Creating a 3d environment in Hitfilm?

Hi. I have a project I'm working on where I need a virtual set of an old style village, doesn't have to be super complex like the whole town, maybe just a small cluster of houses on each side of the road. I want to move the camera through it as well as composite some people living there.
After watching Rodypolis's tutorial on creating a 3d room, I was wondering if it might be worth trying to create simple buildings using planes with textures and photoshopped images on them. Do you think I could get decent results with this or would I be better off building the village with a 3d modelling program 1st? I'm not creating award winning films here, but I would like it to look halfway decent.
-edit- Actually I just been reading about 360 degree panoramic images. Perhaps I could create one of these images and create a large plane and curve it around (if that's possible), or angle 2 planes like this "/\"? I'm not sure, I will have to look into this more tomorrow.


  • It depends really on the specifics of the shot. Is it meant to be a village in bright daylight, or at night full of shadows, or in the rain etc? Creating a 3D set in something like 3DSMax will always look better than doing it in HitFilm, if you have lots of time and the skill - but it depends whether you need to go to that level of detail. If it's a shadowy, rainy night you can probably keep the detail low and do it in HitFilm.
  • It also depends on how close the camera is to the buildings, and how far it is moving. Distant shots will work better with this method, whereas if you are fairly close up on the buildings, or moving all over the place, then the seams can start to show pretty quickly. The biggest issue is that window trim, doorways, porches, etc. on the buildings all have depth that is lost in a comp of still images like you describe, so the shifts in perspective that should happen as the camera moves, don't happen, and give away the fact that it is a flat plane. The farther away you get, the less this matters, and the easier it is to pull this trick off.
  • edited December 2011
    Well the basic idea is I am filming a music video for a friend and in one of the scenes I wanted to do a few quick camera shots going through the main street of the village, and then focus in on one of the guys in the band fighting another guy or a monster (if I can figure it out), like an epic sword fight or something similiar.
    For the time of day I was thinking day time or mid day, but if night time would be easiest maybe I will go with that.
    Also if I were to use free 3d models for 3ds or Daz, what steps would I take to use something like this as a set in Hitfilm? So far I found this which is a 3ds file. It's not exactly what I had in m ind but it is pretty close. I'm still looking, but if I do use this what would I need to do? Create and render the scene in 3ds with the camera movements already in the animation and use Hitfilm for compositing my characters, or can Hitfilm do more of the work? Would find models and using Daz be easier? Here is the link to the 3ds models I speak of:
    I apologize if it seems like I need to be hand held with my questions. I am a complete beginner and this board and youtube are my only teachers.
  • edited December 2011
    A 3D Matchmoving(3D tracking) / Hitfilm combination is more likely to give you the results you are looking for here.
    Put Simply - You could walk down an empty road for example filming as you go based on where you plan to place your buildings in the final comp and your actors etc. Matchmoving the clip(s) will reproduce a Camera in a 3D package which moves exactly the way you move when you filmed.
    Next load up all the 3D buildings you want in a compatable 3D package and position them relitive to the geometry of the real scene and light the 3D buildings to match as close as possible to the lighting in the background clips & render the results against a black background with a Pre-multiplied alpha channel.

    Load up your footage in Hitfilm and layer on top the renderings you produced from your 3D package, Hitfilm will very kindly cut them out cos of the alpha channel and you'll find (with a little colour correction) that all fit's together nicely and you wont suffer any of the ill effects mentioned by Axel.
    The actors are another issue but you could probibly pull it off with a little greenscreening and Hitfilm's 2D tracking feature will pin them in place. Better still, when you do the origonal filming, you could also have the actors acting where you want them to be in front of greenscreens and a duplicate copy of the clip could be garbage matted & keyed and then you'll have all your actors exactly where you want them, lit correctly too and also exibiting correct prospective shifts as the camera moves.
    LOL.....Aint life simple !
    If only
  • Ah, you answered many questions I had. The matchmoving/ 3d tracking concept had me confused. So I guess my next step will be to learn how to use some matchmoving software and find a 3d modelling program to import models with. I'm going to give Pfhoe and Blender a try, unless anyone has any better suggestions. For the modelling software it's mainly just the importing and manipulating of pre designed models that I would be using.
  • The only advantage Blender or PFHoe have over their competitors is price. In both cases there are better options out there, but of course, frequently price is the deciding factor, and both of them are good products for the price.
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