Can you make a movie poster in Hitfilm?

HeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out*

I am making a short film and I want to make a movie poster to go along with it. I have Hitfilm Pro, but how do I make a good, cinematic poster. For example, I like the looks of The Last Jedi poster.

The hard part is, one, how do I find  (or make) a good background like the red and white salt it’s all in front of. And, all the character are all next to each other but scaled at different sizes. Would I photograph the actors in front of a green screen and then arrange the characters?

the movie itself is a sci fi alien invasion film.


  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,240 Ambassador

    Yes, you can make movie posters in HitFilm. Just build it all in a composite shot, and ignore the timeline, or perhaps place things at different points on the timeline if you want to experiment with alternate versions of one core concept.

    For actors, photos of individual poses in front of a green screen would work as source material, or you could mask them by hand. There's no "you have to do it this way" with this stuff. Just use the tools that HitFilm gives you to assemble your elements into layers, add effects, etc.  Poster design is an art, and I won't pretend to understand everything that goes into a good poster design, but as with many other art forms, a good way to learn is by copying existing work. You've already found a poster you like, so find ways to capture elements specific to your film that would let you create something similar.

    The biggest problem you'll run into if you do this in HitFilm is resolution. HitFilm is designed for video/film resolutions, not for stuff that's going to print. If this will just be for online promotion, then you can get away with using HitFilm. If you actually plan on printing your finished piece at a size comparable to most film posters, I suggest creating it in Photoshop or an equivalent app.

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out*

    @CleverTagline  could I make said poster in 4K or even higher resolution for good printing?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,412 Ambassador

    @HeySiri in Hitfilm Express you are limited to 4K resolution (4096x2160). Typically, an image for print would be created at 300 (or 600) dots-per-inch.

    For a 4k image that's about 13.6 inches wide by 7.2 inches tall. 

    Hitfilm Pro goes to 8k, (7680x4320) or 25.6 inches wide by 14.4 inches tall. A typical movie poster is 24x36 inches.

    Of course video is generally 16:9 aspect ratio while a poster is 4:6 aspect ratio, so in Express you're looking at 3240x2160  while in Pro it's 6480x4320

    This means you could, in Hitfilm Express, create what could be a 24x36 image at 90dpi (pretty low) and, in Pro at 180dpi (actually will look good).

    More caveats. Maximum resolution is determined by your GPU. Mine doesn't actually let me create true 8K (it's an Nvidia related bug I need to check back on). 

    Finally, VERTICAL resolution in Hitfilm is locked by VIDEO sizes. You can create a 3240x2160 shot in Hitfilm Express  but NOT 2160x3240... You're making your poster sideways if you want more resolution.

    Of course you're not going to print 24x36. Maybe 11x17. At that point your 4k image is 180dpi and the 8k is at 360dpi.

    So you have the resolution, but, again, you're having to make the posters sideways. 

    Otherwise, as @CleverTagline says any video filter can be used for stills. Video is, ultimately  a bunch of stills shown in order. Masking or Chroma key can separate actors from a background. Tons of tools and filters can be combined with pics to make a background. 

    Hell, if you want to be BETTER than most posters you can light all your actors from the same direction. The school of poster design where every character is lit at a different angle ticks me off, and that TLJ poster is a great example of ugly, unmatched lighting. 

    Final thoughts. While Hitfilm can be used to edit stills (I've used it myself), GIMP and KRITA are great photo editing software/art software and both are free. At some point in Hitfilm you'll come across things that are just easier to do in a photo editor/illustration program, so you should pick up at least one of these two anyway. 

  • superdumbkid
    superdumbkid Website User Posts: 10

    If you're planning on printing an actual poster, 4K will not yield a good image.  General rule of thumb for printing is 300 dpi.  You could maybe get away with 150-200 dpi,  but the printed image will start to look blurry the lower you go  

    While in theory you can use hitfilm to make a poster image I'd recommend using a 2d imaging program.  You'll use the same techniques with layers and blending just like hitfilm.  I use 10 year old version of photoshop, but there are some free alternatives like gimp and  

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks for all the answers!

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