Possible to preview timeline to an external monitor full screen?

jlummel
jlummel Website User Posts: 9
edited October 2015 in Post-production techniques

Is it possible to preview timeline to an external monitor full screen? I currently use a MXO2 breakout box with Adobe CS6 and can view my timelines on a color calibrated monitor (essential for ANY work with color). Is there some way to do that with Hitfilm?

Color work such as color correction or grading REQUIRES a calibrated monitor, so how does this workflow work with Hitfilm 3 Pro? If the monitor is not calibrated, how can you be sure of what colors you are getting? If your monitor has too much red in it, then you will always grade towards too much blue. How is this handled on Hitfilm?

Thanks,

James

Comments

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,005 Ambassador

    One of Hitfilm's significant lacks is scopes, waveform displays and parades, so a calibrated monitor is damned important. 

    Hitfilm's interface doesn't currently support a full-screen send-to secondary monitor. Closest thing to it is to detach the viewer panel from the interface (click and hold the word "viewer" to drag and repisition), drag it to your second monitor and drag it out as large as possible. 

  • jlummel
    jlummel Website User Posts: 9
    edited October 2015

    I suppose that in a crunch using a Spyder5 or other monitor calibration tool you could get enough color accuracy for YouTube or similar use.

    But not having the scopes or a way to output a calibrated video signal is really holding Hitfilm back from being more than a toy, which is a REAL shame as it does what it does real easy and real well!

    The other thing holding it back is the lack of any real out to an intermediate format. Even if they just opened up the AVI export to other codecs that are installed, I could export in the Matrox MPEG2 I-Frame 422 format which does a real nice job for intermediate video. That ONE change would make a BIG difference!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,005 Ambassador

    For intermediates I actually find PNG or Open EXR works well. First, it actually renders faster than a video format--I think because disk access can close after each frame instead of keeping a file open--second, in case of a render error, crash, power outage, picking up the render can start at the last good frame. Third, Hollywood FX houses render image sequences. Because of "second." Fourth, an image sequence is a lossless master. Finally one can use other software to transcode the sequence to an intermediate, which goes very fast. I use Vegas, but MPEG STREAMCLIP or VirtualDub are flexible and free. 

    Scopes... Well, NewBlue has a Scopes plug-in in their "Essentials" package that runs in Hitfilm, so there are third-party options to add into Hitfilm. I think @SimonKJones said scopes are in the development pipe. I just don't know where they are prioritized. I agree scopes are in my top five things Hitfilm 3 lacks, along with more output formats, audio effects, support for higher-than-4k media (more stills than video) and bezier keyframes. 

  • jlummel
    jlummel Website User Posts: 9
    edited October 2015

    Both image sequence and OpenEXR don't have an audio track and Hitfilm doesn't seem to have a way of exporting to a wav or aiff separately.

    While I could see doing almost the entire video process in Hitfilm as the integration of editing capabilities and compositing capabilities within this  single  program makes it a go-to tool in anyone's toolbox! But it's inability to produce an intermediate product with both video and audio stunts it's usefulness. Yeah, you can produce an incredible YouTube video, but can you produce something that you can pass off to someone who uses Premiere Pro or Avid?

    The ability to check color accuracy, preview to an external monitor and export both video and audio to a high quality intermediate format limit how useful Hitfilm can be to people who don't have YouTube as the intended destination.

    There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of apps that allow you to put together YouTube videos with effects. I got the impression that Hitfilm was trying to break out of that. The three things I name at the beginning of the last paragraph would go a LONG way towards that!

    And simply by opening up the AVI export to any codec that's loaded on the system will allow ANYONE to install the GoPro Studio software (for free from GoPro) and export to a Cineform AVI file, which can be used by any other NLE on the market (and is now native in Adobe CC).

    It's not PERFECT, but it gets the job done!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,005 Ambassador

    Yeah, Hitfilm's lack of audio-only export is also an issue.

    Workaround for that is to render an mp4 (if you can deal with mp3 audio) or AVI (wav audio) but turn off all video layers so it just renders audio on black. This will render very quickly, then your other editor can extract the audio. Yes, it's another step, but an audio-only render does go quickly (on my 2011-era machine Vegas can extract audio from an hour long video as an audio file in about a minute. And that's rendering to a hard drive, not SSD.)

    Hitfilm certainly started as a product aimed at people using Internet distribution as final output. FxHome is trying to branch beyond that, but HF3 is still a transitional product. It will get there. In the meantime we're comparing a less-than-four year old product line from a company with about 20 employees to 20-year-old products from companies with hundreds or thousands of employees. Hitfilm certainly ain't perfect, but it's damned impressive, and I have faith FxHome will continue to improve it until we have a product not only suitable for individuals, but for integration into larger environments. 

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,013 Ambassador

    @Triem23 Agreed.  I for one am guilty of wanting to have all the features in HF I am used to from other more expensive packages.   But as you have pointed out, there are work arounds to be had (good tip about getting audio only out of HF).

    @jlummel On the other hand, AVI export to codecs already loaded on your system would be a big help.   But for segments without audio, I've come around to doing png sequences.  They load up in my other editor as a single file and I can work with that.  Just a slight change in work flow.

    And as Triem has pointed out many times, you can restart your render at any frame instead of re-rendering the entire file again.

    For the money, HF is pretty awesome.  I believe FXHome is listening.  But their business model doesn't seem to be "lets be the best editor in the world", it seems to be more for quick compositing effects for the enthusiast wanting to post to the web.   Which is just fine.  I bought it for compositing.  The editor portion will come along eventually.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,005 Ambassador

    @Stargazer54 T'was Ady who first tossed out the "render audio to a 'blank' video file" workaround. It's the kind of simple-stupid idea one facepalms oneself for not seeing immediately. 

    IMHO Hitfilm's biggest major weaknesses at the moment are lack of audio effects (hurts the Editor side), lack of bezier keyframes, limited output formats, lack of EDL/XML export and scopes. These five additions (audio being least important on this list) would be the changes that would enable correctly exposed output (for those of us who need to conform to broadcast standards) and easy integration with other software. In short, the features that would truly integrate Hitfilm into a potential studio environment. Everything else would just be sweet-sweet icing on the cake. 

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    Just to add a couple of things to rendering to a PNG sequence and getting an audio track - You don't have to turn off the video layers all you have to do is uncheck the "Export Video" box under the export settings and QuickTime supports PNG based MOV's so you could use ffmpeg to mux the audio and image sequence together without transcoding if you needed to. 

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,005 Ambassador

    Nice note, @Aladdin4D . When I typed my above comment I wasn't actually on my PC to double-check the "Export Video" checkbox existed. But, yeah, that's certainly a lot easier than turning off video layers.

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 For me turning off the video layers wasn't the hard part. The hard part was remembering to make sure ALL the video layers got turned back on afterward. Somehow I always seemed to miss one or two.......

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