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 Shipgave 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. (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…)
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.
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.
World Blender Meetup Day is a big, coordinated online video chat of Blender user groups. It took place this year on February 27th. For 24 hours, anyone could jump in and watch live-streaming presentations by Blender users all over the world. Pretty cool, huh? 🙂
This year I wasn’t able to be at the Los Angeles Meetup to do my presentation live, but I still really wanted to be a part of it, so I prerecorded something for them to play. I’m happy to be able to post the video here for anyone who may have not been able to see it. (more…)