How to make a star field have a fast depth for a long period of time?

bmcfarl Posts: 7 Just Starting Out*

Hi Guys,

I've been playing with Atomic Particles to make a star field effect with the depth going from 0 to 1000, which makes it appear you're flying through the star field.

The problem I have is I wish to have the star field flying fast for a minute or two.  But, I'm keyframing the depth from 0 to 1000 over 10 seconds.  If I expand this to 30 seconds (0 to 1000 depth), the speed is slower of course.  If I repeat this composite shot, then it looks weird because the star field flies for a while, then starts over flying again.

Any suggestions would be great in how to have a fast-paced star field where you're flying through it.  Thanks!




  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,694 Ambassador

    Suggestions? A few. 

    If you only need to move forward I think there's a Quick 3D preset for that. I'm not in Hitfilm right now to verify, but type "Star" into the Effects Panel search bar. 

    Otherwise, with Atomic you'll hit the limitations of Atomic creating a finite space... Eventually you run out of stars. If you haven't yet, create a point and set the Atomic's Transform From to this point.

    Now, duplicate your point and Atomic layer. Set the second Atomic layer to transform from the second point. 

    Push the duplicate back in space behind the first copy--basically you're going to make a longer starfield so you can do a larger camera move. Extend as needed with more layers. 

    Another option is to just use a single Atomic layer, but change your camera move where one frame 0 you can see the entire Atomic cluster and on frame >last< the camera has flown all the way through. Just work on this until you like the speed, don't worry about the loop yet. 

    Once you're happy with the speed, create a new (longer duration comp) and drag in your original comp as a layer. Duplicate this once. 

    Offset one copy to start about halfway through. The other copy keyframe its opacity to have a slow fade up. 

    You'll need to juggle placement and timing a bit, but you should be able to create a seamless loop with these two copies. 

    Now you can create a third composite, drag in the second composite and just duplicate the one-time loop as many times as needed to create your final stars plate. 

    Take a look at this video--it covers several other ways of making stars. Might give you ideas. 

    Finally, if you're in Hitfilm Pro you can use the particle sim. Create a large Cube emitter (larger than your comp), set that off in the distance and use a cone trajectory with a radius of 0. Aim the emitter to throw stars towards the camera and use the Lifetime panel to add some fade in to the particles. From there you can adjust particle speed to get the look you want and particle life to get particles to die once they pass the camera--or, create a huge particle deflector behind the camera and set it to kill particles. 


  • bmcfarl
    bmcfarl Posts: 7 Just Starting Out*

    Hi Triem23!

    Thanks so much for the quick response and even better solutions.  Great ideas!  Thanks again!