While the editor is capable of basic compositing and effects work, HitFilm’s true compositing power is found in composite shots.

Composite shots are layer-based timelines and you can create as many of them as you like. They support 2D and 3D compositing plus advanced effects such as the particle simulator. Composite shots are listed in the Media panel and can be added to the editor timeline like any other asset.

Full details can be found in the Compositing section.

Composite Shots as Clips

Composite shots on the editor timeline behave similarly to ordinary video clips. They can be trimmed, sliced and moved around. You can add effects and transitions.

Any changes you make to a composite shot clip on the timeline will not affect the actual contents of the composite shot, in the same way that trimming a video clip does not alter the duration of the source clip on your computer.

Note that composite shots on the editor timeline will not show video or audio previews unless the composite shot has been pre-rendered.

The Workflow Options

There are several ways to create composite shots and to integrate them into your edits. It’s up to you how you structure your workflow.

Converting Clips to Composite Shots

A particularly fast workflow is to first create your basic edit, assembling clips on the timeline as normal. You can then select any clip on the timeline and convert it to a composite shot using the Make Composite Shot button at the top of the timeline.

Converting a clip to a composite shot performs the following actions:

  1. A new composite shot is created based on the clip’s properties (dimensions, duration, framerate).
  2. The new composite shot is now listed in the Media panel.
  3. The selected clip is automatically placed inside the new composite shot.
  4. On the editor timeline the clip is replaced by the new composite shot.
  5. The new composite shot’s timeline is opened and switched to automatically.

You can switch between the composite shot and the editor at any time using the tabs at the top of the timeline. Changes made in the composite shot will be reflected on the editor timeline.

When converting a clip you will be asked a couple of questions:

  • Name: The new composite shot needs a name. It’s a good idea to have a clear naming policy to keep track of your work, especially if your project has many VFX shots.
  • Take Composite Shot Properties From
    The new composite shot can take its core properties from the Selected Clip or from the Editor Timeline. This is useful if you are creating a composite shot from a video or image which is a different size to your actual project.
    • Selected Clip: Uses the Width, Height, Frame Rate and Aspect Ratio of the source clip, and applies them to the new Composite Shot.
    • Editor Sequence: Uses the Width, Height, Frame Rate and Aspect Ratio selected in the Project screen, and applies them to the new Composite Shot, so that it matches the Editor Sequence settings perfectly.
  • Effects and Transform Properties
    If you have already applied effects to the clip or adjusted its transform properties you can choose what to do with them.
    • Leave Here: applies the effects and transform settings to the new composite shot on the editor timeline. These will therefore be applied after the composite shot itself has been rendered.
    • Move with Clip: keeps the effects and transform settings with the original clip, which is then placed inside the new composite shot as a new layer.

Creating Composite Shots From Media Assets

Composite shots can also be created by using an asset in the Media panel as the source. Simply choose Make Composite Shot from an asset’s menu to create the composite shot using its properties.

The new composite shot’s details will be displayed so that you can check them, then the new timeline will open and the composite shot will be listed in the media panel, with the source media already in place as a layer.

Creating New Composite Shots

You can also create new composite shots without converting a specific clip. This is useful for creating titles or motion design elements which aren’t connected directly to a visual effects shot.

To create a new composite shot click the New button in the Media panel and select composite shot from the menu. You can then set up your composite shot manually according to your requirements. See Composite Shots for full details.

Once a composite shot is created it is then listed in the Media panel and its timeline will open. To use the composite shot in your editor, simply switch back to your editor timeline and drag the composite shot from the Media panel onto the editor, just like you would a video asset.

Was this helpful?

Yes No
You indicated this topic was not helpful to you ...
Could you please leave a comment telling us why? Thank you!
Thanks for your feedback.