Marvel Intro - Environment Map Help

Some of you may be familiar with the Marvel style intro sequence I have created in the past. My main struggle was getting the comic images to appear on the sides of the 3D extruded text. I think I've almost solved the mystery, but still need a little help.

This version uses and environment map to project the images onto the 3D logo. However, when I rotate the text or the camera, the image stays in place while the text moves, which is not what I'd like to happen.

Is there a way I can lock the environment map image to the movement of the text?

Thank you for any help!


  • edited January 24

    Texturing on text objects only sticks if you (for lack of a better term) move it by proxy.  With the old 3D Extrusion effect, you have to use the Transform From property (under the effect's Position category) to set a target layer, and use that layer to move and rotate the text.  The new Bevel and Extrude geometry effects don't have this property, but it's still required or else textures will slip.  How?  Just add 3D Extrusion anyway, and set the extrusion depth to zero.  I did this for a project last year when I was testing the new Pro features.  A bit of a hack, but it works.

  • @jsbarrett that's the same sort of hack I figured out!  Could you re-explain how to make the textures not slip please? I'm not quite getting it from your post :)

  • I’m guessing you have already put one of the new geometry effects on your text. Add a new point layer, then add the 3-D Extrusion effect to your text. In the 3D Extrusion effect properties, set the Depth property to 0, then open the Position category and set Transform From to the point layer you added. Now use the point to move and rotate your text, and the texture should stay in place. 

  • Thank you @jsbarrett. It seems to work, except when the text  is rotated in 3D-space the geometry effect doesn't seem to work properly. It no long looks 3D. Any ideas?

  • As long as you're using the point to rotate the text and not rotating the text layer itself, there shouldn't be any problems.  If you're doing that and it still looks odd, I'm not sure what's going on.  Perhaps you can screen capture the problem and post an image or video showing what you're doing?


    Here's what I did. I'm not sure what I'm missing...

  • I don't think you want the text layer to be a 3D plane.

  • @NormanPCN I changed that later in the video and it still didn't work...

  • edited January 25

    Okay, I dug back into the project where I did this, and also tried recreating the issue in a new file.  It turns out that my original project only viewed the object in question from the front.  It moved past the camera from behind it, but never rotated. However, the texture I'd applied via Parallax was still swimming, which was fixed by using the 3D Extrusion effect.  However, something in the way it looked with the default depth of 20 didn't look right, so I changed it to zero, but again, because I never viewed it from anything but the front, I didn't realize that I was literally zeroing out the depth.

    In short, the depth on the 3D Extrusion needs to be whatever depth you want.  It effectively overrides the depth of the new Extrude geometry effect.  Once you have the right depth, the text will stay in 3D as it rotates.

    Now, as far as the slipping texture goes, I'll admit that I knew very little about the environment map feature before now. However, after watching your demo, it clicked.  In short, adding an environment map to a surface sets what that surface will reflect, not what sticks onto the surface.  When you rotate an object, it will obviously reflect a different part of its environment.  Long story short, an environment map isn't going to get you what you want, and to my knowledge HitFilm doesn't have any features that allow for more detailed control over mapping textures onto built-in text.  You'll need to do that kind of thing in separate 3D software.

  • edited January 25

    Hmmm... I seem to recall that in my original post @Triem23 and @NXVisualStudio said that they had theories on how to get this effect, but never tested them.

    I only posted this because of the little hack I came across and was hoping it could be turned into something, but I guess not. Maybe Boris Title Studio is the way to go, but I'll really have to learn that interface...

  • I had a play with this ages ago, so fuzzy, but isn't there the option to rotate the environment map to get the right part reflecting on the text?
    If there is, couldn't you keyframe that so it rotates at the same rate as the text, so as to reflect the same part of the environment onto the text at the new angle(s)?

  • Yes, the rotation of the environment map on the 3D Extrusion effect can be keyframed, but it's still a reflection, and doesn't behave anything like regular texture mapping.  I had a play myself just now, and I couldn't get any combination of rotations between the environment map and the point driving the text to keep the texture in place.  It's not a 1:1 ratio, where 10 degrees on one will match 10 (or even -10) on the other.  Also, the reflection normally starts out really huge, and has to be scaled down if you want to actually recognize details in the map. However, then the reflection begins tiling, which introduces new problems.

    Unless someone has spent a ton of time and has found a magical combination of settings, I don't think it's possible to cheat mapping a texture onto a surface with an environment map.  This really is a square peg vs round hole issue as far as I can see.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    My theories didn't pan out. Even the Boris texturing won't give you what you want.

    There's no easy way to do this inside Hitfilm. The only thing I can think of is literally using a text layer for a guide then building the extrusions by hand from 3D Unrolled "Media Holder" composite shots then adding in the media. 

    Dedicated 3D programs can allow for animated textures, so the logo was probably made by splitting each extrusion face to a new material then assigning the correct animated texture. Even then it's a lot of manual work.

  • @Triem23 @jsbarrett @Palacano

    Thanks for all the info. It would be cool of layers could be textures for the geometry  effects in the future. 

    I might look into creating the newest Marvel title sequence, but that's a whole other project to tackle... 

  • edited January 26

     @ZachAlan_Productions I was playing around and I managed to get the imaged warped around the text by using the set matte effect.  But I don't know how to get the color back...


  • @Andersen01498 could you describe what you did?

  • Set Matte is a 2D effect.  If you have 3D text and then apply Set Matte to an image layer and point it at the text, it may look at first like the texture is wrapped onto the 3D text, but there's no real depth.  The Set Matte effect is reading the (essentially) baked alpha of the text layer to apply to the image, not the actual 3D shape of the text.

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