog into audacity then back in hitfilm, its probably worth it, I really want to get my audio better, since you all know that is what I probably struggle the most in, thanks ;)

  • edited September 2017

    @Triem23 So if I had a 6 min. video and I took all the dialog at once, together, after I exported all the clips together, I can take that in audacity and correct it? Will that effect parts that are really high and really low, will that work? Hopefully I make sense :) Or do I have to take each individual clips dialog, then correct it in Audacity?


  • Oh, damn, export the entire dialog track as a single file... Each individual clip would be tedious. Remember, this step comes after you've picture locked (if you're unfamiliar with that term it just means the point where you've stopped editing for scene and shot timing and have moved into final grading and sound editing. While minor correction editing might happen, this is the point you're basically happy with it. Traditionally this is when an edit goes to the audio mixer and composer--because a composer can't write final music until the scenes are more or less finalized). 

    Another thing to look at is "Levelator." I think it's no longer in active development, but it's a free program designed originally for podcasters (so it assumes audio that is voice only, recorded indoors without too much background noise). Levelator is basically an auto compression tool. You simply drag a voice file to it and it tries to maximize and even out audio levels then exports a new file. You'd have to still extract the audio from your original Hitfilm render in Audacity first, and Levelator has no controls to adjust (so you have no control over final output), but it's really fast and usually does a good job. 

  • @Triem23 Okay, so all my video is done, but I have to add sound effects, then music later, I can do the dialog first before that in audacity, right?

    I am checking "Levelator" now, thanks Triem :)

  • Correct. :) 

  • Alright, thanks Triem, I will start working on that know, and I downloaded Levelator, so I will do audacity, then in Levelator it goes. I can't wait to get better audio! :)

  • @Triem23 what is the best compression levels, for films(The threshold and compression ratio)? Like for what I do?

  • There's not really a single "best" setting.

    Try something like -12 threshold with a 4:1 compression ratio or -24 with a 2:1 compression ratio with an attack of 25ms and release of 50ms. 

  • I will try those and see what's best, thanks Triem for your time ;)

  • Either compress in Audacity OR use levelator, not both. 

    Do some general searching about audio compression on Google. Since the first compressors were hardware boxes, the controls and what they do are standardized across the industry, so any tutorials will do. Compression is an art (if you see a credit on a music album for "Mastering Engineer," that's a job that's almost literally just doing EQ and Compression...), and there are audio artifacts called "pumping" and "breathing" I haven't even mentioned until now. Think of those as compressing so much you can hear compression cutting in and out. 

    Fortunately for you, since about 1980 or so more and more compression is the norm in mixing. Why? MTV and adding stereo to TV signals... When TV went stereo two channels of audio had to fit into the bandwidth allocated for mono audio. This was pre-digital TV, so the only "solution" was to crank up compression. 

    For fun, see if you can grab audio from a non-remastered rock album from 1970-1980 and from rock anytime after 2000. You'll be able to SEE how much more compression is being used in the waveform! 

    The two suggested settings I gave are decent starting points, but, again, compression is "it depends." If you've recorded outside, compression will let you boost voice levels, but it's also going to boost wind, trees, cars and that dog barking a block away. 

    Oh, last tips. Mixing your music at -10dB? Probably too loud. Try -20. In general even most voice should probably top out at -12 or so. Why? What if you have gunshots or explosions or other loud sounds? You need to leave room for the loudest sounds to be, well, loudest! 

  • Nice, thanks, If I got any more questions I will ask ;) Thanks!

  • I will probably just use audacity ;)

  • @Triem23 My release time only goes from 1.0 sec. to 30.0 sec. on Audacity and the attack I set to 0.25 sec. (hope that one is right)

This discussion has been closed.