Working with 3D models

Requires HitFilm 2 Ultimate.

After Importing 3D models they will be available in the Media panel. These can then be added to composite shot timelines like any other media asset.

3D models exist within their own 3D space inside the 3D scene. Therefore other 3D layers such as particle simulators cannot intersect or move through 3D models, as the rendering order is defined by the layer position on the timeline.

Using multiple 3D models

You can add multiple 3D models to the timeline. Each 3D layer will exist within its own 3D space, with the timeline layer order defining the render order.

A single 3D model layer can also contain multiple 3D models. This enables the models to all exist within the same 3D space, so is generally preferable for creating scenes with multiple models.

To add additional models to a 3D layer simply drag a model from the media panel onto an existing 3D layer on the timeline.

A 3D layer's models are listed in the Models property group. See below for details.

World transform

These transform controls move the entire 3D scene contained within the 3D layer. All 3D models inside the 3D layer will be affected.


HitFilm's 3D models support full shadow casting and self-shadowing. Models will only cast shadows if the properties are enabled in Materials and if a point, spot or direction light exists in the scene with cast shadows activated.

In addition to the standard Material properties, 3D models have additional environment map and ambient occlusion properties.

Environment map

Environment maps interact with the model's diffuse and specular reflectivity as defined in a model's materials properties (see Importing 3D models).

HitFilm can use the contents of the composite shot itself as an automatic environment map, or you can select a specific layer to use as the map.

The effects of an environment map will only be visible if some of the model's materials properties are set to include diffuse or specular reflectivity.

Ambient occlusion

Models can self-shade based on proximity of surfaces to other surfaces. This replicates the absence of light that occurs where surfaces meet in the real world (this can be observed by the naked eye in the corners of rooms).

The appearance of ambient occlusion can be adjusted to suit the needs of the shot.

The depth scale can be used to adjust the appearance of ambient occlusion for different scale models.

If you experience visual glitching with some models, try increasing the blur radius or samples.


Each model in a layer will be listed in this property group and can be transformed individually.

If animation groups were selected during importing the model these will be listed as sub-models within the relevant model with their own transform properties.

The anchor point orientation property determines the orientation of the anchor point's coordinate system. This is useful for setting up correct rotation of particular animation groups, such as the rotor blades on a helicopter.

Clip window

These properties adjust the clip window which is used to define the area where the 3D model renders.

By default, if the 3D layer is parented to another layer, the parent will affect the world transform properties. Activating Replace in Transformation will cause the parent to instead affect the clip window. This could be useful for linking the clip window to a 3D plane tracked in mocha HitFilm matching a physical window on a set.

For Replace in transformation to work you must first uncheck Match active camera.

Match Active Camera automatically fills the camera view with the clip window, ensuring that the model is always visible even as the camera is moved. If you want the model to be limited to a specific area (for example, if it is to be composited onto a screen or window) you can disable this property.