TDDavis' Li'l Projects thread - Dragon Action Cam 3 test footage In Pool - 8/9/2020



  • @tddavis

    Oh snap dude! LIKE. :)

  • @spydurhank ; Thanks.  Glad you enjoyed.

  • @tddavis ; Nice!  (Somehow I expect Dr. Smith to be to blame.)

    Would maybe add some glow to the explosion.  Kind of goes dark  pretty quickly.



  • @Stargazer54 ; Thanks.  Yes, you are right.  I tried adding another tutorial's result of a planet cracking with molten core but it's only to create a nice still image and my 1st experiment into making it have motion failed.  If I can get it working, I hope to combine them someway so you see large pieces of planet flying out of the debris field and the core glow underneath but we shall see...  Veering off script from the tutorials here so I quickly let my ambitions overload my abilities. :)

  • Nice work! Definitely want to see any updates you make to this.

  • @jsbarrett ; Thanks.   I made a 2nd try and no joy so I have decided to redo that still image of a cracked planet tutorial and be looking for places to switch to animation as I follow it.  I think, once finished it locks down certain modifiers because I recall applying them dealing with with fracture and such.  Hope the third try is the charm :)

  • Okay, I got sidetracked from the planet cracking animation and worked a little on throwing some rogue on my Seaview model I commissioned a while back (It's coming along though) and while I was at it I decided to dive into rigging of the J2 model @AlDinelt loaned to me some time ago.  Here is a quickie of some camera and that rigging tests.  I had to modify the struts a tad because stupid me cannot figure out piston chains...yet!  I was given a perfect little example by CGMasters but it's just a tiny bit out of my grasp for now.  I'm working on it.


  • @tddavis nice smooth rig you got going there. I am still messing around with my spiderbot/drone rig. Body movement is fine just trying to get the soft rubber leg joint covers to bend and move properly with leg movement. Gave up on it for a bit and now I am sitting here waiting for all the baking to be done in blender before I can try and mess around and bring it into Hitfilm with @spydurhank BtoH script.

    Can't wait to see more on the J2!

  • @spydurhank @FlyingBanana78 ; Thanks to both of you for watching .   I am working toward that same objective and landing the J2 in the yard behind my house...soon...ish :)  I hope to put that script to use there.  But the only thing worse than my texture game is my tracking game!  I am virtually hopeless at it.  I tried that field footage,  Banana that I got from you, several times and I never could get a track even marginally close to what you did.  I plan to lock my camera down when I shoot for this project. :)

  • Looking good! 

    Definitely recommend locking the camera for your first tests.   You could do a variant where you pan (as if following the ship and then stop as it settles down to land).  If you time the animation right with the timing of the pan you should get a good comp without having to use actual software tracking.   You'll want to shoot the footage first and then you'll know how to time the landing.

  • edited July 2018

    @Stargazer54 ; Thanks!   Sounds like an excellent plan.  I will definitely try to do that.

  • edited August 2018

    EDIT:  Re did the render to fix a couple of mistakes on my part and updated the link below:

    Here's a little test using a textured background in Blender with a HDRI image for real (ish)-looking lighting and then comped in Hitfilm.  I even added a bit of SFX this time :)

    Made a prelim shot with the cell phone camera in the backyard and @Stargazer54 's suggestion is an absolute must do.  Timing was wrong, tracking was nigh on to impossible (at least for me)  Trashed that test pretty quick!


  • Looking good! Not sure if you found these yet or not when looking for a few space HDRI's I have used these a couple times. Mainly just for still renders but they work nicely. Don't be put off by the sample imgur quality as it shows a seam but the actual images do not have the seam in them. 

    Also microsoft has a free software called image compositor that you can use to make your own nice quality environment maps.  So you could actually take a bunch of shots on a tripod and rotate it around 360 and then put those images into the image compositor and it will create the environment map for you. That way you will get true reflections of the environment in your backyard or wherever you are going to put your 3d object.

  • @FlyingBanana78 ; I had not found that site, and I searched for HDRI space renders.  All I could find where kind of pricey.  I played with Space Engine trying to make screen caps but had trouble stitching them together with my software, so I will check into program too.  Thanks hugely!

  • @FlyingBanana78 ; Just a still shot using one of those Space HDRI files you linked me to. Me likey!

  • @tddavis Glad you are liking it. HDRI's almost feel like cheating don't they? LOL

  •  Oh, yes, but oh so good.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Looks good.

    Terry, let me remind you of my Hit-U tutorial on creating nebulae and starfields... Now, since I did that tutorial Hitfilm added a lot of 360-degree effects, including fractal noise. This means you can now easily created seamless environment map space backgrounds directly in Hitfilm if you wish. They won't be "HDRI," but HDRI's are (technically) 32-bit/channel (128-bit/pixel) images. Nothing displays these yet, so "HDRIs" are always converted to an 8 or 16 bit/channel images before use, so in Hitfilm Pro, you can create 16 bit/channel TIFs.

  • @Triem23 ; Hey, thanks for that reminder!  I had totally forgotten about that tutorial and the galaxy one, too.  I'll even link them here in case anyone reading this li'l thread ever wants:

    Oh, ooh, then there's the planets one:

    I can't believe I forgot all about these, and I have them archived too...SMH

  • edited September 2018


    Getting ready to go under the knife in a couple of weeks for a knee replacement this year (That'll do the right side and halfway to Vader ) and trying to cram as much learning as I can in.


    Once again standing on the shoulders of some VFX gods. Many thanks to to Lewis2e over on SketchFab for the gorgeous Orville model and to the tutorials of Andrew Karamer adapted to Hitfilm by Simon Jones and Axel Wilkenson for the Sun tutorial and FilmSensei for learning this idiot how to import said gorgeous model into Hitfilm and make it look like it was intended, and last, but not least, Jamie at Film Empire for turning me on to the model's existence in the first place. Any screw-ups are solely on me! :)

    Sun Tutorials:

    3D model import:

    Film Empire:

    Lewis2e at SketchFab (Free sign up to download):

    Edit:  I updated the video taking FilmSensei's notes into account cause he was 100% dead on.

  • @ttdavis I think this is a good start. You will need to create more interaction between the sun in the background and the ship in the foreground. The Lightwrap Effect and positioning of the lights in the seen will need to be adjusted to create the correct interaction, shadows and reflections, etc.... On Monday at 1:00 pm Eastern time, I will release my video on how I made the Orville jump into quantum speed. My project file video will include everything Jaime has plus a warp bubble across the ship just before it exits (bulge effect), light streaks upon exit (zoom blur effect), and a camera shake caused by the wake of the quantum engines.

    Good luck on your knee surgery!

  • edited September 2018

    @FilmSensei ; Thanks.  If it goes as well as the hip did, it'll be a breeze.  Updated the video above adding your suggestions and a lead-in beauty pass.  Didn't do a warp bubble.  I want to see your Monday vid first before attempting it.  I have thought about adding one to the Jupiter 2 when it hits the planet to explain why it doesn't take more damage than it does though...

  • @tddavis Here is an older project file that I was working on at one point before abandoning it due to quality issues with the model (artifacting). It contains a lower quality mesh for sure, but it shows the idea of what it looks like to use the Light Wrap Effect to more realistically put the model in the scene...

  • What!!!? Damn, you should have kept working on that shot @FilmSensei. The materials look good. :)

  • @spydurhank

    Actually, I have to admit, it looks better in this YouTube video than I thought it would. The YouTube compression hides the serious artifacting. When I see the raw file on my monitor it looks terrible, especially where the yellow lights are in the first few seconds. You can't even see the light on the model's right side in the YouTube video. The model is an older model (2004) made in Blender that I converted. I believe it was originally intended for video games. The more you squint, the better it looks! :)

  • @FilmSensei ; I agree with @spydurhank.  Looks great to me, and thanks for digging it up.

  • @FilmSensei agreed dude, that mesh is unworthy of your skill. The ideas you applied to that clip however are very nice. The camera and ship animation are good and if you don't focus on the artifacts you've got an awesome start there because your material settings work really great for this shot. If you jump your project and viewport render settings to 32 bit float linear color and do the render pass trick you will not see mesh artifacts but you most likely will see artifacts if your textures are jpg or png.

    Good call on the video game comparison. I noticed a few years ago that almost all the free models and paid for models that you can download online 'except for a few very well made models' are made for video games and those models don't stand up to par when they are placed in the mid ground and much less when placed in the foreground of a shot. The use of normal maps to fake geometry like greebles, cylinders, spheres or cables is a dead giveaway. These models should be kept far in the background as that is the one place where the illusion actually works. So the idea is that low quality stuff remains in the background and the good stuff or Hero meshes can go anywhere from the foreground to the background.

    Anyway, let's not focus on the bad, I'm really thinking that you should go back to this shot and re-create it if you can find a proper mesh. I'm telling you dude, you've got a very nice shot here with a ton of potential. Please do it? :) 

  • @spydurhank

    Thank you for the compliments! If I find a soft spot in my allotted time for my HitFilm habit, I may pull this project file back out of mothballs and play with it some more. Unfortunately, my HitFilm computer is somewhat under powered. If I kick up to 32 bits, it is guaranteed to crash! I can usually go to 16 no problem, but 4K is generally out as well. :o

  • @FilmSensei ,

    Ah okay, I understand. I have some tricks that bypass that 32 bit bottleneck even when using high to mid res meshes and high res 8K exr 16bit textures.

    In my next time-lapse Blender to HitFilm demo video I have my Project and viewport Render settings at 32bit float linear color and I use a 40,000-ish poly mesh with 8K 16 bit exr textures in multiple instances or copies of the mesh, much the same as you did in your last tutorial, the only difference is that I use a whole bunch more copies of my mesh than you did but displayed at 32bit. The video in my HitFilm timeline is 1920 x 1080. 

    Better info in my video that will be up a bit later, but the trick to view things in 32bit is to have every 3D pass in its own comp then drop each comp containing a 3D pass into a new separate blank comp to put all the passes together. 

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