Making a planet rotate

Hello, I've been using hitfilm for a while now, and I am now using hitfilm2, and I am trying to create a video clip, where I have taken a png file, place the sphere effect onto it, and now it looks like the earth, then I duplicated the process for the moon, and placed in into a "lunar orbit" and the one thing I can not figure out is how to make the earth rotate, and make the moon rotate around the earth.
Thanks in advance for any help.


  • briefly said: you add a 3D point for each sphere, link the sphere to each point and rotate the point
  • yeah, exactly what gNNY said. To link the sphere to a point, you have to go into the properties of the sphere effect and set the transform from value to the point layer. also to make the moon orbit around the earth smoothly, set up a second point in the middle of the earth, parent the moon point to that one and then just rotate the new point in the middle of the earth.
  • Keep in mind that since the sphere effect is only simulating 3D, your layer order will always control which planet appears to be in front.  So you will probably need two copies of the moon layer, with the earth layer in between them.  Then you can switch between the moon layers, depending on whether the moon needs to be in front of or behind the earth.
  • I parent them and nothing moves, don't know what I'm doing wrong...
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Not seeing your project file, I am guessing, but to get the 3D rotation, make sure your ponts and layers are 3D. Put a point in the center of earth, (Orbit point), duplicate this point and name the duplicate (Earth Rotate). Parent Earth to Earth rotate. Put a point in the center of the moon (Moon Rotate) and parent the moon to Moon Rotate. Parent Moon Rotate to Orbit. You shouls be able to use Earth Rotate to rotate Earth, Moon Rotate to spin Moon and rotating Orbit should move Moon around Earth... Now, I am not on my computer to check, but, if the layers aren't moving, you might need to do your parenting inside the Sphere effect (might be called "transform from"). Remember what Axel said about layer order.
  • If you are parenting the layers themselves, it won't work, as the layers are 2D.  You need to link the layers from within the Sphere effect to properly simulate the 3D, as Triem23 mentioned.  In the Position controls for the Sphere effect, use Transform From to select the 3D point that should be in the enter of the planet.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    So, to clarify, you want to leave the planet layers 2D and let the 3D point driving the effect drive position?
  • Correct.  The layers the Sphere effect are applied to stay 2D, and the 3D simulation is handled by the Sphere effect itself, via its position controls.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Same with things like extrusion and atomic particles, right?
  • check out my intro for this following video that I've created using Hitfilm 2 Ultimate:
    Is this kind of the effect that you're trying to achive?
  • OK, guys.  I get the parenting and the transforms and everything is under control except one thing.  I cant set the parent point to 3D, only to 3D plane.  There seems to be a difference since the planet, when parented to a 3D plane point, spins like a fat disk rather than a perfect sphere.  I can't find any reference to this problem anywhere online, but the video tutorial clearly shows that the point layer is represented by a little 3D cube and not a skewed plane.   So whats up?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Ok, for the sphere effect you leave the plane with the sphere effect as a 2D layer. You set the point to 3D. Select the "Transform From" control in the Sphere effect and set that to the point layer. You move and rotate the sphere by moving the point, not the layer with the sphere effect. 

  • To clarify, the video you refer to was made with HitFilm 2, and the logo for a 3D plane is slightly different in HitFilm 3. Its the exact same function, with the same name, just a slightly different icon.

  • I'm having the exact same problem.  Created a planet using the sphere kept the layer 2D, created a point layer with 3D and set up the rotation.  I then went back to the planet layer and under sphere I set the transform from: point layer.  Nothing is spinning.  Am I not setting the spinning on the point layer correctly?  I set it on the : transform, rotation Y.

    Thanks for any help you can give me. 

  • edited February 10

     Patrick sorry but it makes no sense futzing with 2D planes in  3D environment to generate perspective because it fails on all levels. its not your fault and you are doing nothing wrong.  it simply cannot be done.

    why not simply use Hitfilm amazing 3D abilities import a ball obj or3ds file put a texture map on place each obj in its correct position. it takes 2 minutes literally

    the earth tilt is 66.6  from the vertical = world transform orientation z = 23.4 spin the ball earth in the models drop down y rotate - 30 . the moon anchor point offset x and rotate the moon world transform Y-1 because for every 30 earth rotation the moon does one orbit.  add your light and be done with it. even my moon 5 degree offset from ecliptic plane is correct = world transform z = -5 and the sun is on the ecliptic plane.

    BTW in real life the moon phases should swap over every 6 months because the light source the sun is fixed so the moon position in its orbit path is the same position in relation to the earth and we don't see this in real life so something very wrong in the education system and no surprises there. 


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