Filmer 3D for Hitfilm : Design and VFX.



  • What happens when a 2D artist becomes a 3D artist?... Magic with Filmer and Fxhome software. Super fast Filmer path tracing mixed with super fast Hitfilm 3D compositing. That people... is my jam. :)

    Used a single Filmer beauty pass to capture the Glass Volume density and Caustics on the Floor with one sun lamp.

    All other shading, texturing and re-lighting were accomplished in Hitfilm with my fake Path Tracing technique and obviously by also importing the 3D scene from Filmer. 

    The iris is animated with a 3D point and the Hitfilm Logo uses an Alembic file.

    Court and I have a few more things to complete with documentation and quick first use videos but we're doing a How to fake realistic path tracing in Hitfilm as our first main video tutorial. This simple little trick already shown in many of my time-lapsed videos will tie every other technique that exists into one cohesive entity which will help you simplistically understand what I do. This may be a paid course though as Court and I are taking most of your advice about Patreon to get any form of funding. :)

  • Oh lordy, :) 

    So I'm running some stress test render benchmarks to finally have on record for Filmer user documentation. We have 116.923% faster render times than official Blender 2.8.1. This is only using Brute Force. :)

    With a few other simple tricks like Adaptive Tiles and Denoising, I can take that to well over 200% faster render times. 

    Oh and uh... :) we're about to have a very fast Volumetric Cloud Shader Addon that is simply wow in a typical sky type 3d scene which you can fly through with your 3D objects and Camera but it can also be wrapped around Planets for gee... I dunno... other stuff. :) Did I mention that it renders fast? :)

  • edited November 2019

    @spydurhank ; Very interested in that volume shader thing.  Been playing with that a bit lately in my projects (most fire and smoke but clouds would be super cool)

  • Awesome! Volumetrics and fast? Didn't think that would ever be possible to have in the same sentence. Great stuff as always @spydurhank ;

  • Thanks guys,


    Nodes are damned crazy is all I've gotta say. You should see some of the spiderwebs of nodes that people create to simulate real world stuff like volumetrics. Crazy mad scientist type stuff. :)

    @FlyingBanana78 ,

    Blender and any kind of Fast has never been in the same sentence... till now.  :)

    I just used Filmer on a pretty large project, 1 million poly + object in 12 hours. Fully textured. I took my time with it though and spread the 12 hours between 3 Days. I'm very certain that I could've done it in one day. Would've been impossible using only Blenders native tools. 

    I only started working on the volume shader after not being able to get the VC Orb plugin to work in Hf Pro14. That plugin looks awesome, I'll wait till it works properly so I'll get a chance to play with it, I expect easy magic though when I can get it to work... I say as I let out a huge burp. :)


  • Volumetric Nebulae and Clouds... pretty stoked. :)

  •  Dude that looks awesome!

  • Gorgeous!

  • Excellent!

  • Thanks ya'll. Here is the cloud volume shader applied to a planet so I'll just sprinkle a little of this and a little of that... :)

    Still need to write this into an addon but dang, it is lookin' pretty good... :)

    Rendered this at "lowest Volume setting" for quick renders. The shaders are doing all the work for me, so I haven't done any compositing.

    Sphere + diffuse texture.

    Sphere + Volumetric Clouds.

    Sphere + Atmosphere 

    The first couple of pics have a single volumetric cloud layer, the last few pics have three cloud layers.

  • edited December 2019

    A bit more tweaking of my Filmer Volume Shader, after Thanksgiving and other stuff. :)

    So I used three volumetric cloud layers. Each layer doubles render times. One layer takes less than fifteen seconds. Two layers takes about thirty three seconds and so on but this depends on texture size.

    Note though that I used the 6k jpeg textures from Video Copilot and that is why render times were close to three minutes in the last eight pics... and also why the Clouds and Earth texture look kinda meh, and pretty "dull" is the only word I can think of. 8bit compression does that. I'm gonna go check out the NASA site to see if they have the textures at a higher bit rate so I can actually play with the colors and not clip them. The pics below for example, are 8bit jpegs. The aliased banding is pretty obvious in the shading.

    Tried the 6K textues in the VC Orb plugin but it crashes my machine. Scaled the textures to a proxy size of 1920X1080 which is still really slow but it does work without crashing my machine. Adding the other textures and a light with shadows slows down Hitfilm to a crawl and it takes over eighteen + seconds to navigate in the 3D viewport so adding effects takes forever. :( I blame it on only having a measly four gig graphics card. :( 

    My answer to a slow 4gig card that can't leverage the Orb plugin to its full use, is creating a Shader that can be tweaked in real time over in Filmer and renders in minutes what normally takes hours. :)

    And yeah, yeah, I know my Earth looks nothing like the NASA pics or how it does in Text Books. I'm not a text book and simply have my own style is all I can say. :)

    No compositing in the pics below, they are the raw shader renders. Can't wait to do one of my magic 3D scene exports from Filmer to Hitfilm. Oh my god, I'm actually gonna finally be able to do a proper space scene. :)

    Oh and uh, while experimenting to build my volume shader, come to find out the shader can also do Nebulae and Stars. Cool huh? Real 3D volumetric space stuff. :)

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, this doesn't have the blue atmosphere as I only wanted to see the Earth and the Volumetric Clouds.

  • Holy cow! And I knew I left the kitchen light on! That is awesome @spydurhank ;

  •  @spydurhank ; Those last few got some serious bump going on!  Looking sweet...

  • Observation. Don't worry about "not looking NASA." NASA's textures are all mosaics and adjusted/false color images, anyway.

    Closest thing we ever see to "true color" images are ISS GoPro shots. 

    I don't think NASA's archives have any 16-bit images. I was looking for textures last week. Heck, I don't think any of the cameras used to shoot the source images would be higher than 8-bit. If you find a 16-bit image it's someone painting over the same NASA images every Earth texture starts with. 😉


  • edited December 2019

    @FlyingBanana78 , We could send smoke signals. :)

    @tddavis , Thanks. :)

    @Triem23 , Thanks. The 8bit textures are killing me, they're slightly passable as long as I don't color correct or do anything fancy but they're just so dull. Nothing against those textures, I'm greatful that we even have something like this to use. Looks like I'm gonna have to "Gimp" these NASA textures so they'll pop and I can color correct them. Here's a few pics with the atmosphere and again, pardon that they're dull looking. The Blue atmosphere was diffused or something when saved as 8bit jpeg. It looks pale and dull so I brought the images into Hitfilm to bring back the blue but tweaking the image even a little just screams SUPER FAKE to my eyes so I just left them as is. This is still technically previs anyway. Meh. 

    Rendered with Two Samples.  :) 


    Mike, thanks again. I didn't know that all of those NASA images are retouched... is that the correct term? Not a problem, it makes sense that I should paint my own textures. I painted a 16K planet by hand a few years ago for someone's Star Wars Fan flick so I can just add some procedural and hand painted detail in the land but I especially want to add detail to the bodies of water. :)   

  • Well, to be "snotty" you can fix aome "super fake" by adding a specular map so landmass isn't reflecting the same highlight as the water. ;) If you're using any refraction, water is around 1.33 (slight variation by temperature).

    Might want to increase  Roughness (accounting for bounce off a Vari-angled surface - from orbit, wave action is basically just a rough texture, right?) and increase specular depth/strength a bit? 

  • May not make sense but I'm actually using the same trick in my Filmer shaders as I use to fake path tracing in Hitfilm. Probably why I don't have to calculate a damned thing when creating complex materials. One concept makes all the other concepts work in the simplest way. Nothing overcomplicated about it. For real. :)

    Each sphere making up the planet render has a glossy/specular/roughness/metalness/emissive maps.

    The Land has several maps attached. :)

    The bodies of water have their own maps included a glass and caustic density shader to simulate depth in the deeper parts of the oceans, some depths are green, some are blue.

    All three volumetric  cloud layers have their own density maps. Each cloud layer plays with a different light wave length so they change colors depending on where the strongest light source is located. 

    The Atmosphere behaves the same as the volumetric cloud layers.

    The mesh sphere objects that represent the water, clouds and atmosphere layers each have thickness which helps control the volumetric density via 2D textures and 3D procedural textures which also controls how the light source behaves.

    In my scene above, When I move the sun, magic happens. When I move the camera, magic happens. Darth Vader says... "All too easy" :)

  • @spydurhank @Triem23 ; Off the top of my head, I cannot recall who's Blender Earth tutorial it was but there's at least one floating out there that covers making only the water reflect the sun.  I've made two or three Earths in Blender following tuts which is why I'm fuddled on who. :)  I figure you can't make enough Earths...

  • @tddavis

    Maybe Andrew Price? There are a ton of the same Earth tut out there. 

    I'm assuming you guys can't see the varying densities and roughness/specular/gloss/metalness values in the group of pics a bit higher... the pics with no blue atmosphere to be exact. You can see it in the close up pics in the bodies of water and clouds. Just look at the light interacting with the surfaces in the water, land and clouds.

    I'm doing something a little different to control and add ior variances to the density and depth of the oceans... different but pretty cool because it works easily and automatically. :) Too bad that you guys can't see it though. :(


  • Took a couple of screen grabs as my re-painted 8K earth textures were loading into the VC Orb Hitfilm plugin. 

    Diffuse, Specular/Roughness/Glossiness/Metalness, Height, oh snap, forgot to generate a Normal map but the re-painted height map works pretty good in Filmer and Hitfilm. :) The colors are nice, bright and crisp in Hitfilm and all the 16bit goodness is visible in the raw Filmer renders below. With 8bits of extra detail in my textures, I can do some crazy lighting tweaks, add 32bit effects all while being able to safely play with the colors and not clip them. 

    This is gonna be hot when I combine the Filmer render passes with my custom Hitfilm aovs. :)

    And Frank said let there be light... ahem... more specular light. :)

    oh and in the last pic below, I had some free time yesterday so I wrote a new sampling method, calling it "Filmer Samples" to help speed up Volume rendering which works very well, the by product is that everything else renders faster as well so we ended up with another six to fifteen second rendering speed boost. Oh happy day. :)

    I wish that I had acces to any other 3D rendering engine like RedShift or something similar to compare speed with. 

    Tried painting as much detail into the rivers and water ways as I could but I had to keep it subtle by using a small soft brush, anything bigger than what I used made the rivers appear waaaaay too wide, especially when added to the height map. 

    This is like being in Heaven, I never imagined as a three year old that I would one day be able to paint in 3D. Freaking magic. :) 

    All software is like a musical instrument and I can play every instrument because it is just a simple art form, That is why I love Blender and Hitfilm. The possibilities blow my mind. :)

  • Wow! That certainly is lovely!

  • @spydurhank ; It is without a doubt one of the most detailed Earth 3D models I have run across.  Really the only thing that gives it a small marble look is the setting.  In a full starfield for scale it would look incredible.

  • Thanks guys. @FilmSensei and @tddavis . :)

    I'm gonna do a trick so I can display the Textures at full res in Hitfilm, that way I don't need to use them on the actual 3D object so I can save a ton of load and render time in Filmer. I would basically only need to render the Volume density, and shadows in Filmer. Everything else would be handled in Hitfilm so I can really play with the colors, super easy. :)

  • A better look at the 8K textures in the VC Orb plugin for Hitfilm. Displayed a 16bit linear float. The roughness map has a ton of detail that can be tweaked, but unlike the VC textures, my textures affect the land and the water. They automatically work with height and normal maps so that light interacts a bit nicer. :)

  • @spydurhank Those sure do look nice!

  • WOW that is about all I can say. Seems to be a common response with all you are doing.

  • Thanks @FilmSensei and @FlyingBanana78 ,

    Dude!!! I'm thinking about throwing the 16K versions in there for a close up. The built in Hitfilm 3D model import can handle me textures at 16K but I don't know how well they'll do in the VC Orb plugin... it'd be cool if they did. :) 

  •  Man, I've missed a LOT in this thread. Such gorgeous stuff you're making.

  • Thanks @CleverTagline , glad to have you back and it is good to hear that you're doing well after your move. :) 

  • edited December 2019


    Do you know of a obj sequence exporter plugin for 2.8+ ? Reason being I'd like to import an obj sequence into Element. I found this one but before I figure how it works I wanted to ask you..

    Long process short. I'm playing with the process of obj sequences inside Element to then render it out into a 500x500 "sprite"(Trapcode term) and use it as a particle and then use it the same way inside Hitfilm native particle simulator. A little comparing

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