Is it possible in Hitfilm Express to Bend a plane in 3D? For example I’d like to place an image on a water bottle and have it bend along with the sphere. Any help is appreciated.
You say "bend along with the sphere," but I'm assuming you mean "bottle." Sadly you can't bend planes in HitFilm (yet), but one possible workaround lies in your original statement.
Build your label in a composite shot. Drop that comp into another comp, then add the Sphere effect to it. Turn it into a 3D layer, and add a point that you can use to control the placement and rotation of the sphere so that it matches the bottle in your footage.
Now here's where it gets tricky. Obviously a sphere and a bottle have different curvature, but you can hack it a bit by scaling down the X and Z dimensions of the sphere so that it's more oblong. Because this stretches your label as well, you'll need to find a way to fix that. What I did in a quick test was to stretch the label on the Y axis by the same amount that I stretched the sphere on X and Z. For example, setting the X and Z scale on the sphere to 0.10 gave me a nice oblong sphere. I then set the Y scale on my label in its original comp to 10%, which made the label look "normal" on the sphere. However, doing this obviously decreases the usable vertical resolution of your label, and getting too close to the sphere may give away the fact that the texture is a little blocky. Therefore, make your original label comp as large as you can (4K in Express).
Also, the "label" in my test was simply a text layer. If you've got multiple layers as part of your label/image, then you'll probably want to embed that comp into another comp rather than scaling down each piece one by one. So the series of comps and their layers would look roughly like this:
Main Composite Shot (1080p)Layer 1. Scaling Composite Shot (see below). 3D--> Sphere effect as described above)Layer 2. Point Layer (3D)Layer 3. Camera (3D)Layer 4. Footage
Scaling Composite Shot (4K)Layer 1. Label Composite Shot--> Scale: 100% 10%
Label Composite Shot (4K)Whatever layers you want for your label
Depending on the size of your label/image compared to the bottle in your original footage, you might be able to get away with using this sphere hack. If not, it might be worth investing in the 3D add-on pack for Express, building and texturing your label as a cylindrical 3D object in something like Blender, then bringing that textured model into HitFilm for compositing.
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