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How to create a Pacific Rim inspired holographic display | HitFilm Pro

Hey, I’m Axel for HitFilm, and this week
we are creating a holographic display in HitFilm Pro. Pacific Rim Uprising is coming out soon, and
so this week’s effect is a throwback to the original Pacific Rim, and those sweet
color separation holographic displays that they used. If you don’t have Hitfilm Pro, go and grab
it now during our January 2018 sale and you can save 15%. Once you have HitFilm Pro, download the project
files which are linked in the description of this video, and let’s get started. Here is the shot we are going to add the display
to, and the first thing we need to do is create a 3D camera solve, using mocha HitFilm. Add mocha HitFilm to the layer, then open
the controls and click the “Launch mocha UI” button. You might recall that last week’s tutorial,
where Javert replicated a time freeze effect with snow, also started with a mocha track. We use some similar techniques this week,
which I like, because we are creating an entirely different effect, so this is a great demonstration
of how basic underlying techniques can be applied in a variety of different contexts. So, we are going to track this front panel
of the console, and then the frame surrounding where the display will go. The chair is a bit in the way, though, so
let’s mask out the chair first. We could use tracking for this, but its a
simple movement, and we don’t need accuracy, so I’ll just use a few manual keyframes. Hold the Z key, to enable zoom control, and
drag down to zoom out a bit, to create some space around the edges of the video. Then, select the X spline and draw a shape
around the chair. Right-click to close the shape, after you
have created all the points you need. Now, scrub forward until the chair is just
out of frame. We want to move the mask now, so it lines
up with the chair’s new position. Drag a marquee around all the mask points,
to select them all, then drag any one of the points to reposition the mask. Then, move back toward the beginning of the
timeline and adjust the position as needed to line it up. Rename this layer Chair, and disable its tracking
option, and then we can get to the actual tracking. Find a frame in the middle of the video where
the panel is completely visible. Draw a rectangle all the way around it, keeping
the spline fairly close to the edges, but with a little bit of a gap. Right-click to close the shape again, and
then grab the blue handle on one of the corners. You can drag individual corner handles to
adjust each corner individually, but we will hold CTRL while you drag outward on the handle,
to tighten up all the corners at once. Rename this layer to Panel, and drag it below
the Chair layer, so mocha knows the chair is in front. Then let’s set up the planar surface. Click the “Show Planar Surface” and “Show
Planar Grid” buttons, and drag the corners of the planar surface to the corners of the
panel, just inside the metal frame. As we do, the grid aligns with the angle of
this panel. This gets us a nice alignment, but our surface
is pretty big, and mocha prefers to have a smaller surface, if possible. So we could eyeball a smaller surface, watching
the grid and tweaking it until it aligns, but its easier in this case to line it up
with these big edges, then just grab the sides of the plane, rather than the corners, and
shrink it down. Our alignment remains perfect, but we can
create a smaller surface in the middle of the panel. Set the Min % Pixels to 90, and enable Perspective. Then track back to the beginning of the clip. Our layer order tells mocha that the chair
is in front, so when these splines overlap, the overlapping area is ignored by the tracking
algorithm. Jump back to our first keyframe, then track
forward to the end of the clip. This bit is sped up to save time. Once the tracking is done, disable tracking
for that layer, so it doesn’t get tracked again, and let’s track our second surface. This one is a little bit trickier, because
there isn’t a large surface to work with. But we can use several smaller surfaces, and
still get a great result. So, select the X spline, and draw a spline
around the left hand side of this mounting bracket bar thingy, avoiding the bright glare
near the light. Right-click to close, then hold CTRL and tighten
up the corners. Then, select the Add X-spline to Layer tool,
which lets us draw another spline without creating another layer. Draw a spline around the other side of that
bar, then tighten those corners as well. Using the same tool, draw two more splines
around the front faces of the two vertical pipes. If you are wondering, “couldn’t we just
draw one shape around each side, instead of using two overlapping splines?”, the answer
is yes, you absolutely can if you want. I just found it easier to use separate rectangles. Plus, it gave me a chance to show you the
Add X-Spline tool. Now we need to set up our planar surface,
and we will use a similar method. Use the corners of the space between the frames
to get our alignment, then drag in the sides of the surface to make it smaller. Since this is where our effects will actually
be placed in the final shot, the position of this surface is more critical. Let’s leave the bottom edge where it is,
and move the top and sides in a bit to reduce the size of the surface. A big spline and a small surface makes for
a happy mocha. Set the Min % Pixels to 90, and enable Perspective. Rename this layer to Frame, and move it to
the bottom of the layer stack, since this is the farthest from the camera. Now, track like you have never tracked before. Actually, no, track exactly like you have
tracked before, by clicking the “Track Backwards” button. Even though our chair doesn’t overlap this
layer at all, getting the layer order right is still very important. Mocha is going to try figure out how these
layers are moving in relation to each other, to calculate the camera position, and knowing
what order the layers exist in is a vital bit of that calculation. If you want an accurate result, then giving
mocha accurate info to work from is critical. OK, with our two layers tracked, we can now
let mocha calculate a solve. Click the Camera Solve tab, then select the
layers that you want to be included in the calculations. The Chair layer is just a mask, so we don’t
want that included. Select the Panel and Frame layers, then click
Solve. Mocha does the hard part, running loads of
maths and probabilities and… algorithms… probably multiplying the square of the hypotenuse
and stuff, and, boom, we get a solve. The solve quality is nice and high, too, and
we like that! So, now we export our results back to HitFilm. Again, we first want to select which layers
we need. In this case, we don’t actually need data
from the Panel, just the frame is sufficient, so select the Frame layer, and export. Click Save, and name your file whatever you
want. HoloTrack perhaps? Back in HitFilm, select Import>Composite
Shot, and choose the one you just exported. Mocha HitFilm uses a plane as a placeholder
for your video, this might seem odd at first, but there is a reason. Mocha doesn’t actually directly access your
video file, it uses referenced images that it receives from HitFilm, and this allows
you to track video files that mocha doesn’t support, or even composite shots containing
multiple layers. And once we are in HitFilm, we just delete
the plane, drop in the video, and we are good to go. Up next, we need to build our GUI, to add
into our tracked scene. So, right-click and choose make composite
shot. Set the length to 5:01, to match our video
clip, and click OK. Then, add Meters.png to the comp as well. The meters are all full, but we can use masks
to animate some movement into them, and movement is always good in a high-tech interface. I used one mask for each meter, dragging a
rectangle to set how much of it will be visible on frame 1, then keyframing the position of
the rectangle randomly over time, to add some movement. You can use as many or as few keyframes as
you like, depending how much movement you want. If you start with a mask shape that is long
enough to reveal the entire meter, then you don’t need to adjust its size at all, just
slide it back and forth. Once we have the masks done, add Reticle.png
as well, and adjust its position so it is centered on this circle. Then we will keyframe its rotation using the
same technique, randomly advancing and tweaking the value, to create some movement there. Great, now let’s switch back to our main
comp, and add the GUI composite shot to it. Convert it to a 3D plane, and parent it to
the Frame-Center point. Then, open the Transform controls for the
GUI, right-click on the Transform title and reset them to 0. Now it is using the exact position and orientation
of the tracked point, and we can adjust it from there to sit right where we want it. Scale it up first, so it fills more of that
space, then dial in the position. You may find that tweaking the rotations a
little gives you better alignment with the console, but this may vary based on the actual
solve you export from mocha. The main concept of this display is that we
will use four copies of the graphic, separated in 3D space, and each one containing different
colors. So, let’s make this one blue, to start with. Add the Channel Mixer effect, and in the Red
and Green channels, zero out everything. In the Blue channel, Leave the Blue on. If you want, you can ever turn it up further,
to boost the blues in this channel. Now add the Diffuse effect to our layer, and
choose Soften from the Diffuse preset menu.This adds a little bit of blur, to give us a glowing
effect. Finally, right-click the layer and set the
Blend mode to Add. Now to make some copies. Select the GUI layer, and press CMD+D, or
CTRL+D on Windows, three times, to create three more copies. Rename the layers from the bottom up, GUI
Blue, GUI Green, GUI Red, and GUI Yellow. Select a layer and hit Return on the Mac,
or F2 on Windows, to rename it. With the renaming done, select the three upper
copies, and parent them to GUI Blue. This zeros out their position values in relation
to the parent layer, so we can easily adjust the depth of each one to create space between
them. Select the Green layer, open its Transform
controls, and set the Position Z to 150, and it jumps out in front. Then open the Channel Mixer, and zero out
the Blue controls, and in the Green controls, crank up the Green channel. We will take similar steps for the Red layer. Move it out another 150, for a total Z Position
value of 300. Then zero out the Blue channel, and in the
Red controls, increase the Red channel to 1.0. The fourth layer in the Pacific Rim displays
is yellow, so here is where we actually do a bit of channel blending. FIrst, move the yellow Z Position to 450,
to get it out in front, then zero out the blue once again. But this time, in the Green channel, raise
the Green to 1. Then in the Red channel, raise the Green to
1. The green and red channels contain different
information. If we raise the Red channel in the Red controls,
we get a totally different result. We don’t want the red in this case, as it
makes the words harder to read, so instead we are using the details contained in the
green channel of the source image, and filling that area with Red and Green, which combine
to give us yellow. So this is, essentially, a yellow version
of the green channel of the image. Now we have all four layers arranged over
the bright emitter down below, and we are almost done. Let’s use the Gleam effect to add some streaks
to the emitter light. By setting their position using a point layer,
we can ensure the alignment stays correct while the camera moves. So, create a point layer, set it to 3D Plane,
then Parent it to the Frame – Center layer. Zero its position, then move it down so it
is just below the light. Then, drag Gleam right onto the Original layer,
and set the Position>Use Layer menu to our New Point. If you need, adjust the point position now
so that the angle of the rays lines up. Set the Minimum Value of Gleam to 0.59, so
only the brightest areas are affected, then set Ray Length to 78, so the rays reach up
to the bottom of the display, and Intensity to 4.1 or so, so they are decently bright. Finally, lets add a touch of color grading
to the shot, using the Color Correction Wheels. Add them to the video, and push the Highlights
well into blue. Push the shadows into blue as well, not quite
as much, but enough that everything is going blue-ish. Then, to counteract that a bit, and bring
the colors back to a more natural look, drag the midtones in the opposite direction, away
from blue into the yellow, orange region. And that finishes up the shot. Let’s start building a RAM Preview, so we
can watch it in real-time. We have set this effect up so that each of
the colored images is different, since they are based on the RGB channels in the image. If you wanted them all to be the same, for
some reason, you could do that as well by using different settings in the Channel Mixer. Its really up to you. So, let’s go ahead and watch this through,
see how it looks, and there is our Pacific Rim display. Thanks very much for watching, I hope you
find the information useful, and until next time, I bid you adieu.


  1. Small Town Cinemas Author

    Amazing tutorial! I’m working on s Star Wars hologram effect for my channel if anyone is interested about that, BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT, THIS WAS AWESOME!

  2. Luigi,Molch und CO Author

    Im trying to get the video in news paper effect from Harry Poter and cant realy find out how i can bend layers in 3d space into a round shape? Isnt that posible or did I overlock something?

  3. Fran Fran Author

    You should try making the effects from the movie CIRCLE.
    The scenes where the comments are visible around the person is the effect i was looking for.

  4. Geomi Author

    My 2D subject is facing left, but I need him to face right, can I flip him over somehow without aplying 3D effect and rotate Y axis 180 degrees?

  5. Pascal JAN Author

    HolographicDisplay.hfp : unable to work with version HITFILM PRO 6.1.7208.42532
    message: this file was saved by a newer version of hitfilm than you save (?????)

  6. Paul Newton Author

    Hitfilm express users can kinda do the stuff after the 7:50 mark without the mocha pack. You can still use the images in the project zip but wont be able to open the hfp (.hfp) and you wont be able to use the channel-mixer effect( maybe in the colorist pack ? )
    This means you will have to build your color split "channels" with things like hue&rgb key, demult, black and white, hue shift , fill colors, etc and probably grade layers to get kinda near a holographic effect.
    Or split your image into multiple colors in an external tool.

  7. Eggcellent Films Author

    Hey guys, I recently made a short film called I.D. and would love some critique on it. If you don't mind taking 5 minutes to watch it and give me feedback that would be much appreciated. I am an amateur at this and I am looking for some cool people to help me out. Thanks!

  8. Hitfilm University Author

    Channel Mixer getting some love!

    Initially I was wondering why Axel was doing red, green, blue and yellow overlays (since red+green=yellow), but was tickled to see him sneak in a power tip for transposing channel data with the mixer–the true power of the effect.

    I'd argue that the final composite could do with some tweaking of layer opacities since blending the yellow layer over the green layer is basically going to turn all green to yellow at point of overlap (while the existing green/red channels already create yellow), but, since the true point of the tutorial is showing the power of the channel mixer, nice job, Axe-man!

    Looks like the rebuild is proceeding apace. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before Axel, Mrs. Axel and Stoli have a complete roof back over their heads.

  9. unga bunga Author

    Hi, I have recently worked on something for 2 weeks, and when I go to export it, the first time it gets up to 50 percent done, and then it has an error. Other times, it's at most 3 percent. This is agitating me severely, and I can't find a fix for it anywhere. I'm trying to remake the original Star Wars so I'm wondering if the music might have something to do with it. Thanks.

    P.S. it doesn't say what the problem is. It JUST says, "process finished unexpectedly."

    I don't think it's the music because I've edited this video several times and exported it but with the music still in place.


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