Add a cloud of smoke or lightning flash

wjauch wrote on 6/9/2019, 1:32 PM

I am editing a short film in Vegas Pro 15. In the still below the character on the right says he will disappear and then does just that. (In the footage he gets up and leaves frame, obviously those frames will be deleted). To cover the transition I'd like either a brief cloud of white/grey smoke or a lightning flash. I'd appreciate any suggestions re an easy way to achieve this. In addition to Vegas Pro I do have hitfilm express although I have never used it. I do not have After Effects. If the best answer is to get from or are there any pifalls to watch out for? I'd assume I just place the effect video on a video track above my video, do I need it in a format with an alpha chanel and if so what do I do with the alpha chanel? Any advise help is appreciated.


Dot wrote on 6/9/2019, 3:25 PM

You might check this footage out.

And I believe hitfilm has many effects you could use.

karma17 wrote on 6/9/2019, 7:55 PM

If you have screen recording software, you can capture a clip from a video like this:

then take that clip and use the chroma key in Vegas so you just see the smoke, and then place that video track on a track above your footage, and just the smoke should appear when your actor disappears. You can speed up or slow down the effect to your liking.

You shouldn't have to pay someone for this. Adding an effect like smoke should be fairly straightforward.

You can watch these videos to get more of an idea on how to do it in Vegas.


Hope this helps.





Dimitrios wrote on 6/9/2019, 8:06 PM

it would look better if you use hitfilm, especially the lighting. But here is some clips I just did in vegas. The first one uses one of the cloud presets animated the progress and Y offset along with a feathered mask and had it fade in and fade one with only the middle most point before fully visible. Underneath it I put a white solid with the same fade in and outs and the same feathered mask. Hitfilm has better looking fractal noise, but you might also have access to the fluffy cloud effect but I'm not sure with express. The second one I tweaked the lightning preset, made the background transparent and put layer demontionality on it with an edge glow. Also animated the progress. I did something with the x frequency to make the lighting thinner and sharper and masked out the additional bolts that appeared, then i chopped it up and messed around with pan crop increasing it in size spinning it around and arranged a few of those together. I also increased the brightness during the lighting strikes. Hitfilm has a much better looking effect called lightning and electricity which I know is included in express.

wjauch wrote on 6/9/2019, 9:53 PM

Thank you all for your advice. I prefer the look of Demetrius suggestion and will try and do that one. Also I unfortunately wasn't clear re lightning, I wanted either smoke or lightning, and the lightning to be like the effect when you are in a room and lightning flashes outside and everything briefly goes very bright, not a visible bolt.

Musicvid wrote on 6/10/2019, 3:23 PM

Hitfilm Express is free.

harry-worth wrote on 6/11/2019, 3:35 AM

Had a quick play.....Something like this?. Bit of smoke with crhoma key from a cannon shot

wjauch wrote on 6/12/2019, 10:07 PM

Had a quick play.....Something like this?. Bit of smoke with crhoma key from a cannon shot

Thanks, I'm trying it with Dimitrios suggestion earlier in this thread.

harry-worth wrote on 6/13/2019, 2:19 AM

OK. If you don't succeed then upload a short clip of just  that sequence so I can have a play and make a VEG file for you to look at.

wjauch wrote on 6/13/2019, 6:52 PM

OK. If you don't succeed then upload a short clip of just  that sequence so I can have a play and make a VEG file for you to look at.

Thank you for the kind offer. I'll continue to work at it and if I don't succeed will take you up on it. Presently very busy with day job, so slow progress on this.

wjauch wrote on 6/22/2019, 9:37 AM

Just to follow up, I uploaded a clip of what I came up with. The smoke is actually multiple tracks, animated at different speeds, different feathering and varying opacity. Thanks again for all the helpful advice

harry-worth wrote on 6/22/2019, 11:17 AM

Hello wjauch

Thanks for coming back to share your results. I also moved the back view of the head to a new track but was not sure if the whole screen was smoke or just the guy facing the camera, so I smoked the lot.

All members like to hear if problem are solved so thanks again