Mermaid VFX

Hello everyone! I am trying to create a film for my little sister where she can play a mermaid (a dream of hers) and was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to how to pull such an effect off in HitFilm Express? I would really appreciate any suggestions/tips/etc! Thank you!!


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,096 Moderator

    @beb160130  I would think about creating (or finding an animation) of a mermaid or just her tail in a photo editing program or other 3D modeling software and render out the mermaid(or tail) actions as a PNG sequence with alpha transparency and nothing else in the scene.  Then I would film my live actor performing (actually, I would do that first if I was creating my own animated tail since it might help to know the action I needed) against a green backdrop or some other solid color for keying and import that into Hitfil with the PNG sequence.  Mask her from the waist down and parent that layer to the PNG sequence and position her behind the the tail.  Last I would use the Preset volumetric underwater title thing (At the top of page 5 in this thread ) as a nice background and delete the text layer.  It might be a bit more complicated linking the PNG sequence to the video masked layer as I have never had it work quite like I wanted.  But it's a thought on doing it.  Hope it works out for you.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,079 Ambassador

    This is the sort of thing where I'd try to find/make a mermaid tale costume, then shoot sis in the costume on green screen. 

    It will be a lot easier to just matte her into a background, moving her video layer as needed for motion than to match her movements in post and try to digitally add a tail.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,096 Moderator

    @Triem23  So very true.  As usual I went at it the long way (and more complicated) around...

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,152 Ambassador

    @tddavis I went your way too. But I was thinking shot a gold fish tail and work with that

  • chriguf
    chriguf Posts: 287 Enthusiast

    or.. fish in youtube a mermaid-film(tv-serie) and plant the head of your doughter (mask and  planar-track witch mocha) on it.. or buy at amazon a mermaid costume and film. ;)

    to create a mermaid.... you must have a big skill in "blender" or "cinema4d" or "iclone".

  • CourtneyP
    CourtneyP Posts: 51 Enthusiast

    Your local merfolk chiming in here, my suggestion is getting her the tail to shoot in. Affordable tails like "Fin-fun" are available on Amazon. Keep in mind that most mermaid tails are going to be a tail-skin and a mono-fin. The monofin helps retain the flukes shape as well as being necessary for swimming. **Please never allow a child to swim or be near water in a mermaid tail without supervision**

    Mertailor Is also a reputable brand, but his options are for a bigger budget.


    You could totally Hide her legs in fabric like the guys said above though!

    If you're curious I'm @Kissimmee.Mermaid