Star Wars scene HF PRO14


this is my first HF PRO 14 projekt. I'm inspired by Star Wars and after reading very useful discussions in the forum and watching helpful tutorials I composited this Star Wars scene

Of course there are some things that I can improve but wish I would have a better CPU(i7 5820k) and GPU (GTX1060) to do that in a shorter rendertime.




  • Looks great. 

    Rendering that scene in less than 1 day is a win in VFX. Imagine taking 10x as long, 10 years ago, at a much lower resolution? :D

  • Like it, very nicely done. 

  • @spydurhank thank you

    @CNK yes, it took only about 14 hours

    @Andy001 thank you, too

  • Oh my, 14 hours? Dang, that is a long wait time. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    You've done a very good job of dialing in your materials and lighting, and your track is rock solid, so everything pretty much blends into the video footage as it should. The X-wing flying through the explosion is a nice touch. There's some stuff we could nitpick here and there (the biggest being that everything is moving too slow for Star Wars ships, but you're limited there by the speed of movement of your footage), but, this is quite well done.

    Be proud of this. It's a fantastic first project, and, from here, you'll only get even better! 

  • @Triem23 thanks yes the ships are too slow.

    I have some experience with the Foundry Camera Tracker and Element 3D from After Effects CS5. The workflow is nearly the same. Now tried do that in Hitfilm. To work with the depth mask in Hitfilm is easier than with a z-depth-layer and E3D in After Effects, but I hope E3D will work in Hitfilm with the next update.

  • I think it looks great.
    Just for my benefit... why can't the ships move quicker?

  • @DafterThings thank you.

    I did a quick test and the ships can move quicker, but then the camera movement might not match with the ships.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @DafterThings what @HobbesVFX said. He's animated to his footage, which dictates a certain speed. Especially for the X-wing flyby at the very end. He could speed the footage up to allow for faster ships, but that won't look quite right, either.

    Hobbes, this shot it's not worth worrying about. Shot is done, but you learned a lot doing it, including how the speed and movement of the footage can limit VFX. Now you apply that to the NEXT shot, which will be even better! 

    edited January 25

    Yes, yes I agree. It's fine to discuss, but re-doing stuff when there's already obstacles in the way is probably not as good of an idea than to learn and adapt your future shots to what you know, allowing more wiggle room in the end. :) I'm pretty bad at VFX and I don't properly understand how things are made, but I think that mindset applies to more than just that. 

  • @Triem23 I agree. Next shot - next challenge.

  • Nice work! My only addition to what's been said above is that the flames from the laser hit feel like they could blend better. You might consider a really slight blur (they feel too sharp), desaturate them just a touch, and perhaps play with the hue to add a little hint of a blue/green mix. All really subtle changes, but together I think they'd help the flames feel more grounded in the world.

  • @CleverTagline Thank you for the great tip about the flames. I'm working on my next shot and I will try do this in the next Star Wars scene. Currently I'm working on the tracking that is more difficult than the first one.

    Thank you!

  • Always a pleasure to see VFX nods to Star Wars! Love it! :)

  • Here is my second Star Wars scene. This time I used Mocha for tracking and the space ships are faster

  • Very nice. :)

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited February 24

    @Hobbesvfx Great shot!   The scale and speed of the ships coming through the mountains looked spot on.  Lighting through the mountains looks realistic, too.    Might give your ships a little bit of bank as they round the corner.

  • I like it, cant be sure if the lack of shadows from the ships is a problem or not. Also in the final moments the xwing is pretty sharp, maybe a very sutle  blur?

  • @Hobbesvfx ; Very nice indeed!  

  • Thank you all.

    @Stargazer54 yes I have forgotten that.

    @Andy001z I had reduced the motion blur because of the depth mask of the explosion layer that is visible when the ship is very near to the camera. But I think now, when I divide the layer with the explsion into 2 parts that can fix that and I can get full motion blur.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    This is a huge improvement from your prior shot! Well done! Tracking is solid (not always guaranteed with mocha!), and the speed/scale of the ships feels right.

    @Andy001z I've watched this several times in a row, and I'm thinking Hobbes is ok without having a cast shadow on the mountains. I think given the elevation of the ships it's highly possible that the cast shadows would hit off-screen to the left. It's a bit of a gray area, mind you. A cast shadow might add a little more "grounding" to the scene, but think it's not needed. As I said, the shadow might hit off screen.

    @HobbesVFX That said, the shadow areas of the X-Wing and TIE are a bit TOO dark for this shot. Snow covered mountains, right? So white things tend to reflect a fair amount of light, and water/ice/snow also reflects a fair amount of light. and you can SEE this by looking at the areas of the mountains that are in shadow. Those areas are actually quite bright, and also quite blue. Two things to try here... The first is to sample the shadow color of your Hitfilm lights from a shadow area of the video plate. This will bring in some of the appropriate color AND brighten up the shadows as they'll no longer be pure black. In fact, it's generally a good idea to (if possible) sample a light's color from how the light bounces off something light gray/white in the scene, and to same the shadow color from something grey in shadow. The second thing to try is adding an ambient light to the scene, somewhere about 10% intensity. In this case I recommend sampling a light color from the sky near the horizon. In daylight video plates this will help simulate scattered light that's going to come from the sky. Again, you can see some of this in the shadow areas of the video plate. You'll notice, in general, as you continue with VFX that shadow areas in daytime footage to tend to tint blue. Why? Because they're picking up some of the scattered light from the blue sky!

    Good shot. Keep it up! Next one! :D

  • Thank you all for your feedback. I will try to improve shot.

  • My 2nd version of Star Wars scene 2. Setting the lights is still difficult. @Triem23 I like to have more of your good advice.


  • edited March 2

    @Hobbesvfx I think that looks really good. I can see right away that you are using the Phaser Effect, which is more of a Star Trek thing. You might think about using the Lightsword Effect instead. @Triem23 will confirm for me also that a laser beam always lasts 3-4 frames (24 FPS). It doesn't matter if it shoots a few feet across a hallway or a kilometer through space, it always lasts 3 or 4 frames! :) I think that maybe your Phaser Effect is slightly too slow for Star Wars. Really great job on this though! Really great!

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator

    @Hobbesvfx ; That looks awesome!   Great job! 

  • @Hobbesvfx Agreed with everyone so far.  It looks fantastic.

  • Wow that is looking really solid. Big caveat not an explosion expert, but that explosion feels too heavy and black around the edges. It looks like an oil drum exploded to me. I checked out some source reference Star Wars material and found this I think you just need to Demult the black a little to feather the edges so it blends into the seen. 

    Well that's my thought.

  • Thank you all again.

    @FilmSensei OK, will try Lightsword Effect next time. I have learned a lot from your great tutorials.

    @Andy001z Yes, I remember Andrew Kramers AE tutorial 137 p1 Train compositing. There he shows how to colorgrade just the edge of the explosion. But I have not figured out yet how to do this in Hitfilm.

  • @Andy001z I was not able to do Andrew Kramers (Videocopilot) solution to get rid of the black edge, but with Hitfilms Matte Cleaner and LightWrap it looks better. I hope I will have some time to export it


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