Quad screen template?

HatfarmHatfarm Website User Posts: 19
edited September 2015 in Post-production techniques

Hi, I'm trying to start learning some basics that I have not yet seen in tutorials.

I want to learn how to take 4 photos (or movie clips) of identical dimensions (in16x9 ratio) and stack them 2x2, forming a "Quad" inside a 1920x1080 Project. Later, I may use camera zooms/pans, but I'm not there yet.

I can  hand-position each layer/image in one of the 4 quadrants, and that is easy enough.  Or, I can take note of the Transform/Position values and type those in based on which quadrant I am using.

But once I have a nice neat Quad Comp showing all 4 images, is it possible to somehow get to the point where I can Save a "Quad Template" so that I can simply drag and drop different images (though with same dimensions) into any one of the four layer positions, so that the new image would retain the correct scaling and position values auto-matically?  I guess this is a kind of "Replace" feature. My initial attempts are not working... I must manually re-do Scaling and Position,

I hope that this is clear. Any thoughts, Tips or Tutorial links that cover this would be most appreciated!


  • AxelWilkinsonAxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,242 Staff

    The basic process here is to embed each image in a composite shot, then resize and reposition the composite shots. Then, you can just swap out the images contained in each composite shot when you want to replace them.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    Once you have your template project set of, you can bring it into other projects by selecting "Import Composite Shot" from the Import drop-down menu. This allows you to load in existing saved composite shots, or entire saved other projects into your current project. 

    An easy way to replace the pictures in your quad comp is to right-click each picture in the media pool and select "Relink," which is intended to relink media if you've moved it after starting a project, but also lets you swap to a new media file. 

  • HatfarmHatfarm Website User Posts: 19
    edited September 2015

    Thanks, Axel & Triem. I will give it a go . So if I were to  name my quad comps individually, they would be Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Left, Lower Right. And each Comp will have a Transform Scaling and X,Y position. When ever I drag them to a new Comp, they will land where they belong.

    I wonder if Relink trick works afterwards or must it be done before placement into the  new Comp. 

    This is a great start, thanks to you both.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    Relink works at any time. Hitfilm doesn't store actual video or picture media in a project, just a pointer flag that says "and you're using this file, found here." So by "relinking" to a different file you're just telling Hitfilm to use a different file. The one "glitch" is this: If you load "SunsetPicture" into Hitfilm and later relink to "WaterfallPicture" then the Media Pool will still say "SunsetPicture," since Hitfilm technically thinks you moved Sunset to a new location and are correcting a pointer. 

    What I suggest is renaming your media in the Media Pool to "Up Left," "Up Right," etc, so if you reuse this template in several months you don't have to remember which image goes where, since the image names in the Media Pool are telling you. 

  • MarkGreenStarMarkGreenStar Website User Posts: 3
    edited September 2015

    Split Screen Masking is in the Generate folder
    This should be what you are looking for. Put two or MORE clips on top of each other & put Split Screen Masking onto one. Seems you can put 8 clips Maybe more.
    In effects look for -Number of Cuts
    In effects look for -Input - Layer & pick which clip
    Click the Preset Drop Down box & go wild with the ways to cut up the screen, 
    Split Screen

    split screen

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador
    edited September 2015

    That's another way to do it. And, you can still relink media to change the panels in your splitscreen. Good catch @MarkGreenStar

    Final note on relinking media. Remember, relinking is resetting a location pointer. But, if you replace, say, a 1200x1600 picture with, say, a 3600x2400 picture, you'll still have to manually adjust scale. 

  • HatfarmHatfarm Website User Posts: 19

    Hi MarkG , I will check out that effect for sure. Triem, Thanks for the details, provisos and thorough answer.  The notion of archiving and and potential "side-effects" (no pun intended) of using Relink did keep me tossing last night,

    Also, I wanted to consider the premise of my Quad experiment. As you know, I'm just getting started with HF3P,  and feel a little challenged moving around camera and layers in 3D space. I need time to visualize and some extra advice- to learn how the camera deals with multiple images, (including "cropping"single layers  in the context of a final Quad view.

    l have been trained to always keep picture quality at a reasonable maximum. In my case, my output format is still 1920x1080 but in the near future, who knows?

    For instance, I set up a 1920x1080 project and had it in mind that I would be Scaling down my 4 individual 1920x1080 Import/layers. Was this a technical mistake? Should I always set-up the largest necessary Project Size? So, in this example, should Project have been set to 3840x2160, to achieve no quality loss as I Export to 1920x1080 AVI Uncompressed?

    Mark, I will look at that Mask effect, but I am curious if individual layers can be transitioned to other images/clips. I will explore it all fully and consider the "duplicate Comp" lesson from Axel's tutorial on Text with Particles transitions.

    I know I am putting the cart before the horse a little bit here with these added questions-- it will take me a while to simply get comfortable following along with the many wonderful tutorials and wrapping my head around 3D space concepts. (Mainly because I have tried 3D before, in the VideoToaster/Lightwave era and just gave up.) With HF3P I feel I can achieve it-- it's such a user-friendly environment. 

    Meanwhile, I just want to  begin by using best practices for the wonky stuff: best resolution (as needed); archiving, i.e. saving all assets, etc. Understanding Relinking concepts, and any unexpected gotchas. I feel I am getting incredible support here, you should know.



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    No problems. We're a friendly, helpful forum. Every program has it's own idiosyncrasies.

    Also, in Hitfilm there's usually multiple ways to do things. Like your example!

    I haven't used the Split Screen masking myself, but suspect it generates a final 2D layer, which, yes, could be a single 3D plane, but all panels are co-planar. Nesting embedded comp shots will take longer to set up, but you gain the option of shifting panels in Z-space. 

    To have individual panels transition, build the basic image as a full screen composite shot. Embed the composite shot in the main comp as the source. 

    For scaling, work at your output resolution. Hitfilm seems to be pretty smart in it's scaling. If you built a panel at, say 1920x1080, but it's split-screen dimension is only 960x540 Hitfilm will "backtrack" to display the full original 1920x1080 data if you, say, moved the camera to fill the frame with the panel. 

    In Hitfilm it is usually better to rig the camera to points for complex moves. If you are sweeping the camera around the Quad, make a point at the center of the Quad, parent the camera to the point, and rotate the point. This is basically virtual mounting the camera to a gimble or jib arm attached to your focus point. 

    Yes, for best "quality" rendering to uncompressed AVI is best choice, but your files will be huge, and the data flow massive. If you have other nle/transcoding software that can read image sequences, PNG sequences give the same image quality at half the disk space, and render faster! That's a lossless master. Then, you can load that back into Hitfilm (your work project if you edited sounds) and quickly upload to YouTube, or render out managable mp4 for Blu-Ray and other web platforms. 

  • HatfarmHatfarm Website User Posts: 19

    Triem, I will start from scratch using an added point - which I gather creates a Layer. Very interested in that and where the ability to Ease-In Ease Out is typically added to any camera moves... at the Camera or the Point Layer.

    That said, I'm going to keep at it on basics and integrate some of these great tips, then move over to that split-screen mask effect.

    I'll get over my aversion to PNG exports-- I didn't realize it saved disk space.


  • HatfarmHatfarm Website User Posts: 19

    I couldn't help myself & checked out that Split Screen Masking effect ... it seems quite powerful, including a 3x3 grid. Thanks again for pointing it out, Mark.

  • MarkGreenStarMarkGreenStar Website User Posts: 3
    edited September 2015
  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

     There seems to be something slightly wonky in Split screen masking. At least on my installation.

    The first cut border is uneven in width across its length. Just make the border thick to better see this.

    Those moveable points in the viewer are crazy. They are associated with the Cut Position property and the Input Translation properties. You can drag a bunch of them and they mostly do nothing (with a default single cut)

    The number of cuts is limited to 8 and when starting to drag out points I get about that amount before I then start dragging out Translation points for the two inputs of a default single Cut. I can keep dragging points until I reach the limit of what would exists for an 8 Cut split. I works. It is just a little weird.

    To not get the excess points on screen one can move the value in the Controls panel first, which will move the appropriate point off center and then you can move it to do suitable interactive actions. It appears that all the points for the max 8 cuts and inputs are all on screen and overlapping. It would be cleaner if the Number of cuts property cleaned that up some.

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