3D photo transition into slider video

Hi guys,

If everything goes according to plan, I'll be filming the start of my new short film with a DSLR next week.

The introshot of the film features a camera slide through a window, much like this (this is a practicing shot I made in preparation of the filming/editing): 

I created this with a simple concept:

Shot 1; camera slides towards the window

Shot 2; camera slides through the window after it's opened

....and stitched to two nicely together with some effects.


However, next week I won't have the ability to slide the camera towards the window, since the window on set is a window without a balcony or anything like that. I can't access it from outside, differently from the test video. Instead I wanted to make a picture of the window from a stick, which I can hold in front of the window. 

In HitFilm, with the picture, my plan is to zoom in to the window and then make a clean transition into the slider video which will go through the window. 

My question is; 

How do I make best in HitFilm a clean and believable movement in the picture of the window (later transitioning into the slider video from inside ''through the window'' ) without showing the first bit is actually a picture and not a video on a slider? 

I have watched many tutorials but I was thinking making the picture 3D is a way, as I don't think zooming into the picture (4000x3000, in the end 1920x800) will be believable enough? I hope I have presented you my idea clear enough, please note I'm using HitFilm 2 Express.


  • Robin
    Robin Website User Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast

    I would go with that 3D approach. The problem with it being a picture will be the resolution once you get close, but you can cover that by using just a little blur. Getting close to the window but having focussed on the scene inside will let you get away by faking the depth of field, in fact it will probably even look better that way. The interesting bit will be the "glass" part. If you just cut a hole out of the picture where the glass is, it might look unconvincing, as windows mostly have some smudge, some little scratches and reflections on them. If you can, try to get a picture of the window with a solid background you can key out while keeping a few details of the glass itself. This helped me a lot in a similar shot.

    Side note on that test shot: It seems like your framerate is not in sync with the power grid frequency. I don't know where you live, but the alternating current of you power lines will probably have a frequency of 50 or 60 hz - try to match your shutter speed to that (25 or 50fps for 50hz, 30 or 60fps for 60hz) when you're shooting inside. That way you'll avoid those "waves" of darker and lighter areas rushing over the frame.

  • Robin
    Robin Website User Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast

    For the record, here's the video with the shot I mention:

    At the very beginning the camera moves through a window. The technique just that, a 3D picture of the outside of the house and the window, behind that a video plate of what's happening inside. Slightly different context, but the general technique is the same.

  • TMFilmsHD
    TMFilmsHD Website User Posts: 80

    Hey @Robin

    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll have to take a closer look to how making pictures 3D work. My plan didn't involve cutting out a piece of the window, since the transition in the test video seemed just fine. I guess I could tweak some effects just a little bit, but it was only a test shot anyway. 

    I think I'll just zoom into the window and then make the transition from the picture to the video on the slider going through the window. Hopefully I will have the same perspective for both cameras.

    The resolution brings me to another question though, The picture will be 4000x3000, and I thought this was plenty enough to be zoomed into. But while experimenting, HitFilm wouldn't let me export a series of photos from the timeline in 3840x2160 (4k). The digits would just switch back to 1920x1080.

    Zooming into 1920x1080 will indeed give a quite bad quality video. Any idea as to why it wouldn't let me? I used AVI as export format because MP4 will just stay 1920x1080 if I recall correctly.

  • Robin
    Robin Website User Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast

    I think I was a bit mislead there, as I was assuming something was happening behind that window while the fly-through happens. If there's nothing moving, then that should not be that big of a problem indeed, you'll just have to try out how much of an issue the perspective is with switching from the static picture to the moving in shot.

    About that export, have you tried exporting a png sequence? Might be the best option for that, and it should let you get the resolution you want. Seems strange though that avi doesn't let you export that...

  • TMFilmsHD
    TMFilmsHD Website User Posts: 80
    edited February 2015

    Well, there´s a person behind the window behind a desk writing, but I don´t think that makes much movement, plus, I think the window will be in focus on the small camera, and the person will be in focus when   I´m using the DSLR on the slider going through the opened window.

    I´m going to film tomorrow so I think I´ll just need to make a crapload of pictures from the window, so I will have at least one picture that will have the same perspective that the camera on the slider will have. I will have to figure out how making pictures 3D in HitFilm 2 Express works, but we´ll see how it goes.


    I tried the 'Export Image Sequence' button at Export settings, but it would still change the pixels back to 1920x1080. PNG, JPG and BMP all do this. In Project Settings, I have the same problem. No matter what I select it will stay on 1920x1080 (or lower) but I should be able to go to 2k  right? The picture is 3000x4000.

    Are you sure this isn't a HitFilm 2 Express restriction?

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

    I think Hitfilm 2 only exports to 1080 or below. I think 4k output is new to HF3