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3D Camera Projection in Htifilm 3 Pro | Make a video from a Photo!

Hey there again, its been so long that I've posted something. And this time, we're gonna cover something special and interesting. You might feel this very interesting once you know how we do it. 
So keep reading and read until you get to  know each and  every step clearly. Don't worry, because this isn't that difficult! 

In this tutorial, we'll use the great, brand new video editing software - Hitfilm 3 Pro by FXHome. Don't worry if you have Hitfilm 2 Ultimate or Hitfilm 4 Express. Because this trick is possible in almost every versions of Hitfilm ever released. Anyway, I'm using Hitfilm 4 Pro* to teach you how to get this done!

Before we start learning the steps to do this, we have to know what we're actually going to do! Yes, as you already read in a line above, we're going to make a video clip out of a photo! Yes a Photo!...
First of all, we'll take a photo of a place (something like a room is better - basic geometric shapes are better than complex shapes like plants, leaves and such objects) with a good enough camera. Don't worry if you don't have a DSLR or something professional. Its not required. You just need a good enough point and shoot camera, that can capture a good enough, clear photo by keeping it steady. We'll take a picture and then import it to our software (Hitfilm), and then, make a video out of it. I'm still not telling how!
        In Hitfilm, we have a 3D space, where we edit and composite our shots. And in this case, our photo. Before we start using, or importing the photo we've taken in the first step, we will make a virtual Room(that's why I said that basic shapes are better) in the 3D space of our Hitfilm Composition.  We will make 6 Plane layers in the composition timeline, and then make them all 3D plane layers. And we will align them to make a virtual 3D room. After doing that, we will import our photo, and then apply specific parts of the photo to each of the virtual planes. I think you didn't get it. 
For example, we will then have a virtual 3D room, which will have 6 faces. Each of the face will be considered as a wall in the photo of the room we have taken. And also, when we make these 3D planes, we should make it like the same as in the photo. And then we apply each walls in the real photo, to each faces of the virtual  room we've created. And then, we  get a virtual world with the real photos  applied on each walls. So we will feel like its real. But as it is a virtual world, we can explore it by moving our virtual camera. So that this trick enables us to move around the room we have created, without actually doing it. But  still, as we are using a photo to do this, we won't be able to get the motion that actually happen in that room, at that time. That's common sense. But this creative method enables  us to simply make some great looking intros, and shake-less camera movements that are pretty hard to do in the real life!

Things required to make this

  • A Digital Camera (Point & Shoot is enough) with a non-wide angle lens(Means - not too wide)
  • A good enough computer
  • Hitfilm 2/3/4 - Ultimate/Pro/Express (Any versions)
I don't want to make you much bored. So let's start doing it...

You can watch the much more detailed video version of this tutorial by clicking the button below:

Step 1 :
Before you turn on your editing pc, take your camera, and take a good photo of the room, you want to virtually create and do the tricks with. You should take the photo from the center of one of the horizontal faces of the room. So that it would become much easier to do. The better the perspective, the easier it would be.

Step 2 :
Turn on your computer and open up Hitfilm.

Step 3 :
After opening up Hitfilm 3 Pro, Move the cursor all the way to the top left, and click that New  Button. Then the following screen will be shown:

Those are the project properties. Edit them as you want. Or just leave it as it is...
After its done, click the button - Start Editing

Step 4 :

This might be how it looks for you too, after  clicking start editing. You can change the layout as you want. To make it easier, I'd prefer enabling "All Panels" .

After enabling All Panels in the Workspace  layouts, your screen might look something like this:

Then move the cursor to the bottom left side of the screen, and there you'll see a New Button.
Click it and then select Composite shot from the opening up drop down menu, as seen below:

Then a popup Window will show  up. Change the Composite shot settings as you wish and click OK to proceed.Give the composition a name if you wish.

Step 5 :
The  next thing to do is to import the photo we have taken. To do this, move the cursor to the bottom left side of the screen and there you will see a button called "IMPORT" with an arrow icon aside it. Click on that Arrow icon and then select "Media" from the dropdown menu :

Then a browse window will open up. Use that, browse to your photo, and then import it.

Step 6 :

After importing the photo, your editor should look something like this. You can see the photo you've imported on the MEDIA section on the bottom left.

Click and drag the photo file from the left to the timeline(of composite shot) on the right. And put it there. 

Then press F2 And rename the Picture Layer to something you like, like "Background image" or something else...

After doing that, click on "New Layer" on top of that composition section. Then select Camera from the drop down menu that comes up when clicking  that new layer button.

Step 7 :
After adding the new camera layer, Rename it as Static Camera(Not important. But it will make it easier to identify which camera we should make changes to, later.)

Then make a new "PLANE LAYER" And name it as "Floor"
Change it from 2D to 3D Plane by cliciking the small checkered square just on the right of the floor layer :

Step 8 :
Move  on to the effects tab and search for Grid in it. Drag the Grid effect right to the floor layer.
Then, click, resize, ROTATE and align the Grid to fit correctly to the floor in our photo.
Remember that you should rotate the Grid in X axis to perfectly align it on the Z axis.

Step 9 :
Now, Copy the "Floor Layer" And paste it 4 times and rename each of them as Back Wall(The one you see on the center) , left wall, right wall and ceiling!

And don't forget to rotate and align each of these layers' grids to fit each of the wall you see on the frame. And also, its better to check in the different 3D views to make sure that there is no gaps between your wall  and floor layers. The Room should be actually a room in the virtual 3D space. Hope you know that.

Step 10 :
Now go and uncheck/disable the Grid effect in each of these layers(Floor, Left Wall, Right Wall and Ceiling).
After you do this, the layers will become black. so that if you see a gap between them, that means that your  alignment has some problem. Tweak the position and alignment of the floor , walls and ceiling layers to make those gaps disappear. So that, you should see only a black screen when you complete doing this.

Step 11 :
Now, go to the effects tab, And search "Projector".

Drag that Projector effect to your Floor layer(Can be any wall layers too).
Then go to that layer, expand effects, and then expand Projector Effect. There you will see a dropdown called Project From. Click it and select the Background image layer(The one that we made at first - the layer which include our photo).

Now, click on the Projector Effect, And press CTRL + C to copy it. Then click on each other floor, walls and ceiling layers and press CTRL + V

Step 12 :
Now click new layer, and make a new Camera layer. Rename it as Main Camera.

Our project has almost completed. We've created the Virtual Room. And this Main Camera is the one that we can use to move around in the room we've created. Try dragging the camera in the room we've created. And you can see that you are moving around in that room. Its somewhat like virtual reality. And now, do the keyframe work, add some grading and make it look nice. Add some motion to the camera using Keyframes.

You have read the article version. Now to understand it much clearly, you can watch the detailed video version of this tutorial.

Hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. And if it helped you, please press the like button below and give us a share if you can. Your support is our wealth.

And if you still have any doubts in any of the steps in this tutorial, then please leave a comment below. We'll reply as soon as possible.
Thanks for taking your time to read this long tutorial article. Hope you liked it.

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