Creating a Jurassic Scene

Updated: May 11, 2019

May 8, 2019

Project title: Creating a Jurassic 3D animated scene with iClone and Hitfilm

Software used: iClone 6  Hitfilm Pro

Article Created By : Kevin Seid / 2D 3D Artist and Animator

School: Academy of Art University

Over the years, Kevin Seid’s talents have been applied in renown large and small AAA studios including

EA games, NASA TV and others. He also offers his services as a freelance artist when available. His many high-quality works can be found on his website, Facebook, YouTube and other social media channels.

I use both Iclone and Hitfilm they are both vital tools for any projects I create. They are streamlined and simple to use products. In a short time these products have enabled me to create over 160 animations and videos. Both Iclone and Hitfilm are great products and work well together to create almost any kind of art projects, whether it be some minor effects or large animation or film projects. These program can easily help you achieve all your final project goals with simplicity and efficiency.

This short tutorial will show you how I created a rich detailed animation with some custom effects. This tutorial was created with iclone and Hitfilm. In this quick tutorial I will cover a little on both programs and how I accomplish this detailed scene in a short time.

Tutorial assets –Total Plants 2 garden varieties by Reallusion, Terrains of the world by Reallusion. Botanical sampler by Reallusion. Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur by 4ToonStudio. 

Scene Setup:

Let’s get started by setting up our scene in Iclone 6.

(These adjustment can always be edit at a later time)

 I began by opening iClone 6 and setting up my scene by setting the size of the project and the length of the project. I chose 1920x1080p for the size and MP4 for my codec format. I finished the set up by choosing the amount of frames I wanted the project to be which was 2,000 frames.

Step 1:  Water Placment

After setting up my scene I then began by placing some water in the scene. I then chose the color of the water .I went with a darker green as this will be a jungle scene so the water should be a bit green as there will be lots of plants. In a jungle plants biodegrade over time giving the water a greenish brown tint. Once I chose the color I was ready for the next step.

Step 2: Placing a video plane.

For this step I went to the content tab and chose the find file option, I chose a video I already had on  my hard drive, then I proceeded by right clicking on the video and dragging it into the project area.

iClone then asked me how I would like to place the video. I chose the plane option. This placed my video plane in the project area.


To give the video plane a little extra realism I added a rock in the scene and lined it up with the rocks in the video. This adds extra depth and realism, also giving the illusion of a 3d rock coming out of the video plane. I then added a few plants to add even more depth to the video plane.

Step 3:  Plants and rocks

 I began placing rocks and ground decals on each side of the video plane and slowly built the scene zooming out a bit more each time. Since I was only going to have a zoom in camera, I simply just zoomed out a bit at a time. Each time I got father away I added more rocks and decals on the ground. I repeated this until I had well detailed ground sections. All this was done in preview mode not camera view.

Once I had all the rocks and ground decals completed, I then added the smallest plants first like the mushrooms and insects.  I fallowed the same steps by zooming all the way up to the video plane and then slowly zoomed out adding props as I zoomed out. Once I had all the smaller plants and insects in the places I wanted I was ready for placing my camera. I zoomed out to the point I wanted then added a camera making sure I was at frame 0. Then I slid the frame slider to the last frame 2000. Then I switched to camera view and zoomed in to the point I wanted. Then set the frame back to 0 and hit play. I now had a nice smooth camera movement forward. My camera was set to go so I switched back to preview mode as to not alter the camera motions.

Step 4:  Plants trees and bushes

Fallowing the previous steps I then proceeded to populate my scene with bushes tress and plants of various types. Whatever props you place can always be move adjusted and resized to your liking. Just remember you only need to populate the area that the camera actually views. Anything out of the camera view is useless to the scene. Once you have placed all the plants trees and bushes switch back to camera view and hit play. You will now have a camera moving through your jungle moving towards the water fall.

Its good practice to take your time and play around with placement of the vegitation rocks tree's, be creative until you are happy with what you have.

Step 5: Creating a video waterfall in Hitfilm

 I created a new composite shot in Hitfilm and imported my green screened waterfall. I then went to the effects panel and chose the Keying effects folder. From that folder I selected the Color Difference Key effect. I dragged the effect to the composite shot and added it to my shot. This removed the green in my video leaving me with a waterfall with a transparent waterfall.