How to create LEGO style transitions | HitFilm Express

How to create LEGO style transitions | HitFilm Express
    Hey guys and welcome back to another HitFilm tutorial!
    This week we're joined by Justin Barrett from the Clever Tagline YouTube channel who's going
    to show you how to make some amazing LEGO style transitions and overlays in HitFilm
    Express. Let's go and check it out! LEGO bricks have been popular ever since they
    were introduced in the late 1950s. They've even become a source of inspiration for feature
    films. This is Justin Barrett with Clever Tagline, and in this tutorial I’m going
    to show you how to apply a LEGO-like look to your footage, and also how to turn that
    static look into LEGO-centric blocky transitions, all inside of HitFilm Express 2017.
    I’ll start with a new 1080p, 24 frame per second composite shot, named “Studs.”
    This needs to be long enough to apply to any footage we want to process. For this demo,
    10 seconds should be fine. Add a new plane, and use the default mid-grey
    color. Onto this plane, drop the Half Tone effect. This will allow us to create a regular
    pattern of circles, which will later become the studs on our bricks. Change the Angle
    to 0, and reverse the colors, so that the dots are white, and the background is black.
    The resolution property tells HitFilm how many dots to draw horizontally across the
    view. 100 is too many, so I’ll change this value to 40. If you want more or fewer dots,
    feel free to use a different number. Just make a note of the number you choose, as it
    will affect several later steps. The default look for these dots is a bit too
    soft for what we need, so I’ll sharpen them using the Posterize effect. Set Smooth Source
    to 0, Colors per channel to 2, and Smooth to 0.7. That’s all we need for this comp,
    so go ahead and close it. The next comp we make will contain the bulk
    of the LEGO effect. In my case, I’m going to make this comp based on another comp where
    I’ve done a little rough editing with some stock footage. For those that are interested,
    I obtained all of the stock footage I’m using from, where you can find
    lots of interesting material, all of it completely free.
    In my Media tab, I’m going to right-click on my footage comp and choose “Make Composite
    Shot.” I’ll name this comp “LEGO Effect” and make sure it matches the specs of my Studs
    comp. Even though the footage inside it is smaller than the comp dimensions, the end
    result will be very blocky, so scaling the source to match our target size won’t be
    a problem. In fact, that’s the first thing I’m going to do: set the scale of this nested
    comp to 150%. Next I’ll add a grade layer, and name it
    Mosaic. As you might guess, I’m going to drop the Mosaic effect onto this layer. In
    the effect properties, I’ll set Horizontal Blocks to match the resolution I used for
    the Half Tone effect earlier. In my case, 40. However, I can’t use the same number
    for the Vertical Blocks property, as I need these blocks to be perfectly square, but the
    math to find the vertical value is pretty simple. Take the comp height, multiply it
    by the stud resolution, then divide that by the comp width. In this example, that’s
    1080 times 40 divided by 1920, which is 22.5. Set Vertical Blocks to that value, and you’ll
    have nice square blocks. Above this grade layer, drop the Studs comp
    we made earlier. Rename the layer “Studs Emboss,” and — you guessed it — add
    the Emboss effect. In the effect properties, change the Direction to -45, Contrast to -50,
    and Edge Width to 1.27. Finally, change the layer’s blend mode to Overlay. This creates
    the basic stud appearance, and ensures that the colors of the underlying mosaic carry
    through to the emboss effect’s highlights and shadows. However, the studs look kinda
    flat. To fix this, drop the Studs comp in again,
    but below the emboss layer, and name this “Stud Shadows.”
    Change its blend mode to Multiply, then add the Demult effect, which will knock out the
    black. Finally, add the Drop Shadow effect. Change its Angle to 125, drop the Distance
    to 6, and increase the opacity to 0.65. This shadow increases the apparent height of the
    studs, making them feel more like the real deal.
    Finally, we need to separate the studs into individual bricks, which can be easily done
    with the Grid effect. Add a new white plane to the top, and name it “Brick Lines.”
    Drop the Grid effect onto this layer, set the grid’s blend mode to Normal, change
    the grid color to black, and the Border Radius to 1. To help with the placement of the grid
    points, drop the layer’s opacity to something fairly low. Next I’m going to set the coordinates
    of Point 1 to 0, 0. Zooming in, I can see that I’m just a little higher than the nearest
    block intersection, so I’ll adjust the Y value until it sits right on the intersection.
    In my case, that’s a value of -12. To precisely place Point 2, I need to know the size of
    my blocks. To calculate this, just take the comp width and divide it by the stud resolution.
    In my case, that’s 1920 divided by 40, which is 48, meaning that each block is 48 by 48
    pixels. Knowing this, I can simply add 48 to the X and Y values of Point 1 to get the
    coordinates of Point 2, which would be 48, 36.
    Next, drop the Emboss effect onto this layer. Use the same Direction value as we used for
    the emboss effect on the studs (-45). To blend this layer with the colors below, change the
    layer’s blend mode to Overlay. Finally, play with the Contrast and Edge Width properties
    until you have something you like. I chose to keep this effect fairly subtle, but you
    may prefer something stronger. That wraps up the creation of the basic LEGO
    look. It’s fairly flexible, and with just a few adjustments you can make similar versions
    with different sized bricks, depending on the look you want.
    Now let’s look at how to turn this into some blocky transitions, like those you saw
    at the beginning. For my transition content, I’ve made a simple two-second comp that
    has the HitFilm logo scaling up on top of a subtly-shifting fractal noise background,
    and applied this LEGO effect to it. The first transition I’m going to make will
    completely fill the frame with blocks, hold for a few frames, then remove all of the blocks
    again. This can be done by any number of techniques, but I’m going to use fractal noise to give
    it a random feeling. Because this transition will completely fill the frame at some point,
    you can drop this kind of transition directly onto the editor timeline above the cut between
    any two clips. Make a new 1080p, 24 frame-per-second comp
    that’s two seconds long. I’ll name mine “LEGO Fractal Transition”. Create a new
    plane, name it “Fractal Noise,” and add the Fractal Noise effect to it. Under Sub
    Settings, change Sub Levels to 1, which will help break up the end result a bit more. Under
    Appearance, turn on keyframes for the Offset property, and set its value on the first frame
    to -1. At 1 second, change the value to 0, then set it back to -1 on the last frame.
    Finally, we’ll keyframe the Seed property so that the pattern is different during the
    second half. At the one second mark, activate keyframes for the Seed property. One frame
    later, change the value to a different number. I used 10 in this example, but it really doesn’t
    matter what you choose as long as it’s not very close to the first number. Finally, add
    the Demult effect to this plane below the Fractal Noise.
    Above this layer, add a grade layer, and name it “Mosaic”. Add the Mosaic effect, and
    use the same values as we used to set up our LEGO effect: 40 for horizontal, and 22.5 for
    vertical. As we scrub through the timeline, we can see that we have a bunch of blocks
    that gradually appear, then disappear, but they’re all different opacity levels because
    of their overall luminance values. To force the opacity to be all or nothing, we’re
    going to add the Crush Blacks and Whites Alpha effect to this grade, then set the Opaque
    value to .001. This will ensure that any part of our mosaic that’s even marginally opaque
    becomes fully opaque. This gives us a nice random pattern of appearing and disappearing
    blocks. Above the Mosaic layer, add another grade
    layer, and name it “Matte." Turn off the visibility for this layer as well as the two
    below it. Next, drop in the LEGO effect comp that we’re going to use in the transition.
    Onto this comp, add the Set Matte effect, and point it at the Matte layer we made a
    moment ago. As you scrub through the timeline, you’ll see that the matte pattern we made
    earlier now makes our LEGO bricks appear and disappear. If you want, you can use this transition
    as-is, but I also added a Drop Shadow effect to create the appearance of depth between
    the transition footage and the layers that will be below it when it’s used in the editor
    timeline. The other transition I’m going to demonstrate
    will tie in with one of HitFilm’s built-in transitions: the iris. Start by making another
    new 2-second comp, and name it “LEGO Iris Transition.” Add a white plane to this comp,
    and drop the Polar Warp effect onto it. Set both Start Radius and End Radius to 0. On
    the first frame of the shot, activate keyframes for End Radius. Step forward 8 frames, then
    activate keyframes for Start Radius. Move to the last frame of the shot, and set Start
    Radius to 1024. Step back 8 frames, and set End Radius to 1024. The result is an expanding
    ring from the center to the outer edge. However, it doesn’t quite reach the edge, but we
    can just scale the plane to about 109% to fix this.
    The rest of the steps to finish this comp are the same as we used for the fractal transition:
    the mosaic layer with its’ effects, the matte layer, and finally our footage layer
    with Set Matte and Drop Shadow. If you made the fractal transition, you can easily copy
    and paste those layers from that other composite shot into this one, and you’re ready to
    move on. Now, to use this in the editor timeline is
    pretty easy. First set up the shots you want to transition between. Drop the Iris transition
    between them, and drop the LEGO Iris Transition comp onto a layer above them. Finally, adjust
    the Iris transition so that it starts four frames after the transition comp, and ends
    four frames earlier. The eight-frame delay we made in the transition setup, combined
    with the four-frame padding we just set on either end of the actual transition timing,
    ensures that the iris transition edge is always hidden in the exact center of our transition
    material. These are just a couple examples of how to
    make transitions with your LEGO looks. Experiment for a while and I’m sure you’ll find a
    host of other options. Thanks so much for watching! I hope this has
    been useful for you. Until next time, Clever Tagline? What in tarnation is that?
    We hope you enjoyed that tutorial guys. Remember to go and check out the Clever Tagline YouTube
    channel to see Justin's other work, I'll put a link down in the description below.
    If you'd like to keep up to date with all of our tutorials remember to subscribe and
    hit the bell icon to be notified of when we next upload. We'll see you next week, bye!
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