How to create a glitching countdown timer UI

by birtanpublished on September 5, 2020

When we made our latest short, Renegade, we knew we wanted to include a Mission: Impossible-style timer. In this tutorial we’ll take a look at how to create one and add digital distortion in HitFilm. Download the footage to follow along, and let’s get started. Here is the original shot. You can see that I’ve made tracking markers using orange tape. The first thing we have to do is track the screen so that it moves along with the camera motion. I created a new Point layer, then added a Tracker to the footage layer from the Controls panel.

Because the camera doesn’t really rotate, I can get away with a Single Point track on the big plus in the middle. Once HitFilm has tracked the motion, apply it to the Point layer you created earlier. Switch back to the Viewer and highlight the Point, to check that it is moving correctly. The next step is to erase the tracking markers. You can do this by duplicating the footage and adding the Speed effect to the top layer. In the Controls panel, set the Speed to 0

To stop the video from playing. Now select the Freehand Mask tool and draw a shape in the bottom left, in a clear area without the markers. Using the Transform controls, I’ll increase the Scale of this gray area and position it over the markers. You might have to readjust the mask to fit. Once you’re done, parent the layer to the track. Now we can get started making the actual timer UI. Create a new Composite Shot, and make the size 1500 by 1080. Create a new Plane, and add the Grid effect. You can customize

The look of this however you like, but I’ll set the Point 2 Position to a lower number to make the squares smaller, then lower the Border Radius to 1 to make them thinner. Then drop on a Vignette and adjust so that the grid has faded out by the edges of the frame. Create a new Text layer and type your timecode. For this, I used a font called Liquid Crystal. For the text that said "Timer Failure" and the “Remote Detonation Required” I used a font called Kiona.

Now I’ll bring in the Plane from the Media panel, and use the Fill Color effect to make it red. Then I’ll use masks to create some lines around the UI, as well as a red box behind the words “Timer Failure”. Next up is the distortion. Bring down the Plane layer and add Fractal Noise. In the Controls, set the Interpolation to Block. Activate keyframes for the Seed property, skip to the end of the timeline, and change the number. This will make the texture move.

In order to make the timer appear on screen, come down to the Appearance section. Lower the Offset all the way to the left. Activate keyframes, move forward in time, and raise the number. Now create a new Grade layer and add the Block Displacement effect. In the Block settings, keyframe the Seed, similar to the Fractal Noise from earlier. To lessen the amount of distortion, lower the slider that says Displaced Blocks. Increase the Aspect Ratio to stretch the blocks horizontally. The last thing I did to this Grade was mask

It, because I wanted the bottom text to be readable for the entire shot. This way, the Block Displacement is only affecting the timer. Create another Grade layer and add the TV Damage effect. Search for "Enabled" in the bar up top. Checkmark Vertical Hold, Electrical Interference, and Vignette. I’ll increase the Frequency of the Vertical Hold to make sure that it will happen in the final shot. Under Electrical Interference, raise the Area Width and lower the actual Width. Lastly,

I’ll add Scan Lines onto this same Grade. Adjust the Frequency to fit your scene. Now return to the main composite and bring down the Timer UI comp. First I’ll add a few Glow effects to brighten it up. The Blend Mode for these Glows is set to Screen, so that the whites don’t get blown out. Drop on the Quad Warp effect. This effect puts one point in each corner of the layer that can be manipulated freely. I’ll drag those points to match up the UI with the screen

Of the bomb. The Quad Warp effect can also be used to place screens into TVs and cell phones. Right-click the Timer UI layer and set the Blend to Add or Screen to get rid of the black. I’ll lower the Opacity to make it less bright. Add some film grain and a small Blur effect to better blend it into the footage. Parent the layer to the Point track from before and turn on motion blur if needed.

Be sure to check out another tutorial from our Renegade masterclass here. Leave any questions down below, and I’ll see you in the next video.

Related Videos

You you hey guys welcome back to the first livestream of 2019 hopefully we're live I think the twenty second delay is just it's weird to get used to but...
In today’s tutorial we’re going to be looking at the 360 workflow and a couple of features HitFilm has to offer. The link in the description will provide a 50% ...
In this video we're going to take a look at the new features that were added in version 2 of Imerge Pro. You can learn more from the blog post on our websit...
Today we're taking a look at the upcoming features in the version 12 update for HitFilm Pro and Express the update will be coming out later this month but w...
Green screen is used in all types of movies, to put actors in places that would otherwise be expensive or impossible. Maybe you’ve filmed your subject against a...
So you’ve filmed your subject against a green screen, and you’ve successfully brought it into HitFilm and keyed out the green. But you’re not done yet- the comp...
Hi, I’m Axel from FXhome, and this video series is going to answer the question, “How do I use masks in Imerge Pro?” This video will examine how we can use Grad...
Hi, I’m Axel from FXhome, and this is the second part of our series on Masking in Imerge Pro. So if you haven’t watched the first video yet, I encourage you to ...
Hey guys, welcome back to another HitFilm tutorial. Alita Battle Angel recently launched and in this film they took CG and mo-cap to a completely new level to r...
Lighting your shots correctly is one of the most basic, but often overlooked, things you can do to make your videos look better. It doesn’t matter what type of ...
That clip comes from our new short classified mission renegade over the next few weeks we'll have tutorials for the effects you see in renegade and today we...
In this tutorial we’ll be covering how to create the bullet hits effect from our latest short, Renegade. This scene used stock footage from ActionVFX, who have ...
A good title sequence can help set the mood for your film. Today we'll be taking a look at how we creatd the title for our short film, Renegade, using stock...
When we made our latest short, Renegade, we knew we wanted to include a Mission: Impossible-style timer. In this tutorial we’ll take a look at how to create one...
Hey guys, welcome back to another video. Today we're going to be covering the behind the scenes stuff of Renegade; how we did it, what happened and what we ...
Hey guys, today we're going to be looking at the VFX Supervisor and how you can prepare for visual effects. When producing visual effects it’s never as simp...
Hey, this is Axel from FXhome, here with a tutorial on using Blend Modes for grading. We will be looking primarily at Imerge Pro in this tutorial, but the techn...
In today’s tutorial, we’re going to be looking at satellite surveillance and image stitching. In the example sequence, I use footage from a DJI Spark for my end...
A shaky camera can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the type of film you’re trying to make. It can increase the feeling of danger and put you right ...
Today we're going to be talking about camera psychology. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the realm of film production that couldn’t be ...