help with simple shots

gqmartins Posts: 9 Just Starting Out*

Hi, I'm new into Hitfilm and editing videos. I'm struggling with getting some effects that I want in my videos. I feel like it's very simple stuff, I just don't know how to do it, so I came here hopping to get some help. All the videos will be about cooking.

The first shot, karate-chop, is me chopping an onion in half with my hand, the problem is how do I do the effect of the onion being chopped into two halfs in a flawless way.

The second shot is peeling an onion, which is in the file peeling. The question is how can I have the onion in one shot, pass the hand over and then have a peeled onion appear where the other one stood.

The last part of the shot is cutting the peeled onion. I would like to just touch it with the knife and then all the slices would be cut and slide like in a domino effect.

I would really appreciate some advise because I don't know how to approach this in a way to make the cuts seamless.

Thanks in advance for any help!


  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Posts: 3,153 Expert

    @gqmartins These are fairly easy things to accomplish! You will need to shoot them in a way in which you can make it happen, however. Take a look at this video that I made to get a better idea of how this can happen. It's not exactly what you are doing, but the techniques would be similar!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,275 Power User

    For future reference, ask how to questions BEFORE shooting when possible. VFX starts with planning the shot.

    I'm not on my computer to look at your footage, but you'll need to learn masking.

    That's the most recent comprehensive masking tutorial. Masks changed a bit in HF15, but everything here is valid. You just have a few new options and a slight interface change - click and hold on masking icons to access all options.

    This @FilmSensei tutorial has good tips.

    And this

    These will give you some principles to adapt.

    Hopefully your camera is on a tripod. Here's how to do the peeled/unpeeled onion.

    Start camera. Show the unpeeled onion and hand wave. DO NOT STOP THE CAMERA - if the camera moves the effect won't work. Peel the onion and place it. Now, when the hand waves you'll animate a mask to reveal the peeled onion clip.

    Most of the rest is variation of that trick.

    Otherwise it's practical work. Do the karate chop with no onion. The onion will be pre sliced. You'll put your hand behind the onion to hold it together for a few seconds then let it go so it falls apart. Masking will combine the shots.

    It's the touch with knife/fall to slices that's tricky. In principle, similar to the chop, but harder to hold together. I'm thinking you might have to make a mechanical rig to hold the onion together then release, but that needs more thought.

  • EvilDaystar
    EvilDaystar Posts: 305 Enthusiast

    You are missing quite a few shots in your clips to do this.

    1- A take of you cutting the onion with the knife.

    2- A shot of the peeled onion.

    Optional 3 - Clean plate of just the cutting board. No onion, no knife. Probably not needed but always a good idea to get a clean plate.

    Optional 4- A shot of you doing a karate chop with no onion. You could use the one with the onion but it requires a little more work.

    The karate chop onion cut is pretty easy. We take the missing shot of you cutting the onion with the knife and overlay it with the shot of you doing a Karate Chop. A bit of masking and voila. Done. Very simple but we are missing the cut shot.

    The onion peel is even easier, it's just a mask reveal with your hand passing over.

    Here is a real crappy demo I just made with your footage:

    You need to change your lighting so you don't cast as much of a shadow.

    Something else I would do is tape or blue tack the cutting board down to stop it from shifting.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,889 Ambassador

    @EvilDaystar BTW your link is set to Private.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,275 Power User

    From what @EvilDaystar says it sounds like you should reshoot. If you're missing shots you'll never match the camera angle again.

  • EvilDaystar
    EvilDaystar Posts: 305 Enthusiast

    @Stargazer54 aaargh. Meant to put in unlisted.

    Its fixed now.

  • gqmartins
    gqmartins Posts: 9 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you guys so much for the help. I'll reshoot with the tips and tricks that you gave me. Thank you!

  • gqmartins
    gqmartins Posts: 9 Just Starting Out*

    Hello there,

    I'm new into Hitfilm and I'm trying to do a couple of simple masks / vfx shots. I need help because I don't know how to record the shots in order to get the effect that I want.

    The shot consists on me karate chopping an onion in half, then taking one half and peel that half with a hand passing over it, sort of do a masking effect. After that taking the half onion and simply cut it or do some other effect with it.

    The problem that I'm having is with the transitions. How do I transition from the chop to picking up one half to the peel and then using the peeled part in a seamless manner?

    I would highly appreciate your help and any tips that anyone could give me.

    Thanks in advance!

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,219 Expert
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,275 Power User

    @gqmartins One thread per question, please. First, I almost flagged you as a bot because I REMEMBER this - and duplicating old threads is a bot move.

    Second, keeping responses together makes the discussion easier to follow, and prevents redundant answers - @tddavis just wasted time looking up and typing in information I provided two months ago.

    Third, I had to merge your threads.

    Ok, let's go back to the October discussion. You've reshot. Tell us what's on the plates. Right now you're at the masking stage, so, assuming you've shot correctly what's left should be pretty simple, but I can't visualize your timeline. We need more detail to finish this off.

  • gqmartins
    gqmartins Posts: 9 Just Starting Out*
    edited January 2021

    I'm sorry about the repost, but it has been so long since I posted the first that I though it would be better to post another one. It won't happen again.

    Regardings the video, I've reshoot it, and it's the last part I'm missing on the video. I asked a friend for help because I couldn't figure out how to make the transactions and the cutting part. Now I've having trouble removing my friends hands in the first part of the clip and masking the onion so it can appear peeled.

    I believe my friends hands could be masked with the help of a clean plate, but I forgot to record one at the time. If anybody could give tips or maybe it just needs reshooting again, I don't know.

    I attached two clips, the first is the onion cutting and the second is the masking part.

    Thanks for the help, and again, sorry about the repost.