Underwater Look

CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

Hashi from Action Movie Kid makes wonderful tutorials. While they're all AE-focused, there are still great things to learn from them, and this latest one that he did for Red Giant is no exception. While the focus of the tutorial is about creating an underwater look, there are tons of useful nuggets for general compositing and FX scattered throughout, and I've only watched 9 minutes of the 46-minute piece so far.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,078 Ambassador

    Action Movie Dad tutorial? Squee!! 

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    @Triem23 What would make that complete is a GIF of you doing your best "squee" face. ;)

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Posts: 382 Just Starting Out*
    edited January 2019

    Image result for squealing gif

    Found something that might work

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,078 Ambassador
    edited January 2019

    @HeySiri pretty good, but I was a bit more like this. 


    Best bit so far is Hashi's discussion on "Normalizing the track." (By coincidence I am about 9 min in and about to resume after this forum-sweep.) I've done a similar process for years, based on this Martin Brennan tutorial:

    But I hadn't done what Hashi did with using a reference plane to normalize scale.... I've just used a version of Brennan's technique to center my world. Scale is a great addition. 

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,078 Ambassador

    Having gotten through the entire thing now, just a few quick observations for Hitfilmers who might try these techniques.

    For the floating debris, instead of using Trapcode Mir, use Atomic Particles. Or, the particle sim.

    Instead of Trapcode Particular, use Hitfilm's particle sim.

    The 3D model as supplied by Hashi in the project file will not animate easily in Hitfilm. Element 3D uses "Object Sequences," which are a bit like Image Sequences in that every single frame of the animation is saved as a separate animation file. One COULD load every single obj frame into Hitfilm, drag every model into the same particle layer and use each sub-model's individual Scale Properties to have each model at 100% scale for one frame and 0% scale on every other frame as needed, but that's brute force and tedious work. Maybe I'll do it, maybe I won't. That WOULD make the full 3D fish available as an animated model in the particle sim. Otherwise, if someone wants to take the Fish model into Blender or something and render it out as an Alembic or FBX animation.... Again, maybe I'll do it, maybe not. (Note: I'm a bit surprised Element 3D uses OBJ sequences. It's a pretty brute-force way to animate and requires a lot more drive space than Alembic or FBX data!)

    There are differences between Trapcode Particular and Hitfilm's Particle Sim. for the most part the controls actually do the same things (with different names or interfaces). The most important for this discussion are:

    • Hitfilm does not (yet?) allow particles to animate along a path.
    • Turbulence in Hitfilm seems to be more of a randomization force, where turbulence in Particular is a 3D fractal equation applied as a position displacement. This does make Particular's turbulence more pleasing for things like swarms. Arguably, Hitfilm's is a better representation of reality.
    • Create your fish particles in Hitfilm as MOBILE EMITTERS. In this way the Mobile Emitter itself would have the fish texture while the bubbles are the particles spawned by the fish. Mobile Emitters are what you want to use when any Particular tutorial gets into "Aux particles."

    For the watery reflections, Hitfilm's Caustics effect is what you want. Hitfilm's "Caustics" is a bit mis-named. This filter does not generate patterns similar to light refracting through water, but generates an entire 3D watery/glassy surface. Using Tile on a copy of the BG layer to line up reflections should work.

    For the Caustics, use Fractal Noise with a Fluid Fractal Type. Ignore the whole vector blur thing.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,096 Moderator
    edited January 2019

    @Triem23 Thanks for the breakdown.  Another text grab for the growing Hitfilm U archive folder. :)  I suspected some of the substitutions but not the mobile emitters.  Good  to know. 

    Edit: Also had no clue what a squee face even was