Lost Creek Productions Thread- [Deflectors Test]

Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
edited February 6 in HitFilm User Gallery

OK.  I am hoping this will be the beginning of more to come.  And taking a cue from the others, instead of firing up a new post every time, I'll just add to this one from now on.

Here is a demo I cut together using HF3 using some old and new footage.   All of this work is mine (though there some was collaboration with other design artists with the old stuff).

The "old stuff" goes back to Wavefront days and was created by sending each frame one by one to a 1" tape machine to be assembled in multiple 1 frame edits.  You can tell because its pretty grainy.  I'm surprised the mpegs I had held up as well as they did.


I used HF to augment most of the old shots with flare effects, etc.  Doing this demo was mostly a test of how to "edit" with HF.  I wound up taking nearly every shot into its own composite shot and then assembling the composite shots into one large comp, then bringing that into the editor.  I originally added music to the main comp to get the timing, but later pulled the music out and landed it in the editor instead.

Ultimately, I had so many individual comps it was hard to keep track of them all.  I would like to see a list of comps in a vertical window instead of having to scroll horizontally above the timeline.  Anyway, this was all about trying to get the work flow down so I can actually get back to doing  paying work.



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited November 2015

    Try this. In the media pool, set the two sorting options to "By Type" and "By Folder." Now your Comp Shots should be a nice, vertical list. About to head to work, so I will view the reel later. 

    Btw, Hitfilm saves panel layout when closing itself and in project files, but it doesn't store sorting for the media pool on close, but DOES in projects. 

    General workflow tip: I saved some "Template" projects to my desktop with a comp shot containing my usual camera rig, my preferred panel layout and my preferred media bin sorting. Actually, I have several templates stored for 720/1080p and 24/29.97 fps, and a couple of different camera rigs, a test lighting setup if I will be importing new models, my "Notes" page (a comp shot with a full-screen text object.) etc. These templates are read-only. When I start a new Project, I open the correct template and immediately enter Edit with certain things already set up. Saves a couple of minutes of setup each time. Since I currently have over 330 hpf (and hfcs) files, you can see how saving two minutes of setup added up to hours of saved time. 

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited November 2015

    Duh . . . I'm an idiot.   I had already sorted Media by group and it just didn't fire off in my head to double click on the name of the comp I needed in the vertical group list.  I got locked in to having to scroll the horizontal list to get back to the Editor.  Good call Triem!

    And as always, good advice about the templates.

    This project has some serious issues with scaling SD footage along with a mixed bag of HD tests at varying resolutions.  I could only push the scaling of the SD stuff to fill the frame vertically or I'd crop it too much.  (not to mention the grainy factor becomes too high.)

    Again this is more of a "learn by doing" project and only points to the fact that I need to have some more HD visuals in the can.  I'll have to cut bait on this soon so I can move on.   But, this is by no means the  final.  (it never is.)

  • What do you have for image editing software? On1's Perfect Resize (formerly Genuine Fractals) is still the best resizing software around, and it's a Photoshop/Lightroom plug-in or standalone that can batch resize. It does a pretty fantastic job up to about 300%, and SD to 1080p is only about 250%. Yeah, yeah, another damn step.

    That's a solid reel with a few truly fantastic shot concepts. I particularly like where you crane down on the blueprint and then the jet rises out of it. The "Wild America"  intro, Rockets circling blocks, slitscan, anatomy, da Vinci glider and Voyager. 

    And, I have never made Enterprise look that good. If that's a Hitfilm render you must tell me,  under threat of agony booth (that's right, agony booth, not agonizer--I'm "Mirror-Universing" here)  which mesh that was and how you lit her. 

  • @Triem23 Thanks for the kind words.

    (BTW, I re-uploaded the vid to fix the tag at the end so it fills the frame)

    But yeah, the Big E.   Well that's a mesh I built.  I rendered it in LIghtwave as an image sequence with just a basic 1 light set up from the left and rendered with alpha.  Brought that into HF and made a comp with an image for the stars and one for the planet.  Then brought that comp into the main comp and added Cine Style.

    While HF does have the capability to render 3D objects it just doesn't have the control you get with a full-on 3D program (nor should it).   The way I would approach a real shot would be to render the basic model and the light pass, etc.  Then use HF to comp those elements and augment the composite with the kind of color grading, glows, flares and other effects you get from a good compositor - which for me, right now, is HitFilm.

  • I'll toss in Infognition Video Enhancer for scaling up. It's an optimized VitualDub core with a super resolution option. Super resolution is also available as a plugin for AE, Avisynth and standard VirtualDub. and it's $39.00 US. There's also some very detailed comparisons with other options (including Genuine Fractals) which convinced me to give it a try.

    +1 on the jet rising out of the blueprint! And the quality of the Enterprise! And pretty much everything else, nicely done!

  • @Aladdin4d Thanks for the comments!  

    And thanks for the tip about Infognition Video Enhancer.  I'll give that a look see.

  • Well done, Stargazer54! Along with the other segments already pointed out, I liked the airplane engine- switch to blades sequence to ASRP. Shiny and professional looking.

    Now, how can you have a picture of the creek if it's lost? Hmmm?  ;^)

  • @Stargazer54 Hitfilm, of course, shouldn't have the full render/lighting control of a full 3D app, but I bet you could get glorious results from the Cook-Torrance shader in HF 4 Pro! 

    I... I have to revisit my Constellation-Class cruiser soon. 

  • Yeah, just saw HF4 is out!  Looking forward to seeing what the upgraded 3D capability is all about.

  • Added normal and bump maps. Fresnel, Roughness, more specularity. Reflections/Refractions are more like a global lighting/light wrap thing than mirrors and glass, but it makes a difference. 

    You can get results from 4 impossible in 3.


  • @Triem23 Congratulations you got an image to post! :) 

    Seriously that's impressive! (the image itself, not that you got it to post)


  • It's actually a really simple render. Just three lights. About two minutes of playing with sliders got the material properties right. Bear in mind, that's after I spent an hour on research looking up what everything did... 

    The BG canvas... Well, I am waiting for someone to spot where it came from. Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill just had to remove one thing... 

     But there aren't any real tricks going on other than good light placement. There's no other post effects at all, no grading, anything. That's a raw PNG render slapped on a canvas. 

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited December 2015

    Doing some tests with the alembic import function.

    Here is a test of Bullet that I originally made under Lightwave ver. 11.6 and rendered out under LW 2015.

  • One thing I found out about using alembic (at least with Lightwave) is that you have to write out an alembic file for each individual object.  After importing each object into HF 4 and assigning the associated alembic file for each (open Object options under Layers on the timeline, click through to Models, "object name", Animations.  Drag and drop the imported alembic file for that object onto Animations) I found that the scale of the imported animation file was too large.

    I had to parent all objects to a point and scale the point down.  Anyway the positions didn't perfectly match, but after adjusting a little I got it pretty close to the original.  I'm not sure I blame HF here or Lightwave's export.

    But . . . as you can see in the render from HF below that there is a lot of flashing going on in the fractured green plane pieces.  Not sure what is causing that but that is a real problem.

    All the objects were imported into HF with default values.  Tweaking on materials had no effect.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited February 2016

    Been a while.  Here's a work in progress, modeled after Simon's X-Wing tutorial utilizing the new camera targeting function in HF 4 ver. 3

  • Fleet of K'tinga is way scarier than fleet of X-wings. Especially once the particle sim is tweaked so all those torpedoes get fired procedurally.... 

    Btw, have you tried re-rendering your green shattering thing in Update #3? Perhaps the new z-buffer updates will fix the shimmer. 

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited February 2016

    @Triem23 No I haven't tried the above alembic test in Update 3.  But will give that a try. 

    Also, I have a question on the K'tinga clip.  I made a comp shot containing one ship and a duplicate with everything black but the red impulse engines and then added a glow to that.  Then brought that comp into the main comp that had the star field.   Then I duplicated the ship comp a couple of times to make 3 hero ships.  All had the glow on the engines.

    But when I used the particle system to create the fleet, I couldn't use the ship comp as a layer as a source to instance.  I had to drop in the original model in as it's own layer (which had visibility set to off) for the particle system to accept as a layer.   So that meant no glow on the "fleet" ships.

    Any thoughts on how to achieve the engine glow on the particle instanced versions?

  • Yeah, and you're going to facepalm youself, too.

    This shot doesn't need to be 3D Unrolled (In practice I have found one doesn't usually need to be in 3D unrolled unless multiple models/particle sims need to occlude--like ships in clouds or asteroid fiends, or buildings in fog). In this case, the only reason for 3D unrolled is your hero ships. Since animation in a hero propagates to the particle fleet, the main value of having them is to make it easier to have a ship fly right by camera (I assume a hero ship is also your camera's target point?) since it's a single ship and you know where it will be. But you don't need to see your hero ship. In fact, when setting up a particle fleet I leave my hero centered at 0,0,0 and just animate the particle layer. And not having visible hero ships means this shot doesn't need to be 3D Unrolled. 

    Two model layers--one for ships, second for ship glows (for the model you're using why not also have the photon emitter and brige glow showing over black as well--all the red. You could triple up and do a third all-black model with window lights set to an emissive as well. Once this is all set up remember to copy your model layer, red glow overlay model, and window glow model to a composite shot and save out the comp as a preset so you never have to rig this again. Also, on the base model layer change impulse/window colors to a dark grey, like 8,8,8. Now you're set up in the future for potential shots where a damaged ship loses power since lights and engine glows are on overlays....) 

    So, hide the hero ships, use a move point on the particle fleet for your base action. Create a second "Adjust" point. Parent the Move point to Adjust and drag your fleet around so a ship is close to camera, then drag your Camera Target point to the chosen particle and parent it to Move. Duplicate the particle sim layer and swap out the source layer for the impulse glow model. Repeat for window glow model if needed. 

    Set these layers to 2D and put glows above models. The geometry will take care of occlusion for you. Add glows to the impulse/window layers. The glow particle layers can even be set to an Add or Screen blend. 

  • @Triem23 Excellent tips!

    You're right.  The middle hero ship was the target layer for the camera.  This shot grew organically from  playing with just one model.    But I think I see what you mean.  Each layer for ship, engine glow, windows etc. will have its own particle sim. which is a dupe of the first particle sim.  (clever)

    Good info in the 3D Models thread, as well.   Plan ahead and save comps as presets.

    Just thrilled we can now target the camera to a layer!

  • Well here's another attempt without the hero ships and multiple copies of the particle group with different materials turned on for glows, etc.


  • :) camera makes a difference. 

    Yeah, the glows take it to the next level. I enjoy that nacelle-scraper near the end. 

    Now... From what we've discussed you should be able to figure out procedural photon volleys. ;-) 

  • @Triem23 Thanks. 

    Yeah, I have a sequence forming in my brain to bring in the Big E.  Photon volley . . . shields holding  . . . but just barely . . .

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2016

    Ok, this Dropbox file should probably be updated, but this is my Hitfilm Ultimate 2 Photon texture for particle sims. I think motion blur is off, so turn it on. It's just some procedural lightning and a couple of sphere layers. You'll see easily how it's put together. I was going for the ST:TMP look, and I honestly like my photons better than a lot of the "Real" photons from different series and movies.

    It might look a bit better using lightsword instead of lightning since lightsword has a built in blur? I haven't tried it yet.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/omva1enbrtks9jj/Just the Photons.hfp?dl=0

    The Dropbox link is the photons as used here.


    And my own procedural volley test. Which has motion blur. 


  • @Triem23 Awesome.  Thank you, sir!

    Those shield impacts are pretty cool looking, too.

  • Shield impact was pretty simple. Was it in the Photons project or should I isolate that element and upload? 

    One fun thing in that battle test--photons are particles, but so are the shield hits. Mobile emitters from a duplicate of the Photons emitter set to activate at death. There's a box of deflectors surrounding the Klingon set to kill particles and mobile emitters, so, when a photon hits the shield box it dies and the shield hit spawns? Half of the photons hitting, the other half missing wasn't planned for--the physics just worked out that way! 

    Sometimes you just get lucky. 

    Wonder if the Z-buffer changes would fix the shimmering on the Fed? The linked version of the shot above has the lighting cranked up to see what's going on. But the Constitution and Regula station has so many flicker issues I abandoned the battle sequence. 

    Shame. In my mind this was a prototype K'tinga battling the last Constitution that hadn't gone to refit. The K'tinga has the prototype shields that can function in a nebula and the Constitution has the prototype sensor array that can attain weapons lock in a nebula. 

    Both ships were to be destroyed. 

  • Yes the photon torp was in your project.  Many thanks, again!

    Yeah, the time frame for the K'tinga and the Constitution class don't fit well.   I may fall back to a D7 I have lying around but it is so simple looking compared to the K'tinga.  Not quite as menacing or striking.

    Right now I'm just trying to use this as a project to learn on.  One thing I have issues with is if I think to myself, "Hey I'd like some windows here or a glow there."  I have to modify the model in LW, then re-import and go through the whole mess of turning off materials again.   The K'tinga has about 20 to 25 materials.   Any more than that and the chore is too big.

    Wish there was a way to just turn all materials to black in one fell swoop after an import. Then you can bring back on the one you want.   From that point its a simple step to just duplicate that version and turn off one material and turn on another. Or if you could re-link to the new version if you didn't change geometry but had just changed a material or two back in you 3D package.

    I tried just writing out the polys that I want to glow to a separate file, but it won't line up right using default scaling (and Auto Normalize on) even though the polys exist in the same 3D space as the rest of the model. (i.e. there would be no prob doing that in a 3D package).   I need to experiment with bringing in separate model files using the same explicit scale setting in Advanced without Auto Normalize checked and setting to 1 unit = 1 foot, for example.

    Without getting that worked out its almost prohibitively time consuming to make any tweaks after you've imported models.   I should take my own advice and search the forum for clues!


  • @Stargazer54 - Nicely done! I doff my hat, sir. You sure that wasn't filmed on location?

  • Here's my take on the UH60    Just a test shot.

    More to come. . . .

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Solid track, good motion of the chopper, fan-freaking-tastic lighting! Only thing this needs is dust kicking off the ground as the chopper gets lower. Probably could be done by layering an tinting dust/smoke stock elements or by particle sim. A couple of circle emitters at ground level under the chopper, one set to a disc trajectory for the dust hugging the ground (maybe set this one to boundary) and another set to a cone trajectory for all the dust getting kicked up a bit?

    Here's a test of the same chopper from a couple of years ago showing a bit of a particle setup for ground dust. I don't think the dust is that good, but I was silly when I set this up and was trying to do everything from a single emitter before I really got smart and started layering particle systems. Also, the source environment map image isn't that good, but it did what it needed to do.


  • Yep, will be putting in some dust kicking up.  Plus, some more fire and smoke (and something special in the background)


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