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Masking and cloning with HitFilm 4 Express

Simon Jones of HitFilm guides us through masking and cloning a scene that turns our cast of four people into a mob of forty

This week we’re exploring masking in more detail. In week 2 we briefly used masking to tidy up a green screen composite, but this week masking will form the basis of the entire shot.

Visual effects aren’t always about epic action sequences or fantastical visuals. This tutorial focuses on a relatively simple shot – lots of people running through frame – and shows how visual effects can be used to increase scale and production value without increasing your budget.

As always, visual effects are at their best when they’re serving the needs of your story.

This week we really encourage you to get out your cameras and tripods and film your own material for your own version of the shot. Let us know how you get on in the comments!

You can download the project files using the link below.

Now based on this exercise, what would you like to clone? Think of a scene and share a description of it with us. It needn’t be outside of course (although it’s nice to have a big space). Also you might not want to create a lot of people. Cloning a pet rat four times in a cellar scene might be enough to imply medieval conditions, or three joggers to imply a busy park scene. So, have a think of a scene you might be able to use this technique in, and describe it to us to show you’ve got a sense of what masks and layers allow you the freedom to do!

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Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers

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