Handwriting effect

Gdane114
Gdane114 Website User Posts: 13 Just Starting Out*

Is there any way to do a handwriting effect in Hitfilm pro without having to manually masking each letter?   I know how to do it in AE but don't know how to do it in Hitfilm pro. 

Thanks

Comments

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,056 Ambassador

    @Gdane114 Take a look at my tutorial on how to draw in the air...

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

    AE has a much, much easier way of doing it.  To achieve similar results the best tutorial I've seen on it is this.  I've done it this way myself, and it works fine if your doing a few words.  Anything more and forget about.  As much as I love Film Sensei's drawing sword trick that wont work either (I tried) as you can't control the line precisely enough to produce the effect you want.

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,056 Ambassador

    @Dimipapa Take a look at this video on how to animate a signature. I do the same thing, but I hand animate the movement giving complete control!

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

     @filmsensei I Don't think I've seen that particular video before but I have tried that same technique and it really wont work on fonts unless they are super big maybe.  I don't remember exactly how I tried to do it, i think I set it up to try and fill in the font somehow but the problem is the motion.  Either way I did it I tried animating it the exact same way you do in that video and it just wont work well on something that isn't super big like a john hancock signature.  We need something like this in HF to do it easily.

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,305 Ambassador

    @Dimipapa You could do that same thing with the Neon Path effect. Neon Path works on layers with masks, and the masks don't have to be closed. You could do it all as one unbroken (and NOT closed) mask on a layer, with the Neon Path effect either on that same layer or on a grade layer. For greater control, use multiple masks on multiple layers, and separate Neon Path effects targeting different masks. In either case, tweak the Neon Path effect to create a thick solid line, and use that as a matte for an actual typeface.

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

    you can have it fill in left to right with seemingly one line with the neon path effect?

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,305 Ambassador
    edited May 2020

    Yup. That’s effectively the HitFilm equivalent of that last video you shared. It'll be a little different in HitFilm than what the video shows, but it's basically the same. Here's a rough outline of the process:

    1. Create your text layer.
    2. On that text layer, use the freehand mask tool to draw a mask that traces the letters, keeping the mask curve as close to the center of the text shape as you can. For easier setup with Neon Path later on, I recommend doing this in reverse, starting with the end of the last letter, and drawing each letter in the reverse direction you would normally draw it. 

      Do not close the mask. The effect won't render correctly if the mask is closed.

      Also, don't place your first and last mask points too close to the text. There's a slight beginning-to-end bleed with Neon Path using this non-closed mask method, as you'll see further below.

      In this sample, I only drew the first three letters to illustrate the point (pun absolutely intended). 

    3. Make a grade layer above the text. Add the Neon Path effect to it
    4. Tweak the settings as follows:

      Path From: Mask
      Layer: (your text layer)
      Path -> Start Width and End Width: these should be the same number, and only as wide as you need to cover the text. For my example I used 18, but don't worry about getting this exact right away. Play with it later as needed.
      Core -> Feather: keep this pretty low. I used 10%. It will create a slightly soft edge on the line as it's drawing, but too high and the edges of the letter strokes will become soft as well.
      Inner Glow -> Width: 0px
      Blend: None
    5. Keyframe the Extension property to go from 0 to 100 over time, and the line will draw. If you only use two keyframes, there will be slight delays wherever your mask path is outside the text. You can adjust this by adding more keyframes to make the Neon Path line "jump" between letters more quickly.

    Here's my final result using just those first three letters as an example. This has the extra Extension keyframes added to get rid of pauses between letter strokes. Notice that small flicker where the end of the "n" sits? That's because I placed my first mask point too close to the letter shape.

    If you shudder at the thought of making the mask backwards, you could draw it normally, but you'll also need to keyframe the Evolution property to go from -1x to 0 over the same time span that Extension is going from 0 to 100. Just a side effect of how Neon Path interprets the mask's "direction."

    Another side note: because this technique has Neon Path on a grade layer above the text, it's effectively creating a matte for everything below it. If there are other layers under the text, you'll see the full Neon Path curve, not just where the text lies, and none of your other layers. There are a couple ways to deal with this:

    1. Do your handwriting in its own comp, then drop that comp where you want it to be used.
    2. Add Neon Path to a plane (color doesn't matter) instead of a grade layer. Place this plane at the bottom of the layer stack, with a grade layer above it, and hide the plane. Add Set Matte to the text layer. Choose the grade layer as the source, Matte Source: Alpha, Blend: Subtract, Invert: checked. Now you can add other layers between the text and the path grade, and everything is in a single comp.

    Edit: in case anyone is wondering, this is now on my tutorial production schedule. :)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,795 Ambassador

    @CleverTagline meh, you can push it back. Got all I needed. ?

    I've actually been racking my brain trying to figure out a way that wasn't exactly what you described, but I guess, if you don't have one, there isn't one. 

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,994 Moderator

    @CleverTagline That's is a close to the Stroke effect in AE as I have ever seen.  I snagged that for the archive and imagine my surprise when the gif came with the copy and paste. :) Thanks, sir!

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,056 Ambassador
  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

    thats looking pretty good, I look forward to that tutorial.  Maybe you can have an overlay with the white of the text invisible and have it fill in the text fully.

  • Andersen01498
    Andersen01498 Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 994 Enthusiast
    edited June 2020

    Wow, thanks for the information!!! Yes its helpful but Hitfilm needs a proper stroke effect :(  

     

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,305 Ambassador

    @Dimipapa "Maybe you can have an overlay with the white of the text invisible and have it fill in the text fully."

    That's pretty much what the process above does. The text remains invisible until the Neon Path line reveals it. If that's not what you meant, could you please explain further?

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

    CleverTagline oh i didnt catch that part sorry

  • Neptunos
    Neptunos Website User Posts: 71 Just Starting Out*

    @CleverTagline thank you so much for this tip -it solved my biggest problem while recreating the title sequence of a German TV series. I followed your instructions but used an image instead of text. The spiral was drawn on black background (ripped off the original scene and used Photoshop).  As the width of the line changes I just added a Luminance Key to the spiral image and Keyed Out Darker. Worked all like a charm and I needed less than 10 minutes to incl. Photoshop to create the effect. Top!