Just playing around a bit

Can't wait to get a better computer so I don't end up melting this laptop down with renders and exports. I might be able to actually do something better than just a single 3d object in that case. This took around 45 minutes to export. Mainly due to the dragon.



  • That looks amazing! I am curious as how you alembic models work, animate them :)

  • edited July 2016

    @TriFlixFilms Thank you :) Essentially the alembic is just the animation information of the object you are animating. So in Hitfilm you would import the 3d model and set it up then drag it into the composite layer. From there you can click the dropdowns located in that 3d object to locate the animations. Then you can add in 3d animation and it will look for .abc files. Once you get that imported into the media location you drag it onto the animation spot and viola! Your model is now animated.

    Now to be able to import the 3d animation you need a 3d software that supports alembic export. Cinema4d, Lightwave, Maya and I am sure many others that support alembic. For the time being Blender is still lagging and cannot export alembic files at the moment. There are talks about getting alembic support for Blender but thats been going on for a long while so I am not holding my breath.

    Here is the process, sorry no sound. Don't have my mic hooked up at the moment.


  • I use 3DS Max, my biggest struggle is learning to export my models with 'Editable' or 'keyframable' parameters. So say I make a Jet or a Car. When I am in 3DS Max I have control on the wing tilt or the car doors being open.

    When I go to export, I want to be able to open my model in HF and have parameters that I can l keyframe for the wings to tilt or the doors to be open/ajar/closed :) Make sense?

    I think this Alembic model thing would solve it.

  • @TriFlixFilms Alembic won't allow you to control individual objects of an object for example a car and its door. Best method I know of so far and I believe @Triem has touched base on this with me before, his Dalek animation. If your model has multiple objects to it like the door is separate from the car. Then you can parent the door to the car at the hinge location with an anchor point then you can rotate the door open and it will in turn move as though it is attached to the car yet still hinge open with a keyframe rotation. Alembic just exports your complete model animation.

    I haven't worked in 3DS Max so not sure but if possible as it is easier to animate in the native 3d creation environment. Then you could import the footage and set up the 3d model with the footage in 3DS Max and then adjust it there. Export as mpeg4 with the animated 3d object in place then go back into Hitfilm for any additional effects or editing needed.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @TriFlixFilms FlyingBanana is correct. Alembic is pre-baked animation. Hitfilm model animation is pretty much a brute force point rigging of animation groups (although one can assign each group it's own point). Hitfilm actually isn't bad for rigid/mechanical stuff--planes, helicopters, robots that don't deform. BB-8... Daleks... But for complex stuff or organic creatures it's the wrong tool

    3DS Max will cheerfully export Alembic animation. Blender--well, the Blender Foundation has said "ALEMBIC COMING THIS YEAR!" since 2012... Daz 3D has an Alembic export module, but it's $80. I think that's the least expensive option.

    Flying, if one were animating in 3DS Max, one wouldn't export the 3DS Max render with the BG plate in place--it would be better to export the render passes on a transparent background to composite in Hitfilm. This keeps the model on it's own isolated layer for glows, particles and grading. Otherwise, rendering passes is a great way to work.

    I'm gonna tag @NxVisualStudio here. I know Tony uses 3DS Max and he's built models optimized for Hitfilm and done Alembic export, so i know he'd have good insights here.

  • @Triem23 Thanks, you da man! :) and I thought about that a little later with exporting just the render with no background. And it makes total sense. Better watch it, keep this up and you will have a Staff logo next to your name. LOL

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator


  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff
    edited July 2016

    I LOVE the title 'Yard Dragon'. So simple, yet so - awesome. 

    Also, you've done really well with the lighting of the dragon, but to me it feels a little crisp in comparison to its surroundings which are slightly softer and blurred. That's the only disparity that makes my head think that there's something wrong. 
    Coincidentally, we've just released our new tutorial which is all about lighting 3D models (though not animated): 


  • edited July 2016

    @KirstieT Thank you :) and thanks for that tutorial as well. Yeah I kept messing around with it a bit then just got to the point my laptop was chugging along barely moving. That's when I decided I might as well export before the laptop had a meltdown.

  • @FlyingBanana78 This is a cool looking effect, the shadow on the ground really helps bind the object to the ground. Is that using Hitfilm cast shadows on a floor plane? (sorry no time to watch your how to yet).

  • @Andy001z Yes that is it. Had the reflection map set to the footage layer as well. But as @KirstieT pointed out the lighting is still kind of off but indeed the shadow was created on a projected floor plane

  • @FlyingBanana78 - I tried to catch a yard dragon on camera the other day but it was too fast and got awa...........wait.......ohhhhhhhh- that's a model! Nicely done!!!!  ;^)

    Thanks for the how to vid as well!

  • @StormyKnight ; LOL Thank you, yeah they can be pesky buggers. I just figured I would share the alembic import as I have seen others ask.

  • So you animate it outside of HitFilm, right? There isn't a way to keyframe animations inside of HitFilm for .abc files specifically. I realize you can with .obj if the parts of the model are technically seperate objects, like the blades on a helicopter for example. But when it comes to your dragon, you can't  import the model then in HF keyframe his head and tail swaying of wings flapping?

  • edited July 2016

    @TriFlixFilms - All the parts you mention would have to be separate from each other in the build of the model and just after importing it you'd have to select which parts you would want to move independently by selecting individual groups. Then go on to materials- once the groups are set you have to re-import the model to change them. If the model is only one mesh there are no individual groups to choose from, nothing to move individually so alembic appears to be the way to go. I believe the dragon in the above example is one mesh. At :12 seconds there appears to be only one group- Yard_Dragon....I mean Big-Dragon.

  • So the only way would be to animate in a seperate software:( I know its a lot to ask for but sometimes I wish HF was closer to being an all in one editor (including albemic haha).

    Either way ill find a way to make it work:)

  • @TriFlixFilms "But when it comes to your dragon, you can't  import the model then in HF keyframe his head and tail swaying of wings flapping?" In short, no you can't. "Organic" Objects mostly require 'rigging' the object for example a human character, animal as they tend to not bend as they tend to have skin, muscle mass, and bones they do not bend as though a helicopter blade on a rotor or a wheel on an axle would. Think of it as a door hinge there is no real bending involved it is just a pivot. So you could take a 3d hinge into Hitfilm and animate both pieces of the hinge with keyframes and such and make it look as though the hinge actually moves realistically. However if you took a 3d human and tried it the mesh of the human joints would just pinch the mesh when trying to animate it. There is no mesh deformations that happen in Hitfilm or weight maps that get applied in Hitfilm for organic objects.

    So basically if your model has multiple parts and is a mechanical object (cars, doors, helicopters, gears, and such) you can animate that in hitfilm. Any .abc files as you suspected are created inside the 3d software you use to create the animation sequence, The .abc file is just as @Triem23 said a 'Baked' sequence. Which is why in Hitfilm you need to import the 3d model and set up its textures and such then you will have to also import the animation sequence to it through the .abc file. You can animate the position, scale, and rotation of the object but not individual parts of the organic object.

  • edited July 2016


    StormyKnight said!<-

    You asked about exporting 3d models from 3ds Max so that they imported into Hitfilm with groups that you can select on import for later keyframing Hitfilm?  This is not for animated characters but like you mentioned, cars or jets, that sort of thing.

    In 3ds max, open up the slate material editor, under the Materials/Standard list choose the standard material and drag it into the viewport.  Assign that material to the part of your 3d object that you know you want to animate.  Name it and assign it an ambient/diffuse colour.  Any parts you want to move together as one piece, assign the same material to them.  Repeat this process for any other parts that you would like separate keyframe control of in Hitfilm, but choosing a different colour for each part.  I export the model as an .obj with export options at default except I select flip Y/Z-axis, crank the precision up to 12 and select the blender preset.

    It seems hitfilm streamlines the 3d model import process by grouping materials of the same colour together.  I don't think Hitfilm sees 3ds Max groups, hitfilms definition of a group is materials that are the same colour.

    Hope it works for you!

  • edited July 2016

    I was reading that it is possible to use the xbox kinect with a blender plug in to animate your humanoid models. So the user stand in front of the kinect (infered camera) and raises his arm, the 3d model will raise their arm. Does this sound practical or time saving or would it be best to try to stick with 3Ds Max and retexture.

    Basically I have 2 weeks to:

    • Downloads some free pokemon models
    • Retexture and Animate the models
    • Shoot my footage
    • Track the footage (Mocha)
    • Insert the animated 3D models and properly light them

    What I need to learn still:

    • Retexture and Animate the models
    • Properly light them

    I believe the lighting would all be down in HF4P, right?

    And the Retexture and Animations would be in the 3D software, either Blender with the kinect or in 3Ds max?

    Thanks! :) @TTSProd

  • edited July 2016

    @TriFlixFilms Long story short, yes you can use an xbox kinect or a windows kinect, or any other depth sensing camera's to capture the motion file. There are also many other software out there that will capture the motion information and thats when you export from there to a .bvh file for Blender to use. At that point you still have to set up your 3d model and the skeleton similar to rigging your own character but not as complicated. When you have you model and your .bvh file imported into Blender and the pose set to the mesh of the object then you can select pose mode and now your imported bvh file will move in the manner that you created with your motion capture software. Depending on the quality of the footage for your motion capture though you might still need to fine tune the animation some. So Blender by itself doesn't do motion capture as far as I know, you still have to do that outside of Blender then save it as a bvh file for Blender to be able to use it.

    There are video's out there such as this one that show that it can be done and be done rather well.



    As for the lighting and such in hitfilm yes you would still need to place lights in the scene and set up your textures and such as normal if you are using it as an actual 3d object/animation imported into Hitfilm. However if you light your object and save it as a video from Blender with alpha you can just import the video into hitfilm already lit and ready to go. Only down side is it will be a 2d layer at that point so you can't position or rotate it if need be. All depends on what you are using it for in the footage. For example a 3d spinning rotating watermark logo over the footage you could just import it as a rendered animation video and import it back into Hitfilm that way being you will never need to rotate or move the camera around for a watermark/logo.

  • TriFlixFilms

    FlyingBanana78 has a far better grasp than I of the methods involved in what you ware trying to do.

  • So I learned how to rig a pokemon...


    now export .bvh and send to blender with that Kinect plugin?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    One thing to note--if you're lighting in Hitfilm then your model is going to need "baked in Alembic" data. As far as I know the long-awaited Alembic module for Blender isn't out yet, so you'll have to animate in 3dsMax.

    @NxVisualStudio should have more information.

  • @Triem23 I knew it. It was only a matter of time before you got a logo next to your name :) Congrats !

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @FlyingBanana78 TY.  I guess I was the only one surprised. 

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