3D Object - Flickering when Keyframing Cam Position

Hi, I imported a complex 3D object, applied textures, oriented it with world transform in a composite, added light & camera, Then I keyframed camera position to have an slow approach to the bridge of the Star Destroyer. After exporting I observed this strange and annoying flickering. Did I miss something in the setup?


HF12 Pro on Mac Mini 2018 + Radeon 580 eGPU, Mojave, 1080p 30Hz MP4 export.



  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited March 2019

    If you didn't build the model yourself, one thing you need to check is see if you have co-planar polys.  (In other words, duplicates that are pointing in the same direction.)  This usually creeps in when models are translated from one 3D model format to another.   Checking for co-planars will require a full-on 3D program, such as Blender, Maya or Lightwave (to name a few).

    However in your case, it could easily be that you need to up the anti-aliasing level.    Go to File, Options, Render and change the Default Antialiasing Mode to a higher level and see if that helps.

  • @Neptunos Also change your project settings from 8bits to 16bit float linear color or higher if you're able, this may take care of some of those artifacts.

    And as @Stargazer54 mentioned, the 3D object needs to be inspected first in a dedicated 3D app. Check for the errors that he mentioned. If anything, checking for and removing doubles is a good thing. But it could be a number of other things as well because I can see that the 3D object has no smoothing information and I can see massive distortion in the UVs which is stretching the texture that you have applied. Just some things to look out for. :)

  • At first glance, it looks like you've got some doubles there in the bridge area of the Star Destroyer. Also, it definitely seems like you may have some UV stretching on some other areas of the model. The scales may need to be reapplied, and then the whole model may need to be remapped. It's hard to say how much of what we see is due to YouTube compression. Also, in addition to what has already been said above about increasing the project settings with regard to Anti-Aliasing and Color Bit Depth (which are super important things to do), you might want to consider adjusting the Camera's "Near Clip Distance" to something other than 1. Something like 100, 50 or even as low as 10 can make a difference in artifacting like this as well. Of course you will want to make sure the model doesn't come so close to the camera that you clip it out. In this shot, it doesn't seem like this would happen. Checking the model for problems like doubles and UV stretching, as well as upping the project settings are much more important, so definitely do those things first.

  • edited March 2019

    Neptunos  To help rule out any possible issue with Hitfilm or your system (Highly unlikely but always a chance) where did you find the model and was it a free download or paid model?  It might help to have some one take a look at it and see.  Free models are notorious for the issues listed above.

  • I used the following model (LW6.0 and OBJ). http://scifi3d.com/details.asp?intGenreID=10&intCatID=8&key=534

    Looks like an old, well know problem: https://fxhome.com/forum/discussion/7627/light-flicker-with-3d-models-resolved

    Where can I "adjust the Camera's "Near Clip Distance" to something other than 1. Something like 100, 50 or even as low as 10 can make a difference in artifacting like this as well." Did not find the setting.

    I played around with all options but nothing really helps. Fixing the 3D Model is beyond my knowledge so I've to live with it if there is no easy fix.

    Thanks all for the help so far.

  • edited March 2019

    I never had any luck with Imperial star destroyer from Scif3D. They are terrible and very very hard to fix.

    You can change the camera Near Clipping Distance  by right clicking on the Camera and select Properties then set the near clipping distance to something like 8.

    You can also change the anti-alias mode of your Project by setting the Antialiasing Mode as high as you can. (4, 8, 16 or 32 - depending your graphics cards abilities).

    You could also combat the moire (sparkles) by adding and Adjustment (Grade) layer above the model, adding a Blur and change the blend mode from Normal to Color....but this only helps a little with 3D models.

    The link you shared above..I remember that. You can also fool with the Normals in the Advanced tab of the model properties. Normals/Method/Generate Faceted + Auto Smoothing/Angle -12-50 range

    I did find one model but it still has face issues but it's the cleanest Ive found.

    But if you are unable to work with Blender then that link is really a moot point.

  •  "I never had any luck with Imperial star destroyer from Scif3D. They are terrible and very very hard to fix."

    "I did find one model but it still has face issues but it's the cleanest Ive found."

    @spydurhank Maybe round out your Star Wars models suite with a star destroyer, and maybe a Death Star. The later should be somewhat simple/quick. FWIW I would buy it.


  • @NormanPCN

    You've got it. Give me your ideas and I'll make it happen. :)

  • @GrayMotion thanks for your tips. What is the best format to export from Blender for use with Hitfilm? 

    HF should directly import .blend files...

  • Well... Frank-aka @spydurhank is the resident Guru when it comes to Blender and Hitfilm. I'd suggest paying close attention to the man.......he is "Making it Happen". I'm sure he'll chime back in and direct  you to the pertinent info on his project called Filmer.

  •  Blender and a "One-Button-Mouse" is a real challenge :-) I managed to export the Star Destroyer as 3DS, applied textures and did the next test. Still seeing flickering. 


    It is not caused by YT as I can see it also in QT Player.

  •  @Neptunos ; I haven't had a chance yet to play with the model ,but it sounds like other far more expert than I have.  Personally, I have had the best luck exporting FBX and bringing it into Hitfilm.  For me, the materials are the most compatible with it, but I have not tried all formats.

    I will download the Blender ship that GrayMotion linked and export it for Hitfilm.  If I get it working, I'll upload it and post you a link to it.

  • edited March 2019

    @tddavis - As you can see from Neptunos's render the normals on the large deck panels, conning tower and along the sides are the problem with that blend export to obj or fbx. Works fine in Blender but I can't seem to fix the normals (or unify them) with Franks tools. Sumtin funky w/model and over my pay-grade...I'd fool with it more but I'm working oceans and landscape the past month or so...I don't want to switch gears at my age...transmission might get stuck.

  • edited March 2019

    @Neptunos - That little bit of flicker can easily be fixed with antialiasing and a Grade layer and a Blur effect as I describe above. It can also be controlled by tweaking your lights a little more. There is a some left to do - textures  and a master fix from Terry - but overall much better render than the previous render using the 3dSciFi object. 

  • edited March 2019

    @GrayMotion ; Yeah, I am experiencing a better looking model in Blender than bringing it into Hitfilm as well with the Blender file.  I'm trying to unpack the texture of the scratched hull so I can relink it in Hitfilm as I am getting a flat look.  I did get the lights to be yellow and the engine to glow blue though in Hitfilm so that's something.  If the funky is over your pay grade here, I'm in the basement.  I'll play some more after grandson gets off the bus and I take him home after dinner.

  •  As mentioned already, I DL the model in obj format and there are normals issues with it and doubles everywhere. I did just the top main section of the model and removed doubles and blender said something like 20+ thousand removed  and that was just a small bit of the model. There is over 2million verts to the obj model and they probably used a particle group or greeble add-on as a bunch of the extrusions are separate pieces. Also as stated above the converting a 3d model from one software to another acts and is handled differently, then toss in converting it into another software it is again going to have some issues if not more.


    Clean models are one way to troubleshoot issues cause then you know it is not a normals, doubles, smoothing or UV map. 

  • @Neptunos aside from the normals/doubles? and uv texture issue, your second render looks much better. Are you able to change the model to smooth shading in Blender and activate auto smoothing along with a 30 degree angle. This should give you sharper angles and flatter faces when you export. Really not sure about the default Blender obj and fbx exporters though, they are buggy so I wrote my own.

    I would help you more, as in I'd take a look at the mesh on my machine but I'm pretty swamped with coding Blender today. I typically avoid 3rd party 3D objects anyway and just build whatever is needed  myself. If your 3D object is made of quads, then you should have a much easier time getting it to work...

    Honestly, this is really why I build stuff myself, because you have a very small chance that 3rd party objects will load properly into Hitfilm without first doing who knows how many hours of work in a dedicated 3D app.  

    All the time that is spent on repairing a 3rd party mesh is better served if you spend that time learning how to do a few things for yourself and much more satisfying. Failing that, you'll need to keep experimenting or find someone like everyone who has already responded to this thread, all these guys including myself and a few others here on the forums build our own 3D objects for specific Hitfilm Pro use.

    The last time that I helped someone with a 3rd party mesh was a few years ago here on the forums. I helped Simon Jones with a 3D helicopter that he used in one of his tuts. The mesh itself was terrible to work with because it was made of triangles so I ended up re-topologizing most of it due to bad geometry then had to match the new geometry with the original textures. That was a massive pain. After that is when I decided not to work on 3rd party models. Way too much of a hassle that takes way too many needless hours, so for me as I said before, it is a million times easier and faster to simply build my own. 

      Either way, don't be discouraged. I bet it is something simple and one of the guys can help you get closer to what you need, and after it is fixed we're all gonna laugh at what was probably an easy fix. :)

  • edited March 2019

    Neptunos  This is Blender ship that was linked above.  I opened it in Blender and exported as FBX and unpacked the scratched hull texture for Hitfilm.  I didn't try removing any doubles or anything.  I did up the antialiasing to the max and set it for 16 bit but I still got that flickering. 

    Blender model FBX Import HF

    Now, I did a straight out render with the basic model in Blender and the only thing I did was turn off the starfield.  The render time was about 90 secs per frame and after a couple of hours I stopped it a 3 secs so its super quick, but in native Blender it IS perfect.  So it is definitely something in the conversion but I'm not smart enough to know what.

    Blender Model Blender Render Long Time

    Edit: Had brain fart and thought to check the Blender file and found it had something going on with the Compositing and Sequencer.  Turned that off and cut about 35 secs off the frame time.  I'll see how much difference it makes in look.

    Blender Model PNG sequence in Hitfilm

    Just to give you an idea what it looks like in its native format.

  •  @tddavis thanks for your tests - so just started to work with Blender. Guess I need some time to get used to it :-)

    Did another test with a model from @spydurhank (got one of your free model)


    Still see this flickering. Project settings are 16 Bit Float Linear Color, AA 8 MSA

  • @Neptunos ;

    I'll try duplicating your scene with Hitfilm Pro v12 to check out that aliasing issue. Are you using Hitfilm Pro v12?

    Can you walk me through the steps you took to create that last shot?

    How far is the light from the 3D object?

    Is your object in 2D, 2D plane, or 3D unrolled?


  • As a side note, the Blender model I brought into Hitfilm for the test above was 2D.  I totally forgot to switch it.  After reading spydurhank's questions above I realized it and changed it.  It made a huge difference in the lighting and how the texture looked, but unfortunately on the Blender StarDestroyer I still got some weird flickers from faces but less, I think.

  • Is the UAV your free one @spydurhank ?

    I'd like to try myself if possible


  • edited March 2019

    Test render for you Neptunos -

    Hitfilm Pro v11 - 16bit 16xMSAA

    Ambient light at 9%
    Key Light at 75% (Cast Shadows)

    Diffuse Color 128 128 128
    Specular Color 160 160 160
    Ambient Color - 185 192 200
    Cook-Torrance : Aluminum
    Index of Refraction - 1.440
    Refractive Amount 5%

    Model Layer:
    Model Layer - 2D
    Receive/Cast Shadows
    Material/Environment Map ; Use layer; Source: (hdri skymap)
    Receive/Cast Ambient Occulusion
    Effects - Light Wrap - Source: hdri skymap -  Radius: 6%

    **hdr skymap ->> this is an HDRi image download from places like HDRi Haven and then placed inside of your composite shot. It can be used as a Background, as well as an Environment Map and a Light Wrap source for models.


  • edited March 2019

    @GrayMotion ; Holy crap!!  That is awesome.  Bless you for listing those settings.  I understand nothing about texturing in Hitfilm compared to you and those are going to be super helpful to me at least.

  • edited March 2019

    @tddavis... Neptunos.... copy/paste/save a bit of this conversation for future reference. Good info from many in the entire thread. March 17

    And of course you need this: https://www.filmetrics.com/refractive-index-database

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

     @tddavis @Neptunos definitely look at the thread @GrayMotion linked above ("March 17").

    I'll cheerfully brag a lot of the information in there came from me, but the discussion on suggested model workflow? That's gonna be 30 minutes as a tutorial. 

    Graymotion and @FilmSensei both reposted my breakdowns of Cook-Torrence shader parameters (which @spydurhank informally double checked at the time). Gray took that info then did some private tutorials with @NxVisualStudio (Tony Cee might be the best person with Hitfilm's materials out there) to really get it down.

    Gray is now one of the top experts on Hitfilm materials, so I'm sure his settings for the UAV would work for most planes and spaceships. 

  •  @spydurhank thanks for your support. Composite setup is very simple.

    HF12 12.2.1948, MacOS Mojave 10.14.4, Radeon 580 8GB VRAM as eGPU on Mac Mini 32GB Intel i7

    Project Settings: 1080p 30fps, 16 Bit Float, AA 8x MSAA (I can't select higher values on my Mac with Radeon 580), all other settings default.

    Composite consists of Camera, Light and 2D Model plane

    Camera: Lens Aper 116.7, Zoom 1866.6, Focus 1866.6, Blur 100%;  Transform keyframed Position from 0:0:1866.6  to -0.9:-81.8:835.4

    Light: all settings default, Position -305.8:130.5:161.5

    Model: World Transform: Position 0.0:-47.0:264.0, Scale 185%, Rotation X -20, Y -5, Z 0. Model imported with your composite, settings not changed.

    Composite Length 15s, ensured it has same frame rate.


  • @Neptunos @GrayMotion @Triem23 ; I revisited the composite shot of the Blender version in FBX import and used GrayMotion's settings (I had intended to copy that post from the 17th and forgot it, so glad to have that link to find it again...and done now along with the setting listed above)  I used all Gray's setting except my bkg is just a JPG not an HDRI 

    Here is the result

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