HitFilm 4 Express for Absolute Beginners

Hey guys so you want to get into video editing and visual effects but you don’t actually have any money to spend never threat there’s a great piece of software available that can plug that hole in your heart for free and it’s called hitfilm for express in this video I want to show you how to get your own copy of hit pinfall Express and take you through some of the cool stuff that you can do with it hippin 4 Express is developed by FX home and as you may have guessed by the number 4 on the title it has been around for quite a number of years the concept behind hit film is to provide a single software package that covers your entire post-production workflow from editing and visual effects through color grading and audio all the way to your final export the Express edition of it field lets you edit your film projects and at the funky visual effects and audio it comes with over 140 inbuild effects transitions and presets and support a large variety of different video formats when did I mention it was free there’s also a pro version of hitman for available and you can check out my full review for the software by clicking on the link up here in the top right hand corner the pro version of course comes with many additional effects and advanced features such as the awesome planar tracker mocha boris FX professional chroma keying tools support for 4k video and 3d objects as well as the hit field ignite plugins pack if you don’t want to spend any money however you can simply use – 4 Express you can always decide to upgrade to the full enchilada later or purchase individual effects packs to extend the free Express Edition with only the features that you actually want to use this is going to be a beginner to trial so there’s no need even to bring up the difficulty meter even if you’re just starting out you should have no problem at all following along with this tutorial but Tobias you’re going to say shut up and show us how to get – 4 Express already all right all right enough talk let’s internet if you want to get your copy of hit film for Express and since it’s free there is really no reason why you wouldn’t want that simply pop open your favorite browser and then go to hit film comm forward slash Express you are going to end up on the very pretty hitfilm express website and here you can click through to a few of the really cool tutorials and short films but if you simply want to get your own copy of the software simply click on start making movies this will take you to another page where you can find some great information on filmmaking and how to get started with everything and at the bottom of page you will find a link to get hit film for express for free simply click on the link you are going to get asked to create a new account obviously this is all for free or sign in with an existing account once you logged in you can download the software either for Windows or Mac and then install it on your own system now that we are all set up let’s launch hit film for express and check out what we can do with it to activate your free copy simply log in with the account that you created to download the Installer yes let’s restart hit film for Express and here we are on the home screen for hit film for express over on the left hand side as already mentioned you have the add-on packs that you can purchase individually you can check these ones out on the website to see what is included and over on the right hand side and this is actually something that I really like about hit film 4 you can find tutorials directly integrated into this software you can find the latest news you can check out the awesome portal combat short film that film riot created and you can check out some more tutorials on Star Wars effects or on the Ironman HUD I highly encourage you to explore all of this great content in your own time for now let’s go up to the top left hand side and click on the new button to create a new project the very first thing you have to do is you have to configure your project settings this includes things like the width and the height of your final video the framerate and pixel aspect ratio as well as the audio sample rate don’t worry too much about these settings hitfilm 4 is smart enough to recognize when you import a video file that does not match these settings to switch your project over to adapt to your video file once you’re done configuring your project you have two options you can either start compositing which is going to create a composite shot where you can then build up a visual effect or you can start editing which will bring up the timeline editor where you can then drag an import and arrange different video clips sequentially for now because it’s an easier entry point let’s simply start editing let me give you a super quick rundown of the interface for hip film for express on your bottom left side you will find the media panel this is where you import and manage all of your media you can organize them into folders and create new composite shots and new layers and new items to use in your project behind the media tab you will also find panels for managing effects effect controls and your edit history on the bottom right you have the timeline window this is where you will do the bulk of your editing or the bulk of working with different layers to build up your visual effects and on the left hand of the timeline window you’ll find all of your editing controls over on the right hand side you will find the meters which will simply display the volume of whatever audio you currently playing back on the top left you will find the trimmer the trimmer is used as the name suggests to trim your larger video files that you have imported and select only small pieces that you actually want to use in your project over on the right-hand side I hope I don’t have to say too much about this is your preview window which will simply display the current frame at your current cursor location that was probably boring enough let’s start importing some footage you have different options of importing media into hit film for express you can either click on the import button and then simply navigate to the folder location where you have your media files located and then double-click them to import them into your project here is a short video from our shoot out sketch that I used for my tutorial on how to work with space you can scrub through the contents of this clip using the timeline bar at the bottom of the trimmer panel a much simpler way in my opinion to get media into it from 4 Express is simply to open up the folder where you have all of your media and then simply drag and drop the items that you want to use from the folder directly into the media panel with in hitfilm there’s all of the media imported and it contains music files some video clips some muzzle flashes and some sound effects let’s switch the media panel over to ListView just so it’s a bit easier to see all the stuff that we have in here and let me organize this into folders because I’m just a little bit of a neat freak much better I feel satisfied already I have two clips here from our shoot on video and if I drag these into my timeline as I mentioned because we have not set up the project to match the video file format hit film for express is now telling me that my current settings do not match the settings of the video clip and whether I want to adjust my project and yes I do BAM I now have my clip in my project and I can simply scrap through it to check out what it looks like you can zoom down into the timeline by holding down ctrl and using your mouse wheel or you can use this little zoom control slider in order to scroll around your timeline simply hold down your middle mouse button and then you can drag the view around now given that you can just drag all of your media from your media panel into the timeline let’s quickly talk about why you would want to use the trimmer the clip I have here is pretty long it’s almost a minute and it does contain a lot of us just talking about what we’re going to film we kind of just winged it on the day all I want is a small section of this clip I could come over to the left side of my timeline window select the slice tool and then click on my clip in the timeline to cut it move forward a little bit and cut it again and then return to this selection tool also I highly highly highly recommend that you learn all of the shortcut keys for any tool really that you want to use at length it’ll make life so much easier so let’s press V to return to the selection tool and let’s delete the beginning and the end of the clip let’s drag the remaining piece to the beginning of the timeline and there you go it’s just a short clip of Jamie shooting and devoting some bullets coming his way however that’s kind of cumbersome and I knew I was going to throw away most of this clip already so let’s delete everything and we select the footage in our media panel you can now see the footage in the trimmer and let’s scroll to the position where the action actually starts right about here I would say now all on the left hand side you have an option to set an in point so let’s set an in point right here then let’s move forward a little bit to the point where we want to stop using this clip and over on the left hand side let’s set an out point in the trimmer we’ve now defined this little section is long a clip to be the one that we actually want to use and now we can actually click and drag the piece from our trimmer into the timeline and notice how this is already a lot shorter so we basically extracted or trimmed this clip out of the longer piece of footage from our media panel of course do this any way you want and it’s pretty normal just to keep editing on the timeline anyways let’s do the same with the second video file which is a very similar clip but with me doing the shooting in the trimmer let’s define the end point and let’s set an out point and let’s drag this clip into our timeline now I’m not going to bore you and take you through a full edit that would take way too long instead all I’m going to do is I’m going to scrub through my Clips use the slice tool to cut out the pieces I want and delete the ones I don’t want and then I’m going to zoom in a little bit on my timeline and use the selection tool simply to arrange and snap all of the clips together to form just a tiny little project let’s go back to the beginning and play this back by pressing space and now that’s all there really is to basic editing it hit from for Express and I’m pretty sure you can take it from here let’s have some fun and add some muzzle flashes I have some muzzle flash stock footage here that comes from the actions essential package from Video Copilot in order to add one of these muzzle flashes into our timeline this one is pretty short so we don’t really need to trim it I am going to drag and drop this clip directly into the timeline view I will place this clip on top of my base footage into a new video layer that hitfilm will automatically create and then I can use the little positioning gizmo to position them right where I want them to be so obviously right at the tip of my gun I’m actually going to zoom in a little bit and trim the start of this muzzle fesh so the flash is only visible for a single frame and because I feel that the muzzle flash right now doesn’t really sit very well in our shot let’s go into the controls panel over on the left-hand side and under clip properties I am going to change the blend mode from normal over to add this is going to make the muzzle flash clip set a little bit nicer in the scene adjust blend in a bit better next let’s add a glow to the muzzle flash and as mentioned hitfilm for express comes with about 140 in build effects that you can use obviously all for free and you can find them in the effects panel there’s different effects for audio for distortion for transitions and other things so let’s search for the glow effect here it is in the lights and flares folder and in order to apply an effect to any of your clips simply drag the effect onto the clip that you want to apply it to it’s pretty weak but we can tweak that in the controls panel make sure that you have the muzzle flash clip selected because the controls panel will always show you the properties for the clip that you have currently selected on your timeline so make sure you select the clip that you applied the glow effect to then come back to the controls panel and under effects you will now find a glow effect and if you expand this you can tweak things like the intensity the threshold maybe let’s blow the radius up I want a really nice and big and Jack up the intensity obviously I’m going a little bit overboard but I want to make sure that this is visible in this recording let’s zoom out a little bit rewind and play this back cool we have a very simple muzzle flash added to our video obviously because this scene is all about two people shooting each other like maniacs who never really seem to run out of bullets we now have to repeat this process to add many many more muzzle flashes into our timeline but I will leave that for you to do in your own time instead let’s add some audio into our project back in our project panel I have also imported some audio files for example I have a music track here called Z remix which comes from the Pro scores pack from Video Copilot as you can tell I really like a lot of this stuff they do before I start adding my own audio into the timeline I’m going to disable audio track one this track contains the original audio from all of the footage that we filmed and it contains a lot of just random noises and talking and instructions and I don’t really want to have any of that in my final project then in order to add the music into the project simply drag the file into your timeline and at the very bottom into a new audio track let go and there’s your audio file you can even see the waveform and let’s trim this down a little bit just so that we start with some actual music and drag this forward a little bit and that’s also cut off the end and delete that piece and let’s rewind and play this back cool nice and dramatic and in order to add sound effects or other music tracks or other ambient noises or anything else you go about it exactly the same way I have a bunch of gun sound effects here which come from the Lords of war bundle from film riot and by the way if you want to know where I get all my sound effects of my music from I have a separate video for that that you can go and check out now let’s drag the sound effect into the timeline into a new audio track let go and you can see by the spikes in the waveform that this clip actually contains multiple gunshot sounds for this tutorial I really only want a single gunshot sound so let’s cut out a single shot from this wav file and delete the rest then zoom in a little bit and align this single gunshot sound with the muzzle flash we added earlier let’s zoom back out we want a little bit and play this back cool I think that works pretty well and again I’m not going to take this all the much further just because we can spend a lot a lot of time editing together our film projects and editing music but I think you understand how this works the last thing I want to show you is how to create and work with composite shots now hit film for express does allow you to add multiple layers of visual elements on top of each other directly in the editor timeline if you want to create something more complicated don’t you need motion tracking or advanced effects green screening and whatnot you should really create a composite shot and again like with anything else there are multiple ways to do this you could either come over to your project panel select new and then select composite shot or if you do want to add visual effects to a clip that you have already placed in your timeline select the clip in your timeline right click and then select make composite shot let’s call this muzzle flash comp and this is going to create a new composite shot which will contain the clip that we have currently selected on our timeline let’s hit OK and you will notice that in our timeline window a new panel has popped up called muzzle flash comp this is where we can add multiple layers to tracking and add advanced visual effects and if you return to the editor timeline you can see that this clip let me zoom in a little bit has been replaced with our new muzzle flash comp in you a panel you will now also find a muzzle flash comm item that was just created and you can jump into this composition either by double-clicking it in the media panel on your timeline or by returning to the tap in your timeline window let’s double click the muzzle flash comp and here we are again within our composite shot the reason to create composite shots and then use them on your editor timeline is that the editor timeline itself is meant to edit your entire film project from start to finish sequentially for any shots that you want to add actual visual effects to you then wrap them in a composite shot let’s once again return to our muzzle flash comp and in this composite shot you can now right click into your layer window and create a new layer and you can create different types of visual elements you can create planes text you can create grading layer you create cameras Lighting’s and points points are like null objects and after effects they’re really just position markers and you can use them for motion tracking and other cool stuff let’s create a new text layer let’s leave the size at 400 by 400 hit OK there it is simply double click onto the text layer and then type some text let’s move this text to the top left hand corner and let’s create another layer and this time let’s create a plane I’m just gonna leave the name on default color can stay black let’s hit OK and there’s our plane obviously obscuring everything if you disable the visibility you’ll see the rest of your footage again so let’s rienne able the plane let’s go over into the effects panel and let’s look for an effect to apply maybe particles and simulation let’s just create some Lightning let’s drag the Lightning effect onto the new plane and there’s our lightning pretty fancy if you scrub through the shot you can see that it’s even really nicely animated of course right now the Lightning just sticks on a solid black plane that obscures everything else select the plane return to the controls panel expand the layer properties and let’s change the blend mode from normal over to at cool there’s our lightning if you want to tweak the settings for this effect make sure you re select the effect and you get the endpoints for the Lightning you can all please also expand all of your effects and animate these things there’s a whole bunch of cool stuff you can do with this for now let’s laughs this again and let’s create yet another layer let’s create a grade layer at the very top and return to the effects panel let’s search for the vignette effect and apply a vignette effect to our grading layer cool so got a little bit of a vignette happening let’s apply another fact maybe let’s search for the curves effect and apply it to the new grade layer by default it doesn’t actually do anything so you will have to expand the effect settings and if you can’t find anything in your layer properties simply return to the control panel that is at the bottom let’s expand the curves effect in here and yep there are the color curves of the curves effect let’s just add a little of contrast to it cool that looks quite funky again this isn’t meant to be an in-depth tutorial I just want to show you what you can do and why you would want to use a composite shot if you now return to your editor timeline and let’s zoom in a little bit again you can see that our composite shot here is only a single layer however inside of it it has all the visual effects like the text the amazing lightening and our color Corrections applied to the footage so that’s kind of the power of composite shots and that’s why you would want to use them before we move on to exporting let me quickly show you how to add transitions into your video this is really really easy simply return to the effects panel let’s clear our search scroll down to the bottom and you will find folders for transitions both for audio and for video let’s expand the transitions video folder and in here you will find different physicians for dissolve motion wiping so let’s under dissolve simply select cross dissolve which is you know a classic and in order to apply it simply drag it on to a cut line between two consecutive clips so let’s apply it right here let go and you now have a cross dissolve transition between your Clips obviously you would never use a cross dissolve in an action sequence just because it’s way too slow and way too gentle for what you’re trying to convey but I hope this shows you how easy it is to add transitions into your video projects finally let’s talk about exporting your project once you’ve done editing your film projects and adding all of the composite shots and visual effects and text elements and music and sound effects that you want simply come over into the export panel within hit film for express hitting for Express gives you four options for exporting your video you can either upload it directly to a connected YouTube channel which is actually kind of cool you can export it as an mp4 file and obviously you can configure a whole lot of stuff for the format and the compression you can export it as an image sequence or as an avi keep in mind that most of the time when people export as an AVI files they actually export it uncompressed and so it turns into a humongous video file on the hard drive that the computer can’t even playback so for most of the general video exports I much prefer exporting as an mp4 in the export settings for mp4 you can determine what you want to export you can either export your entire editor timeline which is what I want to do you can export individual composite shots we want to export everything on the export video and audio you can change your output resolution your framerate aspect ratio and your encoding target bitrate and max bitrate are probably the biggest factors in controlling the quality but also the size of your file all the way over on the left you’re going to get a tiny really low quality file all the way over to the right you’re going to get a great quality video file but it’s probably also going to be pretty big so you probably want to set these ones somewhere in the middle once you happy with all of your settings simply hit export select the location and then find them to save your project to and then hit save hit film is now going to export the video file and this is going to go pretty quick just because our entire timeline was like 10 seconds long once all of this is done you can simply click play to playback your final project and that’s all there is to it hopefully this should get you started creating your food projects and making your own visual effects and all without spending a cent I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial and as always if you do have any comments questions or suggestions just leave them down in the section below if you did enjoy this video I would greatly appreciate it if you could give it a thumbs up favourite it and share it with the world and if you do want to see more cool filmmaking and visual effects tutorials don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe thank you very much for watching and until next time I will see you later

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