Filmer 3D for Hitfilm : Design and VFX.



  • Got a bit of a late start today but finally started adding greebles. This new texture hack is gonna come in so handy with painting super detailed texture maps for super close up shots. :)  

  • Holy Greebletastic Batman! Looking awesomesauce with a side of Tauntaun soup.

  • @spydurhank ; Damn!  I have that plating generator too, but you really play it like a concert piano while I just  hunt and peck.

    That is looking so good.

  • @tddavis and @FlyingBanana ,

    Thank you guys. :)

    Yeah the plating generator is a really good addon. Just takes a little getting used to but it is awesome. :)

  • @Spydurhank ; Holy smokes... that's fantastic!

  • Thanks @FilmSensei ,

    Just taking a break and catching up on some Orville, has anyone noticed that the Orville in the Title intro of the show, has changed in level of detail since the season one pilot?

  • @spydurhank ; Those images are way wicked!

  • @spydurhank Actually, I haven't watched any of The Orville Season 2. I have been very busy and just haven't had a chance. I will have to take a look and compare the titles.

  • Who does the plumbing for Star Destroyers? I'm just experimenting with scale so I'll tone these pipe greebles down but for now, looking to see how much detail I can pull out of this.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    To be pedantic and historical  I doubt the original designers of the Star Destroyer were thinking exact scale. Much of the greebling of the time was just using leftover stuff. Those "pipes" were probably left-over spar material from a commercial model, along with the leftover tabs. Anything handy for texture. 

    A few years ago LACMA had a Star Wars exhibit of shooting props among them the smallest of the shooting models for Millennium Falcon - the one clinging to the Star Destroyer in ESB -  and that model didn't HAVE 3D surface details. All the plating lines had been drawn on with a mechanical pencil and matte-sprayed to fix the lines.

    Boy, if you ever see an actual TNG tricorder prop.... That thing was designed for SD resolution which means the actual buttons an graphics were low-res printouts. Blurry and illegible. The toy actually looks better! 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Btw, that model is shaping up nicely. 

  • Thanks @Triem23

    Found a bug when rendering at low samples in current Filmer's "auto scrambling distance" Fixing it now for the next update which you guys will get asap.

    Filmer will also have a new Material Tools Panel to help stay organized because accidents happen when working with materials and duplicating 3D objects.

    For instance, in the Destroyer project I had a single 3D object/greeble with a single material labeled: "mtl". I obviously had to duplicate the object/greeble many times to spread it across the Destroyer mesh. Duplicating a mesh object also duplicates the material by adding a .### suffix to the original name which I forgot as I was duplicating the greeble and placing it on the Destroyer surface. So I had thousands of duplicate greeble objects each with a copy/duplicate of the original "mtl" material.

    mtl.001, mtl.002, mtl.003 and so on. My scene had thousands of objects with thousands of materials. Even If I merge all the thousands of greebles into one object, the new joined object will still contain all of the thousands of duplicate materials which would need to be deleted one at a time. A handful of materials is no big deal but it is when you have thousands of materials. 

    So in case you make this mistake I wrote two new operations. The first operation will merge all duplicate materials in your scene back with the original name that you specified and you do not need to select anything, you just click a button and it will clean all duplicate materials in your entire scene. The second operation works on one object at a time, it will delete all Materials and material slots in one click. I'll post a short video in a day or so. 


  • With regards to greebes (had to lookup that word).

    I looked for an online example of some closeups of stuff along the line I think of. I'm not so sure about the "pipes" in the examples. From a logic standpoint they seem fragile. It screams, shoot me here. Not saying something like, give me your best shot, I'm tough, and I can take a punch.

    Also, I think since this is supposed to be a weapons platform. It should have lots of visible weapons. Gun turrets so to speak. BigA heavy turrets to battle bigA ships and lots of smaller turrets to deal with small fighter type ships. Very much like a WWII cruiser.

    With that some shots of an example I found.

    Some side/trench greebles and front/nose heavy turrets. You can sort of see a side heavy turret in the trench. This is in the area of the notch in the side.

    Closeup of the side. With the side heavy turret. Some smaller turrets can be seen on the top and super structure side.

    A shot showing some small turrets on the super structure. Two small one to the rear. Four intermediate'ish ones to the right of that.

    Nothing about guns but just including engine detail since I am copying screenshots from this example. There is some pipes here but it's around the engine/nozzle area so makes more sense.

    I don't think Star Wars cannon need directly apply. In fact, from a gun design, the Star Destroyers are bad. No heavy offensive weapon to the rear. Actually there appears to be minimal defensive small turrets, if any, as well to the rear. In the era of guns, WW2, ships could always shoot through a full arc. Some arcs could provide less firepower than others but all arcs were covered.

    I like the idea in the example shots of the front and side heavy turrets. The ship can attack through maybe 270 degrees without needing to reposition. As shown there is a problem shooting up/down but I digress. A rear super structure heavy turret would cover the rear. As for other guns. I don't know if there should be both intermediate and small turrets or just a lot small turrets (fighter defence). More small turrets than this example could be good.

    Anyway I like the idea of a bristling gunship. If you see like hell. And turrets provide surface detail that seems logical. And BadA.


  • edited April 2019

    Just had an idea about heavy turrets. If there was one on the nose, two on the mid point sides and one on each rear point of the "triangle". All in the side trench.

    This provides. 5 firing forward. The triangle shape allows side/rear turrets to fire forward. Three turrets to the sides and two to the rear.

  • Hey @NormanPCN ,

    Thank you for all of that. I actually didn't know what a greeble was as well until someone here on the forums explained it and posted some video links for me a few years ago.

    Some but not all of those pipes will be there in the end. I'm using them mainly as a visual aid for later manual scaling and greeble placement. The visual aid lies in the offset 90 degree bend in some of those pipes as you look at them from one end of the ship to the other. There is a 1.5-ish million vertices count just with the pipes but the total so far is 2.1 million as of yesterday when I started adding greebles which is too much I'm sure but I may keep a super heavy poly version around for something super crazy. I'll post some greeble shots later on.     

  • Correction, that is

    3,114,831 vertices.

    2,793,966 faces.

    5,484,158 triangles. And here is what I've got so far. The panel detail, when added will make this pop.

  • @spydurhank Holy smokes that a lot of detail! That looks great. There is no way my computer could load that.

    For reference... Greeble Wikipedia Article :

  • edited April 2019

    @FilmSensei ,

    Thanks. It won't be anywhere near that large. :)

    EDIT: A few screen grabs of the greebles by themselves.

  • Hey guys, here are some thoughts, questions and updates that are pretty close in the near future of some stuff that I've got milling about in my brain. 

    01: How do you guys feel about another higher level of performance upgrade with cpu + multi gpu support for Filmer/Blender 2.80.0? It's true that Filmer's custom written Cycles render engine already renders 2x up to 4x times and in some cases up to 10x faster than the official Blender 2.80.0 beta but what does that actually mean? 

    It means that I have 3 Nvidia gtx 970s with a total of 12gigs of vram and also a 32gig Radeon Pro duo but I would really like to be able to use all of those GPUs and CPUs in my machine at the same time in Filmer. In the official Blender 2.80.0 beta you can only choose to use either Nvidia or AMD GPUs one type at at a time but never both at the same time. The idea that I could use 44gigs worth of multi gpu power on a single machine sounds ridiculously fantastic but I went to bed last night after spending hours looking through Blender 2.80.0 source code and learning/memorizing the nvidia and amd gpu stuff.... ergh, brain fart.

    Anyway I went to bed last night with a strong belief that I can get cpus + nvidia and amd gpus working together in Filmer. This won't do you much good if you don't own both types of gpus but it will give you the freedom and potential to use a mix of both nvidia and amd gpus at any time that you choose to. I'm aiming for a July release for now but if this turns out to be easier than I suspect it is... we're gonna get it much sooner.

    02: Could you guys please give me some advice on how to grow my almost non-existant online audience and really just improve the quality of what I do? I don't think I'm being ignored but I do feel ignorant as to how to do this properly because from my perspective, we're doing something that is personally the coolest thing ever with Filmer/Blender 2.80.0, and Hitfilm but virtually only maybe, and that is a big maybe, a dozen people know about it and that is counting my five Beta testers which are a literal handful of amazingly talented artists and they're only getting better and growing their knowledge base. The high quality render output that I'm getting from these guys is nonsensically amazing and they deserve a name... Hand Solo, Pimp Hand, Mom's back Hand, Five fingered discount, That's Handy, High Five, Fifty Fingers of Death, Granny's hardcore knitting crew, Knuckle Sammy. Okay I'm dry. :)       

    I know that I need to organize my thoughts better when making videos as mentioned by @braj so there is something that your tips will help with. @braj, I laughed super outload at your comment because I imagined you becoming ill and then head exploding while watching my videos like one of the dudes in the "Scanners" movies. It is funny because what I'm doing is super easy, just simple mouse clicks of button operators that do the hard mesh editing stuff that requires  first hand knowledge of 3D creation pipeline in single click. But my thoughts are scattered and I go back and forth, side to side, up and down, and then invert direction, making for a roller coaster feeling when watching my videos. So yeah I can literally imagine you physically going through this. So uh, sorry about that dude. Need to make the ride smoother. :)

    I need to catch up on some stuff because the family drove to Texas for a wedding and I'm here watching the cat and dog till tomorrow night but I have been doing some modelling as you've seen in the pics that I've previously posted. Aside from that I did come up with some ideas and other Curves, custom SVG logos, 3D text stuff and getting it into Hitfilm ... could be new tools? Yeppers. :)

    Oh and if you guys ever need help or anything, I'm literally always here at my machine to answer anything right away which may sound sad but is really not. Sometimes people randomly come over to shoot some pool which is always really fun. It is really fun when a random Sales person comes calling because for all their attempts to get us to purchase something, my father-in-law who was hustling pool back in the 1950's, talks the sales person into a money game and the guy can shoot. Everyone is invited to come test their skill. :) 

    Anyway, when I create art I want/need nothing else but to keep creating art and art is very easy and most importantly it is the most fun so it does not feel like a job for me. I'm always near my art supplies and when I draw I always have pencil and paper, when I paint I always have brush and canvas and they're mobile. Now desktop machine is my art tool but I must be near because it is not mobile but it has one great benefit, it never runs out of art supplies. I don't like laptops. Nope, not for me. So please let me know your thoughts on how I can improve exposure to what we're doing and now to catch up. :)

    Later and thanks for your thoughts,


  • edited April 2019

    @spydurhank ; FWIW, as for Q1: I only have one 1060 GPU, but I am all for the code to combine GPU and CPU.  Very exciting possibilities there, and well worth a premium.

    As to Q2: That's out of my league.  I only use the channel I do for little experiments and have never thought to pursue wide audience interest. :) Frankly, I shocked with 15 subs.  That said, I sometimes don't have the chance to watch one of your more technical vids all in one sitting, so my comment about the vids would be to consider doing a part 1 and part 2 at about 15 minutes each.  It might help them to seem less intimidating to new viewers.  But, I say, just keep doing what you like, or it becomes no fun.


  • Thanks @tddavis ,

    Shorter videos sound great.

  • One tip for getting more info out there to a larger audience, especially in blender is doing something like a patreon page and it will also help possibly get a bit of additional funding tossed your way. I know there is a lot of blender artists that have gone that route and have had success Steve and Andrew Price and I believe also Gleb Alexandrov. Then once that grew large enough  then they moved on to creation their own sites and hosting files and paid tutorial videos and other content. It is almost like being a digital door to door salesman in the fact that you have to post some quality videos and products in as many places as you can think of to get exposure and hope that you get some flocking to your site and following.

    I have personally been trying to get the info out about Filmer and Hitfilm for a little while now but I don't have many followers or sites that I do post my works to. But don't let it get your drawn away from the fact you are doing an excellent job for the HF and Blender world alike in the coding and creation of Filmer. 

    As for multi manufacturer gpu's that would be awesome and a great selling point to others that use blender as there are many out there that have been locked into the Nvidia product line for years and years. And to now know that they could not only upgrade their system with a new gpu they wouldn't have to go with another Nvidia, just add an AMD to their machine and use both. Makes the upgrade decision a little easier as it allows for more options. The RTX line is just mainly for game use and has no real benefit to rendering in Blender and they are overpriced as they are the "New dog on the block" 

    Keep the chin up and love what you do, that is the first and foremost thing. Once it becomes a "Job" then that is when to step back and re-assess the situation. One of the reasons I fell out of traditional art and never got my mojo back. 

  • Love your outlook and thoughts @FlyingBanana78 , Thank you for all your help. :)

  • edited April 2019

     Yep. Been thinking about this Frank. I wanted to make a few videos about your process but I think I should leave it to you. It's your baby and I don't want to steal the thunder. Like FlyingBanna78 said you're doing an excellent job with Blender and Hitfilm. You are literally the "huge ice breaker" for the rest of us. The path you clearing is  allowing others to benefit from your passion. Keep truck'n my man!

    As for the audience...videos are hard to do when you're trying to teach. If you do them on the fly (like I do) there are so many thoughts running through your head about what you want to convey before you know it you have an hour long video. Nothing wrong with that mind you but to keep someone's attention for that long is difficult...unless you're shazam'n  every 5 minutes! I think if you keep em to 5-10 minute chunks you'd get the attention span dialed in.

    Say something along the lines of: 

    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: How to Export OBJ for Hitfilm
    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: How to Export Blender Camera for Hitfilm
    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: How to Use Filmer Tools
    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: How to Fix Normals
    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: Alembic Mesh Animations
    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: Rigged Hard Surface Mesh Objects
    Filmer Magic in Under 10 Minutes: Cycles Renders 4 times Faster

    etc, etc, etc

    I think you see where I'm going here. Then go ahead and do long technicals if  you want. With both make sure at least to have an outline of what you want to cover..that way you don't go off on a tangent and get lost in your thoughts. :-)

    As for multiple GPU's - dude---money in the bank!

    As for Pateron - I'd donate monthly. Heck, I give Steve 3$ bucks a month...times how many are donating gave him the cash to build a little studio for himself.

    p.s. - might have a bug in the camera export. I'm going to make sure that I have everything right and then send you the blend and the exported composite for your further scrutiny. Might be two weeks though. Splicing up a fiber network in a coal mine next week...midddle of BF Colorado.

  • edited April 2019

    Thanks for all of that @Graymotion ,

    I've experienced some wonkiness in a blender 2.79 camera exported out of Filmer and Blender 2.8 so I'll check that out when I can but I think that cameras don't export correctly if they are in a group or collection plus the animation should be in "Local Space" 


    @GrayMotion ,

    You got me thinking, I think it's really cool if you guys use the Filmer Tools and stuff the way that it is most comfortable for you, plus you guys pull off some stuff that I didn't think of at first so I get ideas from your ideas and vice versa. It's better if you teach others with your method unrestrained so I'm all for that. Just bear in mind that I'll have some quick tips to clean up imported SVG logos like you did in your tutorial so it could come in handy for you very soon.

    Thanks again. :)


  • No promises but look what I just got working. All cpu cores and both gpu types are now selectable during the Filmer same session. Holy jeepers guys, seriously... wow. :) 

    I don't know if I'll sleep tonight as I'm sure I'll be tweaking the code to get the best performance. Again... no promises but it is all working. Wow. :)  

  • @spydurhank I am currently preparing a series of tutorials on Blender for HitFilm users. My plan is to start with the regular version of Blender, then ultimately move to Filmer as a sort of upgraded version. As a result, in the later videos I will be mentioning (i.e. promoting) your product heavily! Perhaps we could do an interview as part of that series? I don't have a huge channel by any means, but exposure wherever you can get it couldn't hurt!

  • @FilmSensei , Everything you said sounds brilliant. I'm probably gonna crash in about 20 minutes though, soon after another Filmer test build is complete and I run a few speed test renders. Tired. :) 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

     I also intend to use whatever small influence I have to promote, but I guess I was more waiting for things to get out of Beta and into Release. Old instincts, you know.

  • Oh wow, thankyou @Triem23 ,

    Hey I'm gonna re-send an e-mail to you later with your personal code to download Filmer for free, remember all you beta testers get free updates for 12 months. I don't think you got my e-mail last time but let me know. I'm about to crash so I'll do it later.


    Thanks again,


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