How to move work I've already done in timeline editor into a composite?

kellyknowleskellyknowles Website User Posts: 3

I'm sorry if this is basic af but I've watched several videos and dug through docs for a good hour but I must have missed something. Brand new to Hitfilm Express but I've used After Effects / Premiere.

I started a new project and chose "start editing" (at random tbh, I didn't know what either option would do). I imported video clips, dragged them into the timeline, and started placing them next to each other, speeding them up, cutting out bits I didn't like, etc. I'm like 90% done, except I want to add text, which apparently means I need to a composite.

I can make a composite from ONE of the clips in my timeline, but I want a composite of all of them. Already done the work, I just want the option to add text layers. All I can manage is to create a new blank composite but I don't want to have to redo all this.  I also can't copy/paste from the editor into a composite.

There's no way the answer is I gotta start over, right? Or render the whole thing into an MP4 and import back in? Those both sound so gross but that's all I've been able to find.

Comments

  • tddavistddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,177 Moderator

    @kellyknowles This is probably the most bassackward way of accomplishing this (as most of my methods end up being :) )  But if you simply want to overlay the titles over a specific portion of the clips and not have interaction between elements in the clip with the text, then you can can create a blank New Composite with no clip as it's basis and added the text to it.  Then you can edit the composite length, effects separately and then drag it from the Media Bin to the Editor above the clips and position it as needed.  If you want to create a "theme" for the text there is a way to duplicate the composite and retain your settings without it making changes to all of them, but I am not smart enough to remember how that works at the moment, so I would just new composites for each instance and copy the effects and fonts from the first one :)  Hope this helps a little...

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m0tvsgbdku5ke9s/Title Solution.PNG?dl=0

  • CleverTaglineCleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,034 Ambassador
    edited September 2018

    EDIT: DOH! I knew someone would be me to it. However, I'm leaving my post as-is just in case. :)

    First off, welcome to the wonderful world of HitFilm!  :)

    Second, there's currently no way to take several clips from the Editor timeline and turn them all into a single composite shot.  Well, not automatically anyway.  That aside, though, there are still a couple solutions to your problem.

    Assuming you have the latest version of HitFilm Express, you can add text directly in the Editor timeline. (NOTE: this feature requires the Edit: Starter Pack add-on for Express, which is $9.99 at the time I write this. If you want to try the other option, which won't cost anything, jump to the next paragraph.) Text in the Editor needs to be added to something already in the timeline, like a video clip, an image, or a plane.  If the text you want will fit on top of a single clip (i.e. not span several consecutive clips), you can drop the Text effect directly onto your clip and start tweaking its properties.  For something spanning several clips, make a black plane in the Media panel, drop that into an empty track above the rest of your Editor timeline content, and drag its end so it's as long as you want.  Add the Text effect to it, followed by the Demult effect, which will knock out the black, though Demult might also make the text become semi-transparent depending on the intensity of its color.

    The other option would be to make a composite shot that's as long as you want your text to last (maybe even a tad longer just for safety), but ONLY contains the text you want, and nothing else.  Drop this comp onto a track above your edit, and you're good to go. Trim its ends as needed to tweak the length, and add transitions to it if you want the text to fade in and out.  The down-side to this method is you'll end up switching back and forth between the Editor timeline and your comp as you get the text set up, though one way to avoid this would be to make the text fairly large in the comp, then simply scale, position, and rotate the comp item in the Editor to place the text where you want.

  • tddavistddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,177 Moderator

    @jsbarrett Interesting!  I knew my solution wasn't the best one, but I wasn't aware of your first solution at all.  Sounds much easier in the long run.

  • kellyknowleskellyknowles Website User Posts: 3

    Wow thanks to both of you for the quick responses! I might try that addon, 10 bucks is nothing if I'm saving the $20/mo on Adobe software.

    Now to avoid this mistake in the future... did I paint myself into a corner by selecting "Start Editing" when I created the project and doing all my work in that mode? If I had chosen "Start Compositing" (or created a new composite at the beginning) then worked on my video clips in a composite instead, I'd be good to go without needing workarounds? (Of course I would goof right out the gate XD)

  • CleverTaglineCleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,034 Ambassador
    edited September 2018

    I don't think you painted yourself into a corner.  You just didn't know yet how HitFilm deals with text and titles.

    I'd say it's a personal taste/workflow thing.  When I'm adding titles to my tutorials (simple titles, mind you), I use the second approach I outlined (text alone in a comp, comp dropped onto a track above the main material in the Editor timeline). However for some situations where the text might need to interact with other visual elements, I might build a comp from scratch with one or more clips that are part of that portion, but only for those few clips that are affected.  I wouldn't recommend doing extensive editing in a composite shot just to save a little time when it comes to adding titles.

  • PalaconoPalacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,442 Enthusiast
    edited September 2018

    @kellyknowles you haven't painted yourself into a corner; you've arguably done it the best way for non-interactive text.

    Creating text in a separate comp will produce the best quality text, as you can create it much larger than you finally use - make it fill the screen - then scale it down and you'll get extra smoothing done to the text. The standard text renderer can be a little jagged around the edges on some fonts at 'normal' size.

    Secondly, not entirely sure why @jsbarrett suggested adding text to a Black comp then using Demult; you just create a normal Text layer in an empty comp. You can add drop shadows, distortions etc. all to that text layer - as well as the build-in outline option - and it will retain the transparent background when you place it on a layer above your video in the Editor timeline.  You can also add small (multiple?) planes behind the text to create yourself a simple lower third, which leads to...

    Thirdly, as jsbarrett suggested: using transitions on the text. You can have it fly in, fade up, slide out up/down/left / right, zoom away, all by just adding (different) transitions on either end of the comp when on the timeline.

    So, to summarise:
    1) Make a comp 10 seconds long, add some large text to it, add a drop shadow (to start with).
    2) Drop the comp above a video clip, or clips, in the Editor and trim the length to suit. 5 seconds or so?
    3) Scale and position the text. Either by dragging it about and ( with Shift key for proportional) scaling it by dragging on a corner, or making changes in the Control panel>Transform properties for it.
    4) Add Transitions - Video >Motion>Push  to the start of the clip, adjust the length to between 1/2 and  1 second. You can also adjust the Motion Blur slider to somewhere between 10-20% if you like.
    5) Add the Transitions - Video > Dissolve >Cross Dissolve to the end of the clip and adjust the length to 1/2 to 1 second.

    Play it back and watch your nice smooth text fly in, hang about for a few seconds, then fade away.

    Want more? Add some small planes, add gradients, mask or scale them on another layer behind the text in the text comp and you have a simple lower third. Or, create the '3rd' background in a separate comp and put on another layer below the text layer and it can fade up separately, the text flies in, then they both fade away, or the text fades and the '3rd' flies off empty. Loads of fun and once done once you can duplicate comps, edit the text and reuse.

    tl;dr don't use Demult.

  • CleverTaglineCleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,034 Ambassador
    edited September 2018

    @Palacono "Secondly, not entirely sure why @jsbarrett suggested adding text to a Black comp then using Demult"

    I didn't. My suggestion was to drop the Text effect onto a black plane in the Editor timeline. That was mainly offered if @kellyknowles preferred the interactivity of fiddling with the text directly in the Editor instead of jumping back and forth between the Editor and a comp, and the situation required having the text overlay multiple consecutive clips instead of just one. True, you could just add the Text effect to all of the needed clips directly, copying settings from one to the others, but then you wouldn't be able to apply transitions to the text (aside from using the effect's Opacity property to fade the text in/out).

    I'll admit that, similar to snakes on a plane, the Text effect on a plane is not always desirable, mainly because of the side-effects of using Demult, but it would be a perfectly viable solution in certain situations, so I wanted to throw it out there as something to consider. 

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

    @jsbarrett Doh! I stand corrected, my brain filled in gaps that weren't there as I was thinking of the comp method and also not thinking of the Text Effect; mainly because it's actually less versatile than text in a comp, so I don't use it myself.

    I read "...make a black plane in the Media panel, drop that into an empty track above the rest of your Editor timeline content..." as "...make a black plane in a comp in the Media panel, drop that into an empty track above the rest of your Editor timeline content..."

    Two text methods, each with features the other doesn't have, but one was written long after the other, so has no obvious excuse for not having things present in the first.

    Keyframable Kerning would have been a great addition in a new Effect, but instead we got...no adjustment at all....

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,254 Ambassador

    @jsbarrett @Palacono I'm not on a comp to check right now, but doesn't the Text Effect have a Blend Mode setting? This could be set to "None" which would render text on transparency with needing Demult.

    @Palacono I always felt the text EFFECT was really built as a subtitle tool, since the text contents can be keyframed. Also useful for certain other effects like the countdown clock on the commercial bumpers for "24."

  • CleverTaglineCleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,034 Ambassador

    @Triem23 Just tested it, and you are correct. Setting the Text effect's Blend property to "None" kills all other visual content of the item on which the effect resides, leaving only the text on a transparent background. No Demult needed!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,254 Ambassador

    @jsbarrett keep that in mind for other filters with Blend Mode options as well, like, Lightning, Lightsword or Light Rays. Or Grid to use a "not-light" example. 

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