Importing Layers? PLEASE HELP

Hey guys! Quick question. I am trying to animate. Hitfilm Express is all I have, but it's similar to After Effects in the ways I need so that's all good.
So anyway, I created my character in GIMP. Each body part is on a separate layer so that I can animate. But Hitfilm won't import GIMP's .xcf format. Does anyone know what format I can use so that each layer will import into Hitfilm? The guy in this video makes it in Photoshop and it imports perfectly into AE, but I bet it's only because they are Adobe products. If this is too confusing skip to 5:40 in the video.


  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,250 Staff
    edited May 2014
    You will just need to save each layer as a separate image, then import them.  Make sure they all use the same image size, and they will all align properly after you import them.
    But HitFilm doesn't support import of layered files at this time.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,816 Ambassador
    To expand on what Axel says: Leave each layer of your gimp file where it is, and save out each layer, one at a time as a PNG file. This way your images will line up correctly on import, and your transparency will be right. If you save your layers as JPG, you'll have to key each and every layer--which is a pain.
    Once you import your individual images into Hitfilm, you'll have to adjust the "anchor point" for each layer under it's transform properties so your puppet layers articulate correctly.
    Remember, you can save Hitfilm composite shots out so you can import them into other projects--once you get a puppet loaded, locked and ready to animate, make certain you have each puppet in it's own composite shot and export them. That way, you only have to build a puppet once, and you can re-import it into other projects.
    What's NOT as well know is that you can import an entire Hitfilm project into another Hitfilm project: In this case, Hitfilm will ask which composite shot timelines from the import-project you wish to load into the edit-project. This means you might want to go ahead and make a Hitfilm project and set up all your puppets in their own composite shots, then save the entire project as "Character Library" BEFORE you start animating. That way, you can have ALL of your puppets set up and ready to re-import into any new animations easily. As you create new puppets, you can add them to the character library project!
    Looking forward to seeing what you're doing. There aren't too many things on the movie wall where we're seeing Hitfilm users doing puppet animation. :-)
  • seaniepie01
    seaniepie01 Website User Posts: 12
    But seriously, when are we going to see an update for Hitfilm with PS layer support included. Is anything being done about it. It's a major 'HitFilm killer' for me as the time taken to split out and import hundreds of layers is one huge pain in the backside. I end up 90% of the time reverting to AE which is a real shame. I can't recommend it to my peers for this reason alone. It's is the ONLY thing that makes me think 'Hitfilm sucks' every time I use it. Iim working on some epic vfx for the BBC at the moment that would monumentally have been made easier if it was included. I hope Axel is listening.
  • HillsideMedia
    HillsideMedia Website User Posts: 50

    In Photoshop CS5.5 (so I assume until current) You can export all layers to png files in one swoop by hitting File/Scripts/Export Layers to files and selecting PNG. You have the option to trim the layers down or leave then proportionate depending on your needs. I recommend you just make sure to merge the layers down to the layers you want before doing this, or you might end up with a zillion layers when you only needed a few. Just takes planning.

    As for GIMP, there is a plugin called Export Layers that I think does the same thing, and you can save an .ORA file and pull out the individual layers as detailed here:  . 

    Just wanted to help!