What is the best way to add engine glow to the exhaust of you starship
Are you working in Hitfilm Pro with 3D models? I'll assume you are. If so, Hitfilm Pro 2017, or earlier? You have a couple of extra options in 2017 compared to earlier versions, but there are at least three major approaches you could take, which I'll get into once I know which version you're using.
I am using HitFilm 4 Pro. 2017 is on the agenda for a bit later...as the upgrade price is beyond my Budget ATM
No problem. That removes one option, but I'll cover it later anyway.
Option 1: place points at engine locations of the model. Parent these to the model. Add a grade layer and put lens flares in. Set Hotspot position to the relevant points. Disadvantage: grades are 2D layers, so you'll have to split the grade layer and move it below the model when flare is "behind" the model relative to camera.
Option 2: duplicate the model in the media panel. Alter duplicate model's materials--strip out all diffuse/specular/bump/normal maps and set diffuse/specular/ambient/emissive colors to black. Put all reflection values at 0. Get a 3D sphere model (any free "planet" model will do. Set its materials so it has no maps or reflection, but all colors are white. Drag the ship into a Composite Shot. Drag one sphere model for each engine to the SAME LAYER as the ship. Yes, you can have multiple models in a single layer! Twirl open controls in this layer. Eventually you'll find a "models" group which will have your ship and each sphere. Position your spheres at the engine nozzles. You will be able to individually scale each sphere as needed. Add Auto Flares to this layer and set max flares to number of engine spheres. Parent this Layer to your main ship and set positions, orientation and rotation keys to 0 and scale to 100%. Place this layer above the ship and set its blend mode to ADD. Make certain this is a 2D layer or you lose flares.
Option 3 (HF2017). Set up the spheres like in Option 2(just use the real ship for reference and parent spheres to ship), but skip the black model duplicate. Set the Depth Source for the spheres to the main ship and toss on auto flares.
@Triem23 I want to try option three, but I am not fully sure I am understanding. I didn't think you could put an Auto Flare on a 3D model layer.
@Triem23 Never mind... I figured it out on my own!
@HitfilmSensei Yes, you did. It looks good too.
@HitfilmSensei looks like you did, but for RockitScience (and @tddavis ) I'll expand a bit.
Option 3 addenda: Hitfilm Pro 2017 adds some features for Depth Mattes, Maps and Occlusion. One new feature is "Depth Layer." This allows you to specify one occlusion layer for a 3D model or particle layer while leaving that model layer in "2D Compositing" mode. Advantages, Still allows direct effects on the model/particle layer while having proper occlusion. Disadvantages--you can only select ONE layer for occlusion interaction. Usually this is enough, but very complex setups might still require the full 3D Unrolled mode, which allows all grouped layers to occlude, but without the ability to add effects to layers directly.
@Triem23 you brought up another subject I am totally clueless about: what exactly is an occulsion? I have seen that mention in Blender and other modeling but don't get it. I'm mean to occluded means to block, right?
@tddavis yup, "to block." So if Model A and B are on the timeline, both in 2D mode, and Model A is the top most layer, A will always render on top of B, even if A is farther away from the Camera--no occlusion; B will not block view of A. In 3D Unrolled mode, if A is farther away it renders behind B--B occludes A, blocking it--but effects can not be placed on layers A and B. Now in HFP 2017, setting B as a Depth Layer to A means both models can be in 2D mode (effects on layer!), but B still properly occludes A.
@Triem23 Ok, thank you. I think that explains why I was having such trouble repurposing the canyon tutorial and having the Jupiter 2 fly out from behind one layer in 3d space and then in front of that layer when it was closer to the camera. I think it's time to revisit that project and pay attention to occulsions. I ahve had something like that crop a couple times and drove myself bonkers trying to figure out what I was doing wrong; it was likely the 2d or 3d settings and occlusions.
@Triem23 So let me get this straight. Set "depth layer" is also available on a particle layer? So therefore, I could for example create a thruster effect for a Battlestar Galactica Viper that would properly occlude without needing to mask or split the layers?
Hold up a second, let me load up my Viper with thrusters rig and check this.
(90 Minutes later)
@HItfilmSensei @tddavis check this out. Starts with Viper and thrusters both in 3D unrolled. Then I just change them to 2D, set the depth source, then add glows to the particle sim for the thrusters.
RockitScience this is the HFP2017 new feature I was mentioning,
@Triem23 Good deal! Thanks for posting the quicky tut.
Makes a lot more sense now. So this should be the same technique for blinking running lights - hence you don't have to do the duplicate object with black materials game.
@Triem23 Nice. I will start working on this right away. I assume you can use the Depth Layer on multiple particle systems. For example, I have a viper, it's thrusters, and a smoke trail. Both the thrusters and the smoke trail could source the viper in their respective Depth Layers?
@Triem23 Hey, thanks for tagging me!! That is super helpful for my old a**. Wish I could be inScapeDigital's age with all these toys today. *sigh* I'm going to try and download this one from Youtube so I have it to refer to frequently I suspect. Shh, huge secret program called MP3 Rocket...
After playing around with this, I realize that it would be difficult to have more than one layer interacting with your model (my example of a viper with both a thruster and a smoke trail) because while they both are occluded by the viper, they do not occlude each other! Doh! Adding a smoke trail on the same layer as the thruster but behind it may be an option. Thoughts anyone?
Here is my very quick test of Viper Flyby with Engine Glow...
@HitfilmSensei you could totally put the smoke and glow emitters in the same particle layer. Keep the smoke values below your glow threshold so it's not affected. And the smoke will naturally interfere with/occlude the plasma!
Engine glow looks good.
@tddavis figured the quick setu vid would help with the J2 in asteroids setup.
@Triem23 Thanks! I will play around with these ideas over the weekend.
@Triem23 Oh, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind of that. I kind of got sidetracked by the Seaview quandary, but now I must return to the rocks to put this to use.
I have successfully rigged the engine glows with movable X-Wings. I used 3D points to control the angle of the wings and the engine glow spheres are directly rigged to those points. When the wing moves, the engine glow moves also!
@HitfilmSensei That looks really nice!
Nice flyby @HitfilmSensei but, to be picky, S-foils should lock into position after passing the camera so we could see the engine glow mobile rig in action! ;-)
@Triem23 This is true...
@HitfilmSensei Oh, yeeeeah...
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