How to Create Scarlet Witch’s Magic Effects

Join our special guest Zach Alan in this action-packed Marvel tutorial to learn how to create Scarlet Witch’s magic effects, as seen in Avenger’s Infinity War. This tutorial was inspired by the upcoming release of WandaVision; you can follow along in HitFilm Pro or in HitFilm Express with the “3D: Particles” and “Motion: Audio Visual” Add-ons.

Step 1: Create a HitFilm composite shot 

Import your footage into the HitFilm Media panel and use it to create a Composite Shot, then duplicate the layer.

Step 2: Isolate the hand

Add a Difference Key effect to the duplicate layer, selecting the original footage layer as the source, then on the timeline, shift the duplicate layer by two frames – the Difference Key effect is used to show any differences between the two layers which in this case is the position of the hand as the camera isn’t moving. Hiding the original footage layer will allow you to better see the effect.

On the duplicate layer adjust the key settings to better isolate the hand, then use an animated mask to make sure that nothing else is visible.

Step 3: Create the subtle flowing energy effect

Add a Fill Color effect to make the duplicate layer white, a Blur effect to soften the result, and expand it. To brighten up the effect, you can use a Crush Blacks And Whites effect. 

To make the layer appear more energy like, add an Atomic Particles effect, in the Number of Particles dropdown menu increase the X and Y Resolution to the max, then increase the size slightly and reduce the Random settings. To distort the shapes, within the Fractal settings, increase the Displace Strength and decrease the Wavelength. You should also increase the Iterations and the Speed setting.

To reduce the appearance of the individual particles, add a small Blur effect. To make the energy effect appear sharper again, add a subtle Displacement effect. To add even more detail and motion to the effect add a Heat Distortion effect.

To add a pop of color, use the Color Vibrance effect. If you’re using Express you can replace this with another effect such as Gamma or Curves to do so. Adding multiple Glow effects whilst consecutively increasing the Radius each time will make the Glow falloff look more realistic.

Lastly, unhide the original footage layer, and set the duplicate layer’s Blend Mode to Add.

Step 4: Create the intense flowing energy effect

Use HitFilm’s tracking tools to track the motion of the actor’s palm. Then, drag a Particle Simulator onto the timeline and in the Emitter settings, attach it to the tracked Point layer.

Trim the start of the Particle layer so it starts when the energy build-up will begin. In the Particle System Movement settings, increase the Speed and decrease the Life so the particles move quickly and disappear before getting too far away from the hand.

Under Appearance, select the Aurora Borealis texture and enable Align to Motion, so the particles angle towards the direction they are moving in. Next, set the Blend Mode to Add, and increase the Particles Per Second to 500 at the start, animate this value to increase over a second, tripling the Particles Per Second to make it seem like the energy is building up

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