Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video An intro to editing in HitFilm Express: Part 1, part of Making Video 1: Sell Something.
- [Instructor] The first three movies of this chapter will teach you general concepts and video editing, and I'm using them to serve a couple of purposes. First, they're here for you, the one taking this course, to learn a bit about the process of basic video editing, as well as the software that we're going to use, HitFilm Express. In addition, it is these exact same video tutorials that I sent to my collaborators ahead of time so that they could learn about video editing and the software prior to my working with them to edit their video. First, just a bit about this software, given the audience for these courses, we wanted to choose something that was free, and available for both Windows and Mac, and was also similarly designed to most other editing software.
So we came up with HitFilm Express because it met all of this criteria, and because it is the express version of the software, it also provides the opportunity for you to upgrade to the professional version if you like, and also we do have HitFilm training in our library, so you can learn more about it anytime. So, bottom line, we are using HitFilm Express as our tool, but you can use the concepts that we cover in any software that you choose. So in these first three movies, we'll be using some demo footage. Later in this chapter, we'll be working with the specific footage for this course in the exercise files, but the demo footage is available as a separate download, and it's called DEMO Learning HitFilm, and then inside, there are quite few files that you can use to follow along with me in the next three movies.
I should mention that you can download the software for free from hitfilm.com, and then once you've downloaded it and installed it, you can launch the software, and you'll be brought to the HitFilm express home screen. I'm going to just give myself a little more real estate, I'm recording at a fairly low resolution for this training, so you can see everything okay, but that probably won't be an issue for you, and as you can see, the home screen has a lot going on, lots of resources, lots of add-ons that you can explore later, but for now, I just want to click on the New button to start a new project.
So, here you'll set up your project. So if you know the specs for your video, you'll choose it here from a template. If you don't, it's okay, because HitFilm will create a project based on the video characteristics of the first clip that you edit into the project. I happen to know that my footage is a 1280 by 720 at 23.976 frames per second, so I'm going to leave it like this, and then I'm going to come down to Start Editing. Alright, now, it's an Untitled Project, so let's name that. I'm going to click here, and then I'm going to choose a location for this to go.
Right now, it's an Untitled Project, so let's name that, I'll go ahead and just to place it on my desktop, and I'm going to call it DEMO, and save. Alright, so you can see that now it's called DEMO. By the way, if you take a look at the tabs over here along the top, we've already been to these first two, here's the Home screen, here is the Project setup page, and then now we're on Edit. Alright, so let's learn about this interface, and right now, we are looking at the Editing workspace. I want to make sure that we are all on the same page, because there are different work spaces within this software.
If I come to View and then Workspaces, you can see that there are four by default, you can create new ones, but if I choose another one, All Panels, for example, you can see that things shift around. We have a different configuration of our open windows and tools, but let's make sure that we're all on the Editing workspace, and there are four main windows that I want to talk about within this workspace. We've got the Media window, the Trimmer, the Viewer, and the Editor, and these four main interface spaces are similar, no matter what editing software you use.
Sometimes they're called different things, for example, the Media window is often called the browser, or the project pane. The Trimmer is often called the source monitor. The Viewer is often called the program monitor, and the Editor is often called the timeline, alright, but regardless, they do the same things, so let's start over here with the Media window. This is where you import and organize your materials, alright, so let's go ahead and get that demo footage in. I'll choose Import, and then, it's in my DEMO Learning HitFilm folder, I'm going to just click on the first file here, and then shift click on the last file, and then choose Open, and here everything is, it's all brought in.
Now, it's a little bit hard to see right now, so I can either, you know, expand my window like so, or I can actually float the window, and then maximize it, so I'm going to do that, I'm going to just right click on my Media tab here, and choose Float Panel, and then I'm going to click on this button here, which is maximize, and that'll give us a lot more room to take a look at all of these files. Right now, I'm looking at this media in preview mode, which gives me access to these thumbnails. If I want to switch over to list mode, so I can see more of my files at once, I can click on this button here, you can see the thumbnails go away, but I'm able to fit more files within this window.
I'm going to go back to preview mode for now. If I want to rename any of my files, I can either right click and choose rename, I can rename like so, (keyboard tapping) or you can actually click on this gear, and then your Media Properties window opens up and you can rename it here, you can also find out more information about your file. If I would like to search through these files, I can use this text field here, and its a live filter, so if I just type in mixing, for example, you can see that now all of my clips that have the word mixing are brought up.
Another very useful thing you can do in the media window is add folders, and begin to organize things a bit more. Here is the New Folder button, I'll go ahead and just select that, and let's make a Music folder, and then you can just drag and drop right in there, and I'll twirl that up, and let's also do Interview. (keyboard tapping) Okay, we have our interview clip down here, and drag that in there, and the rest is B-roll, so I'll go ahead and add one more folder, Broll, and I'll click, and shift click to select all of those, and drag those in.
Alright, so things are a little more organized now. Let's go ahead and move on to talk about a few more areas of the interface. I'm going to click on this button here, which un-maximizes and docks it to my interface, and you can see that the Media window is actually not in the right spot, it should be over here. One quick way to reconfigure all of your windows back to the Editing workspace is to simply choose it, so I'll go to View, and then Workspaces, and Editing, and things are back as they were. Alright, so let's now talk about the Trimmer.
If you click on any of the clips from the Media window, it just loads in the Trimmer, okay, and then, so you're able to take a look at these a number of ways. You can either click on this on-screen play button here, and then it becomes a pause button when it's playing, and I'll pause, that corresponds to the space bar, so I can press space bar to play and to stop. You can come up to this time bar here, and scrub through your footage, like so, but most editors rely on a three button navigation control called J-K-L, so if you take a look at the keyboard, you can see that J, K, and L are right next to one another, so if you put your three fingers on there, L will go forward in real time, and then K will pause, and J will go backwards, okay, and this also works in variable speed, so if I press L again, I'm going in fast motion, so this is a nice way to really zip through your footage, and I'm going to press K to pause, and now I'll press J multiple times and you can see that I'm shuttling backwards through the footage at fast speed.
Alright, so those are some basics on navigation, but why is this called the Trimmer? Well, it's because this is where you select the portion of the shot that you want to edit into your sequence. As you can see, this shot is two minutes, three seconds and three frames long, okay, so it's very long, we only want to actually select a portion of this, and so I'm going to use my set in and set out points, which correspond to these onscreen keys right here, Set In Point and Set Out Point.
You'll notice the keyboard shortcuts are I and O, alright, well, if you take a look at the keyboard, you'll notice that the I and O keys are right above J, K, and L, alright? So, with the same three fingers, you are navigating through the clip and your also marking the clip. So let's go ahead and just select a short portion of this clip, I'll go forward with L, and then I'm going to press I to mark an in right there, and when he puts it down on the tray, I'll mark an out, like so.
Now, you'll see that I have this lighter gray area in the Trimmer here, this is now the area that I've marked, and I have a pop up here telling me that this is a five second and 19 frame duration that I've marked here in the Trimmer. Now, before I move on to the Editor and Viewer windows, I just want to call out a few more features in the Trimmer window. A couple of interface buttons that we haven't covered yet, this one right here will move the play head to the very start of the clip, that corresponds with the home key on your keyboard.
Here, I have go to Previous Frame and go to Next Frame. The keyboard short cuts for that are comma and period, okay. So I can press my comma key and my period key, and you'll see that it goes through one frame at a time. Then after that, we have two editing commands, we have the Insert Clip and Overlay Clip. We'll take a look at that in the next movie. Then finally, over here is your zoom, right now it's set to Scale to fit, so right now, this image is at 89.7 percent of its full value.
If I want to look at that pixel for pixel, I can go to 100, if I want to really zoom in, I have options for that as well. We'll go back to Scale to fit, and one last thing on the Trimmer is this button here, it's the play loop command, so when this is selected, keyboard shortcut Command + L, or Control + L on a PC, when this is selected and I hit play, which again is space bar, for example, it's just going to play through my marked section, so let's go ahead and take a look at what we've marked once again.
I'll press space bar and loop playback is enabled. Alright, so that's a basic overview of the Trimmer. Now, let's take our marked portion and make our first edit. For our first edit, I'm just going to drag and drop it right into the Editor, okay, so I'm going to drag and drop, you can see that it's a video only clip, there is no audio with this, and I'm going to drop right here on Video 1. Now a couple of things have happened here.
First, you see that I have a video clip in my Editor. Now, right now, it's just taking up a very small portion of the visual space within the Editor, but I can zoom in, I actually can't see it down here so I'm going to again, maximize here, so that we see our little slider, and I'm going to zoom in, like so, that corresponds to the Command plus and Command minus, or Control plus and Control minus on a PC, so if I go zoom in and then zoom out, you can see that I have those zooming capabilities.
I can also change the height of my tracks through this menu here, if I click and go Video Size, I can make them large, or I can make them small, if I want to fit lots of tracks within my timeline, I'll go back to Medium, and I can play and navigate all of the same ways in the Editor as I could in the Trimmer, okay, so I can scrub through, I can press space bar, I can do J-K-L, so I'll go forward with L, pause with K, go back with J, and you'll notice that the Viewer shows me the visual output of what is in my Editor, alright, so as I scrub, or play, or navigate, I look and see what's going on in my shot here in the Viewer.
Now, in terms of the buttons in the Viewer, these are basically all identical to what we just learned about these buttons in the Trimmer. We have our Loop Playback, Set In Point, Set Out Point, the move play head to start, Previous Frame, Next Frame, and Play and Pause. One thing I can do in the Viewer is change what portion of the shot I actually see. Right now, I see the wire frame, so I can just make sure that my selection tool is enabled, and I can drag out, and right now, my proportions are not constrained, so I'm going to hold down Shift in order to constrain those proportions, and I can zoom in and drag this around, like so.
If I don't see my wire frame, I can back out to, say, 25 percent or so, and then I am able to see that wire frame, just like this, okay, and I'll go back to Scale to fit. Alright, so that is a basic overview of the editing interface. We've only marked one shot and edited one shot into the Editor, so in the next movie, we'll go ahead and continue editing, so that it can teach you lots more about the editing process in HitFilm Express.
- Video workflow and techniques
- Sales fundamentals
- Pre-production basics: planning, script writing, location scouting, and scheduling
- Production basics: interviewing, shooting b-roll, lighting, and sound
- Editing and post-production basics: organization, editing, and refinement