How to make a "grave pit" in Hitfilm (SOLVED)

Hi, I'm currently working on a Halloween graveyard short ( 1 minute to be precise).... anyway, does anybody know how to make a grave pit illusion out of a 2d plane?  I'm using Hitfilm pro-2017 if that helps.  Thanks


  • edited September 2017

    @Andersen01498 ; By far the easiest thing to do since you are in Pro 2017 is to search for a free model (unless you can model in Blender or some other software) and import that into your comp.  But let me play around a bit and see what I can do before I rule out using a plane.  I think it must have something to do with a warp for that perspective look.

    Edit:  Made this using planes fairly quick but it doesn't have the texture you would get from a 3D package.  Hope it at least sets you on the road to it though.

  • edited September 2017

     @Andersen01498 ; Got to thinking about texture and I realized you could always use an image you like and a little masking.  I added a screen shot to that folder to illustrate.  I searched for models but came up empty for fresh dug graves.  Lots of crypts and tombstones though, but no pits.

  • Here is an Andrew Price Blender Guru Tutorial related to camera tracking in blender. He creates a sink hole in the road.    If you just want to see the creation of the sink hole and  as we all know a grave is just a rectangular hole.  Fast forward to the 40 minute mark. 


  • A 3D model would be better, but with a 2D plane you could try the parallax filter. Parallax creates depth based off a grayscale height map used as a source layer. 

  • @Triem23 I went with the 3d option now how would I make the piles of dirt?

  • Probably might still look for a 3D model since that will be easier to integrate with the hole. Otherwise, again, maybe parallax on a layer.

    Note you CAN put parallax on a 3D plane, but you do have to be careful with angles. The original boundary of the plane forms a "Clipping window." where the edge of the plane will cut off the effect.

    But a layer with a colored texture (hey, probably fractal noise using a couple shades of brown, maybe with noise or grain on top for more texture) and a parallax height map (Again, probably masked fractal noise) could work.

    Sorry, getting ready to go out for a potential work meeting, so I don't have time for a full explaination.

    I'm going to drop this tutorial here:

    Wait, you asked for piles of dirt, why am I showing you water? Well, Parallax and Caustics are very similar effects. Both of them work with a grayscale height map, so all the Caustics controls shown here for dealing with height maps work exactly the same way in Parallax as in Caustics. In some ways Parallax is almost like Caustics without all the reflection/refraction controls.

  • @Triem23 do you think I should model the pile of dirt by using a displacement map.

  • @Triem23 nevermind I got it thanks for the help though

  •  @Andersen01498 ; I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  After searching for grave models, I started modeling one in Blender using that tutorial @BobDiMarzo posted.  I saw that a while back and completely forgot about it in relation to a grave.  I'm just about ready to apply textures.  I used the proportional editing to make a mound for the dirt beside the grave if it means anything.

  • @tddavis ; I modeled a  cone in 3ds max and then I just used a displacement map on it for the dirt

  • @Andersen01498 ; Wish I had thought of that.  Sounds like a more elegant solution.

  • @tddavis ; I'm am just learning blender so it would take me ages to complete the project.  But they say a picture is worth 1000 words so this is what I think would work.  Use the cube, scale up on either the X or Y.  Create a plane, use the landscape option ie (make a little mountain)  remove top from cube. Flip normals so he texture can go in the inside.     UV export as a obj or what ever.  



  • @BobDiMarzio ; I, too, am just learning Blender.  I haven't used the landscape option, I like your pile a lot!  Up to that point we did it exactly the same.  I'm at the UV unwrap/texture point in mine.

  • @tddavis Watch the beginning (1:30 to 10:00)of this tutorial on configuring the landscape option.  A dirt pile is just a scaled down mountain.


  • Displace modifiers are your friend. 

  • I know that it's marked Solved, but........  I was trying to remember a similar project and finally I remember a tutorial by Tobias  where a demon bursts out of the ground.  It includes  some free assets. Although it's written for after effects, I did not see anything that Hitfilm cannot do.


  • @BobDimarzio ; the open exr format causes problem with the levels

  • @Andersen01498 ; I have not used the open exr files.  Since I own the Action VFX assets so I used the .mov files.  Truth be told I have yet to explore open exr files

  • @Andersen01498 ; I loaded up an exr format of the ground burst and it functioned in HitFilm Pro without issues.  I am by no means a power user, so please can you explain what the error is with the exr files.  



  • BobDiMarzio   starting 10:40 in the video you'll see

  • edited September 2017

    @BobDiMarzio ; I think it's using the exr 3d data to extract the layers of rubble so that some appears behind and some in front of the object rising out of the ground.  I haven't played with exr either, I supposed you would have to do a lot of masking in Hitfilm since it doesn't extract that data.  I noticed that ProductionCrate had some nice shields and whatnot that were separated for the purpose of putting someone inside the shield dome.

  • Got it thanks.

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