Make an object follow a line?

I was thinking of making a title animation and want a butterfly to float around and then land on the words.  Does hitfilm have something for that?  Googling it only leads me to find motion tracking.

I'm just looking to make the butterfly come in and do a couple of circles then stop.


  • edited September 2017

    @usmdesigner  There's 2 ways to go about this that I know about.  You can import a PNG image of a butterfly that you find with a transparent background (or black and use demult key effect) and keyframe its position to move where you want it go, but its wings will be fixed and not fluttering.  Or, you can use a free 3d model from the internet and animate its wings in say, Blender and export that as a PNG image sequence (if carefully done it can be made looping on the wing position) then import the sequence and animate it moving where you wish in Hitfilm.  I once had a butterfly model I played with animating the wings on but I'd have to hunt for it on one the externals.  If you know what profile you want to critter to look like shoot me an image link and I'll see if I can come up with a short image sequence for you (If I can get the wing motion right)  And wait a bit to see if anyone else has better ideas...

  • tddavis  Wow thanks!  It's really just something simple that looks cute.  I tried just searching for a basic cartoon butterfly that will land on some words. 

    Unfortunately, after all this time and work, when I play back my final export, the whole thing comes apart... literally.

    The template was 1080p and when I play it on my PC, half way through, everything starts going crazy and pixelates really bad until the whole screen is fuzzy.  What did I do wrong?  Was the template settings bad? 

    When I now try to go back and set it to something lower like 720p, now my design is way to small and doesn't fit.   arggggggggg

  • @usmdesigner  Found my model.  It was from 2002 in 3DS Max format. (I found it God knows where on the 'net back then but it was free to use cause that's all that I downloaded)  I have converted to Blender via 3ds export and miracle of miracle I got the textures back on it.  Blender class must be paying off somehow.  Anyway, I am working on getting the timing on the wings flapping. It would help to know at what angle you are envisioning, etc.and if this image suits your project? You might try importing this PNG into your project and scale it to size you need to see how it reacts.

  • @usmdesigner for making the butterfly fly around before landing, I have one suggestion for how you could achieve this (probably) faster than manually keyframing the position, and probably also have a more organic look to the movement. 

    -Get a full-screen copy of whatever it is that you want as the background, then make a screen-capture video of you moving your mouse where you want the butterfly to fly.

    -Load the video into HitFilm and track the mouse. 

    -Apply this to a point layer, parent your butterfly to the point layer and set alignment to "along motion path". 


    This way you could focus on animating the wings without having to spend too much time on the rest of the animation...

    Just a thought.

    I haven't actually tested this exact method myself, but I tried something similar recently

  •  @usmdesigner  So I had a play with the butterfly model and quickly discovered it wasn't exactly right for animating so I found a new one.  Pre-rigged!  It is really a nice model.  The guy who posted was just giving it out there for free and didn't say anything about attribution but I included a PDF of his page where it came from in this packet I put together for you.  If you use it it would be polite to give him a mention.  It should be everything to open up the .hfp in 2017 Express and tinker with it to see how I approached it.  I rendered out a stationary shot of the butterfly in Blender as PNGs with his wings flapping then pausing to float then flapping again and imported that into HF as an image sequence.  I then duplicated it and resized there and animate it's position and whatnot and then at the end I exported a still shot of the final position and reimported it to show where it landed (supposedly on some object or text.  Hope you can make use of some of it for your project.

    Here's the Packet:

    Here's a video of what I did with it:

    It's a quick and dirty  way of doing it.  It was a good project to get me back in the swing of Blender/Hitfilm.  I've been away for too long.  I had to stop and think long and hard to recall how to add keyframes in Hitfilm for crying out loud!

  • JMcAllister  I'd say that sounds like a great idea.  I'm an ultimate newbie but look forward to trying to figure that out for sure.

    tddavis  Wow that is so far over my head it's crazy.  But, I think the animation is awesome and will try my best to figure out what you're talking about to get it to work. Hahaha

    This is actually for my little girl's new youtube channel. She wants to do one really bad so I decided I would do anything I can to make her videos good. So I'm just getting started on looking into all this and figuring it out.

    I appreciate the help for sure from you guys. Really awesome stuff!

  • edited September 2017

    @usmdesigner  I find that I learn a lot of how to do a particular tutorial by deconstructing a project file when one is included with the video on You Tube.  Give a shout if I can be of any help as you get going.

  • @tddavis ; Great advice!  Hopefully I can be as much help one day as you have been so far :)

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