3D Model Disappears for a Few Frames

edited April 2015 in Express Support

I'm not sure what's going on with this particular anomaly, but a 3D model keeps disappearing for a few frames in composite shot 1 (dropbox link below contains project file and a short vid demonstrating the issue).

Two things I forgot to mention in the video (it's very crude- forgive me) 1. the same thing happens when composite shot one is used in composite shot five and 2. when I moved the key frame for the camera position (the one near the area pointed out in the video- rotation Y) it affected the number of frames in which the model disappeared. It was originally disappearing for one frame only, then I moved the camera key frame (rotation Y) a few frames and the model disappeared for a few frames more.

Also, with this project, I keep getting the relink files notice when it starts up but the files are not used in the project at all?!?!?!


I've also been experiencing HF3P crashing on start up or when selecting a project from the project list. I've been sending the dump file and usually the program opens fine after it crashes first.

NVIDIA GeForce 970

Intel i7


Windows 8.1



  • Have you checked which way the camera is pointing on the exact frames where the model disappears (have a look at this in perspective view so you can see the camera itself)? The keyframe interpolation seems to have a few hiccups on specific movements when rotating just the camera itself. That's why Triem always suggests building a tripod-rig of points to rotate the camera.

    About HitFilm crashing randomly on loading a project, I've also got this occasionally when loading a new project specifically.

  • Robin - The camera appears to be moving as it's supposed to. I will try a point rig later tonight (after work) and see if there's any difference. The planet and star field appear to be in the correct positions and don't drop out of view like the ship. That's why I didn't consider the camera.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well,  I tripod-rig because that's the way to get tripod movements. That said,  another reason I always rig, my camera is I can get odd results animating the camera directly. Hitfilm (like mamy programs) uses Euler rotation, subject to gimbal lock. Animating the camera to a multiple-of-90 on any axis locks the other two together and this is when strange things happen. Seems to not affect things if the camera POINT hits a 90. Always, ALWAYS rig your camera, even if only to a point in the same position. As Simon says, "It's just better."

  • Well, looks like I'll have to start over on this one. I created a 3D point, parented the camera and HF started responding slowly. When I tried moving the camera away from the 3D model to get the whole ship in the shot, the program froze for about 15 minutes (I went and took a shower while waiting) and then had to eventually force the program to close. Restart HF and saved the project file when it started up. Today, I can not access the file with HF.

    I've encountered a few other files as well that will not open. Some were done in HF2 and some in HF3. I transferred the files from my laptop to desktop via SD Card with a USB adaptor. I don't think that had an effect as all the other files transferred fine. So I'm guessing something isn't being recognized properly by HF3P? Maybe?

  • Can you share one or better some of the respective project files? Without having a look at the actual seemingly corrupted files it's hard to guess what's going wrong.

  • Sure, I'll upload a couple to Dropbox later. Right now I have to run a few errands.


  • Unbelievable, the computer makes me a liar again. The project files are loading up fine now. There were two in particular I was going to upload but for whatever reason, they are loading into HF3P just fine now. Weird.

  • You really are encountering way more weird stuff with your computer than should be normal  Well, good that it sorted itself out.

  • Agreed. Something is wrong and I don't suspect software.

    My story was- after the power break, my MB was resetting to defaults, including the clock (which was painful, because all certificates were not valid). I even sent the MB to the service and it was checked returned with "could not replicate". I assembled everything together again and the problem never appeared again. I suspect that the power connectors were not connected to the MB tight enough, but I will never know :)

  • edited April 2015

    I'm beginning to suspect my friend Greg may have put the RAM in the wrong places. According to the MB manual, the chips should go in the DDR3 A2 and DDR3 B2 slots. Any added would go into A1 and B1. Greg told me it wouldn't make a difference if they were in A1 and A2 and that's where he left them. I've been thinking about moving the A1 card to the B2 slot to see if it really makes a difference or not...........should I? Would it adversely affect the system? Well, any more than what's already happened with the little glitchy things? The manual also indicates that the Duel Channel Memory won't activate with only one or three modules installed but all 16 GB of RAM are being seen in the system info.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    The A slots are one channel and the B slots are the second channel so your memory definitely isn't operating in dual channel mode. You should always pair memory to the slots so A1 and B1 or A2 and B2. If the manual says to populate A2 and B2 first then that's what I would do for sure.

  • edited April 2015

    Thanks, Aladdin4d - before I turn the computer on in the morning I will switch the RAM card and hey, maybe that will clear up some of the anomalies. Now wouldn't that be cool.  :^) My fingers are crossed.

    I began to suspect this might be the problem while working in HF3P yesterday. If only one 8GB card is being utilized it would make sense why the program was getting hung up while working on a project. It's the exact same type of slowdown I experience on my laptop with 6GB RAM. So by putting the cards in the correct position to utilize all 16GB of RAM should help, yes? Or am I not understanding how RAM should operate?

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    Well you have access to all 16 GB but only through one channel or pipe if you will which creates a bottleneck compared to using 2 memory channels. By setting up the second channel properly you gain an increase in memory bandwidth which might help. You'll definitely gain better overall performance.

  • Gotcha. I will get the problem corrected.

    I sure hope all the HitFilmers will meet one day so I can thank you all face to face. Something along the line of the end of Lost wouldn't be bad. We could build our own composite shot in the sky and meet there. lol

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    What? :)

  • Haha, awsome idea! 

    Just to add to that dual channel thing, this video might help you understand what's going on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D8fhsXqq4o

  • edited April 2015

    Thanks for the great video, Robin! Lays it out nice and neat.

    I switched the RAM to the proper configuration this morning. Seems like it's running a little better but haven't had a lot of time to spend on it yet.

    The 3D model problem persists. It's almost like there's a blind spot in the active camera mode.  The model still shows up in all other angles- perspective, top, right etc. It's at 04:05 through 4:19 when the model disappears. Then another strange thing happens. The MP4 I have attached as the engine, upon reappearance of the model, moves up through the ship as if when the ship disappeared the engine kept on track but when the ship reappeared the engine was part way up the ship- as if the ship fell behind during the time it disappeared. Hope that makes sense.

    Here's the file if anyone is interested. I'm thinking, you might be able to add a model to the project- copy 'Si's Ship' position and paste it in your model's position field.


  • You shared the private URL to the model, which doesn't work for us. You'll have to share the model via dropbox and post the link you get from that. Also, 3D models are actually contained in project files, so I guess there's no need to replace the model if you didn't take it out ;)

  • edited April 2015

    I keep getting relink file messages that have nothing to do with the project I'm working on. Weird. I've just been hitting cancel. Could that be an issue with the SSD? The HF3P program is on the SSD but all the project resources, including saved projects (.hf) are on the HDD.

    Anyway- The ship's .obj file is now on lockbox and so is the MP4 engine thing. The project file is labeled WRA1.

    Let me know if this works.



    Engine Effect: hthttps://www.dropbox.com/s/s58x4ffd081mnu7/Engine%20Preset.mp4?dl=0tps://www.dropbox.com/s/s58x4ffd081mnu7/Engine%20Preset.mp4?dl=0

    Project file:


    Dropbox Folder:


  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited April 2015

    Dude!  2.14 Million polys? Wowza.

    The high rez model combined with some geometry errors might be enough to cause it to blink out.  Just my $0.02.

    I imported the model into LW and when I zoomed in I was astounded at the amount of detail in the rings.  However, the central cylinder looks to have some geometric errors.   This could be part of the issue.  

    Plus, way back in the day, intersecting polys could result in rendering errors.  Today, not so much.  But, considering the massive amount of polys that need  to be computed, those kinds of errors could creep into the equation.

    You might try a lower poly count stand-in object (made with simple shapes, not just a poly reduced model) in your scene and see if you have the same problems with the comp.

  • Whoa, yeah, that model is quite heavy. I thought I could have a look at it on the go on my surface, but guess I'll have to wait till tonight when I'm on my desktop again. Looking at this with half a minute rendering time for a single frame is not really feasible :D

  • Okay, even on my PC it's quite slow, but manageable now. :D

    One thing is for sure, the disappearing is happening for me too, so probably nothing hardware related, and it's for quite a good amount of frames, so not just some random flickering. Probably best to have the developers look at this. Calling in @SimonKJones and/or @Ady , what do you guys think?

  • edited April 2015

    Stargazer54 - The only problem I've had with the model is when HF3P first came out and I had to switch the .obj export settings to triangulate faces- in Blender. Before I did that there were gaps in the model surface. But I did use this model in HF & HF2 quite a bit without a problem. That's what leads me to conclude there might be a glitch in HF3.

    Robin - If you try to change the position key frames for the camera point the disappearing happens for different lengths of time. At least it did for me. And this time the model disappears at a different point in the timeline than the first one I posted in the video. At least 4 or 5 seconds difference.

    Glad it's not my hardware or just me. I'd be ticked if it was.

    Thank you for checking this out guys!

  • You really are asking a lot of Hitfilm or any 3d app to do anything useful with that because of the topology I'd say it was luck it was working and not hitfilms fault :)  You should really retopologies it and simplify the geometry there is no reason it needs to be that dense a mesh it's not adding anything to the model and for close shots it shows that it's just procedural displacement there isn't any real detail like cabins etc. so you would be unlikely to use it for close work either so I can't think of a justification for the complexity, just get enough detail on it so it looked ok from a distance is what I'd do if it's moving it will have motion blur was well that will hide more :)  will make your life a lot easier and everything will start working faster.   Model bits of it rather than procedural displacement for close shots.

    The model takes 850meg just to hold it in memory then hitfilm has to do all the calculations to work out where shadows are on 2milion + polys and that's before you have tried to do anything else and you have overlapping mesh and all sorts of issues in it so honestly I'd say it was not a problem with hitfilm it's a problem with the model.

    Saying that I did a really rough reduction of the poly count this might be more manageable and will most likely look similar from a distance but the underlying issues with the mesh are still there but see if this works better, it may still cause issues mainly because of that centre piece I think but could be anything :)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zdpthlcgaq7hrkj/SI'S SHIP FINAL-DEC.obj?dl=0

    I'll make you a nice one during the week if I have time next week :)


  • @mark_e Most of what you said is valid, but I disagree on the "Not HitFilm's fault" bit. No matter how complex and unoptimized a model is, as long as the mesh itself has no actual problems (like messed up normals, or anything like that), it should definitely not affect the render except for render times going through the roof. A 3D model disappearing without apparent reason halfway through a shot should not happen with a model that's just unoptimized, period.

  • edited April 2015

    I don't have an overly strong opinion on it I think you point is also valid.  Personally I think technically for example the fact the sphere at the front has 512 non manifold elements is not wrong, is it good practice is it helpful for the situation I'd say no, but that' just my opinion, even having internal faces or normals the wrong way around or even custom rewriting the normals is technically not wrong sometimes you do that like for modelled bubbles in glass or perhaps fissure in glass that sort of thing so it should work.  The centre squished displaced sphere, well it's manifold sure but I think most render engines are not going to do a great job representing all those overly sharp edges layers on top of each other like that but that's just a practical aesthetic point of view it's not wrong as such but I wouldn't expect a great result from it.

    I agree in retrospect that it just vanishing is bad it should at least throw an error or something like that, could even be the gfx card running out of memory.   I think as a 3d designer you need to take some of the accountability for what you chuck at the render engine which ever one it is and create assets accordingly and not just say it should be able to deal with whatever I decide to throw at it however I've decided to do it at the extremes and I'd class this as an extreme case personally and other models are working ok.

    Anyway I'm not an expert it's just a hobby! will be interesting if the decimated mesh works at least that will get things going again.

  • Of course, as a 3D artist you always have the responsibility to make reasonable models, not saying anything against that 

  • mark_e - Thanks for taking a look at the model. I learned how to use this technique from the following vid:


    Can you direct me to a tutorial on a way that's better for 3D modeling (I use Blender) than what I've been doing and get the same type of results in appearance? The reason I chose to try the method above was to be able to get close up shots with more detail. My first attempts at creating a similar model were very crude and close ups looked terrible.

    I downloaded the adjustment you put on lockbox but the only problem is the entire ship is one piece. I can't assign different textures for different parts i.e. the engine and the side 'wings' on the sphere when uploaded to HF3P. The materials are all one.

    As I stated before, I never had a problem with the model in HF2U. I would think if an earlier version of HF can handle this model I would expect HF3P to handle it as well. I may be wrong. Maybe something internally has changed of which I'm not aware(?).

    Robin - I just exported the clip with the original model I uploaded to dropbox. It's a 12 second clip and took 1 minute 36 seconds to export. That's without the stars, sun, planets and such. An earlier version with the ship and stars took 10 minutes 56 seconds.  The model did disappear in the final export. I thought those times were pretty good and suspect on my laptop they would have taken much longer.



  • StormyKnight - Yeah, I guess the gpu is what's bottlenecking my render of the model. Or systems are pretty similar except for that you have a 970 and I'm still lurking around with a 560 Ti  (You are using your new rig now, right?) But well, I just got a bonus from my job, and will probably put it towards a new gpu - likely a 970, too. Especially with The Witcher 3 being bundled to them right now for free :D

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