How to use the Publishing feature in HitFilm

by birtanpublished on August 23, 2020

Hello, I’m Axel from FXhome, and today we will be looking at the Publish feature in HitFilm, and how useful it is for creating templates. This feature is available in HitFilm Express and HitFilm Pro, so all of you can benefit from it. The Publish feature was added in version 12 of HitFilm, specifically for creating templates which can be used repeatedly with different contents. It is particularly useful for titles and other text effects. There are a number of built-in templates that ship with HitFilm 12, so let’s take a look at those first, to see how these templates are beneficial.

In the Media panel, open the Import menu and select Installed Templates. A window opens listing all of the available templates. You can select one or more for import. I’m going to select Clean Box Line, but I encourage you to import all of them when you get a chance, and get familiar with each of them, so you can use them when the need arises. Notice that in addition to Import, there is an option to Import As Comp. We will get back to that in a bit, but for now, click Import. Drag the clean box template onto the timeline,

Then play through it, to view the lower third it creates. Now open the controls panel, and we have just the controls we need to edit the contents. The Title changes the name (Phil Coulson), the Subtitle changes the role (Director of SHIELD). And we can change the colors of the boxes (Blue-gray) and the colors of the lines (Red). Then we can adjust the width of the box, to match our new name. The animation stays exactly the same, but the contents are updated based on our changes. So that is the

First real benefit of templates: only the controls we need to edit are displayed, keeping them very simple, and quick to customize. If we drag another copy of the template onto the timeline, it still contains the original settings, and can be edited independently of the first copy. When all you are changing is the text, this makes it super easy to create a bunch of matching titles. In this instance, where we changed the colors, you can copy/paste the one we already edited to match the colors in the copies.

All of the built-in templates work the same way, giving you the controls you need to create titles with the animation built-in. But, what if you want to change the animation? Well, that is possible too. Select Import > Installed Templates again, and select the Clean Box Line again, but this time, Import as Comp. This imports the source comp, with all of the separate components, so you can edit it however you like. There are four planes to create the boxes and lines, two text layers, and two points to control the animation. We

Are not limited to editing the properties available in the template, we can modify anything we want to, on this timeline. These are the key differences between composite shots and templates. A template can be used multiple times with different text in each copy, and gives you direct access to edit specific properties, while hiding the properties that you don’t need to access. A composite shot gives you full access to edit anything it contains, but if it is used more than once, then any

Changes will affect all copies of that timeline in the project. Now that we have learned how to use the built-in templates, let’s look at how you can make your own templates. In the project file that is linked in the description of this tutorial, there are several composite shots containing animated titles. This one is a variation of the TV Show titles we created in a tutorial last year, so you can check that tutorial out for details on how to create several versions of this. And we can edit the name to be whatever we want,

But if we wanted to use it for multiple names, to create opening credits, then we need to have multiple copies of the comp in the media panel, as we discussed. And that is why we create a template instead. To do so, we need to publish each property that we want to be able to edit, then create a template that uses those settings. Let’s walk through that process step-by-step. First we publish the specific properties that we want to be able to edit later. Perhaps the most important of these is the text. Right-click

The Text layer, find the Publish option, and select it. The Pin icon that appears is a reminder that we published that layer. And in the Media panel, the Template icon indicates that this comp contains published features. What else might we want to edit here? The size and position of the text would be good. Only on Text layers do we publish the layer itself; for everything else, we will publish individual properties of the layer or effect which we need to edit. So on the Control Point layer, open the Transform controls, right-click

The Scale property and Publish it, then Publish the Position as well. Using a separate control point, to which the text is parented, is a good process to keep in mind when creating templates, because it allows you to animate the text itself, using keyframes, then use the control point to reposition the entire animation. In order for the block distortion pattern to be different each time, it would be good to change the seed. So in Block Displacement, open the Block Settings and right-click the Seed property, and Publish.

Once any properties in a comp are published, and the template icon is displayed in the media panel, we can use the template on the Editor timeline. Drag it to the Editor, and the controls show only the published properties. But if we want to use this template in any other projects, or share it with other users, then we need to export it. In the Media panel, right-click the Block Displace Title comp, and select Save As… The Save Composite Shot Template window opens, showing the specific properties that are published, and allowing

Us to name the template. By default the name of the comp is used, but you can click the Folder next to the name if you want to rename it or change where it is saved. We can add a thumbnail, by browsing and selecting an image using this Folder icon. I have created an image for this case. You can choose a frame and export it when creating your own templates, to make your own thumbnails. Once you are happy with the settings, click Save. Now the template is ready to be imported and used. Select Import > Composite Shot and select

Our .hfcs file. In this project it behaves exactly like the original, but once we have imported the template, HitFilm copies it into the list of installed templates, so we can easily access it in any future projects. There are several other comps in the provided project, so you can experiment with publishing them, to add even more templates to your collection. Then, try building some titles of your own, and turn them into templates as well. Thanks for watching, and we are sure you will find this feature exceedingly useful. Check

Out some of our older tutorials on creating titles, and you can create templates from them too! Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below, and I’ll see you next time.

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