3d workflow with HF

Used since now HF into adding some VFX to real video capture, I did want also to generate some 3D CGI animations.

Fire, smoke and particles are always tricky to create into real 3d, but this is where HF strengths come in.

My goal is to generate animations containing both characters and natural settings such as grass, trees, animals etc.

My question is what's the best way to import a whole animated set into HF, so that HF 3d elements will interact with the set.

AFAIK HF does import only static mesh (3ds, obj) and Alembic, so I need to export my 3d set in single objects and recreate the whole animation? What about interacting objects such as rigid, soft body dynamics or also hair and cloth dynamics? Need I to use render layers and or render passes?


  • Question, what program are you using to create Alembic files? and  do you need to have hit film react to everything in your scene?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Long story shortish, Hitfilm itself has no real 3D modelling animation tools. There are no hard/soft/cloth/hair dynamics or physical interactions of any kind, except particle systems forces (global or cubic areas setting up a force vector) and deflectors (cubic zones or defined planar layers. There are no warpers, deformers, bones or IK. 

    Hitfilm's object animation is limited to rotation, scale and transformation of the entire model, or defined animation groups. 

    This makes Hitfilm great for mechanical models--cars, planes, helicopters, spaceships,etc. You CAN build point rigs to keyframe animate characters, but since animation is limited to groups this really only works for robotic characters like Daleks or R2D2 (unless the character is supposed to be jointed like an action figure. Hitfilm would also work for set extensions and enhancements. Buildings, cliffs, etc. You could build a forest, but wouldn't really be able to animate things like wind in leaves.) 

    For the types of things you're discussing you'll need to render passes from your 3D software to composite in Hitfilm. If your 3D software can export camera data to a .ma file, Hitfilm can read the camera data so you'll be able to set elements correctly in 3D space. 

    What passes to render out depend on the shot. Someone one the forum more skilled in 3D software than I would have more insights. You will want depth maps. Depth maps, in general will probably need to be embedded in a composite shot for processing before use. 


  • edited May 2016

    I'm struggling to consolidate an usable 3d creation workflow, assessing if HF can resolve some problems. 

    Evaluating iClone for animation, is limited in rendering quality, but does allow fast scene and animation setup. To increase rendering quality I was thinking to animate the essential elements, render using Indigo Renderer (probably needing a pass trough C4D) and next complete the scene VFX and camera in HF.

    Problem is the creation and rendering of natural moving elements such as vegetation, water, fire and smoke. Passing trough C4D is a way to use Indigo (iClone Indigo plugin is bugged) at the price of resetting many animations and loose the iClone speed of use. 

    I can use HF for some elements but iClone export only FBX not Alembic, I need again to pass trough C4D. I didn't want HF to create models or dynamics, but to find a path to preserve it exporting from iClone / C4D and importing in HF, so that HF effects can use this dynamic. If I add a HF fire near a tree moving from wind I want the shadows to be moving accordingly.

    Probably render passes is the only way.

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