PDA

View Full Version : Open EXR is so close to me + After the AfterEffects



tyrot
09-06-2009, 07:05 PM
Dear Lightwolf

For a guy like me, who doesn't have a TD around him to show what to do and how to do.. (i dont know what TD does even shhh) I want to have better controls over my renders.. So i have two options
1- Get TD
2- Learn that Open EXR stuff very well and buy your plugin...

Please can you make a video tutorial and show how this EXR thing works? How can i use with CS4 After Effects?

Now this part for all LWers...

if you were in my shoes and trying to make some special effects (combining 3D with Actual footage) for some pitching process to clients, which Composition tool would you recommend...Digital Fusion 6, Nuke 5.2? (I have a long history with after effects)

You know 3D will be coming out from LW..so please keep in mind that 3D application is LW. After LW using OpenEXR which way to go...

thank you in advance..waiting for the Tutorial...(There must be law that forcing plugin writers to make video tutorials first :))

toby
09-06-2009, 07:57 PM
If you're just talking about using lw's EXR saver then there's very little to learn. The images may look washed out when you import them, if so then you'd gamma them to .4545. If you wanted to add buffers to the image you'll need something like ExrTrader from Lightwolf, and I'm sure he has instructions on how to do it.

I haven't used Fusion but between Nuke, Shake and AE, Nuke stomps them into the ground. But it's also 5 thousand bucks.

realgray
09-06-2009, 08:12 PM
I would recommend Lightwave+Syntheyes+Shake

bassmanjam
09-06-2009, 11:04 PM
I would love me some Nuke. Shake can access the channels, but you have to manually select them and place spec.r, spec.g, spec.b into the r,g,b channels for example. It's a bit tedious.

For quick stuff, you might want to stick with After Effects.

I was at a motion graphics user group where the Fnord guys gave props to LW for the EXR support.

realgray
09-07-2009, 12:11 AM
Woah, I didn't realize AE CS4 shipped with Pro EXR. (still working on CS3) That rocks. So I guess that helps alleviate the problem of Lightwaves lack of multipass output?

toby
09-07-2009, 01:01 AM
Woah, I didn't realize AE CS4 shipped with Pro EXR. (still working on CS3) That rocks. So I guess that helps alleviate the problem of Lightwaves lack of multipass output?
Without exrTrader, all you can get out of lw is rgb and a.

realgray
09-07-2009, 01:04 AM
Sweet. Then thats a very cool plugin.

MrWyatt
09-07-2009, 02:20 AM
Nuke it dude.
Nuke is crazy good and handles multichannel exr files like a charm. once you get the nuke workflow you will never look back at AE, at least for compositing stuff. If your major work is motion graphics though, AE is still the champ.

AljenHoekstra
09-07-2009, 02:31 AM
We use the exrTrade plugin from db&w together with After Effects CS4. ExrTrader is simple to understand and easy in use. Although CS4 does support openEXR it will slow down your workflow tremendously if you start using more than 3 or 4 passes, even on a 8core Mac.
It does give nice results though!
(For Z-depth we also use FrischLuft's LensCare in AE, really nice DOF results!)

toby
09-07-2009, 03:06 AM
Nuke it dude.
Nuke is crazy good and handles multichannel exr files like a charm. once you get the nuke workflow you will never look back at AE, at least for compositing stuff. If your major work is motion graphics though, AE is still the champ.
Nuke is the bomb. At DD they were using it to turn hdr's into hdr sequences, moving through the hdr's spherical space and outputting a still hdr as it went (a single hdr will give you the exact same lighting no matter how far or where you travel). It also has stereoscopic compositing for all the 3d movies coming out.

But it is a lot of money for features that most of us peons don't know how to or don't need to use :P

realgray
09-07-2009, 03:07 AM
My understanding of EXR was limited. I didn't realize that it stored passes. I thought the only way to achieve passes was to buy a plugin that exported passes for lightwave. So if I get exr trader and combine it with my Shake I can get control over beauty, spec, reflection, depth and such? (dealing with that many passes I'd rather use shake for speed)

MrWyatt
09-07-2009, 03:16 AM
My understanding of EXR was limited. I didn't realize that it stored passes. I thought the only way to achieve passes was to buy a plugin that exported passes for lightwave. So if I get exr trader and combine it with my Shake I can get control over beauty, spec, reflection, depth and such? (dealing with that many passes I'd rather use shake for speed)

if you own shake, you sure can do that I think. but speed wise I'd say that nuke is far superior especially on 64 bit. If you don't own shake, you will suffer as apple has silently killed it. you can't even buy it anymore. a real shame if you ask me.

Lightwolf
09-07-2009, 03:30 AM
Time to jump in I suppose ;)

As a start I suggest having a look at the exrTrader manual (http://www.db-w.com/downloads/pdf/exrTrader_UserManual_V1.4.pdf) since it doesn't only explain exrTrader but also tries to explain the buffers that LW exports as well as the capabilities of exr.

OpenEXR in a nutshell: It is basically an image file format that allows you to save an unlimited amount of named HDR channels in a single file along with some meta data and optional (lossy or lossless) compression.

The named part is quite important, as that is used to mimic the notion of layers (by using a naming convention) and that in turn is what many compositing apps read as layers from a single file.

The naming convention is layername.channelname - and a layer can contain multiple channels (which also follow a naming convention, to a degree). I.e. R,G,B for colours, Y for luminance (which Nuke doesn't like at all), A for Alpha (also interpretedet as a mask in Nuke), Z for depth etc.

The handling of the names isn't the same across all compositing apps, which explains why exrTrader is more complex than it could be.

As for buffers/passes: The terminology is quite fluid here. I tend to differentiate them by using the term buffers for anything that can be extracted from a single render process, while a pass requires different scene settings and a separate render process (i.e. changes of item visibility, surface properties, light settings, render settings, etc).
A buffer in consists of one or more channels (i.e. RGBA for the final rendered image, X/Y for motion vectors, Z for depth).

And indeed, for the automated management of passes you need something beyond exrTrader, such as Janus or LWPassPort.

Now, you can still use LW to write out the render buffers to separate OpenEXR files (using the Render Buffer Export image filter that ships with LW).
The "only" thing you gain from exrTrader is the ability to write them all into a single EXR, presets, a VIPER based preview of buffers, the simultaneous output of buffers to a different image file format and more control over the final exr (as well as some other things).
So you don't have to use it - but it surely makes things a lot more fun.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. As for the video, which I'm working on, it would basically cover what's in the manual for a start. How you'd actually use the buffers has been covered in a few tutorials that are out already, i.e.: http://www.spinquad.com/article/story/8 (you can also check the links section on our website).

realgray
09-07-2009, 03:43 AM
I'm sorry when I said speed I was talking about nodes over layers when dealing with many sets of passes. I have Shake and I love it. Nuke is wonderful but it's mainly being used for shots that require a full 3d environment in the compositor, such as effects as Toby mentioned and the rorschach mask in watchmen (as well as mud coming out of Jet Li's face in the mummy). These types of needs are increasing and Nuke will eventually take over but Shake is not dead. I know it's not 64 bit. But it just got the job done for the Embassy on District 9/Iron Man and ILM on Star Trek. And for $400 as opposed to 3,500 for Nuke or 6,000 for the upcoming Nuke X. It's still a pretty big bang for your buck :thumbsup:

MrWyatt
09-07-2009, 03:50 AM
And for $400 as opposed to 3,500 for Nuke or 6,000 for the upcoming Nuke X. It's still a pretty big bang for your buck :thumbsup:

and that is the catch. as I said if one already has shake, all is good, but if you don't, you cannot buy it anymore as apple has killed it completely. try to look for shake on the apple site. it is gone. you cannot buy it anymore. It might not be dead, but it is a dead end if you don't own it already.

realgray
09-07-2009, 03:59 AM
Your right and it stinks. :agree: I haven't even upgraded to snow leopard yet because I've heard mixed reviews of it breaking Shake. I can only wish some foundation would buy the source and make it the first open source node based compositor. I guess in the next year or two I'll have to move to Nuke. I've played with the Nuke's PLE and you can feel some Shake in it. Definitely a great piece of software.