Join Steve Grisetti for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding lights and flares to a scene, part of HitFilm 3 Pro Essential Training.
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- Lens flares are a lot of fun. As with all effects, they can get out of hand if they're overused, and they've almost become a cliche in outer space and science fiction movies, but they can add a real sheen and energy to your videos when properly used. They could really make your imagery pop. We have a little scene here of a spaceship flying off to a planet. Later on in the course, I'm going to show you how to create those star fields to create a really nice outer-space environment. I've added a cloud in there that I've tinted red, to create a dust cloud in space to make it more interesting.
I've got a nice three-dimensional globe there, very cool. We're moving through space, but one thing that's missing is we need a star or a sun out there to bring this whole thing to life. The only problem is there is no three-dimensional sun effect in HitFilm, but we can use a lens flare as a sun. But, because lens flares are two-dimensional, we have to trick the program into treating the lens flare as if it's a three-dimensional object. The secret to doing that is to create a Tracking Point.
We're going to create a Point here. I'm going to name that Point, Sun point. I'm going to make sure that that point is on the 3D Plane. Then, we're going to go to the Top down view. I'm going to take that Point, and move it way out in space. Because I want my sun to be out there. This is about where I'd like the sun to be in relation to the planet. I want things to be moving around such that as my camera moves around some objects, they move in front of other objects, and we really get the feel that we're in a 3D world.
Let's go back to our active camera. I'm scrolling back here, and I can see that right now my point is not actually on the video. I do want it to be on the video about right here. We're going to select Scale to Fit. There we go. This is about where I'd like my sun to be. That's my sun Point. Now, I need to create a Plane, and it's going to be a black Plane. This is where I'm going to put my Lens Flares. I'm going to call this, in fact, Sun plane.
Because it's black, once I create it, it blacks out the entire video. If I select that Sun plane, though, and I go to the Control panel, go to Layer Properties, and I set its Blend mode to Add, now everything black becomes transparent, and we'll only be able to see what we add to that Plane. In this case, it's going to be Lens Flares. I want this Plane to be behind the planet, so I need to move it down my list of layers here, so it is behind the planet.
We'll put it out there. Maybe even behind those fluffy clouds, way down toward the bottom here. Then, I want to add my Lens Flare to the Plane. Let's go here, to Lights & Flares. We'll select Light Flare. We'll add it to our Sun plane. There is our flare. Let's customize it, so it looks a little more like a sun. For Flare Type, I'm going to select Sun glare. We'll bring this Intensity up to about 2.00.
There we go. Looking pretty good. Then, we'll bring its Scale up to about 500 pixels, make it a little bigger. That's a nice sun. The only problem is, right now, it sits on a 2D plane, which means that as we move through the scene here, it stays in place. This does not look very realistic. It doesn't look like a 3D object. It's just sitting there. We want it to move, so that as we move through space, objects move in front of other objects. I'm going to take that plane, and when I go to the Control panel, go down to Effects, to Light Flares, go to Hotspot Position and select, as the Hotspot Position, the Sun point.
Notice that that repositions the sun off our picture, but that's okay. Just change the Center point to 0.0. The Center point numbers become relative to the position of the point. If we set them down to 0.0, now our flare is sitting right on that point. That point is out there in three-dimensional space, but the Lens Flare itself is two-dimensional. Watch what happens. As we go through here, it's moving as if we're in three-dimensional space.
Ship goes by, the planet goes by, and somewhere off in the distance, even the sun goes by. Pretty cool, huh? Why don't we just add, as a real nice flourish to this, I'm just going to create a Grade layer at the very top. Grade layers are cool for adding things, like lens dirt, for adding things that just overlay, or change the look of everything below them. I'm going to go down here to the Presets, at the bottom of the Effects panel.
Film Looks. There's a really nice Film Look here, called Auto Sci-Fi Lens Flares. When I add this to the Grade, it's going to intensify all of the light sources. Anything that's lit up should pick up a nice gleam. Let's see how it looks. We'll add it to the Grade layer. Doesn't that look cool? So, really nice Lens Flare looks. Now, we've got a really cool 3D space environment. Our ship is flying out into that dust cloud.
We are seeing the sun and the planet. We're there, folks. It's really pretty amazing how dazzling Light Flares and Lens Flares can make a scene look. As always, finesse is the key here. You want to keep your scenes dazzling, but you don't want the showiness of the effect to overwhelm your story or the content of your scene. But, as you can see, a little sparkle here and there goes a long way to giving a real ethereal, almost magical look to your scene.
In this course Steve Grisetti shares the three ways HitFilm 3 Pro can be used: as a video editor, as a tool for adding 2D video effects to your movie, and as a compositing tool for creating amazing 3D and planar-tracking effects. Along the way, you'll look at how to draw from the program's exciting library of preset effects (including motion tracking and particle simulation), as well as how to build effects and animations from scratch. You'll use HitFilm to add muzzle blasts, rocket fire, phaser beams, and other explosive action effects to your movies. Steve also shows how to work with 3D models and incorporate them into videos—including simulating real-world depth and perspective with the free mocha HitFilm plugin.
- Adding and customizing 3D effects
- Keyframing animated effects
- Adding effects instantly with presets and Quick 3D
- Extruding and animating text
- Chroma keying
- Tracking and stabilizing video
- Animating 3D models
- Creating a space scene with advanced effects
- Planar tracking with mocha HitFilm
- Outputting and sharing your movie