How to insert a transparent rectangle in HitfilmExpress

vanny_f
vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*
edited February 27 in General

Hi all,

I would like to insert a rectangle which is not filled meaning that in the inside it should be transparent. I tried to things. I saved an rectangle directly in powerPoint and inserted it and also I just used a screenshot of it an inserted it but nothing was succesfull (see attached image). So what I want is that the green rectangles do not make the content on the bitmap under them (the red and blue bars) invisible. Do you have any idea, how I can do that?

I'd be happy for every comment.


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Comments

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,682 Moderator
    edited February 27

    @vanny_f I am not PowerPoint literate anymore but you have to save it out from there with RGBA as a PNG to keep the transparent part. Ill go play with Hitfilm to see if I can come up with something.

    Edit:

    Ha. Came back to post a screen capture video showing exactly what @FilmSensei says below. I'm old and slow...😁

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador

    @vanny_f The easiest way that I create a transparent rectangle is this...

    1. Create a Plane and resize it to the size you want
    2. With the Plane highlighted, double click on the Rectangular Mask to create an ADD Mask the same size as the Plane
    3. Duplicate the Mask and change the new one to SUBTRACT
    4. Under the Transform Properties of the Subtract Mask, unlink the scale and adjust it to taste
    5. Feel free to Fill Color the Plane to whatever color you want it to be

    Here is a picture to help explain...


  • digitalbaruch
    digitalbaruch Website User Posts: 42 Enthusiast

    In powerpoint make your plane greenscreen color and outline it with whatever color and thickness you want. In Hitfilm, just key out the green with color difference or chromakey.

    If you want your outline to be green choose a different color you can key out in hitfilm.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,285 Ambassador
    edited February 27

    I had a strange idea on this last night, but the Text Tool can do this!

    Create a text layer, and input a simple dash - like so. Find a font with a nice, square dash and dial the font size up to make it big. Set a transparent fill and an outline of the desired color. Rotate the dash sideways to be vertical.

    Using the two masks like @FilmSensei said has been the go-to method in Express for years, and it works great, but, if you want rectangles of different sizes and the same outline width you have to adjust the subtract mask every time you resize. With the text tool you can change overall size with the point size, you can change the aspect ratio with the horizontal/vertical scale controls, but, no matter how you change size/scale the outline stays the same width!

    Using @digitalbaruch s method works, but requires moving elements between programs, so is harder to adjust on the fly.

    In Pro, or with the proper Express add-on you could also use Neon Path. Make a black plane, draw a rectangle mask, add Neon Path and it will draw a line around the mask. You'll have to tweak other settings - probably choking glow to make a solid outline. Set the Blend Mode of the Neon Path to NONE so only the path draws.

    There are other methods - look at the @CleverTagline YouTube channel - he's got a tutorial on outlines, I think.

    But I'm thinking the text tool is about to become the new go-to for a quick, scalable callout box. You could even look up the tutorial on "Hitfilm Publishing." I haven't looked yet, but, if the proper text attributes can be published this could easily be set up as a published template where a callout box lives in a drag and drop menu for quick reuse.

    As I revamp my own tutorials the fastest and easiest way to make a callout box has been on my mind...

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,233 Ambassador

    I don’t have a tutorial just on outlines, though my first tutorial for ProductionCrate included a technique for generating outlines based on a layer’s alpha channel:


  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*
    edited February 28

    Thanks all for your comments,

    @FilmSensei : I tried what you told but unfortunately the rectangle becomes invisible. I think the biggest problem is the point "3. Duplicate the Mask and change the new one to SUBTRACT". What do you mean by duplicate? I just copied and pasted it but it did not help. I also tried without duplicating it.

    @Triem23 : I also tried what you suggested with the text. This led to unsymmetric rectangles and makes the handling in general really hard (the positioning). This is why I tend to first try the conventional approach

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador

    @vanny_f I have created a 30 second video on how to do this just for you...


  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador
    edited February 28

    @Triem23 That is actually an outstanding idea...

    In the above, I used Arial - Black font and those three characters are a Capital Letter I (as in "I" love that idea), a Dash, and a Period (Full stop).

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,682 Moderator
    edited February 28

    Aw, man! Once again late to the party. While I was rendering @FilmSensei beat me to the punch.

    @vanny_f Well, here is my workflow on doing the above...It takes me more time than Jay to do the same task 😁


  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador

    @tddavis Of course your video took longer... look at that production value! You have music, an actual graph, you actually put the box in the right place, etc.... Bravo!

  • digitalbaruch
    digitalbaruch Website User Posts: 42 Enthusiast

    I HAVE A METHOD! I've never had a method before. I feel so accomplished. And when I came back to find this post I had moved from "Just Starting out" to "Enthusiast." Coincidence? I think not...

  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks all for your comments,

    @FilmSensei : Thank you for the video. Is there a way how I can make the rims bigger of the rectangle? Because at the moment they are quite thin.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,285 Ambassador

    Yeah, change the scale on second mask. That's what controls the thickness.

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador

    Yes... like @Triem23 said, all you have to do is change the scale of the Subtract Mask. I do this at the 24 second mark of the video. Notice that I break the scale link so I have control over both axes right before I make the adjustments.

  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks for your answers Triem23 and Filmsensei,

    I changed the strenght but it did not change anything regarding the rims. Here you can see a screenshot. No matter which value I used, the rim remained the same. Further, what I think is quite strange when using your suggested approach is that I can not always see the green rectangle . Normally it is invisible. I have to always explicity select it in the mask menu. Is there a way how it can be always displayed?


  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,233 Ambassador

    The “Expansion” property is the one you want to modify on the mask that’s in Subtract mode. It’s Expansion value should be smaller than the other mask (the one that’s in in Add mode).

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador

    @CleverTagline is correct. When I did it in the above video, I unlinked and adjusted the Scale of the Subtract Mask. That gave me more control over the width of both the horizontal and vertical lines of the rectangle. If it is a square or even close to a square, then adjusting the Expansion Property is the way to go, because it is much faster. However, because you were outlining a bar in a bar graph, and that bar was disproportional a rectangle, I went with adjusting the Scale Property instead.

  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks CleverTangline and FilmSensei for your answers,

    as you can see in the sceenshot I adjusted all values. I also tried adjusting the values in the mask with the add-mode and different combinations (also with higher values for the add-layer). Nothing changed.


  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,854 Ambassador
    edited March 6

    Expand the subtract mask to a negative number.

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,233 Ambassador
    edited March 6

    As @FilmSensei indicates, and as I also said above, the Subtract mask value needs to be smaller than the Add mask.

  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks for your answers FilmSensei and CleverTangile,

    I set the values of the substract mask lower compared to the add mask (I did that before), even with negative values. It does not change anything.


  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,233 Ambassador

    @vanny_f You're going too crazy with your values. They don't need to be in the hundreds. Try an expansion of 10 pixels on the Add mask and an expansion of 7 pixels on the Subtract mask.

  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*
    edited March 11

    Thanks CleverTangline for your answer,

    I tried what you said but it did not change anything. I also tried 20 different combinations but it does not change anything. Only the position changes but not the thickness of the rims.


  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*

    Hi all,

    any comments on my last comment. Basically the approach does not seem to work. No matter what I change the rim has the same thickness.

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,233 Ambassador

    @vanny_f Try even smaller numbers for the Subtract mask. I just ran a test, and the 10/7 combo only created a really thin line. Try 10 for Add and 0 for Subtract. The smaller the Expansion value on the Subtract mask, the thicker the border will be.

    And just to check a couple other details that I can't see, what color is your plane? Is the plane visible (check the eye icon on its layer)?

    If that won't work, are you able to share your scene file so we can see what you see? I still get the feeling that something isn't set correctly on your end, though without a really close look at more of that composite shot, it's difficult to say what it could be.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,682 Moderator

    @CleverTagline I was wondering if the mask being set to both (inside and outside) could be making a difference. I know when I did my little video example I set it to Outside only. ???

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,233 Ambassador

    @tddavis "Both" is the default setting for Feather, and it works just fine. I've got HitFilm open now to test.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,682 Moderator

    Thanks. I wondered if it had any bearing. Away from home and couldn't test.

  • vanny_f
    vanny_f Website User Posts: 37 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks for your answers CleverTagline and tddavis ,

    as stated before I tried a lot of parameter combinations but it does not change anything. The other strange thing is that the rectangle is not really visible in the animation unless I explicity highlight it by clicking on the "Mask" line. But without that being clicked the rectangles are not visible.

    The plane itself is visible. Unfortunately I can't share the composite shot. Do you have any other idea what the problem might be? Just to make it clear once again: Changing the expansion values both on the Add and Substract mask changes NOTHING (no matter which combinations).

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,285 Ambassador

    @vanny_f I hate to ask, but your outline layer is above the other layers, right?

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