Element 3D and Hitfilm Pro: Answers Please

GrayMotion
GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
edited July 2020 in HitFilm

Hello FXHome Team,

Listen - I have a few questions about the future of Video Copilot's Element Plugin. Before I begin - as you may know (or not) I've been around here for awhile. I'm a huge fan of Hitfilm Pro and in fact Hitfilm took me away from After Effects 5 years ago and I've never regretted the move. Thank you for that. ?

Now - Element 3D

  • Are there plans to make Element work better with Hitfilm Pro? If not - then why not? You made it so we could use the VC plugins but then it appears you dropped the ball to make sure they were "fully" compatible with Hitfilm.
  • Currently there is a huge issue with Element- On a PC - once a project is made/closed/re-opened the Scene Setup will not launch again or the project may simply refuse to open. Are you going to fix this? If not- why not?
  • Points (Nulls) Currently Element can not create a 3D Null (ie:a Hitfilm Point). Are you going to fix this? If not - why not?
  • Custom Texture Maps - Currently if you try and add a custom texture map Hitfilm will crash. Are you going to fix this? If not - then why not?
  • The Install path - now many will not install After Effects on their system. I don't blame them. Currently the install path for Element requires After Effects to be installed. I know this  is a product of the VC plugin itself. Have you asked Krammer's development team for a work around for this? If not- why not?
  • There is more but that is enough for now....

There is a fairly large demand for this plugin to work. In fact people have told me that if Element worked in Hitfilm they would defiantly purchase Pro  but most are disappointed that a) you show no official support when it comes to E3D and Hitfilm Pro in the form of informational tutorials directly fromvFXHome and b)  some have told me that you have said through their support tickets that you have no plans to continue support  for the plugin compatablity.

From my experience on the Mac Element 3D and Hitfilm Pro is 80% working but you have left the PC user behind. The Scene Setup launch is a product of the Hitfilm coding and not Element. This should be an easy fix for your team. This one thing alone would go miles in increasing your bottom line in dollar sales. I can say that at least 2 dozen people have talked to me about Element and Hitfilm. Now 2 dozen isn't many sales for you all...but if any of those users are like me over the long term those sales would generate a pretty penny for your endeavors.

Please - I respect you all so please respect me. Dont shrug this off - it's important to me and others. Please respond with actually answers to the questions.

Thanks for your time. Looking forward to some positive answers.

@TheBenNorris @DibsMcCallum @Ady @KristieT @JavertValbar

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Comments

  • GordonCato
    GordonCato Posts: 69 Just Starting Out

    I too am interested in this. I use Element 3D in Premiere and I prefer it to hitfilm's built in 3D model interface. 

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    @GrayMotion thanks for detailing some good questions here. I don't know enough about the plugins to assist much myself unfortunately, but I have forwarded this on to the other devs and I'll try my best to make sure we get some good answers here.

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    @GrayMotion hi again, just had a chat with a few other devs and we seem to have all of your bulleted issues logged internally and hope to release an update later this year addressing everything we can solve.

    We would like to note that although we are working on these problems, they are in no way trivial, and require fairly extensive testing.

    We are also curious as to the sources of "some have told me that you have said through their support tickets that you have no plans to continue support  for the plugin compatablity." This is not the case, and we are not abandoning AE plugin support; perhaps someone was confused with some of the other discontinued packs users often ask about?

    With regards to the install path issue, Element's installer should have a custom option. If you install to this path:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\AE\Plugins (Win) or /Library/AE/Plugins (Mac) then you should not need to have AE installed.

    Feel free to let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know and I'll see what I can do.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
    edited July 2020

    Thank you very much for the prompt response @TheBenNorris

    Yes- I have probably been the one reporting these issue to support as it is hard pressed (not obvious) to find anyone actually using E3D with Hitfilm succesfully accept myself.

    As for the source of concerns - it's users that contact me through my Youtube channel or a few I know here in the local area. I do think that if most don't get the answer they want to hear they assume that FXHome doesn't care one way or the other. I think the lack of "official" tutorials from FXHome may have something to do with it. Since I can only find tutorials that I have made I have told some that I will try and make a few different tutorials about creating Titles (3D text) and Element asset scenes to show how the plugin works within Hitfilm. I will direct people to this thread and let them know that FXHome DOES care and by no-means have dropped support for the plugin.

    Thanks again for the response sir. ?

    Have a great day!

  • GordonCato
    GordonCato Posts: 69 Just Starting Out

    The only issue I think I am having with Element 3D is the utility to generate a group null. I need this to animate specific models within a composite.

     

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast

    @GordonCato Until the group NULL is fleshed out by the FXHome team you could still animate with the individual controls inside the Group / Particle Replicator,  Aux Channels and World Transform. It's not as easy as using a NULL but will get the job done. Just an FYI

  • GordonCato
    GordonCato Posts: 69 Just Starting Out

    @GrayMotion Thanks for the tip. I have done it that way, but the NULL is just so much nicer. 

  • ellis_is_great
    ellis_is_great Posts: 44 Enthusiast

    I am one of those very interested in Element 3D integration. One of the main reasons I upgraded to the latest version was the prospect of being able to follow the tons of Element3D tutorials and content that is available.  The Hitfilm crew did seem to  just ignore this feature.  I asked about it in a live stream and was told there are no plans for any sort of video featuring how Elment3D works with Hitfilm.  I would think the Elment3D people would love for their program to work with Hitfilm. I was ready to buy Element3D, the same way I buy Hitfilm; but no way I'm buying  Element3D if I need to get an  expensive Adobe Subscription.

    Don't like to complain. I still love Hitfilm; but  support for this one aspect has been a disappointment.Look forward to hearing some answers. I'm on PC btw.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    Hey @GrayMotion , how's the speed when using E3D in Hitfilm? I'm still waiting to see if it gets fixed so that I can do my compositing hacks with it. I still fight with myself every day so that I don't purchase E3D for no reason. :)

    We should Skype Greg, I've got lots of cool stuff to show you guys... freaky stuff... Filmer stuff. :)

    It's all good though because I've got my Hitfilm based Fake Global illumination / Fake path tracing technique down. I can't show it to you yet as I'm Beta testing Hitfilm Pro 15 but in Pro 15... ahem the FXhome devs have done something very tasty to the 3D lights. It's subtle but my custom 3d models look pretty damned awesome when I apply my tricks and stuff to them in Pro 15. :) Awesome job there fellas. :)

     

     

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
    edited July 2020

    @ellis_is_great To be clear here. As @TheBenNorris expressed  -"C:\Program Files\Common Files\AE\Plugins (Win) or /Library/AE/Plugins (Mac) then you should not need to have AE installed."

    This means YOU DO NOT need After Effects installed. You simply need to create the directory path as described by Ben. In my case I do have Adobe After Effects installed in "demo mode" only. I did this simply to allow the AE install the create the appropriate directories so that when I install VC plugins the path is already there. I myself do not have a) a problem with Adobe products like others may have  and b) I've got the storage space to let Adobe products to eat up - plenty to go around for everyone.

    In your case - a PC user - yes you do have to wait for the FXHome team to at least fix the launch glitch that doesn't allow the Scene Setup screen to launch properly. It appears to be open but will not display properly in a Windows environment. Here is a side note to this - I can open/create/close a project with Element on my PC...but the Hitfilm project will not re-open on a PC. NOW...I can take that project from the PC and open it just fine on my iMac. Again...once FXHome fixes at least the Windows Scene Setup launch with Element opening and closing the project on a PC should work just as it does on my iMac. Over and over and over and over.

    @spydurhank From my experience, at least when I re-created this BB8 scene , the creation performance and the final render speed seemed a lot faster than using native Hitfilm Pro. Element has  an option called Output/Render Mode/. The 3 setting I use are Full Render, Preview and Draft. These settings are very similar to Hitfilm's working render settings Full,1/2,1/4, ect. ,ect. Element has Render Settings that includes (see settings in the video) glow, fog, motion blur, Ray-Tracer, etc, etc etc. By using "draft" mode all of the effects under render settings are disabled.

    Note: Using "draft mode" does not disable any Hitfilm native effects. Using Hitfilm's working render settings do that. See this little example I made that shows the render setting in Element-

     https://youtu.be/-fYC644M6Oo

    When it comes to rendering the final scene it appears that Elements proprietary  render engine is in play inside Hitfilm. Render speeds using an Element scene are much faster than setting up the scene in Native Hitfilm. To compare apples to apples I would need to create two identical scenes using identical assets in both Element and native Hitfilm and then compare render times. Something I might do before uh...December :-)

    Skype -yeah, agreed it's time again. I'm dealing with contractors coming by giving me quotes on foundation work that I need done to the house and then a few fiber jobs mid August. Once I get thru those I'll make some time...might be sooner - but that would depend on how long this ole man can stay awake after a few "hard" weeks ?

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
    edited June 30

    Ok. I thought I'd bring up this topic again and see what happens.

    Many things noted in this thread have been fixed, ie, Custom texture maps and the UI re-opening. Kudos to the development team for the fix 👍

    Also the NULL crash was taken care of BUT...

    The NULL does not attach to the model like it should. It simply creates a stand alone Hitfilm Point that cannot be attached to a model from Element. The only way to animate the model is to attached the HF point to the layer, or manually use the control options inside Element to animate the object. Neither one of these are correct and do cause animation issues.

    Also in order to use Element properly there MUST be the option to view the orthographic views of the scene...especially for alignment.

    On a side note - I cant find my original post on the topic of Trapcode fluid dynamics and obj's as an emitter breaking HF's Render Engine but this has been fixed. Again big kudos to the development team. Many thanks.

    So @TheBenNorris - question - are there any plans to fix the two issue before next year?

    My renewal for HF Pro is up in April 2022 and at this point I'm very hesitant to upgrade any further. I've been here 5-6 years and it pains me to say that. A lot of time has passed since the original release of VC E3D compatibility and this is HUGE for me. As I said above I'm probably the only one actually using Element and Trapcode with Hitfilm so I might be on an island by myself. I have no intentions of going back to AE and would like to continue with HF but the broke pieces of E3D and Hitfilm are a deal breaker for me at this point.

    Thanks.

    Greg

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    @GrayMotion sorry to hear you're still having issues with these effects.

    Unfortunately, I have very very little knowledge on the AE effects or how they work, so it would be really appreciated if you could let us know all the issues you have with the plugins and what the expected behavior is, so that we can log them and get them definitely fixed.

  • JohnFoll
    JohnFoll Posts: 11 Just Starting Out*

    How does one use Element 3D inside HitFilmPro? Is it still possible? I have Element 3D and have installed HitFilmPro trial.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    @GrayMotion Hey Greg, let me know if you wanna Skype chat and we can do some troubleshooting, I still have our last video chat from a few months ago in my memory and have some ideas about getting Element 3D working properly in Hitfilm. The 3D points as well.


    Later

    Frank

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    @JohnFoll HitFilm Pro Demo does not support AE or OFX plugins, you need to have a full license.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast

    @spydurhank Yo Frank,

    You name the time and I'll be there.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast

    @JohnFoll Did you reach out to me on one of my Youtube videos and ask the same question?

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    @GrayMotion, Hey Greg,

    Gimme a couple of days... I've got something in my brain pan at the moment. Heh... 😀

    Check it, Mike Pan bmw scene with new Nishita sky lighting the background. It is an 8K render with only 1. Sample and some math, took 5-ish seconds.


  • JohnFoll
    JohnFoll Posts: 11 Just Starting Out*
    edited November 16

    Does HitFilmPro (latest) still work with Element 3D?

    I followed guidance on how to install Element 3D for HitFilmPro. I installed it into: C:\Program Files\FXHOME\HitFilm Pro\Plugins\VideoCopilot.

    If I create a new project I can never see VideoCopilot or any such thing in any of the effects folders in HitFilmPro (latest).

    I don't know if there is a bug or something I did wrong. I currently own Vegas Post, but am wanting to buy HitFilmPro in order to be able to use Element3D and other VideoCopilot plugins.

    Thanks!

    I just saw a post above declaring that I cannot use Element 3D inside demo version of HitFilmPro.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    @JohnFoll , which version of Vegas Post are you using?

    I have Vegas 17 and Vegas Post 17 but am about to upgrade to 19 in a little bit.

    Any After Effects scripts and or addons can be made to work in Hitfilm... with a bit of tweaking. For example, I develop a custom build of Blender named Filmer for intricate pro level 3D work with Filmer/blender and Hitfilm... since Vegas Post is just a clone of Hitfilm written for Vegas, then the same rules apply.

    I've written entire 3D scene exporters for cameras and animated mesh objects from Filmer/blender to Hitfilm... it took me just a bit of tweaking so that my exporters also work with Vegas Post.

    Been waiting a bit to make some time so that Greg @GrayMotion and I can video chat about a workflow with Element 3D and Hitfilm because he's the only Hitfilm user that I know of that actually has been trying to use E3d and Hitfilm together the past few years. As I mentioned in an earlier post above, I already thought of a way to do it but just need to sit down with Greg to work out the details. Its gonna be fun.

    Greg, I took almost the entire month of October off from any serious 3D work but I did do a bit of coding in my free time. Just turned 49 years old on October 17th and had a few Dr. sessions for my brain which were pretty fantastic because I got nothing but good news. My brain is getting better and better. Screw brain damage. I got Motion Blur and Depth of Field working for my camera exporter, it also exports the correct Sensor x and y aspect ratio/size for the camera. 😀 😀 😀

    The only problem is that Hitfilm Pro 17 has a hard coded camera Sensor size of 36 in the x width and 24 in the y height. It does this for every camera whether the camera is imported into Hitfilm, exported out of Hitfilm, or created in Hitfilm. Not being able to adjust/change the Camera sensor width and height in Hitfilm Pro 17 is a very, very strange thing but so far, I've been able to work around it with a bit of math... actually I used the same math concept as my Camera conversion equation which is using very simply Pre-K arithmetic. The User will have to do some math when exporting an fbx camera out of Hitfilm and into a dedicated 3D application. Luckily, I already know how to achieve this because I created the technique and I've been doing it since 2008.

    Anyway, I'm probably gonna purchase E3d at some point and work it out for myself but it'll be way easier to talk to someone that already uses Hitfilm Pro 17 and is familiar with E3d. It'll get done faster. 😀


    Frank

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,073 Ambassador

    I believe After Effects has to be installed on your machine for the Ae plug ins to work. It can be in trial mode. I suspect the Hitfilm pipeline makes use of existing Adobe code somewhere?

    I'm not sure if Vegas Post reads the Ae plug ins. That might be Hitfilm Only.

    @TheBenNorris

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    Mike @Triem23 ,

    I've used some of the other AE VC plugins, Orb and Saber in Hitfilm Pro. I don't have or use AE in my machine and the AE addons work in Hitfilm Pro. They're a little slow and laggy for my taste but they do work, even without AE installed on my machine.

    The only one to really focus on is E3d. I've seen Greg @GrayMotion use it twice in Hitfilm during our video chats. Everything works alright except for 3D points but like I said, I have a work around for that. Just need the time to video chat with Greg or I can purchase E3d and work it out for myself.

    I'm using the Trial version Of Vegas 19 and Vegas Post 19 till Ady and or Kirsti re-new my Beta license but anyway, Except for Headers being at the bottom of UI windows and panels in Vegas Post, it is pretty damned cool to have the Hitfilm ui and most vfx in Vegas Post. It is just cool to physically and visually experience it in person.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
    edited October 22

    @JohnFoll yes...to answer your question...Element does work with Hitfilm Pro. You don't need AE installed for Element to work though. Simply make one of the following paths yourself and put Element in there -C:\Program Files\Common Files\AE\Plugins (Win) or /Library/AE/Plugins (Mac).

    @spydurhank I've been just working in the background myself these past few month. I was hoping to receive my Beta license myself as I signed the NDA 4-6 weeks back but hasn't come in yet.

    Like I said before- I'm ready for a conference anytime you are. I broke down and installed HF Pro on my screaming new iMac (although I swear I wouldn't) and it's working pretty well. I have noticed a huge reduction in the "blacks -outs" so that's a good thing

    The NULL - I don't see a work around myself but if your brain is firing on all 16 cylinders and you want to use me as a guinea pig for experiments I'm all in. FYI -Currently you "could" attach the Element layer to a Hitfilm Point but you may have things in the Layer Group in E3D that you DONT want to animate...so doesn't really work

    p.s- Oh...and Happy B-Day Frank! 49 eh...what I'd give to be young again 😂

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    @GrayMotion , thanks man. Muh brain is doin' purty good. 😀

    Yeah Hitfilm works pretty good on my machine when my cpu is clocked at 4.0 ghz but it crashes randomly and frequently when doing something menial like clicking 'Control + Z' or deleting something from the timeline and media bin... yeah, lots of random crashes.

    I didn't get the Beta for Hitfilm Pro 17 either when the other beta testers got it so I got it really late and can't provide much input other than it crashes a lot. It is not unusable... I just have to not make mistakes that require 'Control + Z'

    All I had time for was experimenting with the fbx camera exporter which is pretty cool but it has a hard coded sensor size that can't be adjusted, just like cameras created in Hitfilm Pro 17.

    I've also been waiting two years to have my Beta tester Vegas and Vegas Post license to be renewed. Some things take more time? I dunno...

    I'm helping Courtney build Halloween projections for the house the next couple of days so after that I'll shoot some smoke signals your way.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
    edited October 22

    @Triem23 Yo Mike,

    I asked support if AE HAS to be installed since I noticed the wording for Element and AE in the release notes for ver 17. The response was no...AE doesn't need to be installed.

    So, the wording used in the release notes is puzzling. Never the less I don't have AE installed on the iMac 2020 but I do on the PC (AE ver 2020) and my older iMac (2013) AE ver 2015). All systems seem to work just fine although the most reliable performance lies with the 2020 iMac install.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,598 Enthusiast
    edited October 22

    @spydurhank

    Same here. Thought it was just me - - 'Control + Z' = crash for me as well or right click/properties for the layer from the timeline.

    Send the smoke signals at your convivence.

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    Could you tell us about those crashes please? As far as I can tell nothing has been logged or raised internally regarding crashes from the 17 beta. Any information we can get about crashes would be great so we can fix them ASAP.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    Hey @TheBenNorris,

    Wait, so non of the other Beta testers reported any random crashes this entire time? I've just started using Hitfilm Pro 17 again just a few days ago and I get tons of crashes. Seems a little sketchy that you didn't receive any other reports from Beta Testers but I see a bazillion reports of regular Hitfilm users complaining all over the Forums about Hitfilm Pro 17 performance. Something aint right about this... Sketchy.

    The crashes from my end appear randomly. I open Hitfilm, create a new Comp then decide to delete it or Undo by clicking 'Control + Z' and Hitfilm crashes.

    Deleting stuff from the Media bin also randomly crashes Hitfilm. Not every time... just sometimes and like I said, it appears random.

    Clicking on Create a Timeline Cashe also crashes Hitfilm... sometimes it completes creating the Cashe but will crash Hitfilm when I click on the Playback button.

    Note that when Hitfilm 17 crashes like this... it is a hard crash, there is no dialogue that opens up asking me to report and send the crash via e-mail. I have to re-start my machine. Every time that this happens I assume it is Windows 10 being Windows 10 because my whole machine locks up with me having to reboot.

    You should note that you guys sent me the Hitfilm Development builds really, really late so I can't give you much good info because I took October off for my Birthday and my Brain Dr. appointments... so I didn't get to Test HF Pro 17 as well as I'd have liked.

    Just so you're aware... I don't report every single crash that I get because some crashes are caused by me... user error, user impatience... clicking buttons way too fast one right after the other as Hitfilm is re-drawing the UI... silly stuff like that. I always make sure that it aint something that I'm doing that is causing the crash before reporting... in this case I still need to take the time to actually find what the real cause of these crashes is.

    This just really seems like random crashes but then again... I did just perform a clean reinstall of Windows on my machine and re-installed Hitfilm and started using it again just less then a handful of days ago.

    I was obviously gonna use Hitfilm Pro 17 for the Halloween competition but that is a no go with all of these random crashes.

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    @spydurhank Could you report these to (I believe it's @Ady) through the usual beta methods if possible? I'm not sure on the procedure but I'm sure he'd like to know these issues regardless of their cause so we can investigate them.