Import, Animate, and Composite a 3D Spaceship Model into live-action drone footage. This is a complex shot that will require everything from applying textures, animating the model, 3D camera tracking and multi-pass compositing techniques.
We start with part 1 of this 5 part series where we will focus on the model import. You can load many different 3d formats into Fusion or the Fusion tab of DaVinci Resolve through the File -> Import -> FBX Scene (or in Resolve: Fusion – > Import -> FBX Scene).
When importing models from external sources, you often have to adjust or reload the textures, change parameters from the illumination model (blin, phong, etc.) and sometimes fix or redo the animations.
The Luminaris Starship model was created by Igor Puškarić with 3DSMax and Photoshop. Igor recorded a tutorial on how he created this model. You can watch his tutorial and learn more on his website on artstation. Also, feel free to check out his other amazing work while you are there.
Below is part 1 of the tutorial. Here’s the plan for the overall project and the next upcoming tutorials:
- Model import (this tutorial)
- 3D camera tracking, lighting, and animation
- Paintwork and planar tracking
- Multi-pass compositing
- Finishing touches
The download package below contains the material and solution files for all 5 parts.
Great stuff. Looking forward to the next chapters.
If this is anything like your basic course I am sure it is amazing. I went through your VFX Fusion course and watched every video, followed along… it was fantastic!
Thanks, Really happy to hear that. I hope you’ll enjoy this one as well ????
Thanks for this short course. Going through it as a refresher before i get onto the new compositing course. Just 1 question.
Within this tute you delete all the previous animations on the ship.
Would by having so many animations happening all at the same time on the ship have very much of a render hit? Is there any render advantage to looping animation over key framing?
mostly I delete the ones that either have animations that I don’t want or those that somehow led to strange axis reflections after import and redoing was just easier than fixing. I don’t think there should be any significant render impact with looping vs. more key frames. The advantage to me is that I just think about the speed of the rotation independent of the clip length. If you later decide to extend the timeline for example, or add the spaceship into a longer clip or so, your rotaion just keeps going.
First of all: absolutely impressive – cool idea – very well explained
I want to share my experiences so far:
Before I worked with the material I have watched all 5 parts and made notes. Then I wanted to see, if my computer can handle the final composition ( Part 4 – Multipass Final.comp ) As I imported the COMP, I was a little bit lost, because I can`t identify the loader nodes with the inspector ( no path ) Okay, the Wind-Park was easy and the 3D png’s were also quick changed. But there was no Starship. I recognized, that Davinci treats the 3D object like the other medias ( I think because of the wrong path ) Here I changed the path in the Comp-File for all Medias and the 3D-Modell, and it´s working fine. I changed also the “Disk to Cache”-Path to my SSD. Now, I could see the scene. When I moved the playhead with the mouse, I get a smooth movement, but if I play the scene, its very slow and choppy. I had proxy mode with quarter resolution. So, my computer is a little bit overwhelmed. Then I wanted render the scene, but although I see in the Edit-Tab the Scene correctly, the renderer flicker the background ( in the render preview ) and finished with an error, I don´t have seen an render error before ( okay I don´t have rendered so much) Then I changed the saver node to a media out node and the problem was fixed. I had build in a path error in that node. I have to confess, I didn’t really understand the Saver node, when exactly does it save. the loader node loads immediately after entering the media path. The saver node didn’t save, and there is no “Save” button. Okay, you don´t need that node :-), so it´s not important.
There is a little thing, I wonder. It seems to me that the EXR file is not played as smoothly as the MP4 (and I tried different compressions, no, ZIP, Piz) and both files ( okay the mp4 and 366 EXR-Files ) are on the same disk. Maybe it´s because of the compression of the mp4, the frames are “sanded”. So, now I have to adjust the composition a little to my computer performance 🙂
Thanks for the detailed observations.
The saver node is needed in Fusion Studio, because there’s no integration and it is triggered via a render button. So it directly renders out to disk when you trigger it. It still exists in DaVinci Resolve but is less needed. If you want to render to disk directly from Resolve-Fusion, you find an option “Render all Saver” in the Fusion menu of the top menu bar. However, in Resolve the saver node has limited capability and does not render all file formats. EXR is available, but you won’t be able to render mp4 files or so.
The performance difference depends on multiple factors, for you probably disk speed. EXR files produce large lossles files with little or no compression. So there is less processor task on reading these files but you need sufficient disk speed. A fast SSD, RAID or PICExpress storage would probably do very well. MP4 is only the container and it depends on which codec is used inside. If you use ProRes or DNxHD, these codecs are also great for editing and give different quality levels depending on the settings but you can achieve a very good workflow. The original file was h264 or h265 which uses interframe compression. This is generally not good for editing, since the processor needs to access multiple frames in sequence to uncompress a single frame. But with a good processor, it is also possible.
Hello Bernd, New Years Eve here, just preparing to take a starship adventure with you. Could you please confirm that your files for download remain active and accessible, thank you. I look forward to many future exchanges, Happy New Year to you, hope to hear from you soon.
Yes, they are still there, just click the download button.
Hello Bernd, I ran into a problem while doing this tutorial.
Every time I import the FBX scene, the models and textures are missing(All nodes of the scene turn red) and I can’t view anything. Is there something I’m doing wrong ?
You might have to manually fix or replace the loader nodes. It’s often a problem when importing models from other sources that fusion doesn’t know where to find the textures. You can probably go through the individaul nodes and replace the textures that are missing by dropping in the corresponding textures manually.