Although I recently wrote about my frustrations in Hitfilm, I have to say that their visual effects are so spot on, and easy to use. Take, for example, their built in preset for Neon Path.
Neon Path is a preset sold as part of Express upgrade module “VFX: Neon Lights.” In fact, if you download Hitfilm Express 14 (as a new install), upon registration, you’ll most likely get an offer to get quite a few modules for the low price of $40. It’s well worth it.
Above is an example where I created the animated Neon effect using the Neon Path preset.
To create a video (like above), it’s really quite simple:
- First, create a new composite shot.
- Next, in the composite, create a new text layer. This can be done by clicking the “New Layer” button, and then “Text”
Or you can create a text layer by clicking the “A” link/button in the viewable space of the composite:
Either way, you’ll get a transparent text field in your viewing area. The field is hard to spot as it’s transparent against a black backdrop. Start typing and you’ll find your text.
There is a but, which I mentioned in my frustrated article about Hitfilm’s various issues, which may block you here. You might find that as you type certain letters (while in the text field) Hitfilm takes those strokes as command operations. A work around for this, is to type your text elsewhere, and copy / paste it into the Hitfilm text field.
- Once your text is in place, create a new layer, this time chose “Plane” as the layer type.
- In the Effects tab, type in the search field “Neon Path” – when the preset appears in the effects tab, drag that preset to the new Plane Layer created in the composite.
- Open up the Neon Path details under Effects on the Plane Layer.
- For “Path From,” choose “Text” and for “Layer” chose your text layer
- Once you make those choices, you’ll see your text now takes on a Neon look. The Neon Path effect details has several presets you can choose from, or you can make your own. Try them out.
- At the start, these aren’t animated. To animate them you’ll need to modify the Evolution and Extension parameters.
- Go to the first frame of your composite, and click the circle next to Evolution and the circle next to Extension. This sets a keyframe at the first frame.
- Modify the value for Extension to 0%.
- Click on the timeline, to the point where you want the animation to be complete. Say 15 seconds in the timeline.
- While on that timeline point, change the Evolution to 1px and the Extension to 100%
- That’s it. As you move from frame 1, your target frame, you’ll see the Neon path form and develop.