Filmer 3D for Hitfilm : Design and VFX.



  • Hey thanks for that Mike. :)

    @cluelessnube , I'm all about art and nothing else and so is my thread, although I am a bit nerdy and a dork,. :)

    I'm not a coder, mathematician or even  a vfx guy,  those are just things I can do and learned over night because my brain is a sponge, although I have early childhood brain trauma and things/words get jumbled sometimes, I have a photographic memory making it super easy to understand art when I see it, which is very telling of the artist work which I'm looking at the time, and to learn anything. Basically I know a preset when I see one and render engines are a dead giveaway. 

    I'll tell you the greatest secret to actual true art. You have to do it from your own clean and unbiased perspective.

    I'm not talking about vfx because vfx work is more like 2D cartoons, in that it is created in an assembly line type process by a ton of people trying to create someone else's vision with a specific technique and style otherwise known as the industry standard. You can either copy cat the industry standard which I did for 8 years and got me no where artistically speaking, or you can start creating art with your own method like I did in 2016. I personally started having more fun creating vfx and working with 3D using my own methods, so because I don't follow the Industry Standard, there are no barriers at all or rules concerning proper technique that will hold me back. I have a flawless technique that can do anything, and I mean anything. :)

    Here's a story behind the, why I don't copy cat anymore, still talking pure art here and not vfx.

    In 2016, I was in a video chat with a power user here on the forum, Tony C. after he poked my head for my 3D object lighting techniques in Hitfilm, specifically on using a value of 128 for 3D specular color which is mid grey. We also traded 3D models so he could see my actual settings at work in Hitfilm. He asked me about my hardware. When I told him my machine specs he made the comment, oh you're just copy catting CG Geek, His comment literally sparked my imagination which helped me realize that for 8 years I'd simply been copying the Industry Standard and other artists as well and this is why I was never internally happy with my 3D art. This made me feel really good because finding the root cause of why I always felt kinda "meh" about my 3D art meant that the fix was easy... stop copy catting. :)

    I stopped copy catting everyone online and simply started doing art according to how I did art in the real world before the brain injury at age three. Let me tell you that Tony making the copy cat comment was the best thing that anyone has ever said to me because now my art is purely my perspective with no bias pain or drama. It is just pure art and nothing else and to me it is the greatest feeling. Creating art with no bias or ego is an amazing thing and I wish everyone could have that feeling. Just art dude. :)

    Not to step on toes but anyone can take another artists 3D assets apply presets for materials and anything else, then click render, post the image and call themselves a vfx artist... anyone can do it. Hell, I can do that and call myself a vfx artist but internally I wouldn't feel very good about myself because I'd be cheating myself of the potential and possibilities of what I'm actually able to do. I have a higher standard for myself artistically speaking which I don't apply to other artists because it is very important to me that I learn other artists perspective. 

    I've been trying to find and talk to people that are artists in the real world, like musicians, composers, sculptors, painters, illustrators and all other artists that also know 3D and vfx... you get the idea. I shut the world and people out after my brain injury so I never learned to get or receive another persons view or perspective and internally I have the strongest urge and need to understand other peoples perspective/art and thinking artistically helps me do that with no bias. That is why I jump at the chance to video chat with @Triem23 , @GrayMotion , @FlyingBannana78 , @Stargazer54 , @FilmSensei , @NXVisualStudio and a bunch others her on the forum, they actually know 3D and vfx stuff. They know stuff that I don't know and I really want to know what they know. One of them is gonna give me the right key words that'll set my imagination on fire like Tony C did in 2016. I couldn't thank that dude enough if I tried. He basically gave almost all of my memories back to me and I didn't even know they were gone. I was born via C-section, my first images are being cleaned by a nurse and then given 3 shots on my right butt cheek. I met my mom a few minutes after that. Thanks Tony. :)

    Yeah, the Filmer thing is basically, if you do it my way, the one stop shop that will get you from here to there in no time flat while affording you the greatest artistic freedom. When using Blender and Hitfilm, I'm the only one that knows all of the pitfalls, all the do's and don'ts. I know the proper technique and secret sauce to make it all work. It all comes from real world experience so I designed my tools for an actual real world artist but also easy and simple enough for beginners. Beginners are the guys that can't tell when they see a preset or tell between a game engine render or path traced engine render, they haven't developed the eye for it just yet but it can be learned. For real. I taught my Lady Courtney how to see it in less than a minute and now she points out all of the movie vfx mistakes that others make. She can't not see it. :)

    And yes my technique separates the men from the boys, artistically speaking, but it don't make me no better or worse than the other guy because we all have the same potential to be great artists and those are the guys I want to learn from. The guys with potential come up with all sorts of crazy and awesome ideas, even if they're not that great of an artist, they still have awesome ideas that will blow your mind and they can all be done with Filmer and Hitfilm. Let me not be biased, I can do my method in any software that supports 3D and compositing. My program Filmer and Hitfilm are just what I choose to use. I always choose the fastest and easiest route and you won't get any easier, faster and simpler than Hitfilm. Hitfilm is just my jam dude. Almost like it was designed specifically for me, to help me do what I want to do, and do it quick. :)

    That's about as nerdy as I'm gonna get. :)

  • New Filmer update video. How to run Filmer and install addons for the first time.

    There now only 4 addons to install, all other tools and exporters are hard coded into the Filmer user interface so less stuff to worry about. More videos on how to use all the tools are coming in the next week or so depending on how busy I get. Gonna be super fun teaching you guys what I know. :)

  • Awesome! Very clear and easy to understand. Especially for newer users not having to navigate through a bunch of folders to enable the sweet add-ons you have worked so hard on. Great stuff as always man.

  • Hey thanks so much @FlyingBanana78 , I had to record the video 3 times, I kept jumbling the word "user interface" with the word "mesh" :)

  • @spydurhank Ah, man!  All the really good  stuff drops when I'm covered up with the grandkids at the daughter's house.  Her laptop sound positively sucks with all the ruckus :)  I look forward to watching tonight though.

  • Cool @tddavis ,take care of them kids  :)

  • @spydurhank Will do.  Right now they are in the pool for the 2 hours per day the grandson insists on (has a total meltdown if it's any less) while i sit in the heat on the deck 😳 


  • New video breakdown + compositing walkthrough with Filmer and Hitfilm

  • edited July 19

    @Triem23 , I don't wanna undermine your thread with my art... or my ego. Sorry to come across like a dork. I'll get a handle on that.

    So yeah, that Tardis video tutorial is... well it's something. Almost every thing that dude did will not transfer well to Hitfilm. 

    A sloppy 5 minute job with lazy textures. Not complete or fully textured as I've not watched "Who" since I was 4 years old so I'm not really a fan. Just quickly tossed this together to see why you're having Blender troubles... even in Filmer which should not happen at all.

    Topology matters, My faces are evenly spaced, that's why I always ask to see a wireframe. This is all made up of cubes and rectangles. If you do it right... the bevels will act like hold out edges and that is important to control shading and smoothing angle so you kill two birds with one stone.

    View in "Solid" mode, all shading is clean and smoothing angle of 30 degrees is applied.

    Bevels are nice and clean. You can see the bevels in the wireframe pic above.

    No manual triangulation needed, everything drops into Hitfilm just fine. You need to let Hitfilm do the triangulation on import. If you triangulate in the 3D app, it destroys all of the time you took to mark hard edges in the first place.

    Meaning, why follow a correct process like marking hard edges and smoothing angle then follow that up with an incorrect process like triangulation that factually destroys the previous correct process?

    I'll try to explain better later. Man I really need to figure out how to talk to people so they understand me and not think I'm a jerk or something.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

     Let me guess...

    That took you all of an hour? ;-)

    I'm guessing you hadn't built the Police Box sign at time of upload. The main shell looks like the Capaldi TARDIS in the BG image, but right at the top of the doors it looks more like the 3'rd Doctor's Police Box sign refit?


  • 5 minutes dude. I'm fast... really, really fast. Not as fast as sketching or painting because of the mouse but still pretty fast. :) My imagination is wicked awesome, I just time lapse stuff in my head before I model it and it's easy as cake. Yeah my imagination gets going and I'm on cloud 9.

    If anything I'm slow at thinking of a response that is not smart or sarcastic and as we all know... I don't sarcasm good at all. :)

  • Tried @GrayMotion 's and @FilmSensei 's Mixamo animation tricks.

    Took all that jazz into Unreal to well... do some cool stuff. :)

    Brought all that jazz into Filmer where after applying the Mixamo animation... ahem...

    I fix shading issues, convert tris to quads, Add materials and original Diffuse textures, Create a new UV map/Texture Atlas  with a way better Texel density, Bake original Diffuse textures to new 8K UV map, Delete old UV map, Bake a new 8K Specular map, Set up the new Sky environment model, add compositing and lensing nodes, add camera with dof and motion blur, click f-12 to render. This is cool because I can add geometry and retexture after having applied the Mixamo animation. This is gonna be pimp when I set it up for Hitfilm export. :)

    I'd have to re-paint the textures because the original diffuse textures are pretty low res.

  • I can't wait to see where this goes! :)

  • Very cool Frank. As J said looking forward to the final production. Pretty darn awesome! 👍

  •  Thanks ya'll, :)

    Yeah this is gonna be fun.

  • Dropped the model into a scene, tweakin' thangs before export to Hitfilm. :)

  • Looks cool.  I thought that was Optimus in the previous photos. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @tddavis that ain't Optimus Prime, that's Michaelbayimus Theta. Yes, that's gratuitous sarcasm. 

    Frank, the renders are gorgeous and I look forward to the final version. I just never liked that design for Prime. Don't like the paint job and always felt too many internal mechanisms were exposed. That version of Prime spends 10% of his run-time vacuuming dust and sand out of himself. 😉

    That said it's a lot better than the Deception designs for that Bayformers franchise*.

    *I think I'm the only person who liked Devastator's wrecking ball testes in RotF, mind you. That was a valid joke.

    On the other hand that's a movie that keeps talking about the "Arcee twins" when there are three of them. Sigh. Oh, right, RotF was filmed during a WGA strike and, literally, didn't have a script! 

  • Dude! Have you seen the new Prime in the Bumblebee Movie!? He looks awesome and more like the Gen 1 Prime.

    I didn't care for any of the Bay movies either but it was cool to at least see that it could be done.

    This is just a test to incorporate Greg and Jays Mixamo tricks but still be able to Edit the mesh geometry, uvs, materials and textures... even after the object has been keyframed and animated so this is right up my workflow alley. Absolute control over everything all the way down the pipeline. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited July 20

    Yeah, the Prime design in Bumblebee was a lot better. Heck, that entire movie was actually...good! They remembered we have to actually like and identify with the characters! 

    And that Cybertron sequence was amazing. Loved the homage shot to the 1986 movie. 

    Another nice thing in Bumblebee was stripping out extraneous greebles from the robots and keeping clean silhouettes. Easily identifiable characters. A problem in Bayformers was that 2/3 of the designs were gray on gray. I remember one lovingly animated super-slo-mo shot of robot A pouncing robot B and tumbling to the ground. They were both gray and spiky and I had no idea who they were. I literally couldn't identify the robots in robot mode on sight.

    Ima go watch this now.

    Edit: Hahaha, I forgot Bumblebee KICKED Skywarp's severed head into Starscream's face! Also, Skywarp gets three seconds of screen time, but I knew it was Skywarp because his design was clear. 

  • @spydurhank What is so weird and coinkydink is that I just watched that over the weekend on Amazon Prime because we were just noticing the autistic grandson is using videos on his iPad to communicate recently (He has a Go Talk app but won't use it) but he will start playing stuff over and over again especially since he found the slider bar to rewind.  One morning last week he kept playing Mother Gothel from Tangled (just the part where she says You want to go outside) over and over and trying to drag me to the hook on the back door.  He also plays a Yo Gabba Gabba Mermaid song about swimming at 7 am jonesing for that pool! ANd now he's started playing a Big Block Sing Song vid about eat, eat eat when he's hungry and I said he was like Bumblebee scanning the radio.

    @Triem23 I love that name!

  • Oh my god, that is awesome. Clever grandson. :)

  • Here's wip for that Bay Prime, only two seconds.

    Took just over an hour to render out all the passes in Filmer and final render after multi aov compositing in Hitfilm took 2:42 minutes. Can't show you the ui but I used Hitfilm Pro 15 for this.

    Followed @Graymotion 's and @FilmSensei 's Mixamo tuts... very nice fellas. :)

    Had to tweak and change a few things as I have a different workflow. :)

    I exported an Alembic file from Filmer but I also exported the character armature just to see if I could and yup, we can now export an armature from Filmer and bring that into Hitfilm, it took a few minutes to code but damned if it doesn't work. Darth Vader voice... "All too easy" :)

  •  Hey fellas, just sharing this free to download version of Blender 2.91. It is built by a dude that learned to code and build Blender from the same dude as I did. We have some of the same or very similar features and Cycles speed improvements.

    Anyone can download and test it but I would like my hand full of Filmer beta testers and users to download it and test render speed vs Filmer. I already know the answer as to which is faster but several pairs of eyes are better.

  •  @spydurhank Will do this evening when I'm back home.  I can't have enough Blender versions on my desktop. :)

  • edited August 4

    New Filmer build will drop tomorrow. It is based on brand new Blender 2.91 code so it will be a new install. Gonna spend the rest of the day testing before upload and tuts will follow shortly after. :)

    New render settings, tweaked some of the Compositor code for a slight performance boost when doing extremely heavy compositing, and exporting render passes.

    Also tweaked render samples a bit more and noise generation methods to get several 100 times faster renders than Blender Cycles. Works pretty damned fast on larger images. The image blow is 3107 x 960 pixels and took 7 seconds to render the scene, the extra 12 seconds is the time it took the Compositor to do it's thing. :)

    Also updating new tuts here:



    Also tweaked the Optix AI denoiser and Intel Open Image denoiser code so we can use them at the same time. :) 

  • @spydurhank I'll be on the look out for it!

  • Thanks @tddavis ,

    I'm gonna record a quick teaser of some of the new tools, especially on some new physics stuff that I've been working on and also on exporting an animated character rig from Filmer to Hitfilm. The armature rig came out of Mixamo, slapped onto an Optimus Prime model "not mine" in Unreal engine then brought that into Filmer where I set up a 3D scene, I export the 3D scene, the rig with animation and render passes to Hitfilm for some pure awesomeness. :)

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