Sci fi short made with Hitfilm

Hi there!  This is my first post to the forums, even though I've been a HF user for a couple of years now. 

This is a short I made a while ago.  Recently I went back to it to see if I could improve certain aspects e.g Vfx, colour grade, sound design.

There is a combination of practical and visual effects.  One of the main effects shots makes use of the energy ball technique Axel covered in an older tutorial on the Hitfilm YouTube channel. 

Would appreciate any feedback.  Cheers!


  • Rogyrue
    Rogyrue Posts: 170 Just Starting Out*

    Well done :) But i gots to know . What did you find out ?

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    Excellent!  Very well made, and definitely an intriguing story. My only quibble was about the sound in a few places.  I was wearing headphones while watching, so these issues stuck out fairly clearly.  Some of the foley sounds felt like they were out of sync with the visuals.  In addition, there were a couple instances where the foley sounds were panned hard left.  At first I thought it was supposed to be the sound of something offscreen, but then realized it was meant to sync with on-screen actions.  While noticeable, these issues weren't so jarring that they pulled me out of the story for very long.  All in all, very impressive!

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9
    edited June 2017

    @jsbarrett thank you for the feedback, glad you enjoyed it! This was my first time working with a sound designer, I think we got a bit carried away with our "styilistic" choices when it came to the final mix.  Rewatching it again myself I see the issues you pointed out.  I really appreciate the help, we're planning on screening the film at a local event next month so we want it to be as good as possible.  Thanks

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9

    @Alchemist thank you.  We really learned a lot going back and looking at the mistakes we made in the original version of the short.

  • Yeremyah
    Yeremyah Posts: 995 Enthusiast

    I liked this @DWMfilms , well done!

    Some really nice effects too, your eyes for example.

     And I really like the effect you did to the text, I will use that in my next video.

    All the best :)

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9

     Thanks @Yeremyah, glad you liked it.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast

    Very nice @DWMfilms

    The sphere looks great and the reflection in the eyes was solid. You're destined for great things with talent like you have. Keep up the good work!

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9

    @GrayMotion Thank you very much!  Very happy you enjoyed it.  

  • BobDiMarzio
    BobDiMarzio Posts: 630 Just Starting Out

    I enjoyed it a lot.  I was both pleased and surprised to see a 35mm stills camera and felt a pang of nostalgia that the segment with the 35mm was (at least to me) color graded with a late 1970's early 1980's vibe) ( yes I'm old) The story was compelling and I now need to know what you found :)

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9

    @BobDiMarzio Thank you,  I'ts great you picked up on the 70's/80's vibe of the colour grade, that's exactly what we were going for.  One of our main goals was to imply that it took place in the past, which influenced the overall colour palette.  A heavy influence was 2001: A space odyssey, which is why the subject of the short is quite enigmatic.  Really pleased you liked it.  Cheers. 

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,150 Ambassador

    Very nicely done, my feedback is as follows.

    the music change to dramatic seems to come without any visual que, leaving me thinking what's that all about?

    Scene from 2:31 to 2:37 to me didn't work so well. I think you are trying to tell the viewer that he wanted to touch it. But the water shot throws me off.

    Mind you loved the looking from the alien back at your main character.

    The scene with the eyes and the orb is great and works so well. The knowledge transfer seems a little bit light, did you consider a visual representation of that transfer, maybe images flicking up from his mind and the creatures (alien worlds, space, inside the ship?)

    Good job, this certainly has a style and look that you could build.

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9

     @Andy001z thank you for the feedback.  The idea with the water shot was to show the object almost begin to "charge up" as he reaches out to touch it hence why he runs away.  It does come across as a bit unclear.  Perhaps I could add in another sound effect to illustrate the danger he senses from it.  

    For the knowledge transfer I had contemplated adding in certain visuals of his memories, I originally intended for him to be sketching an alien landscape in the final shot but I couldn't get it to look very convincing.  This was the first short film I had made at the time so I was very inexperienced :) 

    Thanks for taking the time to view it and let me know your thoughts.  Much appreciated!  

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,150 Ambassador

    @DWMfiles not at all, it's just my view and only that, others might run with it. On the whole alien charging up, I kind of thought you start to show it with the camera move. Given the actor is looking down on it, then it rises up, I'd be tempted to see if that could be made to rise up futher if I did it again and have the actor look to give support to the fact that it was rising up.

    I like the idea of the sketch, how about finding a free alien landscape render online then use a stencil effect on it to make it look more hand drawn? Or have the image flash onto the page and the pencil lines just reflect some key elements of the image. You could do this with tracking and images tracked to the sketch book.

    Anyway its cool and you should be proud.

  • DWMfilms
    DWMfilms Posts: 9

    @Andy001z thank you.  I actually tried that effect by using various free artwork I managed to find online.  I used GIMP to create a sketch effect but once it was printed it still didn't have that hand-drawn look.  With some more tweaking I could have probably got it there however at the time we were working towards a competition deadline.  My initial idea was to have the walls of the room covered in sketches, so I could have gotten away with them not looking as good from a distance.  

    The tracking idea could be cool, might give it a go.