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…)
Finally, I’ve finished this up and I’m getting it out there! The first Natron tutorial for OpenVisualFX. If you haven’t heard of Natron, it’s an open source compositing program very similar to Nuke. In fact, it’s similar enough that if you know one, you know the other. I wanted to come up with a fun scene with some relatively standard compositing work, the kind of thing an artist at a professional studio is going to be doing all the time, and the TNT television show The Last Ship gave me the perfect opportunity. (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.
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 actress and 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 is very 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…)
Visual effects artists work in frames sequences. That’s what we expect to get from the client, and it’s what we give back to them. EXRs, DPXs, PNGs, TIFs, even TGAs and JPGs. Compressed movies are for reviewing, but our main means of delivery on feature films are frame sequences. Independent projects can have a variety of different formats for delivery, but even then, it’s recommended that you work from frame sequences and just create the delivery movie from the final frame sequence at the end. (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.