Blender to Hitfilm?

I've been learning some Blender, and I decided to model my own TARDIS from Doctor Who. 

 The problem is, how do I use it in Hitfilm properly? I've exported as a .obj, but not all of the material slots are there. Also, how do I save the texture made with nodes in Blender as a texture I can use in Hitfilm?

Thanks for any help :)



  • I'll call in @spydurhank who is the Blender expert. 

    I suggest maybe going to neonvisual and just buying this Tardis.

    It's built by our own @NxVisualStudio and he also has a rigged version. He built it for Hitfilm and it comes with a Hitfilm project and all the materials dialed in (I changed the glass windows settings  a bit and resaved on my computer). There are also a few alternative texture and dirt maps, and it looks absolutely incredible. 

    You can see it in action here. Look at the texture detail on the wood grain! Beautiful highlights.

  • That is some super, high quality work!

  • @Triem23 It is a beautiful model and I would love to buy it... sometime :)

    I'm just wondering how to use my own models from Blender as I said above, in case I want to do more with it in the future.

    Any tips from @NxVisualStudio or @spydurhank or any other Blender experts? Even how to use a model in Hitfilm realistically, with the materials and lighting, etc.



  • Well, in principle, if you're building a model to use in Hitfilm you need to plan around Hitfilm's capabilities. 

    OBJ is ancient in computer standards. It doesn't hold much information. 

    In general, no you can't export procedural and node textures from Blender with the model because the OBJ format won't support ANY software specific shader, and Hitfilm does not have those shaders. All procedural textures have to be baked into diffuse, specular, bump and normal maps. OBJ and Hitfilm won't support modifiers either, so Displacement, subsurface division, etc, has to be baked in to the geometry. Balancing geometry details with normal maps is an art. 

    Important note. There seems to be a glitch in Hitfilm where multiple materials with identical diffuse colors can be merged into a single material. Solution is just to assign each material a unique diffuse color on creation. 

  • @Triem23 thanks for that information! I had no idea about the .obj thing. What format would you recommend to export to for best use in Hitfilm?

    Also, my materials are different colors but there is still some missing. Can they be a different shade of a color, or does it need to be a new color all together?

    I will have to look into baking the textures then... 

  • +1 for a PBR thread!!! :)

    I actually find the .obj files which I export out of Blender, to be the easiest and works without hassles in HitFilm so I'll dispel a common misconception.

    Blender exports a .mtl file with texture coordinates and materials, although I do write custom .mtl files after export so there is absolutely no reason for the model, not to import into HitFilm with materials and textures applied... but like all 3D software, HitFilm is sometimes very buggy when importing 3D models created in other 3D apps. You can do everything Correctly on export from Blender but sometimes... just sometimes HitFilm  won't import a model correctly and you'll need to relink textures, but that's not tough at all when you build your own 3D assets. :) 


  • @spydurhank @Triem23 @NxVisualStudio

    Here is a quick render of my current model in Hitfilm. I tried baking the texture from Blender, but it didn't apply onto the model properly. I just used the wood texture and changed the diffuse color to a dark blue. 

    Also, for some reason exporting as .fbx made the materials work...

    Any suggestions on what needs to be done? I think I need to manually UV unwrap the model, as the texture is stretched, but what else? Thanks!

  • That's starting to shape up.

    I'm really really rusty on actually working in a 3D modeller and Blender and I don't really get along. You will probably need to rescale some UVs. You might want to look into the DISPLACEMENT modifier in Blender. This will actually modify the mesh based on a grayscale map--and I think it's how NXVisualStudio got the wood grain textured into his TARDIS model.

    For that to work, you'll have to add several layers of subdivision to get too many polygons, then do the displacement, save out a normal map, then derez that sucker back down to something reasonable.

    I wouldn't be surprised fbx exported materials better than OBJ. OBJ dates back to the 1980's, and, technically, doesn't even store materials. Like spydurhank said, OBJs have an MTL file that holds material settings, but even that is limited in shat it can hold. FBX is a much newer format, specifically designed for exchanging assets between software, so it's able to hold more advances material settings and animation data along with a mesh.

  • @Triem23 thanks again! I have a question about the displacement. What do you mean  by adding several layers of subdivision? Do you mean the modifier? Also, why is this necessary? 

    Thanks for the help :)

  • Not a 3D model guy but I have done done some editing and 3D text in Blender. My question is why can't you animate it in blender, export that as a video file and incorporate that into your video? Is there an advantage to having it Hitfilm?

  • edited September 2017

    @8ALTON8 Mostly because I'm more familiar with how Hitfilm works. Plus,  I can have full 3D interaction with things like particles from Hitfilm.

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