Can Hitfilm 3 express fulfill my needs?

VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9

Hi all!

Firstly, I have never edited or composited a video before. I would love some insight into if Hitfilm is right for me, and, which addons would be necessary for me to download. I need an editing and basic 2D compositor for a new business idea of mine, and I love all that I have seen about HitFilm so far, but, I'm not sure if it is actually too advanced for my needs.

First, my videos will 100% be Video screen captures. Can hitfilm capture a screen or would I need to use another program for this? Not a problem if Hitfilm can't.

The screen capture itself is a Bar chart that covers years of data. I use a program called Multicharts to play back the visual history. MultiCharts will do 50% of the work and the video editor/compositor will do the rest.

Firstly, I need to slow down and speed up the screen capture.

Second, when slowing down the speed I'd like to be able to zoom in on sections, then zoom back out and speed up.

Third, I would to have effects such as text boxes, circles, points, dots, etc etc etc that I can easily place whereever I want, and manipulate how long they remain visible for. 

Fourth, I'd like to play a MP3 file as this is happening, but I don't want the music to slowdown or speed up when the video does so.

As well, I'd like the ability to zoom so far into a bar that it's like one of those scenes in the movies where the camera flies through letters only to reveal something that's inside, in this case, another bar chart file! Then, zoom back out and resume the original playback.

And I believe this about covers it. Changing the background and colours and all of that would also be cool but not needed. I'm as new to this as they come and would really appreciate some honest insight.

Thanks,

Eric

Comments

  • YeremyahYeremyah Website User Posts: 1,000 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Try it and see if it's for you, after all, Express is freeware.

  • LIFE_LEADERSHIPLIFE_LEADERSHIP Website User Posts: 237 Just Starting Out

    Eric,

    First and foremost, welcome to the forums. 

    In short, Hitfilm can do all of the things you need and more. With all of the tutorials available, along with a very dedicated staff of Hitfilm gurus and fellow enthusiasts,  you will have no problem accomplishing what you need to for your project.   There can be a small learning curve at first if you have never worked with non linear editors before but it's not bad at all.

    I could go into more detail but I'll just say I've been using Hitfilm for sometime now and love it.  In my opinion,  you will too. I'm sure others will chime in here but good luck, I'm sure you'll make the right decision.  

  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9

    Thanks for the replies. I'm very happy to hear my objectives are achievable! I know they are super simple and that was my fear; too simple for this program.  (I read a review somewhere stating that one of the drawbacks was a lack of surface graphics such as text boxes and what note, relative to adobe AE). However, I like everything hitfilm stands for and love the flexibility with addons down the road, and, the ease at which a user can become accustomed to the interface and tools. Needless to say I will be using this and will likely require a lot of help form this community :)

  • NXVisualStudioNXVisualStudio Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 688 Ambassador

    @VisualTape What sort of things are you looking to do in the long run chap?

    Are there things that you are inspired by and may want to do your self? 

  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9

    Well, I am a trader/investor and I have a large number of ideas of how I'd like to see common share price data visualized to give a much more exciting and intuitive way to view it and interpret it. I have created quite a few good techniques on how to interpret various complex calculations in easy to understand ways, yet it's only in Excel and these 2D static charts really fail to illustrate the point. Further, in Multicharts, their charting software is amazing, but it is all 2D. Ultimately, I'd love for there to be a bridge between 2D charting platforms and a video compositor that can display it in 3D to take the viewer on a much more interesting ride. Essentially, charts can be 'layered' on each other, instead of having volume and other oscillators "on top" of each other as in a standard 2D workspace, It'd be very cool to explore the options with layering them on each other in a 3D workspace. I'm inspired by everything I've seen to be honest, I love the idea of mixing a powerful program such as this with very useful tools that it has not yet reached! 

  • PalaconoPalacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,442 Enthusiast

    VisualTape it sounds like you'd need a combination of Hitfilm and something like Camtasia Studio. At the very least you'd need something like Snagit to record your original screens (you moving a mouse about and pointing at things etc.) before you then put the output back into whatever program you want to use to jazz it up, as Hitfilm does not include a screen capture function.

    I tend to use a pretty old version of Camtasia Studio to illustrate things, as it's simple to record, save, drop text boxes and arrows, zoom into relevant areas etc. as I did in this thread when I found a bug recently.

    With Hitfilm you could certainly do the 'multi-layered' zooming into a folder as one layer fades away to reveal what's underneath and add other 3D effects; but you'd still have to record the two sections separately in order to edit the transition between them and screen grab that to create your original source videos. You'd also have to create your own library of buttons, dots, arrows, text boxes etc. perhaps creating a library of .png files that you drag in and scale accordingly, although you could do cool things with them, such as floating in 3D with shadows etc. 'above' your charts.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    There are a bunch of free screen recording tools like CamStudio but almost all of them have a tendency to record with a variable frame rate so just be aware you might have to take an extra step to convert it to a constant frame rate before it will edit correctly.

    The only other thing I see that might be problem with HF 3 Express is slowing down and speeding up your clips. There is a speed effect but it has some limitations and might not produce the quality you want. On the other hand it might work just fine so like Yeremyah mentioned try it and see! If it doesn't adjust the speed of your clips the way you want there are other alternatives like HitFilm 4 Pro has a new rate stretch tool and the Twixtor plugin both paid. There are also some free options which produce really good results but there's also more work involved using them.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,265 Ambassador

    @VisualTape 'tis true, Hitfilm does lack ready-made shape layers like AE. However, there's an old axiom in VFX (that some people need to be reminded of--thinking of some people who aren't you, here...) that plug-ins and presets are simple options for those who can't do it with basic tools. 

    So, yeah, Hitfilm doesn't have shape layers for arrows. However, graphic elements can be imported from other software, or created in Hitfilm by using masking tools to create shapes on plane layers. 

    As others have said, Hitfilm can do what you want. You'll just need some planning to optimize the workflow. 

    But we're a helpful, friendly forum, as I'm certain you've noticed already. :-) 

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    There is large variety of free Dingbats type fonts out there with all kinds of shapes in them. These might be able to get you shapes that you need in Express.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,265 Ambassador

    @NormanPCN *Facepalm Dingbats fonts, of course! 

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast
  • SarasotaSarasota Website User Posts: 272
    edited August 2016
  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9
    edited January 2016

    Thanks everyone for the help! For sure I will record with snagit or camverse and that's not a problem.

    With regards to the dingbats, I am not actually sure that those would be what I'm looking for. I'll give a great example of what I'd like to see...

    As the timeline continues to snake forward, I'd like to slow down the video and/or be able to pause it, and have a blue dot for example "pulse" and "ripple" outward, which then is followed by a text box that appears to explain the dot.

    Would something like that be 'easy' per se, if possible, with Hitfilm? Or, despite the difficulty using AE, would it actually be easier with that program?

     That was an excellent little intro palacono! The dingbat quote box for the text is decent, but I love the way you could zoom in and out with ease. 

    I've looked into Camtasia as well, but it is very expensive and I believe I need more of a compositor and less of an editor, which is how I came to think hitfilm was great as it can transfer between both very quickly. What main purpose would Camtasia be of benefit vs hitfilm?

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Camtasia is mainly a nice but expensive screen recording package and I think Palacono brought it up more for its capture abilities than anything else so it's not an either or situation but something you would use with HitFilm.

  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9
    edited January 2016

     Thanks Aladdin4d,

    I have a couple more questions. How difficult would it be to turn a 2D moving bar chart into a 3D moving bar chart? This would include making all horizontal, vertical and diagonal hand drawn lines 3D as well, and, potentially, having the ability to move the camera in and around these bars? Basically, is it possible to turn a boring bar chart into a very exciting journey, with very cool effects and layers? In terms of a time commitment to learn how to do this, what level skill and how long would it take to get there? Ever since NXVisualStudio asked about my long term goals I can't get the visual idea out of my head.

    If you'd like, I can record the video of the 2D timeline I am talking about, and you could tell me if my idea is possible or impossible. Essentially, can it be 'recreated' in hitfilm or would it have to be completed in the .net framework in the source software Multicharts.

    EDIT: Ok, here's a quick youtube video I found explaining the data replay feature I am discussing. 

    Is there any software out there that has the ability to make this chart 3D? (I'm hoping my some tiny slim chance the answer is yes)

    EDIT: Can the 3D Extrusion feature complete this?

  • davide445davide445 Website User Posts: 306 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2016

    Interesting topic.

    If "make this chart in 3d" is meaning to be able to simply rotate it or deform it as is (so we can say just an aesthetic effect) I'm sure you can in HF, but if you want to analyze or navigate trough is more a topic of data visualization than VFX in my opinion. 

    I was searching a way to load actual data (corporate, not trading) into HF to manipulate them as 3d shapes or to drive 3d shapes animations, discovered this is not his work, not AFAIK is natively for any of the standard CGI 3d/vfx tools on the market. 

    But if you want to add advanced visual effects and 3D graphics to a previous prepared grap HF provide IMHO the best value.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    To extrude the chart I think you would need to mask the actual chart bars. Then you can extrude the bars. Given the uniform background, black in this case, you could try one of the chroma keyers in Hitfilm to drop the background leaving only the bars. You would need to do some other basic masking to remove the other parts of the display not in the graph. Like a simple rectangle dropping everything but the chart contents and then key that to drop the char background leaving just whatever the chart displayed. That is my two cents.

  • SarasotaSarasota Website User Posts: 272
    edited August 2016
  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9
    edited January 2016

    Lol Sarasota no need to worry twas a good one and if everything works out it won't be my girlfriend who I'll be spending my alone time with :p

    I appreciate the notion of having a toolkit rather than finding a one tool fits all solution, and the more I read and learn the more I know you are probably right, which isn't a problem, just a little longer and more costly but it's what I'll need to do to get the finished product I want. Appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks as well Davide and Norman. I'm going to be adding a 3D feature to the source program's wishlist in their community and see if others could use such a feature as well, then potentially bring it to HF at that point. Norman, I imagine your solution entails each bar must be completed one at a time? I believe this has cemented that such a goal truly would be a long term solution and thats not a big deal to me. I like the ability however to possibly keep this 2D but still be able to control speed and zoom, and layer the screen captures to still give the same effect of "travelling" through time.

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    "Norman, I imagine your solution entails each bar must be completed one at a time?"

    The Color key would do it all at once. How well the process would result or even if it gets you want you desire is unknown. In one of the bar charts I saw the bars and the moving average lines would be separated from the black background. Then you could extrude that result and overlay it on the original video so it would seem like the bars/lines are coming out of the flat screen.

  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9

    Okay, that would be incredible if possible! But since I have zero hands on experience yet, I'll start taking some demo videos and play around and revitalize this once I have a little practice under my belt. Thanks for giving me some hope.

  • GodofThunderGodofThunder Website User Posts: 190 Just Starting Out

    How about motion 5 for your graphics and importing into hitfilm to embellish it?

  • VisualTapeVisualTape Website User Posts: 9

    Hi Mark,

    I just watched a couple tutorials on motion 5. In particular, since I've literally never used anything like this before, what would motion 5 be able to accomplish over the other suggestions?

  • PalaconoPalacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,442 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    @VisualTape you need to write @Someone's name for them to get 'tagged' or if they don't come back to a thread they'll never know you replied directly to them. Only thread starters get told someone has commented in their thread without needing an @Name.

  • SarasotaSarasota Website User Posts: 272
    edited August 2016
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