Explore how to combine multiple effects in HitFilm Express to create unique results in this video.
- In the previous chapter we took a look at at working with green screen and how to add effects to your video clips. I'd recommend you watch that chapter before this one. There are over 190 items in the HitFilm Express effects panel. Although some of these are preset combinations, the point still stands, there's a lot of stuff in here, especially considering it's the free version of this software. In this chapter we're going to look at how you can combine and mix effects for different results. With so many effects available it's not possible to cover them in detail in this course.
Instead I want to make sure you understand their potential and how you can work with them. Once you have that knowledge you'll be able to experiment yourself, and there's not shortage of on-line visual effects heavy tutorials that you can go and find. Adding effects to a clip is easy, all you need to do is find the one you want and then drag it onto the timeline. I'm going to go to the Lights and Flares folder and add the light flares effect to this clip I already have on the timeline. The effect immediately appears both on the viewer and in the controls panel.
The control panel only ever shows you the settings for a single clip, the one you currently have selected on the timeline. I can open up the light flares effect by clicking the small triangle icon revealing lots of exciting options to play with. I'll leave the settings as they are for now, but what I will do is go over to the viewer and click and drag on this little handle right in the middle of the flare. This is one of the ways that I can move it around to a new location. If you can't see the handle, make sure you click on the effect in the controls panel first.
I'm going to move it so it's up high in the sky here. You can of course go in and play around with the settings in the controls panel as well. The great thing about modern editors is that they have really robust undo features which means you can get as experimental as you want without every worrying about making a mess of things. At any point you can click the Undo button to go back as many steps as you want. In fact there's even a history panel which lists every action you've taken. This is actually really powerful, because you can click on any item to jump back to that point in time.
Or come back to the present. It's a great way to compare what something looked like before and after a series of changes. If only real life had such a thing. Okay the next important thing to know is how effects stack on top of each other. Any clip can have multiple effects. You can add as many as you want, but the order is very important. If I go back to the effects panel and find the mosaic effect I can demonstrate what I'm on about. After dragging it onto the clip I'll go into the mosaic settings and change the preset mode to 40 by 20 so that it's really obvious what's happening.
Mosaic reduces the number of pixels in the frame making everything look blocky. It's actually quite useful if you're wanting to hide or disguise something confidential, or maybe a person's identity. You can see that the mosaic effect is applied equally to the video clip and to the light flare that I applied previously. Now let's do that all again but in a different order. I'll select those effects and press delete to remove them from the clip first. So from the effects panel I'll add my mosaic effect and then choose that same preset setting.
Then I'll back to the effects panel and add the light flares effect. Note that this time the video is blocky but the light flare remains detailed and crisp. This is because the effects list is processed from top to bottom. effects at the top of the list are processed before those lower down. So this way around the mosaic effect has already been applied and then the light flare sits on top of that. You can swap the order of effects around simply by clicking and dragging on them. So if I change the order here by moving the mosaic effects to after the light flare you can see that once again the flare is now affected.
This is a really obvious exaggerated example, but remembering that the order matters will be really useful as you work on increasingly complex projects and start to experiment with your own combinations. In the Titles and Motion Graphics section in the course, we're going to be introducing the concept of composite shots and key frames. These go directly hand in hand with visual effects work, so I recommend watching those as a companion piece to this video.
- 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