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Learn Hollywood FX (HFX)

Learn Hollywood FX (HFX) By Le Papy - Last updated on Monday, March 30, 2015
39825 Views :: 7 Comments
Category: Hollywood FX Tutorials / Basis  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Saturday, January 29, 2011
Created on Saturday, October 30, 2010 1:47 AM

When I extolled the virtues of the "Swiss Army knife of video editing," some readers were very curious. They were interested in learning HFX and began to ask questions. Recently, one of our readers who wanted to learn about HFX, made a very interesting suggestion, which I quickly answered. In this tutorial, you will find a brief summary of all the basic questions that may arise as you start: What is it? What is its purpose? Where to begin? Why? ...

Step 1 : What is HFX and how can I get it?

HFX is software built in to Studio primarily for creating transitions, but it can also be used outside of Studio (Standalone). This software allows you to:

  • modify existing transitions or existing plugins;
  • create a transition or plugin from scratch.

(See FAQ number 8 for the differences between a transition and a plugin.)

The executable program that launches HFX is called Easy_FX.exe. Double clicking the executable file (or right click and "Run as Administrator") will allow you to open HFX.

Location by default:

  • For Windows XP : "C:\Program Files\Pinnacle\Hollywood FX for Studio\6.0\";
  • For Windows Vista with Studio 11 : "C:\Programmes\Pinnacle\Hollywood FX for Studio\6.0\";
  • For Windows Vista and Seven from Studio 12 : "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\HollywoodFX":
  • For Windows 7 with Studio 18 64 bits : "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pinnacle\Studio18\Content\HollywoodFX".

HFX has 3 levels (Basic, Plus, PRO). Only the basic version is automatically installed in Studio. Depending on your HFX level, you have more or fewer transitions unlocked and more or less commands available to modify the transitions. The PRO version is the one that offers the greatest possibilities. You can refer to our FAQ 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 et 16 for additional details.. (PRO is also called Mega)

Over time, the software has been marketed differently :

  • It was once possible to buy the HFX Plus or Pro software and install it after installing Studio.
  • Currently, HFX is no longer being marketed. It is replaced by a key giving access to the HFX Creator tool that can be obtained over the internet at Unlock AVID (Avid Premium Content).
  • It is included in Avid Studio and new Studio version: In case of difficulty, see our News "Is HFX Creator tool included in Avid Studio?"

Depending on your skill level, you could acquire only the key HFX Creator or Hollywood FX Volume 1, 2 or 3, each volume consisting of additional transitions and the HFX Creator tool. But since commercialization of new versions of Studio which include the 3 volumes Hollywood FX and HFX Creator, Hollywood FX Volume 1, 2 and 3 are no longer marketed.

The web page for ordering HFX Creator

Note: If you go through Studio (Menu Help / Buy Activation Keys) you will not have access to HFX Creator alone.

Tip No. 1: If you want to place an order, locate your serial number and your passport number in Studio (Help Menu / My passport) and copy this information to a text file created with Notepad (Don't forget to enter the dashes). You may be asked several times to provide this information to buy the key and a simple copy/paste of the serial number with dashes or passport number with dashes can be done. From Studio 14, a "Copy" button in the passport window makes it easy ...Regarding your email address, provide the same address you provided to Pinnacle when you registered your Studio software. If it has changed, go to your Pinnacle account and make the necessary changes before your purchase.

Tip No.2 : To access your Pinnacle account, please enter your email address and password.

  1. Even if you do not make a mistake, you'll probably get: "Incorrect username or password".
  2. Don't give up, click on the "If you have forgotten your username / password, click here" link.
  3. You will then be asked for your email address and click on "Request Password".
  4. In a short time, you will receive an email containing the login information you requested to update your profile.
  5. In the email you received, click on the "To update your profile, click here" link. Click "Next" and ... go to your profile and you can change your information.

Tip No.3 : If you have a HFX Creator key but you can't run the program, you must regenerate your keys. During regeneration of the HFX Creator key you will get a warning like "function not available", see our FAQ number 20 which talks about HFX Volume 1 and 3 but which generally manages the HFX Creator problem.

Step 2 : Installation, Activation and Startup

It isn't, strictly speaking, necessary to install HFX as it is only activated with an existing product. However, to make your life easier, there is a manual install available that you will see later.

To activate your HFX Creator as a standalone, you will receive an email with the activation number for your product. Unlike other activation keys, you will not use the Studio menu (Help / Activate activation keys). Search your computer for a file named "HfxSerial.exe". By default it's located:

  • With XP : "C:\Program Files\Pinnacle\Hollywood FX for Studio\6.0\";
  • With Vista and Studio 11 : "C:\Programs\Pinnacle\Hollywood FX for Studio\6.0\";
  • With Vista and Seven from Studio 12 : C:\Users\Public\Documents\Pinnacle\Content\HollywoodFX".

Double-clicking this executable file (or right click and "Run as Administrator") will allow you to enter your activation key number and you'll get an HFX confirmation message.

As there was no installation, strictly speaking, the "Easy_FX.exe" executable program is not connected to a shortcut and does not appear in the start menu. To simplify the startup of HFX, you can :

  • create a shortcut on the desktop;
  • add Easy_FX.exe in Quick Launch toolbar;
  • add Easy_FX.exe in the start menu.
Step 3 : Foundations

We must begin at the beginning ...

  1. HFX creates HFZ files. You know about these files by reading our tutorial"Tuto-1 Files with .HFZ extension".
  2. Transitions created, modified or decompressed in HFX are not automatically updated in the Studio album. By default, Studio displays the transitions in the album from the last time it was opened. It has no way of knowing that the album has been changed by HFX. Therefore it must be forced to rebuild the album to reflect recent changes to the HFX album. One way to do that is to delete the album information. This is explained in detail in our tutorial "Install our free HFX transitions in Pinnacle Studio 9-15". The next time Studio is opened it won't find any album information, and will be forced to rebuild the files. Because of this it will take a little longer to start.
Step 4 : The Progression of Learning

In practice, our tutorials follow a logical progression and it is not uncommon for tutorial number (X) to refer to a tutorial numbered (X-1) or even lower.

However, in order to follow a logical progression, I need to classify the tutorials as well:

  1. Getting Started with HFX :
Setup and interface : "Tuto-2 General tutorial / Easy FX Editor"
Saving a modified or created transition : "Tuto-3 Prepare the saving of HFX effects"
"Build your first transition with HFX"
Organization's personal album : "Tuto-4 Organise your HFX effects"
  1. Theoretical learning of HFX :
Basic Functions : "Tuto-5 Creating effects"
Advanced Functions : "Tuto-6 Advanced possibilities with HFX"
Very Advanced Functions : "Tuto-7 Warps, Filters and 3D Text"
"The keyframes types in HFX"
"Rotation and Pivot Points in HFX"
  1. Learning by example :

Our other tutorials, highlight a feature of the software applied to a specific example to make sure you understand a particular concept in as fun a way as possible.

Editing 3D text : "Tip-3 Modify "Texthere" for HFX 169"
"Customizing the 064-news Transition"
"Make a 3D Title Play Hide and Seek"
"HFX object convert to text"
"Using the HFX effect 306-economy"
"Talk Bubbles in Videos"
Alternative Media : "Tip 10 - Changing the map for effect HFX 191"
"Reproduce the intro from "The Persuaders" ® Series"
"A customized transition for a move"
"Using the HFX effect 306-economy"
"Talk Bubbles in Videos"
"A Videowall for Beginners"
"Thoughts in Your Videos"
"Substituting Media in HFX"
Changing the position of an object : "Tuto-9 Change the position of an object in a HFX"
"Talk Bubbles in Videos"
Changing the size of an object : "Tutorial-14 Change the Size of an Object"
"Talk Bubbles in Videos"
Move, resize, envelopes and keyframes: "Tip-8 use and modify the effect #217-compteur"
"Tip-9 Use and Modify the "222-compteur2" Effect"
"Make a 3D Title Play Hide and Seek"
"Creating a PIP (Picture In Picture) with fade in/out"
"Create PIP (Picture in Picture) with Movement"
"How to change the composition of a landscape"
"Change the Date Range of the HFX Time Machine Transition"
"The Reverse Transitions in HFX"
Using null object (or master) : "Make a 3D Title Play Hide and Seek"
"Cloning in Hollywood FX"
"Improve the effect HFX 250_Eigen_Clapper"
"How to change the composition of a landscape"
Using fade in/out : "Creating a PIP (Picture In Picture) with fade in/out"
"Using the HFX effect 306-economy"
"Create your own entry or exit road signs for your city"
Using HFX Filter "Tip-8 use and modify the effect #217-compteur" (Old Studio Versions)
"Create your own entry or exit road signs for your city" (New Studio Versions)
Using blur : "Blurring the face of a moving person"
Creating clones : "Cloning in Hollywood FX"
"Improve the effect HFX 250_Eigen_Clapper"
Using texture : "A Wood Title"
"Talk Bubbles in Videos"
Modification and customization of certain transitions: "Tuto-12 How to use a multi screen transition ?"
"Tip-4 Closing Credits (#182)"
"Tip-5 Using transition #201"
"Creating a PIP (Picture In Picture) with fade in/out"
"Tuto-8 Making PIP (Picture In Picture)"
"Tip-6 Alter the text and position of text in the transition 191-france"
"Tip-8 use and modify the effect #217-compteur"
"Tip-9 Use and Modify the "222-compteur2" Effect"
"Tutorial HFX Cinema"
"Using the HFX effect 312-finale."
"Improve the effect HFX 250_Eigen_Clapper"
"Using the HFX Effects 334-frames"
"CSI: Miami ®"
"Create your own entry or exit road signs for your city"
"Use the universal calendar"
"Talk Bubbles in Videos"
"A Videowall for Beginners"
"Thoughts in Your Videos"
  1. Incidents :
Summary of known incidents : "My HFX transitions create problems for me..."
Various other incidents : FAQ Hollywood FX

With this little summary, you will have one less excuse not to start ...

{Thanks to Loosecannon for the fine tuning}

Share/Save this article

Gert Oskar Reitner By # Gert Oskar Reitner @ Sunday, January 30, 2011 11:14 AM
Well done ! Excellent documentation on " where to find " information on various HFX subjects written and presented by you over several years . This serves as a valuable index !!

prasant By # prasant @ Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:24 AM
i want to read how to make hollywood fx transitions.

Le Papy By # Le Papy @ Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:41 AM
Hello prasant,
So if you want to know how to make Hollywood fx transitions, you can read our forty two tutorials. They have just been made for this ...

Jim By # Jim @ Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:24 PM
I followed your instructions to repair the thumbnails of the DecLic transitions, but when I click on "Edit" Easy FX Creator does not open. It instead wants me to activate Pro/Mega.

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 4:47 AM
Please join Pinnacle Studio official forum where Saby or me will take care of your problem by requesting an activation key to Pinnacle. That will unlock Easy FX Creator and solve your problem. Once done and working, do not hesitate to come back here to inform us that it works, it's always nice to hear...


Jim By # Jim @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:04 PM
Thanks DV FX. I joined the forum. Do you need me to do anything else?

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Monday, January 20, 2014 12:48 PM

You need to open a thread. Nonetheless, I will get in touch with you by email.

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