In this video, learn how to create your first exciting title.
- Almost all projects will require some kind of titling at some point. Now there are so many different ways of doing titles, and so many different styles, that we can't cover all of it in this course. So what this lesson is going to do is take a look at one simple example of how to do a title in HitFilm. What I hope you'll do is take some of these techniques, then apply it to your own ideas. There's a project file you can download if you want to pull apart what I've made, but I am going to go through this entire process from scratch if you want to follow along. To start with, here I am on the HitFilm home screen.
I'll create a new project, choose a 1080p template, and then click start compositing. This would automatically create the composite shot, as well as the editor timeline, which is a handy shortcut if you're focusing initially on visual effects or titling work. To start with, let's add some text. To do this, you can use the text tool, which you'll find up in the viewer. With it selected, you can then drag out a box for where you want your text to appear. I'll write chapter one in here, and then I'll select all of the text with the mouse.
I can now switch to the text panel to make some adjustments. I decided to use the impact font, but you can of course choose whatever takes your fancy. It's then time to increase the font size. You can click in the font size box to type in a number directly, but I often find it easier in this case to simple click and drag on the box so that I can see it updating in the viewer in real time as I adjust the setting. Around 190 looks good to me. I now use the text tool to draw out another text box, slightly offset from the first one.
Make sure that the box is big enough so that you can see the text. Before I start typing, I'm going to change the font size in the text panel back down to about 120 or thereabouts. I'll pretend that this imaginary chapter is called An Introduction, but again, type in whatever you want. I'll switch back to the selection tool in the viewer and drag that text around until I'm happy with its positioning. So we actually have a title already. We could use this without doing anything more to it, but let's jazz it up a bit. As you work on increasingly complex projects, you'll find it very useful to name all of your layers.
At the moment, both these layers are just called New Text, which means it's tricky to know at a glance which one is which on the timeline, so I'll rename them to be more descriptive. After doing that, it's now time to focus on creating some animation. Keyframing was covered in the previous video so do check that out if you haven't already, as it's a very important topic. I'm happy with the text's current positioning being where it ends up, so first I'll go forwards one second on the timeline.
You can drag the playhead, or just type the exact time into the timecode box in the corner. I now want to activate keyframing for the position properties of both layers. I could use the small triangles to open up their settings, but there's actually a quicker way to do things once you know your way around HitFilm. Typing position into the timeline search box instantly reveals all the settings matching that search criteria. So here, I've immediately found both position properties, and I can click the gray circle to turn on keyframing for both really quickly.
Kkeyframes have been added to the timeline at the one second mark, so now I'll go back to the start of the timeline and I'll now move chapter one off to the left. This can be done either by dragging on the red arrow in the viewer, or by clicking and dragging on the first position number in the controls. When you're adjusting things in the viewer, clicking and dragging on the arrows themselves ensures that you only move the layer on that axis. Because we already put down the keyframe one second in, we now have a nice animation of the text scooting in.
It's often easier to animate in reverse like this, especially if you already have your objects in the right place. I'll now do the same with the other piece of text, going back to the start of the timeline and dragging it this time off the the right. If I now play the video, we have both pieces of text sliding in and meeting in the middle. I want the text to stay visible on screen for about three seconds, that's long enough for people to read it. During that time, though, I want it to keep moving a little in the direction of travel. So I jump ahead to four seconds in, which is the point at which the text will have been on the screen for three seconds.
I'll then move the positions of the layers just a small amount in their respective directions. New keyframes will get added automatically. During playback, you can see that the text slides in, then slows down but keeps moving. Finally, I'll go to four seconds and 15 frames in, and have the text slide out the opposite side of the screen. This means the text will exit the frame in about half a second. The text is moving quite fast when it enters and exits, especially on that exit.
HitFilm has a built-in ability to add motion blur to fast moving objects. If you want this to be used, you can turn it on per layer by clicking the motion blur icon on the timeline. In this case, it helps to make the movement of the text look more natural. Currently, we have a transparent background which could be useful if you want to overlay this title on top of a video or image. However, I want this title to fill the screen, so I'm going to give it a black background. To do this, I'll click the new layer button on the timeline.
There are lots of options here, and I'm going to go for the plane option. This will create a solid rectangle of color, which is called a plane. You can set a plane to be any size or color, but I'll go for the default black. I'll call it background, and then hit OK. This new plane layer has appeared on top of all the other layers, which is why everything has gone black. This is easily remedied simply by dragging the background layer all the way down to the bottom of the layer stack. Rather than have a plain black background, let's add some visual interest to it in the form of a colored vignette.
Over in the effects panel, I'll search for the vignette effect. Note that there are two types here. I'm going to go for the plain vignette one. This I'll drag on to the background layer. Note that if you still have a timeline search active, you should click the small X to remove it, otherwise you won't be able to find the vignette effect you just added. Open up the background layer and its effects group. Remember that you can adjust settings on the timeline, and also up in the controls panel, where you'll sometimes have more room.
A vignette by default is black, which is why you currently can't see anything actually happening. In the effects settings, open up the color group and click on the black square to open the color palette. Go for any color you want, but I rather like this pale dark blue. It's a subtle change, but it helps to make the frame more interesting, and also push attention in on the text. Now let's add a fancy light flare. Light flares are effects, which means they need to be applied to a layer. For this, I'm actually going to reuse the black plane we made for the background earlier.
In the media panel, you find that the plane is now listed as an item you can use. I'll drag this onto the timeline and put it up on top. I'll rename this to flare. In the effects panel, I'll find a light flares effect and drag it onto our empty flare layer. That's more like it. However, currently it's obscuring everything else. To fix this, I'll select the flare layer, then go to the layers properties in the controls panel. There's a setting here called blend, which determines how that layer is mixed with all the layers underneath.
Currently, it's set to normal, which means it just sits on top and obscures anything below. I'm going to change it to screen, which removes the black, but keeps the bright areas. It's really good for things like light flares. With the light flare effect selected, you can go into the viewer and move the flare around by clicking and dragging on the hotspot point. However, we can do something more clever. Because we already have our text moving in and out of frame, we can piggyback on that animation to give our light flare the same movement.
In the light flare's settings, I'll open up hotspot position and set the use layer option to An Introduction. This ties the light flare's position to the position of the introduction text layer. If you move the play head around, you'll see that the flare is now automatically moving at the same time as the text. The great thing about this is that by linking different objects together, we only need to animate one of them. That animation can then be reused by as many other objects as we need.
I'll adjust the center settings to put the flares somewhere nice, like over the dot of the I. This particular flare design isn't quite right for what we're doing here. If you click the flare type menu, you'll discover a huge range of light flares. For this title, I really like micro particle streak, which you might need to scroll down for. The micro particles add a lot of satisfying subtle motion to the frame, which makes the title much more exciting. I don't really want the bright hotspot in the middle of the flare, though, so I'll turn that off in the hotspot properties, simply by dropping the brightness all the way down.
In rays, I'll also reduce the length scale, so that the horizontal bars don't stretch all the way across the screen. Now it's more like a kind of underline divider between the two bits of text. A lot of this is personal taste and dependent on the needs of the project, but hopefully this is illustrating just how much control you have over your visuals inside HitFilm. For a finishing touch, I'm going to add a subtle glow to the whole thing. If you want to apply effects to multiple layers at the same time, the fastest way to do so is using something called a grade layer.
This can be created from that new layer menu on the timeline. It's a special layer which is invisible in itself until you start adding effects to it, at which point those effects are applied en masse to everything below. In this case, I'll add a grade layer, then go to the effects panel and grab the glow effect. I'll play around with the glow settings to get what I want. A high threshold of around 85% ensures that only the very brightest parts of the screen trigger the glow. A high radius, say, 400 pixels, makes the glow large and diffuse, while I'll set the intensity to two.
It's subtle, but again, helps to draw the eye to the text. If I switch the effect on and off, you can see it's actually having quite an impact. I might also go into the per channel intensity options and boost up the blue so that the glow better matches the light flare. From here, you have a fully functioning unusual title with lots of visual interest. Experiment with different effects, even adding them directly to the text to see what you can come up with. In this video, we've covered creating text, adding effects, how planes and grade layers work, and how you can link properties together to drive animation.
All of these techniques can be mixed and matched in all sorts of different ways, so let your own creativity loose.
- Getting started with HitFilm Express
- Setting up a camera and lighting
- Making a shooting checklist
- Shooting on a green screen
- Transferring from camera to computer
- Converting video formats
- Importing videos into HitFilm
- Using essential editing techniques
- Using multiple tracks
- Making color corrections
- Working with keyframes and composite shots
- Creating titles and lower-third captions
- Exporting and sharing video