Teaching Hitfilm pro 2017!

RikVargard Website User Posts: 84 Enthusiast

Hello Hitfilm community !

My name is Rik and I live in Brussels, Belgium, Europe Earth.

I'm a multimedia teacher. My two biggest courses are Powerpoint and Videography.

And tomorrow I start teaching Hitfilm to my class!  

I've had Hitfilm since 2012 but there was something like a intuition in my head when the 2017 pro version came out... and I was right when I see the explosion of new people using the software, and also of the tutorials made by the Hitfilm crew and others. And of course what this incredible piece of software has become!

So I convinced the director to buy Hitfilm licences and to abandon the whole Adobe world for so many good reasons. And there were many.

For 5 weeks I have been watching a lot of tutorials and I wanted to say thank you so much, really, Hitfilm, and the others, who make these tutorials. I don't know who realized one day that tutorials would be the best thing to do for Hitfilm, but he/she deserves free lunch for one year at least! It helped me so much understanding the software and fall in love with it. 

So yeah, I'm excited to start! I have a plan to manage the "only english" aspect, since the course is in french... 

And... if anyone has teached Hitfilm before, I'd be honoured to have some advice on what to think about, how to work the flow for the something like 90 + hours of teaching. My own plan is ready of course, but, like every tutorial I watch, if someone has some advice, it could be an unexpected inspiration. 

And voilà... to finish this, I really want to applaud the Hitfilm team for creating the greatest, the most amazing and the smartest video & VFX editing software, with the most honourable intentions, of all time!  



  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Enthusiast

    This is amazing, thank you for this awesome write up, Rik!

    Tagging @Triem23 - he's the man when it comes to creating lenghty and easy to understand tutorials in HitFilm.

    I hope Staff notices this, fingers crossed! :D

  • Yeremyah
    Yeremyah Website User Posts: 1,000 Enthusiast

    I am really interested, if you could please elaborate a bit when you say, "abandon the whole Adobe world for so many good reasons. And there were many."

    Can you name some main reasons?  Thank you:)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,965 Ambassador
    edited August 2017

    Well, good luck with your class! 

    One nice thing about Hitfilm is your students will all be able to grab Express for free and be able to work on home computers as well as the school lab (as long as they aren't using too many Pro only features). 

    Curriculum advice? It would be interesting for me to see a brief breakdown of your order. For my Hitfilm University tutorial channel the planned (in progress) order is a bit something like this. 

    • Interface (if you don't know panel and button placement first, it's hard to learn) 
    • Import/Export (Can't edit until you know how to bring in media, can't create templates until you know how to import Composite Shots, and, of course, you want to know how to export your video when completed). 
    • Optimizing video--codec vs container and transcoding footage into optimal editing formats for smooth Hitfilm performance. I originally put this later in the series. It should have been here. 
    • Editor Controls in depth. The Editor side of Hitfilm is easier to learn than the Compositing side. This is a great place to discuss the difference between the Editor and Composite timelines--the Editor combines media clips in order. Composite Shots make media clips. 
    • Audio tools in the Editor. This should complete the Editor portion of Hitfilm with almost everything else from this point being Composite Shots. 
    • Overview of Composite Shots. Re-covering the interface, discussion of different types of media layers, creating text, adding effects, turning on keyframing, creating text, tracking video,  etc. Nothing too in depth, but a bit of everything so brave students can explore, and so there's a little reference for everything as you go in-depth on specific functions.
    • Order of Operation. The order in which Hitfilm reads and renders layers and effects is important to know, especially when needing a Source Layer for an effect. 
    • Grade Layers. Yes, they get their own little lesson. A grade layer is actually a render of all layers under it. This has implications beyond adding effects--and Masks are applied at a different place in Order of Operation on Grade Layers than other layer types. 
    • Mattes, Maps, Masks, Keys--really discussing how, internally, Hitfilm is using alpha channels. If a student understands that, ultimately, a matte, mask, map or key is generating a grayscale alpha channel that can be used for many different things, then a hell of a lot of tasks become easier to figure out later. This would be covering 2D options. 
    • Keyframes and curves. How to create keyframes, understanding the different interpolation curves, using manual beziers and the Graph Editor. 
    • Points, parenting and rigging--goes with Keys. 
    • Intro to 3D space. 2D, 3D and 3D Unrolled. A good place to cover Euler rotation order as well. 
    • Cameras--if you haven't checked out the Hitfilm University YouTube channel, this is where I currently am in the series. I suggest you check out the first camera tutorial on the virtual lens--I covered techniques for matching the Hitfilm camera's lens to a real camera lens that I haven't seen covered anywhere else. 
    • Camera rigging. Hitfilm uses a fixed XYZ Euler rotation order that doesn't match how a real camera moves. To get realistic camera movement you'll need to rig a camera to some points--this is why I have cameras after animation in presentation order. 

    That's as far as my tutorial series has gotten so far. Future order (subject to change) is projected to be... 

    • Lights and materials. By materials I mean material options for 3D video, text and generated media layers, not 3D models. 
    • Text, in depth. The basic text tools were discussed back in Overview of Composite Shots, but this will also discuss using things like Set Matte to clip a background image to text, using 3D Extrusion, Parallax or Caustics to add depth to text, a method of using embedded composite shots to separate a text fill from a text outline while having a project set up where one would only need to change a single text object to update both (this technique is in my "Procedural 80's Intro" tutorial on the official Hitfilm YouTube channel), and other hints and tips for customized text. This is NOT covering Boris yet. 
    • 2D tracking. This would also have been discussed in Overview of Composite Shots. Single and double point. Stabilization. "Reverse Stabilization" (Stabilizing a layer to set up an effect or composite, then re-applying tracking data to "unstabilize" the video and effects to where they'd be in frame.). Also note that a "2D" track has a "Z-axis" value of 0. Depending on the camera movement of a video it is sometimes possible to fake 3D data off a 2D track. The "Heads Up" (Iron Man HUD) tutorials on the official Hitfilm channel has a great example. This is not covering Mocha. 
    • Masking and roto. Masking would have been discussed in Overview of Composite Shots and Maps, Mattes, Masks and Keys, but the earlier discussions were just basic operation. This will get more in depth, including the importance of breaking roto into multiple masks, and covering how it's often better to track a shot, parent a white plane to the track, roto the plane, then use a Set Matte to apply the roto to a video layer. This is not covering Mocha. 
    • Keying. Discussed in Maps, Mattes, Masks and Keys, but now really going in depth on the differences between Color Key, Color Difference Key, Chroma Key, Luminance Key and Difference Keys. 
    • Color Correction and Grading. Correction is getting footage to match from shot to shot, grading is creative looks. If your students are doing more editing of straight video than VFX/Composite/Animation work, maybe you'd put this earlier? Perhaps right after Overview of Composite Shots? 

    This covers a lot of Hitfilm's tools, and more or less finishes Express. From there my series will get into Pro-Only stuff like 3D models, Particles and Projection. After that is Mocha and Boris. I've chosen to focus on Hitfilm proper before getting into Mocha and Boris as those are effectively different programs that launch from Hitfim. Obviously with Mocha and Boris we'd have to go back and do Interface tours, etc. 

    From there I'd start working through every single filter in Hitfilm.... That'll take awhile. 

    I had an episode specifically on 2D blend modes--Add, Multiply, Hard Light, etc. I stuck it right after Overview  of Composite Shots, but that might not have been the best place. Maybe it was. 

    For better or worse, I spent a year planning out my class order, but planning for a YouTube series isn't the same as planning for a classroom. If I were planning for a classroom I might change the order up. 

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,705 Ambassador

    @RikVargard Wow! That sounds wonderful. Good luck to you and if you need anything from the community, please do not hesitate to ask!

  • RikVargard
    RikVargard Website User Posts: 84 Enthusiast

    @CNK  Thanks! Yeah well after a first course this morning, they love it... so I hope we'll do fun things this year. :)

    @YeremyahWell it's just me of course, but I find the Premiere interface in CC has become too messy, then there's the fact that you have editing and VFX in one software, and then, of course there's the price... compared to Premiere where you need to pay again and again for every time you use it, I can use Hitfilm all year long and so I can implement video editing in other projects. And I got a licence key from work to have it at home! :)

    @Triem23 Thank you SO much for your reply! I printed it on paper, it will give me much inspiration for the preparations of next courses. And yes I subscribed to Hitfilm University which has been a great inspiration!
    As for my plans, since this is the very first year, I just noted all things that I hope to teach, so I'm constructing my order "as I go" right now. I also hope to put them asap behind the camera :) 

    @HitfilmSensei Thanks, Sensei, just know that your tutorials have played a big role in preparing my courses and that I'm very grateful for that! :)

  • Yeremyah
    Yeremyah Website User Posts: 1,000 Enthusiast

    Thank you for your reply @RikVargard , I was interested:)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,965 Ambassador

    Rik, two more Hit-U notes. 

    First, if you glance at the descriptions in the Essential Hitfilm episodes I list all the "Chapter Headings" with timecodes. Just looking at those will give you more of a breakdown for my presentation order. Again, I don't know if the order I'm using works for a classroom, but was the best I could do for YouTube. 

    Second--feel free to "steal" any information from my tutorials you think helpful. Tutorial information is to be shared, after all. I'll go out on a limb and say @HitfilmSensei @inScapeDigital Hitfilm Staff (Javert I'm "splitting" you into Inscape as your private venture vs your FXHOME work) and all the other tutorial creators on YouTube would agree. Besides, we all "steal from each other," anyways. ;-) 

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,705 Ambassador

    @Triem23, and @RikVagard... We DO steal from each other all the time. As my karate instructor use to say,  "All my best stuff I stole from someone else." There is truly nothing new under the sun, only transfer of information and knowledge from one person to the next. Speaking for myself, please feel free to steal as much as you can from me. I would consider it a great honor!

  • Yeremyah
    Yeremyah Website User Posts: 1,000 Enthusiast

    Nothing wrong with borrowing from someone else if they give you permission to do so :)  

  • RikVargard
    RikVargard Website User Posts: 84 Enthusiast

    First of all, to all tutorial makers for Hitfilm: Thank you so much for taking the time to make those! I love you! 

    Now, reading your posts, and this is something I talk a lot about.... filmmaking is an art and, apart from some very specific cases that involve money and fame, I think that no artist (in an artistic intention), has ever "stolen" an idea from another artist. I believe we just get our inspiration from other artists, and what we experienced in our lives and who we are. My Hitfilm courses are inspired by Hitfilm tutorials which are inspired by Hitfilm tutorials  made by the guys who made Hitfilm. :) 

    And that's why we have,  just saying, like 5 tutorials on how to change eyes colours...  or anything else. And it's amazing, because every tutorial guy/girl brings his/her own technique and point of view on how to do the thing.  And that (and much more)  is one of the reasons why Hitfilm is so amazing: because it's possible.


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