Goal of this lesson: advanced functions of Hollywood FX like warps, filters and 3D-text.
Before we look at these parts of HFX, we would like you to know the difference between warps and filters.
To begin with, it is quite simple: Warp is always coupled to an object (ie. Flat 1) while a filter is always added to a media-file, which is coupled to such an effect (ie. Host Video 1). Hollywood FX won't allow to make this error in this respect, because it's not allowed to add a warp or filter to an unsuitable part. Warps are linked to objects themselves, meaning that warps influence the appearance of the object. Filters however do determine the form of the clip or picture, which is added to the object. It will become clearer during this tutorial.
Warps come in several types and measurements. In HFX PRO / MEGA there are as many as forty included, divided into a number of groups. To explain all the effects here would take too long, especially because they all have their own set of parameters. That is why we willlimit ourselves to one of the ‘’PEELS’’ for this tutorial.
When the Easy FX Editor has been opened, you will start with a new effect (go to menu File / New, or use the shortcut Ctrl+N). First thing to do is to add an object. And right here, there is a small problem. When you apply a Warp-effect onto a Flat-object, the results will be disappointing. The reason for this is that this object has a simple structure. For normal effects this will do, but not for a PEEL. The FLAT-object has been created with a limited number of elements (so-called polygon’s). The HIGH MESH object has more elements and consequently gives a better result. You can compare the polygons with an invisible lattice pattern. The finer the lattice, the more fluidly the morphing. In Pict 1 you can see the difference between a PEEL on a FLAT-object and a PEEL on a HIGH MESH-object.
Pict 1: A PEEL on a FLAT-object (left) does not give a good result. Use the HIGH MESS-object for WARPS (right).
Now that we know this, we can get on with the job. Add the HIGH MESH-object to a new (empty) effect. From the Album drag the PEEL UP warp-effect to this object. Hollywood FX highlights the place with where it is ok to be placed with a blue line. And at the same time you can see in the property screen the different options for this WARP. As a matter of fact these properties are specific to this PEEL-effect. If you were to have chosen another WARP-effect (ie. one of the explosions) you would see different properties.
Pict 2: The property-panel of the PEEL-UP WARP-effect
Some properties are only shown after a specific parameter is selected (or not selected). The PEEL has a default parameter where the total peel effect will happen over the length of the clip but that is not always wanted. Imagine you have a clip of 10 seconds, on which you want to have the PEEL-effect. When you want to stop the PEEL halfway, remove the check mark from ‘’Peel % from transition’’. That will result in a new slider named: ‘’Peel %’’ (see Pict 2). If you look ai ti closely, you can see that you can create Key Frames for this property. And as you know by now, you can change the behaviour of the effect over time. Place the time line pointer halfway the length of the clip and click on the button to create a Key Frame. Place the slider for Peel % on 40; it will result in the fact that on that point only 40% of the effect has been passed. This Key Frame you can copy to the end of the clip. What you have now, is that in the first half of the clip the object will peel partly and it then remains unchanged in the latter part of the clip. By changing the radius you can decide whether you take a thick or a thin roll. And by choosing ‘’Reverse peel radius’’ you can have the PEEL go backward instead of forward. To my mind the direction of the PEEL is a very interesting property. Place the angle on 45 degrees and look what happens. And it will get very interesting when you change this angle over time by means of Key Frames. Try it....
Is this the end of the possibilities? No… because on the same HIGH MESH-object you can use a second PEEL-effect, with which you can start the PEEL-effect from a different corner. (See pict 3).
Pict 3: peel from different corner
Besides a series of PEELS, Hollywood FX has other warp-categories; as there are Alpha-particles, Explosions and Ripples, each group with multiple effects. Because all these effects have more adjustable parameters (just like the PEEL-effect), the ability to create effects and to combine them are almost endless. It is a case of trying and experimenting to get whatever effect you want. (See Pict 4)
Pict 4: various peel effects
Pict 5: The difference between a WARP-plug-in and a filter.
In the beginning of this tutorial it was stated that a WARP-plug-in is used on an object and a filter is used on a media-file. You can see that in the picture above. For Liquid Edition users this is less important, because these effects are included in the Liquid Edition itself. The same (in fewer numbers) is true for Pinnacle Studio Plus (but with less flexibility). But if you are still using an earlier version of Studio, you have to use the filters in Hollywood FX. The best known filter is without a doubt the Chroma Keyer, with which you can get the well known ‘’weatherman’’ effect. You tape a person in front of a blue or green background. In Hollywood FX you change that to a still picture or moving image of a landscape, studio, or something else.
HFX also has a Luma Keyer. Instead of filtering out a green or blue color (like with a Chroma Keyer) it is now filtered on luminosity-values. Although this filter can be used on color images, it is easier to illustrate it by means of an image with only grey-halftones. – see pict 6
Pict 6: Different filter effect on an object
The below mentioned pict shows what the effect of a different filter is, when you add that on the object EARTH from the group RealWorld.
Pict 7: filter in realworld object
Pinnacle Studio as well as Liquid Edition have their own title-generator, with which you can create all kinds of texts in all kinds of shapes and colors. But in both programs there is one limitation: you can only create flat, two-dimensional text. Hollywood FX however offers you the ability to give your titles a really ‘’spacey’’ image. You will be able to find that ability under the heading: <3D Text>. Open a new, empty effect in the Easy FX Editor. Select in the Album the part <3D Text > plug-ins and drag the plug-in Text3D to the FX-tree at the left side of the screen. You will immediately see a new object, named ‘’Text’’. You can see that it is an object, that it has the same attributes as other objects. You can adjust positions, measurements, you can turn it or make shadows, etcetera. These object-properties are described in "Tuto-5 Creating effects". They are also valid for text-objects.
Obviously the text-object has a number of specific properties. Each character consists of a number of surfaces, which are resp. called FACE, BACK, SIDE and BEVEL. In pict 8 this will be explained.
Pict 8: Each character consists of four surfaces: FACE, BACK, SIDE and BEVEL
FACE is the front side: the side where you look at. Then it makes sense, that the BACK is the backside; this is not visible unless you rotate the letter. SIDE are the sides, or all surfaces in the Z-direction. A somewhat special indicator is BEVEL, meaning the bevelled edges (in the pict they are orange). For each of the surfaces you can adjust the different attributes. The most important property of course is the color, but besides that you can experiment with transparency, direction of the light etc. Strangely enough, there is a choice for: ‘’Select medium’’. Herewith it is suggested, that you can apply another medium than a normal color on one or more surfaces. But that is not so. Maybe in a future version of Hollywood FX?
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHAT OUR TEXT SHOULD LOOK LIKE ?
Therefore you have to click in the FX-tree in the fifth property group, mentioned as Text3D (see the highlight in pict 8). In the property panel you will see three sub-groups. The first two (‘’3D Text’’ and ‘’Alignment’’) are clear. The third group (‘’Extrusion’’) requires an explanation. The "Extrusion" slider determines the depth of the character, to be precise, the size of the side panes. The "Bevel" determines the angle of the bevel. Because the total thickness of the character stays unchanged, this angle determines also the height and the width of the character. And then there is the value: "Shift". With this you change the proportion of the thickness of the sides against the thickness of the bevel. The total thickness of the character stays the same, so changing the ‘’Shift’’ value also changes the angle of the bevel. Finally some tips when you start working with 3D- text:
- When you want a character without a bevel, place the value for "Extrusion" or "Shift" at zero (0).
- In principle you can create text with any font, which has been installed on your PC. But not every character is suitable. Especially when you work with a bevelled character it is not wise to use a fancy character like Casmira or Creepygirl. In their place choose a simple, full character.
- You can add as many text-objects as you like. In other words: instead of one object "HFX" you can create three text-objects ‘’H’’, ‘’F’’ and ‘’X’’. The advantage is that you can move these characters separately. When they have to make a simultaneous movement, you can join these text-objects using a nul-object. (see object-hierarchy in "Tuto-6 Advanced possibilities with HFX")
AND LASTLY. . .
This is the last part of the tutorial series regarding Hollywood FX for Pinnacle Studio (and Liquid Edition). Have all functions and abilities been explained ? No, definitely not. And the functions, which are explained, are not fully explained to the bare bottom. The four parts only describe the basic handlings. The rest is up to you. By trying, experimenting and especially with creative techniques you can make nice, professional results with HFX. But remember you cannot make your video a chain of various kinds of effects. When you keep that in mind, you and your viewing audience will enjoy it even more.
(This tutorial has been donated by Mr. Jos Roijakkers JR-VIDEO)
Translation and adaptation dutch to english by grendet, fine tuning by Loosecannon.