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View Full Version : What file formats supports LW v9.6?



ForenDaddy
12-16-2010, 03:42 AM
hi, i am quite new to lightwave.
i have to do a project at my school with lw 9.6.

we try to mix real movie scenes with some lw models.

everything we have recorded is an avchd file (*.mts).
lw doesn't support this file when i try to load it into the layouter via image editor.

so how do i get my videos into lw?

OnlineRender
12-16-2010, 04:00 AM
I would use mentalfish LW-Aftereffects script when blending 3D with live action , either that or some tracking software , but ....

when importing video into the background , try another format , avi "sucks " pngsequence " I think works fine and the best " , dont honestly know not imported video footage into LW for a while now .

but I gather it works on the same concept of importing animated textures.

ForenDaddy
12-16-2010, 05:31 AM
i want to interact two 3d figures with a real person.
as i understood the tutorial video for mentalfish, it can only move the whole object. not only like arms or legs of the 3d object.
so i don't think i can achieve what a want with this.
the timing is important.

so i have to stick with converting my video files.

the png sequence works fine. just had to figure out to select sequence.

what is better a png sequence or a video file in mov or so?
by the way what formats supports lightwave anyway?
is there list anywhere? i don't have the user manual right now.

Greenlaw
12-16-2010, 09:43 AM
Hi,

For Lightwave background previews, I always convert movies to a lower quality .jpg (maybe 60% or so) because this will load very quickly and allow you to scrub in realtime. For actual compositing, obviously I'd want a higher quality format like .exr and I would also do the compositing in an actual compositing program like Fusion (what I use,) or After Effects (another popular choice.)

To convert AVCHD (.mts) files to frames, you will need a program that can read the format and allow you to export frames. I sometimes use Vegas Professional for this, but many other video editors can do this.

Another option is to install a third party codec that will work in video editing or compositing programs. CoreAVC Professional is one I like; I use it to read AVCHD movies in Fusion, and then I export the frames as .exr.

Then there are standalone programs that let you convert AVCHD into .avi format so you can read them into a wider range of programs. Two that I use are Cineform and AVCHD Upshift. Cineform is great if this footage will be use for keying (i.e., green screen,) but you will need to have the Player codec installed on machines that don't have Cineform installed. AVCHD Upshift converts to .avi which makes it compatible with more programs but it also doesn't have the higher color depth and quality that comes with Cineform.

Hope this helps. I'll post some useful links later.

G.

Greenlaw
12-16-2010, 10:28 AM
Here are the links for the various items I mentioned above:

Sony Vegas 10 Professional (http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegassoftware)
CoreAVC Professional (http://corecodec.com/products/coreavc)
Cineform NeoScene (http://www.cineform.com/neoscene/)
AVCHD Upshift (http://www.newbluefx.com/avchd-upshift.html)

G.

Dexter2999
12-16-2010, 10:57 AM
i want to interact two 3d figures with a real person.
as i understood the tutorial video for mentalfish, it can only move the whole object. not only like arms or legs of the 3d object.
so i don't think i can achieve what a want with this.
the timing is important.

so i have to stick with converting my video files.

the png sequence works fine. just had to figure out to select sequence.

what is better a png sequence or a video file in mov or so?
by the way what formats supports lightwave anyway?
is there list anywhere? i don't have the user manual right now.

I'd go with the image sequence. That way you won't run into problems with a 64bit system (if you are on Windows). And you avoid codex issues. If you ever have problems loading a JPG or still file in LW always check to see if it is RGB. The random CMYK file will leave you scratching your head.

ForenDaddy
12-16-2010, 11:20 AM
converting the videos into another format is no problem.
i just wanted to know which format i need cause lw is quite a diva with this.
right now i tend to use png/jpg image sequence.
i have no special reason for that. i just think it's convenient.

i still don't know which formats lw is really capable to proceed.
but ok as long as one works.

but after reading what greenwal said i think i have a bigger problem.
i thought i load my video in full quality (!) into lightwave layouter.
then i use my 3d models and animate them according to the imported video.
finally i render everything (!including background video) in desired quality.
video complete.


but if greenwal uses lower quality for the animation part what are you doing after that? how do you combine 3d and real film together?
from where comes the full quality?
i'd like to have an inspiration for that.

dee
12-16-2010, 12:03 PM
This are the formats supported by Lightwave (taken from LW.cfg):
*.iff;*.jpg;*.tga;*.targa;*.rla;*.als;*.bmp;*.cin; *.pcx;*.pct;*.png;*.psd;*.hdr;*.rgb;*.ras;*.tif;*. tiff;*.vpb;*.yuv;*.flx;*.avi;*.mov;*.mpg;*.exr

Convert to png24 and you'll have the full quality.

For compositing 3d and real footage it's better to go with an app like After FX because of the greater flexibility and ability to adjust things (colors, brighness, contrast) faster. Render your 3d as image sequence with alpha channel (e.g. png32), load the original footage and your sequence in the compositing app, adjust, and render the final movie out.

OnlineRender
12-16-2010, 02:07 PM
also render the alpha's out , esp if you use after effects , that way you have control of the Zdepth ,comes in handy if you want to control the DOF aswell .

Greenlaw
12-16-2010, 03:57 PM
i thought i load my video in full quality (!) into lightwave layouter.
then i use my 3d models and animate them according to the imported video.
Yes. This is a good way to have a reference for animation. Thus, this is why I use .jpg. You don't need high quality for this and if you can get the file size down to almost nothing, it streams very quickly even on a network with low bandwidth. (Note: if you want to use a video format, you can use motion jpeg for the same performance. I'd advise against using a video fomat in general though. For animation and FX work it's much easier and more flexible to work with frames.)


finally i render everything (!including background video) in desired quality.
video complete.

but if greenwal uses lower quality for the animation part what are you doing after that? how do you combine 3d and real film together?
from where comes the full quality?

i'd like to have an inspiration for that.
Technically, you can composite in Lightwave. This is how I did it about 12 or more years ago. However, you have much more control over your final images by rendering your scenes out as frames and then doing your compositing in a real compositing program. In fact, it's even better to break your scenes into multiple elements and channels, and then composite. This way, you have control over nearly everything from relighting a scene to controlling motion blur length and qaulity as a near realtime process. (At the box, we even do our subsurface effects in post.)

This is the standard practice for doing cg, animation and effects work in the film and television industry. Is that 'inspiration' enough? :)

Hope this helps.

G.

ForenDaddy
12-17-2010, 07:06 AM
i tried the "new" method.
and it works like a charm.

right now i don't render alpha because it takes more time.
i don't have a machine that can handle that in an appropriate time.
but i keep it in mind.

i think this is definitely the way for me.

thx a lot for your help.

and thx again because i will definitely have a looooot of questions to get finished with this video. but this in an other thread. ^^

Greenlaw
12-17-2010, 09:48 AM
i tried the "new" method.
and it works like a charm.

right now i don't render alpha because it takes more time.
i don't have a machine that can handle that in an appropriate time.
but i keep it in mind.

i think this is definitely the way for me.

thx a lot for your help.

and thx again because i will definitely have a looooot of questions to get finished with this video. but this in an other thread. ^^

Rendering an alpha shouldn't take longer than not rendering it. Just like any other channel in Lightwave, the alpha channel is created by Lightwave anyway whether you save this data or not, so you may as well save it.

G.

ForenDaddy
12-18-2010, 05:49 AM
strange i tried it with and without and lw shows a different rendering time.
ok it's not really precise because my system does a couple of things in the background while rendering ^^.
i switch alpha on just to be sure.

dwburman
12-18-2010, 11:13 AM
You could convert the video into both .jpg and .png (or .exr) sequences. Use the .jpg sequence when you're animating and the .png for the final render. You could even use a lower resolution for the .jpg sequence so the computer works faster.