Questions to camera movement in 3D settings

SYMI3OL Posts: 29 Just Starting Out
edited March 2016 in Post-production techniques

Hey guys! 

First off I'm pretty new to editing and animating but really interssted in the subject and naturally eager to learn, so please forgive a newbie for probably asking simple/obvious questions 

I've been watching and trying to reproduce tutorials posted on the hitfilm youtube channel lately in order to become acquaintend with the programm. After working through this video i was wondering how the Intro was made. I had a rough idea of how it might be done. I tried to solve it as 3D Setup where the text would stand still and the 3D camera orbiting it, navigating the movement with keyframes for movement and camera-angle (i think the picture shows what i tried to do). Although my result was at least somewhat close to what i wanted to accomplish some questions popped up while i was at it.

My questions now are: 

1) Is there a way to do this easier? 

2) Is there a way to make the camera constantly focus a certain point? So its angle towards a point adjusts itself correctly when the camera is moving say along a line? 

3) Is there a way, to define specific geometric figures like curves or circles (much like the points you can create as new layer) and "snap" keyframes for positions onto these? For example in my case a "circle" would have been super helpful for easily creating a constant, clean orbiting motion.

I'm thankfull for any help i can get 


  • SteveKarstensen
    SteveKarstensen Posts: 335 Just Starting Out*

    1) Is there a way to do this easier? 

    Yup.  Several.   You're rotating the camera around the object, when it would be easier to rotate the object around its own center.

    One way to do that is to keyframe the text's Rotation property.

    This next bit is an assumption on my part, as I'm not at home to fire up Hitfilm and make sure it works.  However, I think that if you really wanted to rotate the camera on a curve, though, you'd just set the anchor point of the camera to the point you want it to rotate around (in this case, the center of the text) and then keyframe the camera's Rotation property.  (I'm not sure if it works because I don't remember if the camera has an Anchor Point.)

    Now, AFAIK it's not possible to define curves, per se, as motion paths; but with a combination of rotational keyframes and straight-line motion you can get a pretty good approximation.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,081 Enthusiast

     2) In Hitfilm 4 you can target a camera at another layer so the camera will always be pointing at that layer. This is via the layer properties, alignment property. Select towards layer.

    3) Hitfilm 4 has bezier control over the spatial interpolation of motion paths so you can bend the path into interesting curves. These spatial bezier controls are in the viewer window. HF4 also has bezier control over temporal keyframe interpolation via the "value graph" on the timeline. I'm not sure about creating circle motion paths. I've only used this feature once to create something of a question mark shape movement.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,065 Ambassador
    edited March 2016

    Another way to simply arcs and curved camera movements is to not animate the camera itself. By using Hitfilm's points and parenting functions complex moves can be set up as rigs. 

    Ok, so let's assume for a moment you've created your text and floor, and that your text was created at default position. 0,0,0 and left there, and that your camera is at default position 0,0,1866.6 (for a 1080p project. Camera defaults change with starting comp resolution). So, create a new Point and change it to 3D. Parent the camera to the point. Currently the camera is facing this point, so, rotating the point around will drag the camera with it in a perfect arc and the  camera will remain pointed at the pivot point. 

     Point rigs work in any version of Hitfilm. As Norman stated, in HF 4 one has the option of automatically aligning the camera towards any point or asset layer. 

    SYMI3OL Posts: 29 Just Starting Out

    Thank all of you for the quick answers! I should have noted that i use hitfilm 3 express with only the starter set activated (so far ).

    With your help i was able to get my desired result in both ways, rotating the text around its center as well as parenting the camera to a point and have that point rotate (I really like this solution as it potentionally offers a lot of freedom for further movements)

    However i came across another problem while animating my text (not directly related to the movement though):

    I applied texture to my text using both methods (set matte and via the environment map) as shown in the video i posted in my original text.
    But when i tried to have my text to cast shaddows on the floor, it would only work for the one i created with the environment map methode. (see here: set matteenvironment map it's kind of hard to see but i think you get what i mean)

    Is there a special trick to it or did i just simply overlook soemthing (I double checked if all the "cast shaddow" funktions are active)?

    Again I'am sorry for asking basic questions  and thanks for any help