Best way to assemble a 3D set?

Hey gang,

So I'm creating a full 3D set for a particular scene, and I'm pondering the best way to build it... mostly with regards to texturing.

Hitfilm (3 Pro) takes a single texture for an entire model.  This means that the most obvious way is to build the entire set as one mesh, UVmap/texture it, and then import the whole shebang.  I can see this getting very unwieldy for complex meshes, especially ones that could benefit from a lot of different materials (each of which would have its own texture).

So my first thought is to simply build each "piece" of the set (IE; crates, support beams, etc.) and then export them as their own models.  I kinda want to do this anyway, as it would give me a library of parts with which to construct future sets.  But that gets me wondering whether it would then be better to "build" the set from these parts in my modeling software, leading to the skinning issue I mentioned above, or build it in Hitfilm's 3D space as a comp.

Which approach works best, in your experience?


  • Just thought I'd follow up on my own thread to answer my own question, after having experimented with a few different methods.  It may prove useful for anyone else in the same boat.

    Anyway, my memory was faulty; Milkshape does indeed take one texture/material per group if that's how you roll, so it's totally okay to not put all of your texturing into one image.  After a lot of fiddling, I've discovered that Hitfilm's 3D coordinate system is kinda inexact; I've had a lot of problems with cracks and unjoined seams when aligning models on the grid, no matter how closely I was zoomed in.  That, plus a few other issues (performance degradation and trying to select something in a sea of other somethings), basically made it such that I've decided not to assemble sets within Hitfilm, but to do it in Milkshape - mainly because Milkshape has a lovely "snap to grid" option that makes everything exact.

    The only issue now is how to import existing meshes into Milkshape such that I can use them to build an entire set - it's not really possible to load two existing meshes into a third (AFAIK, anyway) so I think a good solution would be to save a model with all the pieces in it, and then use that "template collection" to build a set after you save it as a different file.

    Long story short, build the set in your 3D modeling program.

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