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24/04/2016 16:31:01

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
Sorry for all the posts today... maybe I should stick to one cup of coffee until after I check my email and forums... ;-)

I see a need for compositing software to add effects, and I'm curious to hear what others are using.

Adobe After Effects looks great, but I don't like the new model of paying a monthly fee to use software. HitFilm looks awesome, but it comes with a healthy dose of sticker shock.

Anybody using the free version of HitFilm lite in conjunction with add-on effects packs?

also, I notice that Reallusion has recently introduced a product that could be used for compositing effects. PopVideo3 in conjunction with VFX200 is much less expensive than HitFilm, and it appears to have import-export formats that would let it work with other software... but Hit Film has a much richer set of features

Maybe you're using something else, or the effects that come built-in with your video editor... whatever it is that you're doing, I'd like to hear about it.

(Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!)
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24/04/2016 17:53:27

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
I'm using HitFilm (full version). This coupled with layers within Muvizu has revolutionised my workflow. Everything goes through HitFIlm now....
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24/04/2016 18:35:06

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
ukBerty wrote:
I'm using HitFilm (full version). This coupled with layers within Muvizu has revolutionised my workflow. Everything goes through HitFIlm now....


Cool! This is exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for! Thanks a million for taking time to reply... I'd guess that especially after we all watch "BEWARE THE EYE..." that everyone will be rushing to learn and imitate the techniques you used to achieve such a masterpiece!

Sales of Muvizu AND HitFilm may skyrocket after you release your video!
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24/04/2016 21:14:59

ziggy72Muvizu mogulExperimental user
ziggy72
Posts: 1988
I use Sony Vegas 11, and while it's not anywhere near as sophisticated as Hitfilm, it does the job if you don't need all the bells and whistles.
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25/04/2016 03:28:01

Rocque
Rocque
Posts: 359
This is another good topic for me to read. I have been using the combination of Muvizu, Windows Movie Maker and Camtasia. I tried the YouTube editor, too. It is just one limitation after the next.

First of all Muvizu did not like the length of my animations and after several attempts and 2 hour waits to get something to produce I cut the recording way down. Then it was only 45 minutes for an AVI recording that neither WMM nor Camtasia loaded correctly. I tried the MP4 and WMM said no to that, and Camtasia did not like it either. I found a converter online and changed the MP4 to a .wmm or whatever theirs is called and Camtasia liked it.

I spent about 3 hours making more cuts and splices and thought I would produce it. Somehow some parts of the short videos were converted to audio, even though they were not audio files. So now I am starting over and trying again once more.

I am starting to wonder how anyone makes videos here.

I think I need a better computer and some better editing software, too. I can not understand why I am having so many problems and what I am attempting is pretty simple.

Do I need to spend the money for something better than Camtasia? They charge for each upgrade so I am using an older version that is about 2 years old now. If it won't take an MP4 file that is just crazy. I also had to change a 1 minute and 53 second audio file to a .wav format for Camtasia to keep from cutting 30 seconds off of it.

Hopefully I can learn more in this discussion. It is crazy having to use 3 different editors, and still not having a finished product to show for it.
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25/04/2016 06:46:56

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
If it;s taking 45 minutes to render out of Muvizu then I suspect that your scenes are either quite long or your PC is really, really slow. I suspect the former.

I render each of my shots separately - so no camera cuts in Muvizu. This has the following advantages:-

  • allows tighter editing later without re-rendering anything
  • allow slight changes in character/object position between cuts to improve composition of shot

So each of my shots will average around 4-5 seconds. Anything longer than this would have to be some sort of long establishing shot. This is just my own opinion, but if you have long shots with characters talking then you are probably not going to hold my attention.

So I export all of my individual 4-5 second shots as TGA. These go into HitFilm for any effects or fiddling with layers. I then output from HitFIlm as an AVI which does not seem to blow up after 2GB like the ones out of Muvizu do. This AVI gets imported into Sony Vegas for scene assembly and sound.

Why not just import the TGA inot Vegas if there's no compositing to be done ? Mainly habit and I like to leave Vegas as little to do as possible to keep the speed up when reviewing a scene. If it's jumpy then you can't really get a sense of the pace.

Why not do everything in HitFilm ? Vegas has better sound editing otherwise I probably would.

Sure, HitFilm and Vegas cost money, but you get what you pay for.....

Hope this helps
edited by ukBerty on 25/04/2016
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25/04/2016 11:27:59

foff47
foff47
Posts: 36
HitFilm does have a free version (HitFilm Express) I downloaded it and there are some good tuts on Youtube.
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25/04/2016 13:20:03

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
It does. You can buy add-ons of just the bits you want if you want to expand it which I think is a great idea (a bit like Muvizu's model). If I hadn't already bought the full version when they started doing this model I would have probably gone down this road.
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25/04/2016 13:47:34

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
foff47 wrote:
HitFilm does have a free version (HitFilm Express) I downloaded it and there are some good tuts on Youtube.

This looks like a low-cost high-yield approach, so I downloaded the free version yesterday. The ability to buy add-ons as needed in order to have exactly the features I want is very consistent with my financial style... (I'd rather be nickled and dimed to death rather than buy the right thing in the first place ;-) )

The add-on packs are between $10 and $25, which I consider to be reasonable.

I looked for a comparison chart so I could see if the basic engine was the same (between express and pro).. if it's only a difference in the number of effects you get, then buying as needed is perfect. But I suspect its more than that, and I never did find a comparison chart.

Many of the effects from PRO come as plug-ins, which will also work in most video editors... and that is a huge advantage for anyone who is more comfortable working in that environment.
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25/04/2016 14:02:21

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
PatMarrNC wrote:
foff47 wrote:
I looked for a comparison chart so I could see if the basic engine was the same (between express and pro).. if it's only a difference in the number of effects you get, then buying as needed is perfect. But I suspect its more than that, and I never did find a comparison chart.


Chart at the bottom of this page.... http://hitfilm.com/store/hitfilm-3-express

I think it's as you say - it's the same but with reduced functionality which you can top-up.
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25/04/2016 15:22:17

Rocque
Rocque
Posts: 359
ukBerty wrote:


I render each of my shots separately - so no camera cuts in Muvizu. This has the following advantages:-
  • allows tighter editing later without re-rendering anything
  • allow slight changes in character/object position between cuts to improve composition of shot

Here are the questions from your post. (Remember I am new to all of these advanced techniques.) When you say you render each shot separately with no camera cuts, do you still add the extra camera(s) to the scene but just not use them? I think I was testing out something with only one camera and no camera cuts or camera movement, and I could not record it.

If you are making a music animation and you want the lip syncing to go with the song, and are making individual scenes do you use the lyrics as a talking dialog first and then go back and remove that sound track and add the music later?

ukBerty wrote:
So I export all of my individual 4-5 second shots as TGA.

What is TGA, and where is that option in Muvizu? Would that work with Camtasia?

ukBerty wrote:
Why not do everything in HitFilm ? Vegas has better sound editing otherwise I probably would.

Sure, HitFilm and Vegas cost money, but you get what you pay for.....


If you could only get one to start, which would it be? Starting with the Free HitFlim sounds great.

What is the learning curve like on both Sony Vegas and HitFilm?

Thanks again for all the help.
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25/04/2016 16:14:23

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
Rocque wrote:

When you say you render each shot separately with no camera cuts, do you still add the extra camera(s) to the scene but just not use them? I think I was testing out something with only one camera and no camera cuts or camera movement, and I could not record it.


I have one camera and move it around as necessary. You may not have had anything recorded on your timeline which means your start and stop is at the same place - then it wont record.


Rocque wrote:

If you are making a music animation and you want the lip syncing to go with the song, and are making individual scenes do you use the lyrics as a talking dialog first and then go back and remove that sound track and add the music later?


I do this with everything, music or not. I record in sections and line up against my real track in Sony Vegas. If I'm doing music then I use a lyric track as you suggest.

Rocque wrote:

What is TGA, and where is that option in Muvizu? Would that work with Camtasia?


When you go to "Make Video" in Muvizu there is an advanced tab. Here you can choose Output type. TARGA or image sequence means that instead of one big file every frame is saved into it's own file. These are just image files and you could even edit these in an image editor if you really wanted to. HitFilm or Vegas can input these and assemble them as a single shot. This gets round the 2GB AVI file limit in Muvizu and means you don't have to deal with Codecs for MP4 files or anything.

A quick Google says Camtasia does not support this.

Rocque wrote:

If you could only get one to start, which would it be? Starting with the Free HitFlim sounds great.


As HitFilm has a free version I would start with that (I can hear others disagreeing - but Vegas has a cost to start.)

Rocque wrote:
What is the learning curve like on both Sony Vegas and HitFilm?


I would say about the same - they're both at the more intuitive end of the spectrum.

Hope this helps.....
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25/04/2016 16:53:59

WabbyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Wabby
Posts: 98
@Pat : There is an open source alternative to After Effects : http://natron.fr/

I have never tried it because I don't have time to learn but it looks very good.
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25/04/2016 17:15:29

urbanlamb
urbanlamb
(Account inactive)
Posts: 1796
blender can do compositing its actually pretty decent at it. Its just that is not what its known for however blender is an entire suite of tools which is why its so "complicated" and its always had a full compositing and editing suite in it.

I actually dont do much true compositing but if i do i will use blender.
I could do my video editing in it as well but i have gotten used to the corel packages which are pretty decent.
edited by urbanlamb on 25/04/2016
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25/04/2016 17:17:52

ziggy72Muvizu mogulExperimental user
ziggy72
Posts: 1988
Regards shot creation, I use every camera (all 9 if necessary) to build the shot - each camera is numbered, and creates the shot for a duration, then the next camera for the next duration, and so on. I load them into Vegas and they're already lined up in order for me, which helps. I also swear by TGAs as the only sensible way to make anything out of Muvizu that lasts more than a minute (although it's default setting is now PNG annoyingly enough - same thing really, but it still bugs me). You assemble everything in the video editor, and just use the silent footage Muvizu outputs, that's all you actually need. The audio Muvizu outputs is never going to be as good as your source anyway, I only use it to help sync up the dialog (from the Muvizu clips) with the original audio, then delete the WAV file Muvizu created along with the TGAs. Just my 2 cents
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25/04/2016 17:51:40

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
this is all GREAT information, and I really appreciate everyone's input!

@Wabby: thanks! I'll definitely look at that!

@Urban Lamb: Wow! I had no idea! Blender is clearly one of the best all-round useful tools available for people who do what we do, and apparently I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and dedicate a block of time to learn how to use it. Period. (I'll try to weasel out of this, so I'm depending on you to keep reminding me. )

@Ziggy: I finally got around to generating a scene in PNG sequences today... probably wouldn't have bothered except for your ongoing affirmation that it's the way to go... and my editor accepted it nicely, so Thanks! I can see a bunch of advantages to going this route! FWIW... it solved a problem we talked about previously. I've noticed that if I generate a short scene that does not contain any audio track.. and save as MP4... my video editor won't open it. If I go back and add audio, it will. OR, if I save as AVI or SEQUENCE, my editor will open it.

@UKBerty: I keep going back to your statement "you get what you pay for"... you are a wise man! (And I'm a cheap one.. but your words resonate with me nonetheless) The proof in your words is displayed in the quality of your work. I appreciate the advice you've offered via private message and email, and I'm beginning to catch on to how you use HitFilm to do things that Muvizu alone cannot do. When I think of the synergy between Muvizu and HitFilm, and how you have made the two work together, I am very VERY impressed. HitFilm and Muvizu should be paying you, your work is a great ad for them!

in fact ALL of the contributors to this thread have demonstrated over and over again that their approaches and choice of tools can result in excellent work in the hands of the right master. My hat is off to all of you, and I appreciate the willingness of so many here to share their knowledge.
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25/04/2016 22:17:13

Rocque
Rocque
Posts: 359
ziggy72 wrote:
Regards shot creation, I use every camera (all 9 if necessary) to build the shot - each camera is numbered, and creates the shot for a duration, then the next camera for the next duration, and so on. I load them into Vegas and they're already lined up in order for me, which helps. I also swear by TGAs as the only sensible way to make anything out of Muvizu that lasts more than a minute (although it's default setting is now PNG annoyingly enough - same thing really, but it still bugs me). You assemble everything in the video editor, and just use the silent footage Muvizu outputs, that's all you actually need. The audio Muvizu outputs is never going to be as good as your source anyway, I only use it to help sync up the dialog (from the Muvizu clips) with the original audio, then delete the WAV file Muvizu created along with the TGAs. Just my 2 cents



Thanks for sharing this ziggy72. Questions follow:
1. When do you delete the WAV file? Before or after you render the PNGs (formerly known as TGAs)? I guess I need more experimenting.

2. When you are saying for the "duration", does that mean you make several individual scenes, but use one camera for each one? Example: Camera one focuses on less than a minute of activity and during that minute you only use Camera one, but have recorded other actions, then you would produce that as a PNG before or after getting rid of the WAV file? Then you would use Camera 2 for the next bit of action? and so on and so on?

3. Does the WAV file come as a separate file (if you do not keep it when you create the PNG) or do you remove it in Vegas? If I am lucky I can separate the audio in Camtasia.

I apologize for my ignorance, and thank everyone for their patience.
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26/04/2016 00:17:07

ziggy72Muvizu mogulExperimental user
ziggy72
Posts: 1988
Rocque wrote:
ziggy72 wrote:
Regards shot creation, I use every camera (all 9 if necessary) to build the shot - each camera is numbered, and creates the shot for a duration, then the next camera for the next duration, and so on. I load them into Vegas and they're already lined up in order for me, which helps. I also swear by TGAs as the only sensible way to make anything out of Muvizu that lasts more than a minute (although it's default setting is now PNG annoyingly enough - same thing really, but it still bugs me). You assemble everything in the video editor, and just use the silent footage Muvizu outputs, that's all you actually need. The audio Muvizu outputs is never going to be as good as your source anyway, I only use it to help sync up the dialog (from the Muvizu clips) with the original audio, then delete the WAV file Muvizu created along with the TGAs. Just my 2 cents



Thanks for sharing this ziggy72. Questions follow:
1. When do you delete the WAV file? Before or after you render the PNGs (formerly known as TGAs)? I guess I need more experimenting.

2. When you are saying for the "duration", does that mean you make several individual scenes, but use one camera for each one? Example: Camera one focuses on less than a minute of activity and during that minute you only use Camera one, but have recorded other actions, then you would produce that as a PNG before or after getting rid of the WAV file? Then you would use Camera 2 for the next bit of action? and so on and so on?

3. Does the WAV file come as a separate file (if you do not keep it when you create the PNG) or do you remove it in Vegas? If I am lucky I can separate the audio in Camtasia.

I apologize for my ignorance, and thank everyone for their patience.


1. PNGs and TGAs are both valid formats for doing this, but I always used TGAs and I don't like change The WAV file gets ditched as soon as I (lip) sync up my imported shot (from Muvizu as an image sequence in Vegas) with my source audio. You could keep it too, and just mute that track in Camtasia (if it supports that), it doesn't matter really, but I don't like to confuse myself.

2. Say I have a one minute scene, and I want 5 camera angles throughout. Camera 1 would be the start, for say 10 seconds. Then cam 2 might be for the next 5 seconds, 3 is the next 30 seconds, and so on. The end of each take on the timeline marks the beginning of the next one (I use the little track marker diamonds to help me navigate). I end up with 5 different folders, each containing the image sequence & audio track from each camera. Then it's all put together in Vegas.

3. The WAV file is generated as a separate file at the same time as the image sequence is created by Muvizu. You can bin it immediately if no lip syncing is required. You don't need to import it into Camtasia if you don't want to (I think - never used Camtasia so I don't know it's limits).

Don't know if I explained that too well, it's kind of a personal thing as to how you build your movie. This is how I do it anyway
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26/04/2016 01:30:00

Rocque
Rocque
Posts: 359
Ziggy72, this really helped. I have finished making my first sequencing recording in Muvizu, and now see the separate WAV file. I am going to attempt it in Camtasia and see what happens. Camtasia was designed mostly for people who want to record their desktop, and is used by a lot of online marketers to show how their software works.

Since I am just starting out and do not know much at all about photo editing, layering, and all the other great things that everyone is doing, Camtasia works for my basic ability for now. However, I will be experimenting with the free product mentioned in this thread, and would enjoy learning more advanced techniques as time allows.

Thanks again for the help.
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