Time Remapping/Toggle Hold Keyframe?

Hi, all.

I'm looking for a way to replicate some functions in After Effects to be able to animate mouths for 2D characters.

The technique is shown in this video:

I've used the technique in animated shorts (it's the technique we use on How It Should Have Ended), but I can't seem to figure out how to do it in Hitfilm, or if it's even possible. I've done some tests in HF Pro but I get hung up when it comes to being able to remap time or toggle keyframes.

Any ideas from the pros around here?



  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast

    Maybe sort of with the particle system? You can choose which frames to emit from a sequence of frames and set their lifetime, but... no idea how to do that. Not sure how you'd do the cylinder for the head either. Can you adjust textures wrapped around a 3d model of a cylinder?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,574 Ambassador

    I haven't had a chance to watch the Ae tutorial yet, so, more later, but to build of what @Palacono wrote, the BCC Layer Deformer is the only thing in Hitfilm to allow one to wrap an animated texture on a cylinder. 

    But, I'm assuming you're trying to figure this out for more a HISHE style workflow. 

    AE does have superior tools for time remapping. The Speed Effect is the only way to ramp things, but, because Speed is an EFFECT, not a PROPERTY* it's a pain in the butt. 

    *Ok, there's a speed property, but it's global per clip, not keyframed. 

  • Yeah, I'm not concerned about the texture wrapping. I deal with 2d animation. This example is about a Lego animation, but my focus is on animating the mouth shapes.

    Palacono... interesting idea about using a particle system. I haven't dug into the particle systems yet.

    Thanks for the replies!


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,574 Ambassador

    Yeah, Hitfilm doesn't time temap the way Ae does where you can dial in and freeze exact frames. 

    Also, Hitfilm doesn't import any vector formats, so you'll have to rasterize your cels. 

    Palacono is correct, the particle sim will be your best best. If you're familiar with Trapcode Particular, Hitfilm's sim isn't actually that different. You can create a point emitter directly and give a cone trajectory (rather than creating a light to define an emitter). Trapcode "Secondary Particles"= Hitfilm "Mobile Emitters," and instead of parameters having "Life over Time" graphs Hitfilm combines all those into a "Lifetime" tab. 

    You'd create a point emitter set to spawn one particle/frame with a particle life of one frame(speed 0, of course) . All your mouth shapes would go into a precomp (embedded composite shot) with each mouth lasting one frame. The particle texture would be pointed at the texture composite and set for single frame. After that, you keyframe the Start Frame of your texture layer to select the proper mouth on the proper frame--more or less the same as time remap keys. 

    I would consider creating the particle sim and texture comp in its own project--you can save this project and re-import it to other projects with "Import Composite Shot." That way you can build once, re-import and reuse forever. 

    The particle sim is easily Hitfilm's most powerful and complex feature. I'm linking two tutorials below: they're for Hitfilm 2 Ultimate, but procedures are identical, just the interface colors and icons are a little different. These tutorials won't cover enhancements made to the particle sim in Hitfilm 3, 4 and 2017, but those are irrelevant to this discussion. These should get you where you need to be for the above discussion to make sense. 

    Basic Particle Sim operation. 

    Setting up particle textures. 


  •  Thanks for the information! I'll watch the tutorials and give your idea try.

    I don't use vectors, so that shouldn't be a problem.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,574 Ambassador

    Thank @Palacono . I'd never thought about the particle sim for this before he mentioned it. :-) 

    Obviously timing adjustments might need to happen. I don't know your output, but assuming you output 30fps and animate on twos, then you'd want each particle to live for two frames.

    I suppose this could be expanded for eyes as well? At least for whitea and blinking. Might be a pain for pupils. 

    FYI the last part of this video covers setting up a sample puppet rig for limited cel animation. Probably something you could easily figure out, but, what the hell? It's part 2 of a 3 parter. Part 1 goes in depth on keyframes and interpolation curves. Part 3 touches on 3D models and some other miscellany. 

  • The kind of animation we do at HISHE is more like puppetry. We actually call the characters puppets. But there is no complex rigging, no bones or anything like that. It's all just parenting one body part to another. And the mouth shapes are usually just on screen for one frame (unless the character is making a sound that requires holding the shape longer). HISHE is animated VERY simply, but it's effective for the style of shorts we do. 

    Just to be clear, I'm not one of the animators at HISHE, just one of the two artists on the show  along with the series creator Daniel Baxter. But I've seen how he animates and used the techniques in my own shorts that were featured on the HISHE YouTube channel.

    You can see my shorts here:

    and here:

    They're based on my "ABCDEFGeek" alphabet series:


    Anyway, all of that being said... I am delving into hand-drawn animation a bit on the Jawa short. But it will be very limited and for the most part the short will be animated "puppet style."

    To get a peek at what my Jawa short might look like, check out this page:


    I've started posting WIP pics of the Jawa short on Instagram and Twitter, so follow me there to see them as I post them. Here's an example:

    Okay, enough self-promotion. Gotta get to work.

    Thanks again for all of the help and I'll let you know if the particle system does the trick!


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