3D model Anchor point issue.

Hey guys,

I've been designing and modeling my own 3D meshes in Blender for a while now and I keep running into this issue. In Blender, I always set the models origin point or anchor point, wherever the model has a hinge type of object or at the center of an object that spins or rotates. 

I've noticed that when I import a model into HF3P, as a .obj file, the origin point "anchor point" always resets to the default center of the models geometry. This is okay for things that rotate or spin, such as propeller blades on a helicopter. But it's a pain when you have something like a car door and you obviously need the anchor point to be where the car door hinges are located.

I can reposition the anchor point manually after import of the 3D model into HF3P, which takes a bit of time so I'm wondering if there's a way to preserve a 3D models anchor point the way it was exported out of Blender, I'm thinking of other solutions but I was wondering if there's a way to do it in HF3P because not everyone knows how to use Blender or other 3D apps.  Just looking for a simple solution that everyone can easily use.


Thanks guys,



  • Don't know if this helps your situation, but it appears that HF will load in an object based the objects geometric center, not where it was saved in relation to the origin in your 3D software (I'm using Lightwave). 

    So to get around this little issue, I put a bounding box of the same size centered at the origin around each object.   When the objects are read in, HF sees the box and centers on it thereby preserving the same origin for each object.   Then make the box transparent and all objects should be where you created them in 3D space.

    That's the theory anyway.  I've found that I have to tweak a little to get a perfect fit in HF.   Sure would be nice if HF would respect the creation origin when importing 3D.

    But maybe I'm missing something?



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Um---are you turning off "Center Anchor Point" in the Model Import Advanced Tab? I have to ask.

    I only bring it up because I'm in the process of bringing in the "My Free 3D Tools" Moonbase model, which is all in seperate parts, and by unchecking center anchor point the models are coming in correctly relative to each other. (At least for the individual models that are multi-part. As far as I can tell, that model is more of a "building block" set, so I'm not getting a full scene layout. That would be the LWS file that was included....

  • Ahh... didn't know that was there.  Thanks Triem!  I'll give that a try.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Yeah, you'll find center anchor point as a toggle.... ALSO, you'll find "Auto-Normalize" and this is important--it resizes all models to 500 px high. If you're importing a multi-part model (A single model with multiple files) you HAVE to turn off Center Anchor Point and Auto Normalize (and set consistent scale), or it won't work.


  • Triem is on the money (as usual).

    I believe spyd is talking about the anchor points of individual animation groups within a model, though, which is a different thing. The bigger question there is whether .obj files include anchor point information for sub groups within the model. Any ideas?

  • Hey guys,

    Triem, yup I unchecked the Center Anchor Point & Auto Normalize in the advanced tab... that doesn't work.

    Simon, That is exactly what I'm trying to do, is to preserve the anchor point of all the animation groups. :)

    I just opened the .mtl that was exported with my .obj file, in wordpad, all it had was material/uvs/textures info, sadly it didn't have any anchor point info. Apparently the .obj and .mtl files that are exported out of Blender always revert the objects origins to the center of any 3D mesh or group of objects. :(

    No worries, I'll reposition the anchor points manually in HF3P. 

    Thanks for your help though. :)



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @spydurhank well, let's see what happens with @stargazer54. If gazer brings in a model and the anchors import correctly, then, yeah, the issue is probably Blender. If not, it could be a Hitfilm issue. 

    Ifyou load an exported OBJ back into Blender, does Blender still have the anchors correct? That would tell us something.

     Oddly enough, I just realized I have only imported three objects that required (and supported) animation groups? Two helis and a car. However, all anchor points were center of mass for the groups. Good for the tires and main rotors, but both tail rotors needed adjustment. One of those was that Blackhawk that everyone who did Simon's model-import tutorial downloaded. I've blown it up, twice. 

    @SimonKJones for the record, if I re-did that shot with the particle cloud ufo's in LA, I could set up the saucers in five minutes. My clever workaround took about 45 min. You can certainly hold your tongue, good sir. That's the other heli model I used for an in-cockpit shot. 

  • @Triem23 Thanks for the clue-in on Anchor Point and Auto Normalize (and set consistent scale).   Seems to work now.   I figured there was a way to bring stuff in at a common origin, but never saw that in a tutorial.

    Surprised that those options aren't really off by default.  

    Anyway, sorry to hijack the thread @spydurhank.

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