How to clone yourself with VFX

published on July 17, 2020

Back in 2011, when I was 15 years old, I made my first ever HitFilm tutorial Today, I'm 23, and we're going to remake that effect to see how much has changed This is the easiest show I've ever done Oh yeah! Let's start by taking a look at the version I made nearly 10 years ago We can almost do like a CinemaSins type video with this because there's just so much wrong with it And I can say that, because I'm the one that made it The fact that the elements go outside of the letterbox That's not how things work For some reason the muzzle flashes don't even line up with the gun I don't know

How they all got offset but somehow I just didn't care Excellent removal of the black background going on here One of my favorite things about this clip is that I couldn't even trim the assets correctly If you look closely you can see that I accidentally left in a frame of the Action Essentials logo on the dust puff and again I just didn't care enough to remove it This guy is getting absolutely no cover This is possibly the

Worst position to be in This doesn't have to do with the effect it's more of the tutorial later but at some point the phone rings in the background Keyframing can be activated by pressing the circle next to" and I didn't think it was important enough to rerecord But anyway, let's take a look at the new and, hopefully, improved version The technique for doing this effect is not actually difficult at all You need

Two things: 1 A tripod or something to rest your camera on so that it doesn't move at all And 2 An actor which can be yourself Hit record, and then play out each of the positions, however many there are Now we're doing a test shot for one of Javert's shots Oli! Hey guys! Bring the footage into HitFilm in a new composite shot It will probably make things easier if you put the person who is farthest away from the camera at the bottom of the layer stack Now lower the opacity on each of the layers and line

Up the timing Next is some simple masking to bring all of the layers together Select the layer and the Freehand Mask tool Click to create multiple points and draw a shape around the area you want to keep It'll help the blend if you follow lines that already exist in the scene Feather the mask in the controls panel If you need to animate the mask, activate keyframes for the relevant properties here Anytime you make a change to the mask, a keyframe

Will be created for the appropriate setting And that's the technique for creating clones You just keep doing that for each layer and eventually they all build up Here's how some of the masks on my layers look It can get complicated if the clones cross in front of each other, so avoid that if this is your first time doing it And now for the extra bits The muzzle smoke and spark hits were from ActionVFXcom I placed them manually throughout the scene The bullet shells

Were a particle simulator that was using a 3D model of a shell to get the texture Then there's the magazine toss; this was to have some actual interaction between the clones Last time I filmed the clip of myself throwing it into the air and keyed out the wall behind it This time around, the mag was a simple 3D model from TurboSquidcom that I keyframed to fly through the air I ended up splitting this shot into multiple comps this is so that I could finish one aspect of it and

Then move on to the next one So the first comp is all about the cloning Then I moved on to the elements which is the muzzle smoke, flashes, any sparks, as well as the bullet shells Then I had a comp for color grading, and finally, another for camera shake The camera shake was done using HitFilm's built-in shake effect and the camera motion was done manually as well For the camera shake what I did was I made the composite 3D, then I created a new camera

As well as a point layer I made it so that the camera is always looking at the point That way, instead of adjusting the cameras XY and Z rotation separately, I can just move the point around and the camera will follow That's it for this tutorial hopefully you saw some improvement in the final effect from 9 years ago to now On an unrelated note we noticed that Corridor Digital did a VFX Artist Reacts with David F Sandberg who, if you don't know, directed Lights Out,

Anabelle Creation, and Shazam David also let us know that he's used HitFilm for some of his pre-vis which is pretty cool! Check the link out from the description Thanks for watching and I'll see you all in the next video

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