How to create the Red Dead 2 Dead Eye effect | HitFilm Tutorial


Hey guys, today’s effect comes from the Red
Dead Redemption video game series. It’s super simple to do and doesn’t require any add-ons,
so it can be done in both HitFilm Pro and Express. We’re also running a January sale
right now with 25% off storewide. You can find additional discounts in your email inboxes.
Let’s go ahead and get started. Here we are with the clip we want to use in
its own composite shot. The first effect I’ll make is the transition to the brown sepia
tone. Create a new Grade layer, and add the Curves effect. In the Controls panel, drop
down the settings and raise the left end of the curve up to lessen the contrast. Change
the Channel to Red. I’ll do the same thing to the left end- this
will add red into the shadows. Now grab the top right corner of the curve and move it
left. This will make the highlights red as well. Change the Channel to Green. Move the right end of this curve to the left.
This adds green into the grade, which brings it closer to the final brown color we want.
Now change the Channel to Blue. We want to take Blue out of the image, so
to do that I’ll grab the left end and move it to the right. Then drag the right end of
the curve down. We’ve got our sepia tone, but the color is
a bit strong. Add a Hue, Saturation & Lightness effect, and lower the Master Saturation to
-25. This step is up to you. To have the sepia color grade fade in, all
I have to do is keyframe the Opacity of the Grade layer. In the Transform properties,
activate keyframes for Opacity, and have it start at 0%. Move the timeline forward, and
increase it to 100%. There are a few more effects I’m going to
add to this Grade, just to make it more focused and different to the regular clip. First,
a Diffuse effect. This will soften the image but not blur it completely. In the Controls,
I’ll increase the Radius and lower the Opacity. Next, a Vignette to darken the edges. Make sure that the Width and Height of your
Vignette matches your composite, to get it looking even. I’ll increase the softness and
lower the Strength to make it more subtle. Finally, a Zoom or Radial Blur will increase
the focus on your subject. Add the effect to the Grade and position the center over
your actor. Adjust the Strength to fit your scene. Now we’ll move on to the lens flares that
go across the screen. For this, create a new black Plane layer, and add the Light Flares
effect to it. In the settings, drop down the Hotspot Position.
Set the playhead to where you want the flare to start moving, and activate keyframes for
the Center. I’ll have the flare start over on the right side of the screen. Move a few
frames forward and adjust the end position. The flare should cross the screen as the grade
changes to sepia, to hide the transition. Right click the layer and set the Blend to
Screen. Now add a Heat Distortion effect. Turn the Scale, Distortion, and Diffusion
Strength way up. The goal is to make it look like cracks of light, instead of a single
lens flare. Now in the Light Flare settings, choose a Type that fits your scene. I’ll choose
Sun Glare. Increase the Scale to have the flare cover more of the screen. Once you have your first flare complete, right-click
and duplicate it. Drop down the Center keyframe properties for the second flare, and adjust
the position. I’ll have it start and end a little bit lower than the first. You can offset
the timing by moving the keyframes to the right. One more effect you can add is Echo. This
will create the impression of the light flares leaving trails. Set the Echo time to somewhere
around -.1 seconds, and the Blend to Screen. The Decay slider adjusts how transparent the
echoes are. If I set it to .5, the echoes will be half as bright as the originals. The final step is to add the red X’s where
our actor is going to shoot. I’ll do this by creating a simple text layer. Make sure
you have the Text tool selected, and type the letter X. For the font, I’ll use Segoe
Print. Change the color to red. Add a Blur effect and set it to 1 pixel. I’ll keyframe the Opacity of this text layer
to move up soon after the sepia grade takes effect. When you have the X set, duplicate
the layer. Offset the timing by moving the layer, and change the position of the X itself. Feel free to leave any questions down below.
Don’t forget to subscribe, and thanks for watching.

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