Animated Face Claim Style in Hitfilm?

Hello hello everyone, how you guys are having a great day/night! If this forum post isn't in the right section then I sincerely apologize since I'm extremely new to both the forums and Hitfilm as a whole.

Anyways, I'm looking to start doing simple Youtube videos soon using a faceclaim style akin to Youtubers such as AwestruckVoxJust a Robot 2 and SaberSpark. I already have all my "sprites" drawn out and ready to use, and as of right now I'm learning the basics of Hitfilm so I can start working on videos soon.

I figure the solution is pretty easy, and I may just be being stupid but what's stumping me is how I can change the sprites facial expression  without having to manually place them in the exact same location by eye. That, and is it even possible to place the sprites in one specific area.

I hope this question makes sense! If it desn't I'll try to clarify as best I can!


  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,319 Ambassador

    [looks up "faceclaim"]...okay.  Interesting...

    Before answering your question, it would help to know a bit more about your "sprites," though I'd prefer to just call them "drawings."  Do you have individual full character drawings for each facial expression, or have you already broken things out into layers: a base layer with the character's head but no face, and then various layers for different facial expression options (partial or full)?

    In short: layering things would be a lot easier.  Easier still would be if those layers all shared a common resolution, with the pieces already drawn into place where they need to go. Then it's just a matter of stacking the pieces you need: your base drawing at the bottom, and everything else on layers above that, all inside a composite shot.  Set keyframes on the visibility of the layers to control what is seen at any given time.

    Now, if you want to have things moving, like animating the character's neck so that the neck and head move, and all the facial stuff goes along for the ride, that's still doable, but requires a bit more work. First, do your main layer setup as described above. With each of the facial layers, set the layer's parent to be the head layer, and then the head layer's parent to be the neck layer.  You'll still keyframe the visibility of the face layers to change between expressions, and have the advantage of knowing that you don't need to specifically move any face layer on its own because they all follow the head, which in turn follows the neck.

    Does this help?

  •  (proably not the right word to use lol)

    This actually helps immensely, thank you!
    A bit of information about what I'm using: The drawings I have are all just static frames with different facial expressions. Basically they're all like the aforementioned video examples I posted. There's no animation frames, just still ones. They all have the same dimensions in terms of size, so that's a plus.

    My biggest question is how I'll be able to move the frames to one side. Like lets say I wanna showcase gameplay of a certain game in uhh, let's say the left side of the screen with my frames on the opposite side. What's a good way to shift the frames to one specific side without, again, manually needing to move the frames to one side and suffer a weird shift between expressions?

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,319 Ambassador

    To more easily control placement between a game and your character, what you'll probably want to do is assemble everything inside a composite shot.  If each frame is a full drawing, then bring all the frames into the composite shot first. Add a point layer, and name it something like "Character Mover".  Set the parent of all of your frames to be the Character Mover point.  Now you can move, rotate, and/or scale that point, and all of your frames go along for the ride, even if they're temporarily hidden.

    Now drop your game footage into that same composite shot, and whatever audio you're using for your character. If you want the game footage to be behind your character, drop its layer below your lowest character frame layer. Tweak the footage position and scale as desired.

    Once that's set, keyframe the visibility of your character frame layers as desired to switch between frames.