I’m not sure if this was my 4th or 5th Siggraph. I’ve been attending the conference since I began using Blender professionally, invited by Ton to help work the booth and chat with people about using Blender for visual effects. Siggraph become one of the highlights of my year. I’ll be completely honest with you, though – I’m probably not the best person to write about Siggraph. I do not take full advantage of the convention. I don’t go to talks, don’t attend the parties, don’t get to visit every booth on the exhibit floor, and I don’t pick up a Pixar teapot. (more…)
Wow. Sometimes you think something will be easy and automatic, and then reality steps in and yells “Nope!” right in your face. This is one of those common things a compositor runs into almost daily – using a vector pass from a 3D program to add motion blur in post. Using a vector pass speeds up the 3D rendering and lets the compositor make adjustments to the motion blur without having to re-render any 3D elements. (more…)
A few months ago, I was excited to once again contribute to 3DArtist magazine. This time I was asked to write a piece involving set extensions, which of course means matte painting. I hired an actressand headed right out to shoot something that could be open to lots of different creative interpretations! The printed article (and what was offered for download) was limited by space, but I thought it was a fun tutorial so I really wanted to go over all the details here on the blog and take it even further. (more…)
If you’re going to use Blender in a professional environment, especially to compliment your work as a compositor (as I do), then moving your 3D scene from Blender and into The Foundry’s Nuke is more or less a necessity at some point. Thankfully, this has gotten much easier than it used to be. (more…)
If you’ve tried to stabilize footage in Blender at any point since the inclusion of tracking tools during the production of Tears of Steel, you may have noticed a large, glaring omission – scale. Translation and rotation, no problem. But we have not been able to stabilize scale in Blender at all.
Handheld camera work isvery common today, but if you’re out there shooting your own movies, sometimes you may find your footage has a high frequency shake that is just really annoying. I’ve found that the smaller the camera is, the more chance there is of introducing that jittery motion. With people shooting movies on smartphones and GoPros, cameras really can’t get much smaller! That means there is a lot of high frequency jitter in those handheld shots. (more…)
Very often in visual effects you’ve got to deal with shadows. If you’re adding a CG object or character to a scene, it’s almost certain that somewhere else in that scene it’s going to be casting a shadow. This is typically dealt with by using a shadow pass, one of the many render passes you can output when rendering. In Blender, the shadow pass usually entails (more…)
Lately I’ve been doing more and more for 3DArtist magazine. I got to meet editor Steve Holmes at Siggraph last year, and since then, he keeps inviting me back to do more fun compositing tutorials in Blender, which of course is a pleasure.
This is one I did for them in Issue 88. I wanted to introduce people to the idea that Blender isn’t only a 3D program, but could be used in place of Nuke or After Effects for most compositing tasks. One of the simplest and most common jobs is replacing a screen on a device. Monitors, phones, tablets, televisions, this technique works for any of those. It also works for anything flat in general, like billboards, walls, floors, replacing book covers, photographs, etc.
If you’ve ever found yourself with the need to render multiple Blender projects overnight, this is the program for you!
RenderPilot is a render manager for Blender, and if you’re working on a project with a lot of long render times, this little thing is about to become your best friend.
Maybe you’ve been working on a huge project all day, and you’ve only got one workstation. You may want to save all your rendering until later, perhaps overnight, when you’re not actually using the workstation. That way, your computer is being used 24 hours a day to it’s fullest potential.
A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of working with Wes and Jonathan over at CGCookie. I’d known them for at least a year or so at that point, after having approached Jonathan at Siggraph to let him know that I had gotten started with Blender by following the great tutorials over at BlenderCookie. After they invited me to do some tutorials for them, we decided on a comprehensive 2D tracking course.
I had a couple reasons for wanting to do a 2D tracking course. Of course I was tempted to jump right into the deep end and do some kind of complex vfx scene, but if we did that, I’d have to explain a lot of the tracking as the training progressed. Not only tracking, but other basic skills, like rotoscoping, would slow us down. Tracking and rotoscoping are important enough to warrant focused training on their own. So I thought it best to start with tracking. This course was the beginning of that foundation.