Duplicates respond to changes from originals

Inside a comp :

Make plane. Set its colour in the layer properties dialog.

Duplicate the plane. Set its colour to something else (in layer properties).

Both planes change colour. You cant set the colour of one without affecting the colour of the other. Pretty sure this shouldn't happen but if I'm missing something then please enlighten me.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,298 Power User

    Yes, that's what should happen.

    You made a plane, and duplicated it, which means you have to instances of a single object, not two objects. Changes to one should effect all instances.

    Think of it like the other thread you started today about changing an image in a photo editor and expecting that to update all instances. Creating a plane creates a unique object in the media pool. The duplicate is an instance tied to the original object. If you need two planes with different colors/dimensions, make two planes. 

  • Ok, but that has nothing to do with my other post. The other post is about Hitfilm not updating its cache as it ought to when you reload an image..

  • Would it be possible to get an option that separates the 2 instances into separate objects. Seems like it would be useful.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,298 Power User

    Nope, that's when you create a new plane. If you need duplicate effects you can copy/paste. Duplicating an instance still means changing the original changes all instances. 

    It relates to your other post only tangentially. Semi-metaphorically Hitfilm is treating a generated plan exactly in the same way as imported media--a unique object where changes to the original ripple through duplicates. 

  • Well, then the workflow is messy. Say I have a plane, with an effects chain and keyframes and masks etc. All I want to do is create a copy and change one property (say, the colour for instance). Right now, I have to create a new plane, and then copy/past all the other data manually from the original to the new one.

    Which is exactly what happened to me today. I wanted to put a copy of a plane with a mask and effects behind itself and colour it black to create an 'outline' effect.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,377 Expert
    edited September 2015

    I don't think messy is applicable. Planes are media in Hitfilm. Just like a file from your camera is media in Hitfilm. When you duplicate a layer, that is what you are duplicating. Only the layer. You are not also duplicating the media, or composite, the layer is using as its source of pixels.

    Like you, I was initially caught by surprise when changing a plane layer color affects something else since I had done a duplicate. At first I though duplicates were possibly references to the source, as can be done in Vegas. Then I realized that planes were treated as media.

    One can argue if plane layers should simply be generators of pseudo media and not references to a pseudo media file, but that is a whole different thing.

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff
    edited September 2015

    If you want to use a single plane and have multiple instances that are different colors, just apply the Hue Shift effect to each plane on the timeline. Adjust it to be whatever color you want. 

    Plane color is a property of the media file, and thus will affect all instances of that media. If you want one instance to be a different color than the source, then use an effect to alter the color. Its the same principle as working with video. If you have two copies of a video on the timeline, and want to change the colors of one, you add an effect. You don't crack open the source file and alter its color.

  • Colour is just a single example (but that would be a nice workaround Alex)

    I suppose my point should be this : you can have linked OR unlinked 'data blocks' in virtually all the other software I use, from Blender to Cubase. I don't see why it wouldn't be nice to have the option in Hitfilm as well.

    Internally, all it would have to do is create a new plane (or whatever) in the media panel with the exact same parameters as the original, and then copy all the effects and masks etc over (and by copy, I mean an 'unlinked' copy).

    Would be nice to have it automated.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,298 Power User

    Note that in Vegas, if you duplicate generated media Vegas asks if you want to create a duplicate or create an instance. Hitfilm just always instances/treats planes as media. 

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff

    Other than color, the only thing you can change in the Plane properties is the size of the plane, which is easily adjusted using Scale on a per instance basis.

    If you duplicate the object on the timeline, you get a linked copy. If you duplicate the object in the Media panel, you get an unlinked copy. So both options are available that way. Alternately, you can adjust each instance separately using effects or the transform controls.

    What you would like to see is a third way to achieve this, by having a way to access both options on the timeline, correct?

  • Yes, linked copy or unlinked copy. Linked copies should share mask / effect data blocks (change an FX parameter on one and it changes the same FX parameters on all linked copies). Unlinked copies should only affect themselves.

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast

    That sounds less like something specific to planes, and more a new way of duplicating any kind of media asset. Theoretically (if I'm understanding correctly), you could use it to duplicate a video, and even if you then trimmed that clip to have different in/out points, it'd still have shared masks/effects, so changing settings on one instance would adjust all of them.

    Give me as many details on how you actually want this to work, so I can then write it up as a user story. That way it can be properly considered for future dev work.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,298 Power User

    Simon, I quickly point to Vegas as a comparison, where you can directly add an effects stack to media at the bin-level, where a context menu allows adding effects that propagate across all instances. In Hitfilm, perhaps this could be added to media Properties? 

  • Yes, not specific to planes. The way I see it is that any layer in a comp or media item or whatever should be copyable in 2 ways - linked or unlinked. Plus a linked copy should have a button/option to unlink it and turn it into a standalone copy.

    An existing example that comes to mind is Blender. Say you have 3 objects that share a common material. You create a fourth object and apply the same material, but you want to tweak it slightly. You go into the materials panel, and hit a button that creates a new material (which is now an unlinked copy of the old material with all the parameters copied over). Now you can change it without affecting the original 3 objects. But, the original 3 objects will still all respond to changes in their shared material, since it is still a single, linked material.

    As to how it would actually work in Hitfilm - I'm not here to design your software, but I can imagine a small chain icon that shows up when an item is a linked copy. Clicking this icon would unlink it, creating a standalone copy, and the icon would disappear. There would be 2 items in the 'duplicate' menu(s) - 'duplicate linked' and 'duplicate unlinked'. 'Copy' would stay the same, but paste could also be 'paste linked' and 'paste unlinked'.

    I am still new to Hitfilm, but I'm sure there are some veterans who could chime in on this.

  • DreamArchitect
    DreamArchitect Posts: 597 Enthusiast

    Is this not something that could be achieved using a composite shot and embedding in others where needed? I may well be missing something though

This discussion has been closed.