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vfxwizard
06-14-2011, 01:23 PM
LW 10 does not have an AE exporter, but I think the ATS plugins have been updated over the years -it's just the site that is a bit aged. Having had a look at the data output by the demo it should work fine with CS5 and above.

The main problem with AE is the rotation order, positional data is very easy to transfer, rotation is a bit harder but ATS's solution is fine: it uses both a lookat vector and bank. In short: it bypasses the rotation order problem and works okay.


May I ask what kind of functionality are you looking for?

I mean, apart from 1-click pixel perfect export of animated cameras, lights & nulls from LW to AE, like Cinema does with the "aec" projects?

Would going the other way, from AE to LW, be important?

DISCLAIMER: I have coded a LW->AE bridge for my studio, looks like it may be released as a commercial plugin. On the bright side: I'm looking for feature requests. :)

raw-m
06-14-2011, 02:20 PM
Eck! vfxwizard, more on that please!!!

vfxwizard
06-15-2011, 01:23 PM
Thanks for all the replies! so far my bridge seems to handle what has been requested except for the custom scaling mentioned by Monovich.

Currently it's locked to 1 mt = 100 AE pixel, but will add this option asap given that I'm already cleaning the code for release.

I'll try to post a short video tomorrow demonstrating how this bridge works. Wanted to do this today, but couldn't find the time.

In short, as far as exporting goes, it's really 1 click, like Cinema4D.

Actually one half click :), because in the Mac version there's not even the need to import the project into After Effects. Lightwave auto-syncs AE via applescript. I hope I'll be able to implement this in the windows version as well.

What is not easy to handle in LW w.r.t. cinema are the render passes, mainly because there's not a single standard solution for them in LW.

But if this is not something direly needed then I'm closer to release.


Regarding the transmotion plugins, as Monovich demonstrated, they work. I have never used them (obviously) but using the point of interest + bank is a pretty sound strategy, and I did the same in other exporters. So thumbs up for them. :thumbsup:



I'll keep you all up to date, and I'm open to suggestions, especially about the workflow (in-house software is usually biased by the kind of projects that each studio does).

monovich
06-15-2011, 01:59 PM
your plugin sounds great! I can't imagine a 1/2 click solution. That would just be too easy.

The reason that I like scene scaling is that I could be working on something small, like binoculars, or something large, like an exterior shot. So the relative size of the LW scene and the AE scene is often quite different. Sometimes a 1 to 1 ratio is fine, but sometimes I have to use a to 10,000 multiplier out of LW to AE to get the relationship right. You could of course script this in AE with expressions as well, but the little multiplier option saves a lot of time.

I would love to see how your plugin works with exporting animated objects, or what would also be awesome would be exporting specified object vertex positions. Right now I can attach a null to a point with DP Kit tools then export the null position to AE, but a simplified workflow could be awesome.

If you do release this, market it well because there is a lot of ignorance and misinformation about LW/AE integration. Most people assume there is none.

raw-m
06-15-2011, 02:07 PM
Please post to this post vfxwizard when ready, I would hate to miss it. Did I read correctly - moving your camera around in LW will automatically update the camera in AE? Bring it on! Happy to see the mac take the lead for once :)

vfxwizard
06-16-2011, 01:57 PM
what would also be awesome would be exporting specified object vertex positions. Right now I can attach a null to a point with DP Kit tools then export the null position to AE, but a simplified workflow could be awesome.

If you do release this, market it well because there is a lot of ignorance and misinformation about LW/AE integration. Most people assume there is none.

I can see how useful would be to export a bunch of vertices without going the null route. I usually do that with clothfx's scan and make path, and it's a pain.

However it's not that easy if you want deformations to be respected. I'll see if this can be added later, as separate exporter, because there would be a strong performance hit. Vertices from non-deforming objects would instead be easy.

Another thing that cinema does is to allow export of solids (they are more or less nulls with a specific size in width and height). Would this be useful?

BTW, I'm marketing challenged, but luckily I only write the code. :)


moving your camera around in LW will automatically update the camera in AE? Bring it on! Happy to see the mac take the lead for once :)

Unfortunatly you still have to click "sync" in Layout to tell AE to update its scene. Going realtime would require a direct communication line between AE and LW.

Right now it's LW -> Applescript -> Extendscript -> AE. Fast, but not real time.



Hey thanks all, I'm still swamped with work but the code cleanup is shaping up nicely and the video will follow.

vfxwizard
06-17-2011, 02:17 PM
Hi all,
it's just a rough overview, but I posted a video showing the AE Bridge in action.

No eye-candy, I'm afraid, as it was a bit rushed. Just basic workflow. The current video will surely will be replaced with a better one later, so I'll link the YouTube channel, it's the only video there right now, so you can't miss it.

Video preview: http://www.youtube.com/vfxwizard I have attached to this post a frame from the video showing the dynamic sharing workflow.

The plugins are now feature complete on Mac and I can move on and update the windows versions.

C&C are very welcome, as well as feature requests. I'm very interested in knowing how the workflow shown in the video can be improved.


@monovich
I added an experimental export mode for object's vertices. :) Deformations are not supported, but may still be useful to attach something to a vertex "on the fly".

@dwburman
Thanks for pointing that out, I'm not sure how it would behave when dealing with banking.

Btw, when the rotation order changes (as it happens going from LW to AE) bank may change even if your object does not rotate around bank. I'm pretty sure the transmotion plugins work. Their math is different than mine, but works. I'd test other solutions throughly.

daforum
06-17-2011, 02:23 PM
Will these plugins work with LW 9.6 to AFX CS3, or is it for LW10 to AFX CS5?

vfxwizard
06-17-2011, 02:32 PM
CS3 is supported, as for 9.6 -this code used to work on 9.6 so there should be no problems in that but will need to be recompiled on mac.

I don't know at the moment how many different versions will be supported. For sure LW10+ on Mac an Win 64. But probably 9.6 as well. Thanks for pointing this out!

raw-m
06-17-2011, 02:52 PM
Hi vfxwizard. Many congratulations, a lot of thought and hard work has gone into this and find it all quite exciting!

I think it'll be difficult to get you some feedback until people have played with it a little but great start. Do camera zooms sync as well? Are you planning to charge? I'm guessing everything is based on world co-ords if I have some parenting go on?

....and I have to ask... what's the likelihood of going from AE to LW as well? Is it possible?

mav3rick
06-17-2011, 03:43 PM
Hi all,
it's just a rough overview, but I posted a video showing the AE Bridge in action.

No eye-candy, I'm afraid, as it was a bit rushed. Just basic workflow. The current video will surely will be replaced with a better one later, so I'll link the YouTube channel, it's the only video there right now, so you can't miss it.

Video preview: http://www.youtube.com/vfxwizard I have attached to this post a frame from the video showing the dynamic sharing workflow.

The plugins are now feature complete on Mac and I can move on and update the windows versions.

C&C are very welcome, as well as feature requests. I'm very interested in knowing how the workflow shown in the video can be improved.


@monovich
I added an experimental export mode for object's vertices. :) Deformations are not supported, but may still be useful to attach something to a vertex "on the fly".

@dwburman
Thanks for pointing that out, I'm not sure how it would behave when dealing with banking.

Btw, when the rotation order changes (as it happens going from LW to AE) bank may change even if your object does not rotate around bank. I'm pretty sure the transmotion plugins work. Their math is different than mine, but works. I'd test other solutions throughly.

amazing stuff :) when you plan to release it?

vfxwizard
06-18-2011, 11:40 AM
I'd like to keep the workflow as simple as possible, but if I can fit additional features into this "1-click" approach I'll gladly do so.
Hi vfxwizard. Many congratulations, a lot of thought and hard work has gone into this and find it all quite exciting!

I think it'll be difficult to get you some feedback until people have played with it a little but great start. Do camera zooms sync as well? Are you planning to charge? I'm guessing everything is based on world co-ords if I have some parenting go on?

....and I have to ask... what's the likelihood of going from AE to LW as well? Is it possible?

Thanks, glad you liked it. Yes this will be a commercial plugin (don't know yet the details on how it's going to be marketed).

Camera zoom syncs as well, and as you guessed it works in world coords. Parenting is not a problem, everything is exported computing WC position, alignment and scale for each item.

It also respects targets, graph editor's motion modifiers and path alignment. All this without baking. (To export something driven by IK or other modifiers baking the motions would be needed).


Currently there's no AE->LW export. This kind of dynamic workflow can't be bidirectional because once an app receives the data it's in a baked format and transferring it back would not make it editable.


What could be done is to allow the export of .mot files from AE -say to match an existing project, or to make use of rove keyframes in AE.

Would this be enough?


@mav3rick
Thanks! I think it's going to be released in a week or so, I only have to update the windows version with the new code.

raw-m
06-18-2011, 01:13 PM
Generally, I do a lot of mograph stuff so a starting point in AE to export to LW would be great. Roving keyframes is especially useful in AE to get a nice constant speed, so your suggestion would be very useful, especially if you can export items other than the camera.

I'm assuming that if you quit either app then re-syncing can be achieved when re-launched?

Looking forward to seeing how this pans out!

H_Molla
06-18-2011, 08:38 PM
I'd like to keep the workflow as simple as possible, but if I can fit additional features into this "1-click" approach I'll gladly do so.

Thanks, glad you liked it. Yes this will be a commercial plugin (don't know yet the details on how it's going to be marketed).

Camera zoom syncs as well, and as you guessed it works in world coords. Parenting is not a problem, everything is exported computing WC position, alignment and scale for each item.

It also respects targets, graph editor's motion modifiers and path alignment. All this without baking. (To export something driven by IK or other modifiers baking the motions would be needed).


Currently there's no AE->LW export. This kind of dynamic workflow can't be bidirectional because once an app receives the data it's in a baked format and transferring it back would not make it editable.


What could be done is to allow the export of .mot files from AE -say to match an existing project, or to make use of rove keyframes in AE.

Would this be enough?


@mav3rick
Thanks! I think it's going to be released in a week or so, I only have to update the windows version with the new code.


That would be nice...
Is going to be free for lightwave community " I hope so ;-) "

realgray
06-18-2011, 09:01 PM
Looking good :thumbsup:

pilF
06-19-2011, 07:36 AM
Wow that's a very usefull plugin you've created, any release date planned? thanks vfxwizard.

motivalex
06-19-2011, 09:19 AM
I managed to use the ATS plugins succesfully on the project. The small fee to pay for sending lightwave camera and object (using nulls) positions to After Effects, was the only way to do it.

Hey vfxwizard. I will be doing loads more LW + AE work over the coming months. So I will be definitely purchasing the plugin when it's ready. I like what you are doing with it. I am on a Windows 7 PC so would love to see what you done on the mac on the pc.

I know many motion graphics people have jumped to Cinema 4D (which I am evaluating) to do the 3d with AE. It's great that your plugin will offer a good solution to LW users.

vfxwizard
06-20-2011, 09:27 AM
Sorry for the delay, I had a look at raw-m's request to go the other way round, from AE to LW. This is something we never needed at the studio so it's not part of the code I already wrote.

With baking is doable but the script that mentalfish suggested (thanks!) seems to work very well and is already available so I'd think it's better to go with that.

The best approach for a truly bidirectional sync would be to share only the actual keyframes, and make sure both apps interpolate them the same way. It can be done (with some effort). But then there are motion modifiers, expressions, targets... So baking (eve the "soft" baking I'm doing) is still the only way to go to get a perfect match. :(


I'm sorry H_Molla, this is going to be a commercial product - I developed it at work, and now the studio is going to release this and other tools I wrote over the years as commercial products.


And, motivalex, yes the goal was to make AE export as simple and reliable as it is in c4d. It worked for us, I hope it will help other LW artists being more productive.


I'm still cleaning the Windows version, but seems to work so far. Will let everybody know when it's done (pilF: matter of days).


Thanks all for your kind words!

monovich
06-20-2011, 09:35 AM
Just watched the video. The plugin looks fantastic. I can't wait to give it a go! Skipping the baking is going to be a huge time saver, and not having baked objects to clean up will be wonderful as well.

Anyone who does any sort of LW/AE work should be more than happy to pay for this. It will save hours and hours on a project.

wesleycorgi
06-20-2011, 04:49 PM
This looks great! And it's Mac-compatible! What would be really cool would be Messiah-like interaction, where the changes are updated in real-time.

COBRASoft
06-20-2011, 05:33 PM
vfxwizard: very nice! What are the other plugins you made over the years?

tyrot
06-20-2011, 06:01 PM
dear SIR i am EXCITED!!!! awesome work... ...waiting for your release ... eagerly ...

raw-m
06-21-2011, 02:38 AM
As Monovich has said, I would be happy to pay for this - and make sure NT knows about it! A big feature on their newsletter is more than justified, it'll surely attract/keep some mograph orientated LW users and make it an even more attractive package.

nickdigital
06-21-2011, 12:15 PM
I just finished watching vfxwizard's youtube video and was blown away. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this thread.

My one comment would be to maybe use a word other than Bridge. In the beginning I thought this was a reference to the Adobe program.

vfxwizard
06-21-2011, 04:20 PM
@monovich, @raw_m and @tyrot, I'm still blushing. Thanks, I'll do my best to live up to the expectations.

@wesleycorgi, yeah, a true realtime match would be great. But right now the lag would be unacceptable. Long term it may be doable (switching to a different approach).

@cobrasoft, most of the releasable code are AE effects. But there are a few animation and rendering tools for LW that may be worth refactoring. I will be able to be more specific after this first tool comes out. IIRC you are a developer yourself, so you know the difference between something working as an "in house" tool w.r.t. to something suitable for public release. :)

@nickdigital, you know what? i think you'r right. It has always been called "bridge" here, but it's a name that could lead to confusion with Adobe's very own bridge. Thanks a lot for pointing this out.


Again, thanks everybody, I'm still ironing out an unexpected Windows issue and will update you all soon.

souzou
06-21-2011, 05:45 PM
Hi vfxwizard,

I agree with everyone else this looks awesome, can't wait until it gets released! Super simplifies the process. :thumbsup:

Just to pick up on a question raw-m asked (and I don't think has been answered yet), if you quit either application does it retain a link between projects? So if you reopen both projects can they be resynced?

realgray
06-21-2011, 08:22 PM
I'm itching to buy this. Hope it is available soon.

jeric_synergy
06-21-2011, 10:03 PM
I just hope it's backwards compatible to AE7p.

Yes, I do like my mographs coal powered.

djwaterman
06-22-2011, 08:13 AM
Wow! This is the sort of thing LW10 should have been announcing when they released. Bridge plugin looks too good to be true, and the demo was exactly perfect as is. I need this now!

vfxwizard
06-22-2011, 08:13 AM
Just to pick up on a question raw-m asked (and I don't think has been answered yet), if you quit either application does it retain a link between projects? So if you reopen both projects can they be resynced?

Oops, must have missed that question, sorry.

Yes, you can keep re-syncing even after quitting and reloading.

The sync is based on scene's and object's names. So unless these change, it still syncs.

This also allows to "write protect" a layer or a comp in AE: simply rename it and it won't be modified when syncing.

@realgray Thanks, it's coming real soon. Still a bit of windows trouble.

@jeric_synergy It should work with AE 7.0, it used to and probably would work with 6.5 as well. But this is something I'll have to check.


BTW, there have been a few changes w.r.t. the early preview video, the handling of solids and text layers is more polished. And now I'm back to work on the windows version. :)

vfxwizard
06-22-2011, 08:20 AM
Wow! This is the sort of thing LW10 should have been announcing when they released. Bridge plugin looks too good to be true, and the demo was exactly perfect as is. I need this now!

Hey thanks, better if I go to work on it now. :)

jeric_synergy
06-22-2011, 11:53 AM
vfxwizard, I forgot to say: WOW. Looks very cool. Nice work.

Thumbsup!!!

souzou
06-22-2011, 12:20 PM
Oops, must have missed that question, sorry.

Yes, you can keep re-syncing even after quitting and reloading.

The sync is based on scene's and object's names. So unless these change, it still syncs.

This also allows to "write protect" a layer or a comp in AE: simply rename it and it won't be modified when syncing.

Double-awesome with cheese on top. :D

vfxwizard
06-25-2011, 04:09 PM
Hi everybody!

First of all thanks to motivalex whose thread I offically hijacked. :hijack:


Took a lot more than I expected, but the Windows versions have been updated with the new code and I can confirm that the syncing is now dynamic on Windows as well.

There are a few other changes, I'll try to post a video asap about them:

- custom objects for text & solids, this helps a lot in keeping track of what's going on and placing solids where they should be (say, a screen replacement)
- much better UI
- compatible with AE CS5.5 (the first AE release in years that broke my code!)
- very fast export of animated (non deforming) geometry
- and a new name! (thanks NickDigital)

@jeric_synergy: I double checked, it should work with AE7. It won't be supported officially (because we don't have any 7 install) but no property is missing in 7.

Speaking of compatibility, the supported platforms and versions are:

On Mac: LW 10+, 32 and 64 bit, snow leopard. (Unofficially: it should work with 9.6.1)
On Windows: LW 9.6+, Vista / Win7, 32 and 64 bit


Unless something goes very wrong, the plugin should be released next week. Will keep you up to date and post a new video.

Thanks!

tyrot
06-25-2011, 04:36 PM
waiting waiting.....it's been a while since last plugin purchase:)

nickdigital
06-25-2011, 07:58 PM
Great news!

Now kindly post instructions on how to purchase and download.

digitaldoc
06-25-2011, 08:17 PM
Fantastic! Looking forward to buying the plugin.

If Newtek made it native to LW 10.? they would have a lot of happy campers and a great announcement at Siggraph!

HINT, HINT!

Newtek Shows Some Love to MoGraph Artists

:jam::agree::newtek::):lwicon::thumbsup:

aa1037
06-25-2011, 08:31 PM
I can't wait - this looks great! Count me in as a customer :)

digital verve
06-26-2011, 04:15 AM
Hey. This is great stuff that you are bringing to Lightwave for us who use After Effects. Looking forward to it's release. Thanks. :beerchug:

djwaterman
06-26-2011, 04:43 AM
I don't want to miss this one. I think it should be around the same price as the Video co-pilot optical flares plugin, some might say even more considering how desparate we are to have this kind of connection, but I should just shut up now shouldn't I.

mav3rick
06-26-2011, 05:10 AM
vfx :) i'd be glad to get on windows version asap :) i am about to get into composting of my latest commercial i am working on right now and i could put your tool in great use on it! lemme hear how is progress going

vfxwizard
06-26-2011, 05:22 PM
Hey thanks everybody, your support is amazing. And I understand many of you needed something like this yesterday. A few days more to put up the web page and we'r golden.


I don't want to miss this one. I think it should be around the same price as the Video co-pilot optical flares plugin, some might say even more considering how desparate we are

Now, that's scary. It's almost word per word what my boss said when I asked her about pricing. Minus the desperation remark, she's not that mean. :D

Seriously: I can't talk about prices but your comparison is right on the mark. Price will likely be close to that video copilot's tool. Not dirty cheap, but affordable.

What I can say for sure is that I'll do my best to pack as much value as possible into this product. Both in the first release and in further refinements I'm already evaluating.


I wanted to do a video showing the latest changes, but am still working at it. So I attached a picture showing the tool running in windows, and the new custom objects (open in new tab to see the 1280x720 screenshot).

96202

It's remarkable how nicely VPR handles the scenes!

Activating OpenGL overlay and using the custom objects I eyeballed the green solid to be used for screen replacement in no time. The text layer itself is perfectly parallel to the surface of the screen.

Hope in a video for tomorrow, or tuesday at most. By then the web page should be up with all the details.

Thanks again to everybody, and please keep the feature requests coming!

jeric_synergy
06-26-2011, 05:24 PM
@jeric_synergy: I double checked, it should work with AE7. It won't be supported officially (because we don't have any 7 install) but no property is missing in 7.
Thanks for checking! Good luck w/the code. :thumbsup:

UnCommonGrafx
06-26-2011, 06:22 PM
just attaching to follow.

Looks great.

nickdigital
06-27-2011, 02:20 PM
How will licensing work? Is it dongle locked? Will there be a volume discount or a site license option?

vfxwizard
06-27-2011, 04:56 PM
UnCommon & jeric: thanks! Hope to have something more interesting to show next post. This is license-oriented.


How will licensing work? Is it dongle locked? Will there be a volume discount or a site license option?

Yes, license keys are tied to the dongle id. Downloads and keys are issued online right after purchase (no manual approval delays). This is the best option for a single license or a couple of them.


Discounted volume licenses will be available, guess starting at 3 or 4, by emailing a list of dongle ids and receiving the keys (this is a manual process - 24/36 business hours).


Depending on the number of seats even a entirely different licensing method can be agreed upon. (And whatever the need is, I'm sure a solution can be found for nickdigital :D ).



No video today, had to fix a few things. But the good news is that so far I received no bug reports on the latest version. Hope in a big update tomorrow. Thanks!

G-Man
06-28-2011, 09:50 AM
I have been wanting something like this for YEARS. Yes there are the ATS plugins and the MentalFish plugin, which do the job, but this kind of integration takes it to the level that C4D has. Great news for Lightwave MoGraph artists.

G-Man
06-28-2011, 09:53 AM
It would be nice if you could also export the light positions from Lightwave and they would come in as null objects in AE. Maybe it does this already.

meatycheesyboy
06-28-2011, 09:28 PM
It would be nice if you could also export the light positions from Lightwave and they would come in as null objects in AE. Maybe it does this already.

In Cinema I think it even goes a step further and recreates your 3D lights (point and spot) in the AE scene. That would be seriously great if this plugin did that as well.

monovich
06-29-2011, 11:52 AM
I may or may not be beta testing it and it may or may not, even in its unreleased state be the best plugin I've seen in years. !!!!

also... yes it does the lights too!

monovich
06-29-2011, 11:54 AM
no more baking! no more re-baking! no more deleting baked objects!

1 click!

1 click!

jeric_synergy
06-29-2011, 12:02 PM
I may or may not be beta testing it and it may or may not, even in its unreleased state be the best plugin I've seen in years. !!!!

also... yes it does the lights too!

mono, is that your 'plausible dieniability' clause there, or are you just really excited? :) :bday: :thumbsup:

monovich
06-29-2011, 12:16 PM
I may be excited!

vfxwizard
06-29-2011, 06:52 PM
In Cinema I think it even goes a step further and recreates your 3D lights (point and spot) in the AE scene. That would be seriously great if this plugin did that as well.

Yep, it can export lights as well.

There's just one limitation: up to AE CS5 all LW lights will appears in AE as spotlights (you'll have to change the light type yourself). With AE CS5.5 this limitation has been removed by Adobe.

Right now the plugin can do everything that C4D does except for exporting render passes. This is planned for a future version.


if you could also export the light positions from Lightwave and they would come in as null objects in AE.

Would you prefer to have Lights exported as Nulls? I can add that as an option. Thanks for the kind words!


I may or may not be beta testing it and it may or may not, even in its unreleased state be the best plugin I've seen in years. !!!!

:D


Hey, I know I was confident it would have been up by today with the new video and the site.

But someone may or may not have found a nasty bug with windows filenames. So I had to fix that.

News delayed but still almost on schedule.

Thanks everybody!

motivalex
06-30-2011, 12:50 AM
Yep, it can export lights as well.....

Fantastic!

jburford
06-30-2011, 04:10 AM
Got on this a little late, but this sounds wonderful (unglaublich). . . is there a demo version for us to download?

rcallicotte
06-30-2011, 06:56 AM
@vfxwizard - Any chance this will work with AE 6.5?

robertoortiz
06-30-2011, 07:46 AM
What I would do to offer the best of both world for and After workflow is to offer
OPENEXR support:

Quote from the site:
"OpenEXR is a high dynamic-range (HDR) image file format developed by Industrial Light & Magic for use in computer imaging applications.

OpenEXR is used by ILM on all motion pictures currently in production. The first movies to employ OpenEXR were Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Men in Black II, Gangs of New York, and Signs. Since then, OpenEXR has become ILM's main image file format.
"

Check it out:
http://www.openexr.com/


And it is FULLY supported by after effects and most pro compositors

Lightwolf
06-30-2011, 08:04 AM
What I would do to offer the best of both world for and After workflow is to offer
OPENEXR support:
Which, if you check my signature, is available already (within the limits of the LW buffer system).


And it is FULLY supported by after effects and most pro compositors
Hm, I'd argue that point a little. The only full support is in Nuke, second best would be Fusion followed by AE (which unfortunately has no DoD/RoI/data window support).

Cheers,
Mike

robertoortiz
06-30-2011, 08:21 AM
Which, if you check my signature, is available already (within the limits of the LW buffer system).


SWEET!
I am going to ask my boos to get it. Is it mac compatible?

-R

Lightwolf
06-30-2011, 08:33 AM
SWEET!
I am going to ask my boos to get it. Is it mac compatible?

But of course... :D

Cheers,
Mike

monovich
06-30-2011, 09:18 AM
EXR Trader is a must for Lightwave users who do any sort of compositing. Big big kudos to Lightwolf and db&w.

After Effects does pretty well with EXR and has that script/plugin for automatically splitting "layered" exr files into a fully set up comp.

If VFXwizard's plugin gets this capability that would be awesome, although to me the actual syncing of footage is much less important that the transfer of coordinate data.

meatycheesyboy
06-30-2011, 09:56 AM
After Effects does pretty well with EXR and has that script/plugin for automatically splitting "layered" exr files into a fully set up comp.


Do you have a link to that script by any chance?

Lightwolf
06-30-2011, 09:58 AM
Do you have a link to that script by any chance?
http://www.fnordware.com/OpenEXR/

Cheers,
Mike

BigHache
06-30-2011, 10:32 AM
OpenEXR is actually a part of AE CS4 and later, so if you're running that you're good.

jeric_synergy
06-30-2011, 11:32 AM
If VFXwizard's plugin gets this capability that would be awesome, although to me the actual syncing of footage is much less important that the transfer of coordinate data.
??? How does this pertain? I thought VFXw's plugin/scriptset (whatever) was essentially motion-oriented?

Please enlighten me.

monovich
06-30-2011, 11:47 AM
I'm not sure I understand your question.

My point was that having the plugin automatically import my rendered footage (and parse EXRs) into After Effects is much less important than it actually transferring the actual keyframe/motion data from Lightwave to After Effects.

Anyone can import footage into AE and drop it into a composition, the true need is a good LW>AE interchange, and that is what this plugin shines at.

meatycheesyboy
06-30-2011, 11:49 AM
OpenEXR is actually a part of AE CS4 and later, so if you're running that you're good.

I know that CS4+ has the basic OpenEXR plug ins but you still have to set up all of your layer blending modes manually. Looking at the ProEXR plugins it seems like it will automate this part of the process.

robertoortiz
06-30-2011, 12:01 PM
Here is a neat tutorial on how to do multipass rendering
in maya using OpenEXR


OpenEXR Workflow in Maya and After Effectcs CS5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StqSiJ46O4Y)

vfxwizard
06-30-2011, 02:44 PM
@jburford - thanks! Some sort of demo will be made available after release, meanwhile you can have a look at the video preview (already outdated, but the basics are there).

@rcallicotte Regarding AE 6.5 I can't be sure. 3D in AE hasn't changed much over the years, but my code did. After release of v1.0 I'll do a code audit and see if fixes are possible (or even needed) for older versions of AE.

??? How does this pertain? I thought VFXw's plugin/scriptset (whatever) was essentially motion-oriented?

Please enlighten me.

You'r right. But it already auto-imports rendered sequences. In the future, I'll try to integrate more of the in-house code to allow for things such as these:


you still have to set up all of your layer blending modes manually.

neat tutorial on how to do multipass rendering in maya using OpenEXR

Entirely possible, and actually already working in the in-house code. But currently there's an inflexible naming & path convention.

For code to be released to the public I will need to handle more options, that's why this won't be in v1.0.

Also, I plan to support Lightwolf's excellent ExrTrader in addition to LW's buffer savers, and this means a bit of research.

But for now Monovich summed it up very well:



Anyone can import footage into AE and drop it into a composition, the true need is a good LW>AE interchange, and that is what this plugin shines at.

Straightforward 3D data export as good as C4D's one (and hopefully better :D) is the goal for v1.0.

Everything else will be added later but right now release of v1.0 is the most important thing, so I'm going back to the compiler. :)

Thanks everybody! And, please keep this discussion going! I'd like to know what you need, how you want it to work (great link Roberto, BTW, thanks) and everything that relates to your LW->AE workflow.

Lightwolf
06-30-2011, 02:51 PM
Also, I plan to support Lightwolf's excellent ExrTrader in addition to LW's buffer savers, and this means a bit of research.

If you need any help from our side (for example, the save format used within the LWS as well as for presets is fully documented) then feel free to get in touch.

Cheers,
Mike

FredyN
06-30-2011, 07:25 PM
Is/will be it possible to sync between two computers? LW on one and AE on an another?

vfxwizard
07-01-2011, 11:56 AM
If you need any help from our side

Thanks Mike! Much appreciated and I'll bug you as soon as I begin to work on buffers & exrTrader support. It's something I'd love to get as flexible and effortless as possible for the user.


Is/will be it possible to sync between two computers? LW on one and AE on an another?

You should be able to export from LW on one machine and import into AE from the other one as long as the AE machine has read access to the networked directory where LW scenes are stored.

Dynamic sync across a network won't work, but may be possible to implement. But unless the same user is controlling both computers, I'm not so sure it would provide a good user experience (sudden changes in my project? 8/ ). Will look into this, thanks.




Will post later an update about the release date.

Dexter2999
07-01-2011, 12:12 PM
Just wanted to say that I think this is a very big step for LW. I have said before on a couple of occasions that I believe After Effects is perhaps the most used compositing program used by the LW community. I know not so long ago Newtek did a survey about which package is the most popular and AE came out a clear majority in the amount of respondents. (Of course those numbers are skewed by not being the actual number of LW users that use AE but rather the number of LW users that use the forums and care to participate in a poll and use AE...not quite the same thing.) I think the actual impact will be greater than the poll reflects.

Just curious, will this solution also work with 3D Arsenal (LW 7.5, I think it is)?

COBRASoft
07-01-2011, 01:53 PM
LW10.1 should embed this native (or as a 3rd party plugin like they did some time ago with LWCad).

I'm really curious how this all will work and how easy it will be to deal with. I'm considering learning Cinema 4D for this alone! Cinema 4D has great stuff for text titles and non-destructive too...

djwaterman
07-02-2011, 03:20 AM
This is more a breakthrough than VPR as far as I'm concerned, C4D owns motion graphics because of it's easy link with AE. Now LW will have the same link, it's major.

hydroclops
07-02-2011, 07:32 AM
Just wanted to say that I think this is a very big step for LW. I have said before on a couple of occasions that I believe After Effects is perhaps the most used compositing program used by the LW community. I know not so long ago Newtek did a survey about which package is the most popular and AE came out a clear majority in the amount of respondents. (Of course those numbers are skewed by not being the actual number of LW users that use AE but rather the number of LW users that use the forums and care to participate in a poll and use AE...not quite the same thing.) I think the actual impact will be greater than the poll reflects.

Just curious, will this solution also work with 3D Arsenal (LW 7.5, I think it is)?

I bolded the above.

Now someone needs to create a good workflow utilizing the new linear/color management tools in lightwave and the color management tools in AE. Then we can make good composites, color correction, and even those so-called looks that are popular

Maybe something like the article by Timothy Albee that Lightwolf hosts on his site. But it could be specifically about LW and AE.

And by someone, I mean not me. Because I'm too stupid. So someone needs to spell it out for me.

OK, I need someone to spell it out. I'd maybe even pay for it.

meatycheesyboy
07-02-2011, 01:04 PM
LW10.1 should embed this native (or as a 3rd party plugin like they did some time ago with LWCad).

I'm really curious how this all will work and how easy it will be to deal with. I'm considering learning Cinema 4D for this alone! Cinema 4D has great stuff for text titles and non-destructive too...

Probably won't happen in 10.1 but I agree Newtek should contact the dev and work towards making this functionality native in LW.

I've also been learning Cinema (and Blender) just for the AE integration. This won't completely take away my desire to learn another program but it comes close.

monovich
07-02-2011, 05:44 PM
This is more a breakthrough than VPR as far as I'm concerned, C4D owns motion graphics because of it's easy link with AE. Now LW will have the same link, it's major.

C4D owns motions graphics for this and a few other reasons, like injecting itself into more art schools, an "artist friendly" interface, and a core set of capabilities that lend themselves to mograph better than Lightwave does.

All that said, I'm still happy with Lightwave and this does its part to close that gap between "mograph" apps just a bit.

souzou
07-02-2011, 06:53 PM
Cinema4D seems almost a requirement now in broadcast motion graphics in London, it's quite frustrating. Increasingly when I get a call about a job (with someone I haven't worked with before) it's rarely "can you do 3d?" it's "do you use Cinema4D?".

It also seems like a bit of a self-perpetuating circle amongst designers too, mograph.net for example is filled with Cinema4D users and posts now. It's like the iPhone of 3d.

Of the other freelancers I know, nearly all of them use Cinema4D, and not one of them has paid for it. So annoying.

robertoortiz
07-03-2011, 09:15 AM
Newtek should pay back the favor and make a Cinema 4d loader for Lightwave. (A tall order considering how busy they are)

OnlineRender
07-03-2011, 10:18 AM
glad I read this thread !keep up the good work ,lurking in the background ....

VC tools including there new matchmoving plugin are all excellent priced and powerful , you follow that path you cant go wrong

vfxwizard
07-03-2011, 04:31 PM
Just a quick update: setting up the web site has been slower than expected, but this delay gave me the time to fix a few minor issues and add some polish (well, a major polish :) ).

AE earlier than CS3
Unfortunately the most recent changes in the code are not compatible with AE versions earlier than CS3. Sorry, I'll work on reintroducing support for AE6.5&7 (allowing use of the older code) after release of v1.


LW earlier than 9.6
3D Arsenal is also not supported, currently the plugin requires 9.6 (win) or 10 (mac - but on mac "unofficially" 9.6.1 will also work).

I may be able to do an exporter for LW7.5/3D Arsenal, but I can't commit yet. Ours is a small studio, and supporting too many different platforms may not be feasible.

In addition to this, most features planned for the future would not work on anything earlier than 9.6.


Additional features
Reading all your posts has been invaluable to grasp what you all are looking for (beyond pure export).

Thanks everybody for this as well as for the warm encouragements!

Speaking of procedural geometry animation ("MoGraph tools" like), what tools would be most useful?

COBRASoft
07-03-2011, 04:43 PM
vfxwizard: text bevels to start with :). I'm sure other users fill fill the list.

Thx for the update post!

Dexter2999
07-03-2011, 05:43 PM
LW earlier than 9.6
3D Arsenal is also not supported, currently the plugin requires 9.6 (win) or 10 (mac - but on mac "unofficially" 9.6.1 will also work).

I may be able to do an exporter for LW7.5/3D Arsenal, but I can't commit yet. Ours is a small studio, and supporting too many different platforms may not be


I wouldn't sweat the 3d arsenal thing too much it was just a question. I'm sure Newtek would love for this to be yet another reason for arsenal users to pay for an upgrade ;) besides providing advanced functionality trumps backwards compatability in my book.

realgray
07-03-2011, 11:08 PM
Text Bevels :agree:

raw-m
07-04-2011, 01:16 AM
Another one here for text bevels! Also, a "proper" 3d version of Trapcodes 3d stroke, where I can animate the offset of a path - ie, the start point and end point. It's quite simple to animate the extrude of a path but it would be really useful to simply animate the start point towards the end point. Adding custom shapes to this would be great.

mattc
07-04-2011, 05:16 AM
Newtek should pay back the favor and make a Cinema 4d loader for Lightwave. (A tall order considering how busy they are)

Probably not possible. The newer c4d format is parametric in nature...like Max.

3dworks
07-04-2011, 06:00 AM
count me in as a potential buyer as well, this is looking very promising and is a feature i always found missing in LW! ...and i agree completely about the argument that this missing feature is among being one of the reasons why LW is not very popular among motion graphics artists. until now, maybe... ;)

:thumbsup:

cheers

markus

Pavlov
07-04-2011, 01:06 PM
saw it now. Interested too !

Paolo

vfxwizard
07-04-2011, 04:03 PM
I wouldn't sweat the 3d arsenal thing too much [...] besides providing advanced functionality trumps backwards compatability in my book.

Agreed! to be honest dynamic geometry creation in layout has been possible since a long time (using a mix of object replacement and a fake object loader tied to the replacer). It would work even in 7.5, but it's such an hack that has rarely been used, as far as I know.

9.6 and 10 are so much nicer. I'm more concerned with AE's backwards compatibility, since Adobe allows upgrades only from a few earlier versions, unlike LW.


It seems text bevel is the winner so far. And raw-m's 3D stroke suggestion is also interesting -it should fall into extrusions & bevels. Yes, most of these things are already doable with a bit of scripting or some clever node setups.

I'm mostly concerned with workflow - making these tasks as easy and straightforward as possible as raw-m and 3dworks pointed out. Keep the ideas flowing please! :)



Uh, I know I have not talked about the exporter. Well, it's done -ready for release. But I'm still waiting for the site & a few other things to be green-lighted, sorry.

Hope everybody in US has had a great 4th of july (and everybody in the rest of the world as well! BTW Pavlov: fantastico, grazie :D).

MentalFish
07-04-2011, 06:35 PM
The plugin of yours there looks awesome vfxwizard.

I recently came to think of a way to "remote control" AE from Layout. Moving items and especially camera inside of AE is fiddly, so I was thinking that this way will enable us to use LightWave to move things about in AE in "realtime".
http://vimeo.com/25989304

Perhaps you could add something like that into your plugin too, and make it more proper instead of this text file based hack :)

Here is the script setup (Mac centric):
http://mentalfish.com/lscripts/MFAERemote.zip

dwburman
07-04-2011, 06:45 PM
Nice Petter!

Also, great job Max. Can't wait to see a new demo when it's ready.

jeric_synergy
07-04-2011, 07:12 PM
I recently came to think of a way to "remote control" AE from Layout. Moving items and especially camera inside of AE is fiddly,
Oh, god, you can SCREAM that from the rooftops.

Coming from LW, the AE camera is a piece of ****e to move.

::cough:: That is, I fully agree with your sentiment. :hey:

robertoortiz
07-04-2011, 07:44 PM
WOW...
Newtek, are you following this.
That camera implementaion would be a game changer for a lot of us,
R

vfxwizard
07-05-2011, 01:42 AM
camera inside of AE is fiddly, so I was thinking that this way will enable us to use LightWave to move things about in AE in "realtime".
[...]
Perhaps you could add something like that into your plugin too, and make it more proper instead of this text file based hack :)


Hey, I agree with Roberto, that's uber cool Mentalfish! And the performance is way better than I would have thought.

Looking at your video this is already a viable replacement for the fiddly (or jeric's less polite definition :D) AE's camera.

And thanks for you kind words, but there's nothing to improve in your code: the way you transfer the data is pretty close to mine. The huge step forward would be skipping jsx and using a compiled aegp plugin on AE's side. Maybe in the future...


@Dana Thanks - there's been a slowdown in the release process that has nothing to do with the code. Still waiting for lights to turn green (all the lights...).


@Oliver Thank you! BTW, I too think that transmotion's plugs perform well and are a steal at that price.

Fausto
07-05-2011, 08:42 AM
Fantastic work!!!:thumbsup:





I use LW and AE all the time with ATS plugins. Bottom line. They work. Here are examples:

http://vimeo.com/24780464
LW Camera data and item positions exported to AE and integrated with AE particles. Plasma path exported from LW to AE and augmented with AE particles. Background (mountains) generated with Horizon in AE and used exported LW camera to match motion.

http://vimeo.com/19418938
All particle and compositing work was done in AE with exported LW camera and LW item positions (like golf club, ball, etc)

http://vimeo.com/7116254
LW camera and item positions (like skateboard, hat, shoes) exported to AE.

http://vimeo.com/5413800
Tracked in syntheyes, exported to LW, animated/rendered in LW, exported camera/positions to AE, and added graphics in AE.

http://vimeo.com/3585008
same as the others. Tracked in Syntheyes, all gfx done in AE, but helicopter and bridge done in LW. LW camera exported to AE so they would match

raw-m
07-06-2011, 03:32 AM
Really looking forward to this plugin, especially if we can use it with this!

http://www.videocopilot.net/videostream/element3Dv2/

souzou
07-06-2011, 03:58 AM
Really looking forward to this plugin, especially if we can use it with this!

http://www.videocopilot.net/videostream/element3Dv2/

That plugin looks very impressive, especially the speed.

raw-m
07-06-2011, 04:28 AM
It does look a bit special. Do the grownup stuff in LW and leave the compositor to do the particle stuff, marrying the two together seamlessly is really important.

vfxwizard
07-06-2011, 03:09 PM
Really looking forward to this plugin, especially if we can use it with this!

http://www.videocopilot.net/videostream/element3Dv2/

That particle system looks really cool! and yes, material changes were fast.

I don't see any reason why it can't get along well with LW's footage & 3D data exported from LW.

Maybe with a bit of care when it comes to layering the stuff (it will likely have the same issue CC particle world, shatter, or really any 3D effect in AE, has: their content can't be occluded in depth by other layers). But can be worked around.


BTW, everybody, I'm quiet about the AE exporter because there's nothing new to report... yet.

I'm confident it's going to be released real soon.


But it looks like this summer there's a lot going on anyway. :D

Saville
07-14-2011, 02:38 AM
Oh my, i've only just stumbled across this today. I work for a broadcaster here in Aus and we are exclusively C4D based, because of the AE integration. I simply can not wait to get my mits on this.

We have a few smoke suites, but mostly we use AE for all our on air graphics. I've always wanted to be able to make use of my LW knowledge and this looks like the answer for me.

COBRASoft
07-14-2011, 05:42 AM
Andrew and his team are amazing, this new plugin rocks!

But imagine if you could make a motion path in LW (more control and easier to set up) and then provide this motion path to particular or any other layer within AE... Would this be possible?

raw-m
07-14-2011, 05:47 AM
Still looking forward to this plugin! I'm guessing if you can sync nulls then you can easily parent Particular's emitter to one. Would need to fiddle about a bit with the nearest/farthest points in Particular, or alpha maps, to matte out LW renders.

monovich
07-14-2011, 09:46 AM
Still looking forward to this plugin! I'm guessing if you can sync nulls then you can easily parent Particular's emitter to one. Would need to fiddle about a bit with the nearest/farthest points in Particular, or alpha maps, to matte out LW renders.

I used it to do exactly this thing yesterday and it works flawlessly.
Most of the time you don't have to fiddle with near/far as the particles usually fall within range. That is also what the scale multiplier on the LW side of the plugin helps with.

wibly wobly
07-14-2011, 11:43 AM
I hope to gawd that NT buys this. LW has needed something like this for a long, long time.

monovich
07-14-2011, 11:47 AM
I sorta hope they don't. I'd rather them focus on the main app. They don't have enough time to chase down bugs in the plugins they've already acquired.

wibly wobly
07-14-2011, 11:59 AM
I know what you mean but, some things I think really need to be in 3D package. Esp the more complicated generalist programs like LW, Maya, Max, C4D and Blender is the ability to easily work with footage in a composite program (stuff like layer passes to). Having so much of LW being pluginy doesn't make it very streamlined from a UI perspective imo. You end up having things buried and not integrated as well as it could be.

realgray
07-14-2011, 03:08 PM
I sorta hope they don't. I'd rather them focus on the main app. They don't have enough time to chase down bugs in the plugins they've already acquired.
:agree:

vfxwizard
07-15-2011, 02:53 PM
Still looking forward to this plugin! I'm guessing if you can sync nulls then you can easily parent Particular's emitter to one.

Yes, as monovich said, it will work. Anything in After Effects that has explicit 3D coordinates can be matched with Lightwave's coordinates.

The only exception are some 3D effects -probably the most important being CC Particle World and Shatter- that react to AE's 3D camera but use their own internal coordinate system. These effects can be viewed correctly, from any angle, by an exported Lightwave camera, but can't be driven by Lightwave's nulls/vertices.

But this is just the way they work: CC Particle World's producer point is not designed to be animated in AE's 3D space (it can be forced to do so, but this requires some expressions on AE's side).


Regarding the lightwave exporter plugin status: it's ready.

I stayed silent because the website is not ready yet. :devil: There were some slowdowns in updating and adapting it, including new EU's tax regulations that became effective this month. Looks like all this has been sorted out.

Meanwhile I added some features to the plugin:
-export of background image sequences & background colors (monovich's idea)
-offset of image sequences (for exports not starting at frame 1)
-better use of AE's resources and more efficient LW code for faster export of animated geometry

I'll try to bring back support for AE CS3 and earlier in the next version.


As usual thanks for all the kind comments! release is any day now, and I'll make sure to post here any update.


If there's something -anything- that any of you would like to see in a LW->AE exporter, just drop a line.

nickdigital
07-15-2011, 03:03 PM
Regarding the lightwave exporter plugin status: it's ready.




I am excited!

So is this tool "done"? Or are there other things you plan on adding in a 2.0 version? If you can't say that's fine.

The tool as-is looks pretty robust already.

monovich
07-15-2011, 03:21 PM
I think its "done" but open to user input and refinement for future versions if people give good feedback from using it. (from what I can tell).

Even the first beta version from weeks ago could be "done" by many people's standards. You just click the button and it works almost instantly. As far as core uses go that solves 99% of my needs. Everything else is just gravy.

nickdigital
07-15-2011, 04:37 PM
I think its "done" but open to user input and refinement for future versions if people give good feedback from using it. (from what I can tell).

Sounds good. I'll make sure to document any feature requests.



You just click the button and it works almost instantly. As far as core uses go that solves 99% of my needs. Everything else is just gravy.

I wish everything was like this.

realgray
07-15-2011, 09:24 PM
Is this windows only or will there be support for 9.6.1/10 on Mac?

dwburman
07-15-2011, 10:14 PM
It was developed on a Mac.

lwlurker
07-16-2011, 12:36 AM
I rarely post here, but would like to add my support to wibly wobly's comments. One of the most valued aspects to any tool in post production is its ability to play well with other programs - especially at the high-end, which is where all your marketing advantage is. No one cares what the hobbyists are saying.

An example.

Apple recently released FCP X, and the angst it has caused over at the Cow is palpable. One of the biggest complaints, amongst the most prolific/professional users, is that Final Cut can no longer plays well with other software or hardware - no true method for viewing uncompressed video over SDI, for instance, and it no longer has support for getting audio layers and video layers out of the project for audio engineers and colorists to deal with - using software far superior to FCP for those duties. Many editors are now switching back to Avid or exploring the possibility of using Premiere for their future upgrade path.
Again, the biggest complaint is that FCP X is now a closed system - trying to do everything within its own boundaries.

So it is being rejected by many (and has hurt Apple's reputation amongst those who have been loyal users for the past 10 years).

I point this out to show how something as small as XML/OMF export can make or break a purchase decision by 100's of thousands of loyal users!!!

Well, Lightwave is pretty closed, too, compared to Maya and especially Cinema 4D. And this has always been a point of rejection among compositors who don't think they should have to buy plug-ins, and track alternate support staff, to handle what we consider to be very basic features.

What's being done here by vfxwizard is WAY over-due, and if it could be expanded to compliment other compositing packages - all the better!

Now if we could get a reliable node-based multi-pass render system going (something intuitive like Cinema 4D, and possibly node-based), we might be able to really put LW's fast modeler and awesome renderer to work.

To quote Jeremy Birn in his "Digital Lighting and Rendering" book,

"Film and television production companies are continually asked to render scenes that seem to be beyond the limits of their software and hardware. To complete ambitious 3D renderings with the required complexity, quality, and speed, almost all professional productions are rendered in multiple layers or passes and finished though compositing. Compositing is the art of combining multiple images into a unified final scene. Multipass rendering and compositing allow for more efficient rendering, increased creative control, convincing integration with live-action footage, and rapid revisions of shots."

In the mean time . . . THANK YOU vfxwizard. Even if this isn't multipass, it is another layer of data that we can work with to exceed what is possible in Lightwave - alone.

my 2

BigHache
07-16-2011, 06:11 AM
Monovich, when you guys do particle fx in AE, do you use Particular or Particle World? Just wondering if Particle World has been "enough" or if it leaves you guys a bit wanting.

vfxwizard
07-16-2011, 03:47 PM
So is this tool "done"? Or are there other things you plan on adding in a 2.0 version? If you can't say that's fine.



I think its "done" but open to user input [...] As far as core uses go that solves 99% of my needs. Everything else is just gravy.

Yep, it's done... but it could use some more gravy.

The goal was to provide at least the same kind of integration with After Effects that C4D had.

As far as animation exporting goes, I think V1 is definitely there. :)

I still think providing some sort of render buffer support is necessary, and I'd like to support exrTrader, as it seems to be used by many AE users.

I'm not allowed to promise anything for the future, but the plan is: release V1 now, then add render buffers as well as some other polishing features in the 1.x cycle. (I am allowed to say that all point releases are going to be free upgrades.)


I'm always open to feature requests, and will try to add whatever is requested in V1.x.



Is this windows only or will there be support for 9.6.1/10 on Mac?

As Dana said (BTW, Dana, any news?) Mac is well supported -as we have only macs at work.

But currently only LW10 is officially supported on Mac. LW9.61 should also work but I can't confirm yet.

Under Windows, LW9.6+ (32&64 bit).



What's being done here by vfxwizard is WAY over-due, and if it could be expanded to compliment other compositing packages - all the better!

Now if we could get a reliable node-based multi-pass render system going (something intuitive like Cinema 4D, and possibly node-based), we might be able to really put LW's fast modeler and awesome renderer to work. [...] Even if this isn't multipass, it is another layer of data that we can work with to exceed what is possible in Lightwave - alone.


Snipped heavily, but you raised many important points. I know After Effects is not the only compositing app out there, but I think it's the one most used where this kind of workflow is needed: motion graphics.

I have some code ready for LW->Shake, but I guess Shake is history by now. So it would be fusion or nuke. I think that, as you pointed out, a good render passes layering system would be more important for these than coordinates export. Worth looking at the "surpasses resurrection" thread.

BTW, the original code for my exporter had buffers export & reconstruction - but not flexible enough for public release.

That's why it has been put aside for a later release: it has to be "one click", no hassle. :D


Thanks everybody as usual! (And keep ideas flowing please - in one month I changed this code more than in the last three years thanks to all your posts & pms).

raw-m
07-16-2011, 04:38 PM
Many thanks for the update!

Just thinking out loud really but as a quick way to get going, rather than wait for a render how easy would it be to get a copy of a LW preview animation into AE at the click of a button? They are just movs aren't they (perhaps its changed recently)? Would be great to sync objects up and also see a rough LW preview in AE. That would be pretty slick!

Dexter2999
07-16-2011, 06:24 PM
Many thanks for the update!

Just thinking out loud really but as a quick way to get going, rather than wait for a render how easy would it be to get a copy of a LW preview animation into AE at the click of a button? They are just movs aren't they (perhaps its changed recently)? Would be great to sync objects up and also see a rough LW preview in AE. That would be pretty slick!

Shared Cache? But AE can already be a RAM hog with Cache files. And I would have no idea how accessible those are from LW with the current SDK.

raw-m
07-17-2011, 01:24 AM
Sorry, didn't think I explained that well! Not Cache, the actual "Make Preview" generated in LW, whether its in wireframe, vpr etc, whatever the user wants. Obviously, we'd have to wait for it to generate but then to have the result placed into AE automatically might be quite useful.

Dexter2999
07-17-2011, 01:33 AM
Well there are differing meanings for cache I suppose. But "Make Preview" is a cache file as it isn't written to the HD. It is a temporary memory file so I believe that qualifies as a cache file. Just like the cache previews generated by After Effects.

raw-m
07-17-2011, 01:44 AM
Ah, I see. There is a Save Preview option so perhaps I'm just being lazy with this suggestion :)

vfxwizard
07-18-2011, 03:10 PM
how easy would it be to get a copy of a LW preview animation into AE at the click of a button?

Had to look at that, it would have been an useful feature and one I would have never thought about: thanks.

As Dexter guessed, It' not that easy, unfortunately.

If it's going to be supported, it would be a LW10+ only feature, because previews are much more flexible in 10 and they can be rendered at the same size as the final frame. Mandatory to have a good match.


Speaking of versions... I can confirm now that LW 9.61 is not supported on Mac, sorry. Mac requires LW10 or higher. I'll see if this can be changed in a later release.


BTW: Release is scheduled for tomorrow, july 19th!

:eek:

dwburman
07-18-2011, 07:48 PM
It'd be nice if you could add UV map support to AE... You know, designate a surface in Layout to be a screen and have the ability insert video/graphic into that screen in AE, even if the screen is bent/displaced.

This would probably be outside the scope of your project. :)

(There are plugins that map images to UVs for AE side, but I haven't tried them. I imagine you have to set up the surface in LW to prep it for AE.)

jeric_synergy
07-18-2011, 07:59 PM
It'd be nice if you could add UV map support to AE... You know, designate a surface in Layout to be a screen and have the ability insert video/graphic into that screen in AE, even if the screen is bent/displaced.
Let's not get crazy :santa:: except for presumed speed of rendering it in AE, why not just render just that one surface in LW?

I'm sure there's good reasons, I'm lagging a bit ("a lot") in my AE upgrading. For instance, a 3D shadow cast in AE onto a surface...?

Anyway, time might be better spent making a suite of simple plugins that allow LW users to isolate surfaces quickly/easily/non-destructively for pass rendering, which I suspect would be quite a bit simpler to program than UV deformations into AE.

For instance, if there were master plugins that worked rather like Light Exclusion does, but for isolating objects & surfaces in the render. Maybe Pawel's pass management system already does this.

monovich
07-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Monovich, when you guys do particle fx in AE, do you use Particular or Particle World? Just wondering if Particle World has been "enough" or if it leaves you guys a bit wanting.

I've never used particle world, and I don't know of any buddies/peers that use it either. Everyone uses Particular.

dwburman
07-19-2011, 10:09 AM
This would be useful if you have to reuse the same graphic over and over again, but with different content on the screen. Like for a daily TV show, or those little bits of flashy graphics that go between shots during a sports broadcast.

Plus, If there are text/graphic elements in AE that need to go on the screen, you'd have to render those graphics out in AE, load them up in LW, render them in LW and then load that sequence back into AE.

I had to make over 70 variations of a shot for a sports package that were all basically the same shot, but with different text/logos on the screen. It was much easier to add the screen content in AE. :)

There are plugins that allow this (RE:Map (http://www.revisionfx.com/products/remap/) | Youveelizer (http://maltaannon.com/articles/after-effects/youveelizer/)), but I figured that since we're talking AE integration, I'd bring it up here.

:D



Let's not get crazy :santa:: except for presumed speed of rendering it in AE, why not just render just that one surface in LW?

I'm sure there's good reasons, I'm lagging a bit ("a lot") in my AE upgrading. For instance, a 3D shadow cast in AE onto a surface...?

Anyway, time might be better spent making a suite of simple plugins that allow LW users to isolate surfaces quickly/easily/non-destructively for pass rendering, which I suspect would be quite a bit simpler to program than UV deformations into AE.

For instance, if there were master plugins that worked rather like Light Exclusion does, but for isolating objects & surfaces in the render. Maybe Pawel's pass management system already does this.

vfxwizard
07-19-2011, 01:07 PM
I had to make over 70 variations of a shot for a sports package that were all basically the same shot, but with different text/logos on the screen. It was much easier to add the screen content in AE. :)
:D

Funny, this is pretty much the reason why my plugin was developed years ago (a ton of 3D product shots, to be integrated with text and specifications in multiple languages...). :D

@jeric I agree it would be a priority to have a render layer system in LW.


Everyone uses Particular.

And this settles the argument. :) Yes, looks like everyone uses particular. Even if CCPW is a nice tool (considering that it's bundled with AE, so it's sort of free) Particular is quite productive.



Okay, the plugin is out! AE Link has been released today

I apologize for the delays, but everything had to be tested, re-tested, and triple checked.

The english version of our site is still seriously underdeveloped, but I am glad to say it's not just a sales page for the plugin. Some content has already been added and a lot more will follow in the next weeks. I hope there may be something interesting in addition to AE Link.


Vfx Wizard Site: http://www.vfxwizard.com/

AE Link plugin page: Lightwave to After Effects Exporter (http://www.vfxwizard.com/software/lightwave-to-after-effects-exporter.html)


The manual can be downloaded by anyone -it's in the download section- and I think it explains reasonably well the features and the few limitations.


I wanted to do a new video, but couldn't find the time today. Will post it as soon as possible, because the workflow has seen some improvements from the original version.


I'd like to thank again everybody for the incredible amount of ideas, suggestions, and opinions shared in this thread.

BigHache
07-19-2011, 01:22 PM
@ monovich, Cool and thanks. Just curious. I need to work for a bigger house. :)

@ vfxwizard, dang, looks great! :2guns:

dwburman
07-19-2011, 01:45 PM
Nice job on the manual. :thumbsup:

Dexter2999
07-19-2011, 01:47 PM
Big day for LW.

Congratulations, Sir. Well done. Hope this results in suitable rewards for your work.

motivalex
07-19-2011, 02:05 PM
Congratulations vfxwizard for developing a excellent tool for syncing motion graphics between Lightwave and After Effects. A great asset to Lightwave artists.

nickdigital
07-19-2011, 02:19 PM
Okay, the plugin is out! AE Link has been released today


Congrats! :thumbsup:

mete33
07-19-2011, 02:26 PM
monovich, your works are great.. :thumbsup: i love it.

robertoortiz
07-19-2011, 03:37 PM
Posted a thread on the CGSociety LW forum:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=7055419#post7055419

JeffrySG
07-19-2011, 04:11 PM
This is really amazing! Great to see a plugin like this out for LW! I'm going to be sending out a tweet about it in a few minutes to let other people know.

I also recommend starting a new thread here just to inform people as they may miss it being in this thread.

Congrats on an amazing plugin!

digitaldoc
07-19-2011, 04:39 PM
Congrats! And thanks for addressing a big hole in the LW/After Effects pipeline, or lack thereof! :thumbsup:

COBRASoft
07-19-2011, 05:10 PM
Is this price for real? Damn, I have to get me a copy!

Congrats on the release.

NT, put this in your monthly newsletter :)!

JeffrySG
07-19-2011, 08:11 PM
^agreed! If NT doesn't want to buy this they need to really hype it up. This is big news especially for mograph people or people considering C4D.

geo_n
07-19-2011, 08:24 PM
Congrats. Good price too.

Saville
07-19-2011, 09:46 PM
Well I purchased this today....

I giggled like a little school girl.


I'm not a little school girl.

Love it.

lino.grandi
07-20-2011, 02:08 AM
Great job Max!

Next time I come in Rome, I'll offer you a beer! ;)

COBRASoft
07-20-2011, 02:43 AM
Lino: 'a' beer? Nt should buy this guy a complete crate :)!

lino.grandi
07-20-2011, 02:53 AM
Lino: 'a' beer? Nt should buy this guy a complete crate :)!

Yes, but I'll offer him a beer! :D

vfxwizard
07-20-2011, 11:43 AM
Next time I come in Rome, I'll offer you a beer! ;)

Hey thanks, Lino! Not only for the beer, but for all the great work on 10+. I look forward to :beerchug:, it's been too long since we last met!



I really don't know how to thank all you guys for these nice posts. I'd like to reply to each one of you.

AE Link is already doing well (@Saville, glad you like it!), and I think the reasonable pricing -mentioned in many posts- had a role in this.

One of the many things I like in LW is its value for money - overpricing a plugin would be senseless.


@JeffrySG, robertoortiz and the others who mentioned (and did) this: we'll be improving the promotional side soon, but that you are spreading the word is very appreciated.


I should have posted the new video today, but this one has to be more polished so I'm still editing and redoing some parts of it.

Now it's time to start suggesting new features. :D

COBRASoft
07-20-2011, 11:44 AM
I thought a little further about this. Don't give him too much beer, he'll get too drunk to continue this gem :).

Any1 in here bought the plugin already?

archijam
07-21-2011, 01:19 AM
I will order it today, need to wrestle the creditcard away from the secretary ;)

akademus
07-21-2011, 02:39 AM
Wow, how did I missed this. Awesome!

This is a huge leap forward for LW. I'm looking forward to see render buffers implemented.

Great work!

BigHache
07-21-2011, 07:20 AM
I haven't ordered yet, but I will next project. I could have used it on the last project and it would have really sped up workflow.

And yes, the price is set to where I don't have to budget it into a project, I'll just be able to get it, which rocks!

archijam
07-21-2011, 08:22 AM
Ok, purchased, but waiting on a new work dongle to link it to .. but waiting for NT europe to send a dongle can't take that long, right ? ;)

pssst ... vfx .. If there is a limited beta version, can you give me access? :) My username and contact details are 'dajinni' in your system .. cheers! :thumbsup:

COBRASoft
07-21-2011, 09:15 AM
Can somebody post some results they got out of it?

monovich
07-21-2011, 11:53 AM
Well I purchased this today....

I giggled like a little school girl.


I'm not a little school girl.

Love it.

Its so hard not to giggle when you click the button and them BOOM everything is in AE! Its wonderful!

gush. gush.

monovich
07-21-2011, 11:53 AM
Can somebody post some results they got out of it?

what would you want to see? an AEP?

jburford
07-21-2011, 12:27 PM
Also just picked up a copy! Gotta get the misses off of my main system and get it up and running after installing the latest 10.1 Build.

Can't wait to take a look at it though and play around.

COBRASoft
07-21-2011, 01:23 PM
what would you want to see? an AEP?

More about the workflow itself actually. E.g. make 3D letters in LightWave, render something out with a camera move and get all the stuff in AE. The kind of things that are very easy to achieve with C4D.

vfxwizard
07-21-2011, 03:36 PM
Don't give him too much beer [...] More about the workflow itself actually.

I have to disagree, beer is a given! :) Seriously, I'm still working on a nicer video showing the workflow. However it hasn't changed much from what was shown in the "early preview" video - it's just more polished (custom objects, etc.). Hope you'll like it!

@BigHache Thanks for pointing out the budget thing: yes, that was the idea behind pricing. I think we all already have enough burdens.


Ok, purchased, but waiting on a new work dongle to link it to .. but waiting for NT europe to send a dongle can't take that long, right ? ;)

pssst ... vfx .. If there is a limited beta version, can you give me access? :)

Hey thanks, in my experience NT EU is speedy with dongle replacements. But if you want a temporary license code for another dongle id you already have, just open a ticket from your dashboard and request it. I'll make sure it goes through.

Next beta will take some time, but as soon as it's ready it will be made available to customers in the download section along with the stable releases.

@jburford Welcome onboard! 10+ is fully supported. Also make sure you are running the latest point release of AE. The only issue so far was related to a fresh AE install, not yet updated with Adobe's updater.


Wow, how did I missed this. Awesome!
This is a huge leap forward for LW. I'm looking forward to see render buffers implemented.


Thanks a lot. I hijacked Motivalex's thread so the title of the thread does not represent its contents. :) As JeffrySG said I should really start a new thread...


Regarding render buffers, the end result will be similar to PSD export's setup, with transfer modes already setup (and maybe something else thrown in).

But I am still working to make this both easy and flexible. Or, in other words...


Its so hard not to giggle when you click the button and them BOOM everything is in AE! Its wonderful!

...to make it a "giggle-inducing" feature. :D

BTW, any idea/request about buffer export is very welcome.


Still working on the new video, sorry, updates "soon", and thanks!

nickdigital
07-21-2011, 03:43 PM
I hijacked Motivalex's thread so the title of the thread does not represent its contents. :) As JeffrySG said I should really start a new thread...


Yeah, post a new thread in the 3rd party section and in the LW Community section. Though I think double posting is sometimes a no-no but maybe the mods will make an exception. Sometimes a thread gets so large people start to tune it out and it would be a shame for this plug-in to lose eyeballs.

Dexter2999
07-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Yeah, post a new thread in the 3rd party section and in the LW Community section. Though I think double posting is sometimes a no-no but maybe the mods will make an exception. Sometimes a thread gets so large people start to tune it out and it would be a shame for this plug-in to lose eyeballs.

You could also make the two posts a little different.

The announcement in the 3rd party could be more official. And the the one in the community section could be more informal and also be the place where you ask people to post ideas/feature requests.

SBowie
07-21-2011, 04:05 PM
If someone wants to go to the trouble of deciding which post # is where the thread should be split in two, I'd be glad to accommodate.

JeffrySG
07-21-2011, 04:18 PM
If someone wants to go to the trouble of deciding which post # is where the thread should be split in two, I'd be glad to accommodate.

That's a great idea!

I agree with Nick as well. I think there should be a main thread in the community section but then another thread in the 3rd party that links to the main thread. This is too good to have people miss.

jburford
07-21-2011, 04:30 PM
Does this mean that I really need the latest After Effects 5.5 and not 5.0 or 5.03?

nickdigital
07-21-2011, 04:39 PM
Does this mean that I really need the latest After Effects 5.5 and not 5.0 or 5.03?

Hm, 5.5 is pretty old at this point. The info on AELink says CS4 and higher. My guess is that there's code in the CS4 and higher that is necessary that doesn't exist in 5.5.

souzou
07-21-2011, 06:22 PM
Ok I've just been playing with it and it's brilliant, just brilliant. No faffing around with baking, no AE camera moving 0.2 pixels or some other weird scale, I love it. Click, done.

VFXWizard you are the best. :bowdown:

wesleycorgi
07-21-2011, 09:58 PM
Have to agree with the general sentiment: looks awesome! I probably wouldn't have moved to Fusion. I'll wait and see some folks sample videos --- I like to support 3rd party LW developers. Once you've implemented render buffers, it may be a no-brainer.

jburford
07-22-2011, 01:37 AM
Ahh, sorry meant the Adobe CS5 or CS5.5 not the older AE Version 5!

archijam
07-22-2011, 01:52 AM
Hey thanks, in my experience NT EU is speedy with dongle replacements. But if you want a temporary license code for another dongle id you already have, just open a ticket from your dashboard and request it. I'll make sure it goes through.

Next beta will take some time, but as soon as it's ready it will be made available to customers in the download section along with the stable releases.


Bellisimo! Will do .. :thumbsup:


ps. ... THANKS! I registered the second one, can I use this code with the files in the download section? are there separate beat files? Cheers!

raw-m
07-22-2011, 02:44 AM
Well, what can I say. Bought it, installed it, hit the sync button and I'm up and running! Many congrats, what a great plugin!

One suggestion for the website is a short 1min "how to install" video tutorial to show potential users just how simple it is to get up and running - much nicer than reading a pdf.

Many thanks :)

UPDATE: for anyone that starts off in AE and uses the AE3D_export javascript to get 3d data out of AE, I've had great success keeping all the setting at default except for selecting Lightwave as the "Export to" option (obviously) and under "Options" unselecting the "Shift the comp centre to zero". Syncing LW to the same "collapsed" AE comp matches up perfectly with the exception that you may have to offset your camera by a frame to line up perfectly. Hope that makes sense!

Saville
07-22-2011, 04:51 AM
It's really an awesome plug-in. Works exactly as advertised. Set it up, press sync and it works. I've found it's best to have AE already booted up, but it works regardless.

So happy with this purchase. It's breathed new life into my lightwaving.


I'll chuck up some simple examples of LW Text and AE Text synced up over the weekend.

Thanks VFX Wizard, awesome stuff.

I feel like I'm in an ad.

vfxwizard
07-22-2011, 03:53 PM
Does this mean that I really need the latest After Effects 5.5 and not 5.0 or 5.03?

Ooops, sorry I should have been more specific. AE CS5 is really "version 10", and there are free point updates available with Adobe Updater - the latest being 10.0.2.4.

So no need to upgrade to CS5.5 - CS4 and higher are supported. Just make sure to use the most up-to-date minor version.

You can check the "real" version number from the About After Effects window.

souzou, Saville, thanks for the great testimonials - I'm really happy it's useful! (BTW, Saville your post made me laugh loud, much needed thanks!).

Oliver looking forward to some weird occlusion-shaded partigon video of yours coupled with 2D effects. :)

archijam you can use the standard files!


Well, what can I say. Bought it, installed it, hit the sync button and I'm up and running! Many congrats, what a great plugin! One suggestion for the website is a short 1min "how to install" video

I Just added the quickstart video, and thanks both for the kind words and the very useful AE3D_export how-to.

A true bi-directional approach is next to impossible without sacrificing all motion modifiers and expressions. So I'd suggest everybody to use your instructions to go back and forth between AE and LW. It's baked, but it's the best that can be done.

As usual thanks everybody (also for the thread splitting suggestions, I'll write to Sheriff Steve about it).

Now for the new videos!

Quickstart & a cleaner, tighter, remake of the "early preview" are both on the YouTube channel.

This one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK9FuClM4z0 is a bit longer, but is almost a real tutorial.

It shows the use of custom objects for replacing a screen, selectively applying effect, and adding -and adjusting- animated After Effects text from inside Lightwave. C&C are welcome.

A frame from the video follows, some real tutorials are coming (I won't say soon this time :D ).

http://www.vfxwizard.com/images/aelink-screenreplace-s.jpg

COBRASoft
07-22-2011, 05:00 PM
vfxwizard: it looks superb! I'm gathering the money for this gem.

SBowie
07-22-2011, 06:35 PM
I did a quick split on this - the original thread remains under the subject line "Does Lightwave 10 now support after effects?"

archijam
07-23-2011, 03:15 AM
Hi there guys .. finally get eveything I need (thanks vfx) and realise I can't get AfterEffects running on my laptop .. error attached.

Have un and reinstalled, removed adobe premium suite, reinstalled, and killed the cat. No avail.

Any ideas? Incompatible with my macbookpro?

ps. I have it running at work on workstations, same installer, different license. CS5, v10.

vfxwizard
07-23-2011, 04:25 PM
@SBowie Hey Steve, this has been much more than a "quick split"! You really cleaned up the intersecting threads -guess this meant reading each one of the posts. Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this!


@COBRASoft Thanks! will try to do some cleaner videos for next version -despite the strong editing even the new videso are still too rough.

@archijam Never seen such an error installing AE on macbooks (suite edition). Probably this can't help since you have already reinstalled, but did you try to zap AE's config? (Holding command, option and shift when launching AE?).



Just a real quick update, as I have experimented a bit with raw_m's solution for exporting back to Lightwave. I may adjust something to let that script work better with AE Link's exports, especially the frame 0/frame 1 synchronization.

I'd like to know how important is the bidirectional exchange for all of you.

Is this something you would only rarely use, or a significant workflow improvement? Knowing this would allow me to schedule priorities. Thanks!

Dexter2999
07-23-2011, 04:41 PM
I'm no authority by any means, but I would hazard to say that two way communication would be optimum.

The frame 0/1 synch issue will just head off the "whining" that is bound to come up.

archijam
07-23-2011, 04:43 PM
v - thanks, still no luck. Will ahve to stick to pc workstations, pity, was looking forward to this 'half click' magic .. ;)

COBRASoft
07-24-2011, 07:13 AM
vfxwizard: I just bought the plugin and it works like a charm for most things. Changing the text of a null (within LW) and clicking 'sync selected' doesn't change the text in AE. This is a place where sync in both directions would be handy I guess :).

raw-m
07-24-2011, 07:52 AM
I'd like to know how important is the bidirectional exchange for all of you.

I pretty much start all of my projects in AE these days. Clients send their psds to me so I basically break them into an AE friendly format and use that as a starting point for my animation. Due to tight deadlines i cant really spend as long as I'd like modelling/texturing/lighting/rigging etc in 3d - it's really the additional wow-factor that really lifts a piece if time allows. So getting camera data out AE first then into LW is my current workflow.

However, your wonderful plugin has already freed me to concentrate on the creative rather then the technical! Now, about those multipasses...... :)

akademus
07-25-2011, 01:04 AM
Just got mine. This is the best happening to LW this year, beside 10 update. Works pretty good. Only thing I've noticed, is if your AE isn't started when you click sync it will start AE, ask you to save the scene and then close. All good, but there is no need to close the AE afterwards!?

Thanks so much for, its definitely a game changer!

vfxwizard
07-25-2011, 11:32 AM
@COBRASoft Thanks! That custom objects can't be altered -except for animating them, of course- after the first sync is by design (to avoid overwriting changes made in AE with LW's default values). And you'r right it would be nice to have AE's text layer contents update in LW's customs. I'll try to have an option in next release that allows more changes in LW to propagate to AE (not bidirectional yet).

@raw_m, you mentioned your workflow earlier but now it's much clearer to me. Thanks, helped a lot. I'll try to add a compatibility mode with the AE->LW script.

The only real issue is how to handle frame 0/1 (also mentioned by Dexter. There is nothing like LW's concept of "frame 0" in AE.

My solution is to consider the first frame in LW's render globals to be the first comp frame in AE.

Any suggestion for a better approach?

@akademus Hey thanks for the extra nice words! Regarding the close issue, it depends on how the OS spawns AE's process. I would suggest not to start AE with AE Link. It works both on Mac and Windows but is quirky.

Better to start AE yourself. This is especially true on Windows if AE is set to show the tips at startup. Unfortunately this is not something I have control over.



Everybody: I'm still working on a few changes, including what mentioned above, expect some sort of preview in the next few days!

jeric_synergy
07-28-2011, 08:13 PM
Ooops, sorry I should have been more specific. AE CS5 is really "version 10", and there are free point updates available with Adobe Updater - the latest being 10.0.2.4.
vfxwizard, not complaining*, but I'm stuck on AE7.0P (Win) for a while-- I think you previously mentioned that would work?

Congrats on shipping!


*more like whinging.

vfxwizard
07-29-2011, 03:56 AM
vfxwizard, not complaining*, but I'm stuck on AE7.0P (Win) for a while-- I think you previously mentioned that would work?

Congrats on shipping!

Thanks! Yes, the original code used to work with AE7, but between the decision to release it and the day the plugin shipped, a lot of changes were made to add the new custom objects, a cleaner workflow, etc.

So, currently AE Link uses functions that are not available in AE 7 or earlier.

BTW you are not the only one on 7, I remember other posts about this.

I'll try to re-add support for older AEs as an option within one or two point releases.

Would help to know how many of you are on AE CS3 or earlier to schedule the releases.

Speaking of new releases, I attached a screenshot from a possible addition to next release, requested (IIRC) by raw_m: the ability to sync LW's previews.

It's not as seamless as I'd like, but works well enough and allows to work way faster when tweaking and testing the animation. Requires LW 10+. More news... soon. :D

monovich
07-29-2011, 08:48 AM
syncing previews is a killer idea!

GraphXs
07-31-2011, 02:17 AM
I'm on CS3, that would be nice, but eventully I will be getting CS5. Amazing Plugin! I drooled all over my screen! Newtek should showcase this at SIGGRAPH!

akademus
08-01-2011, 01:08 PM
Probably a good thing to check for further development>
http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/ken/if_you_use_after_effects_watch_our_siggraph_feed_n ext_week
Might get an idea or two how to proceed...
Looking forward to seeing their efforts. :)

Newtek should definitely showcase AELink now. I'm sure it would kick ***. There is nothing better in marketing terms than having somebody showcasing "new" stuff and have somebody beside you doing it 10 times better already.

Dexter2999
08-01-2011, 03:21 PM
Definitely worth a blurb in the August newsletter along with the 10.1 release.

That is if they decide to do an August newsletter.

GraphXs
08-01-2011, 05:55 PM
It sounds like AD will be showing the Max to AE at Siggraph...NT should counter! At least a video playback of it would be sweet! Come On NT...Turb4D, LWCAD, Janas, AFXWiz, iBounce, 3D Coat....a plugin reel would be sweet! Special Show deals, etc, etc! Get in the Game!

GraphXs
08-04-2011, 08:43 PM
Come on NT...Siggraph is next week, put yr game face on! Show that NT has an amazing third party!

vfxwizard
08-05-2011, 03:14 PM
Uh, I take a few days off work and AD announces a bridge?! :help:

From the preview image and reading between the lines looks like some sort of multi-app bridge, not an AE-specific tool.

Seems also to bake everything (unless scaling on the "video plane" object is animated and by chance it reaches exactly 100% at 3:03 :D ).

I liked the idea of placing named markers in the exported layers. It may help distinguish between items created in AE and imported layers. Would you guys like something like that?

All in all I'm really looking forward to know more about it and its workflow.


Now for a brief update on AE Link

A minor bug-fix release is available for Mac users and also adds support for LW 9.6.1 on Mac.

Compatibility has been extended to After Effects CS3 (both on Mac and Win). AE 7 will follow very soon.


I hope to seed a beta with new features next week, if anybody has some last minute suggestions... let me know.


And thanks as usual for the extra-nice comments!

nickdigital
08-05-2011, 03:25 PM
I liked the idea of placing named markers in the exported layers. It may help distinguish between items created in AE and imported layers. Would you guys like something like that?


Yes!

We just go our licenses today and it's ridiculous how simple it is to use.


...if anybody has some last minute suggestions... let me know.

One of my animators had this observation/comment.

If you change the settings of your LightWave camera it would be nice if the comp size would get updated. For example, say you started a project in Standard Def and then opted to go Hi-Def. The motion of the camera continues to get updated but now you have a HD LW camera and a SD AE comp talking to each other.

vfxwizard
08-05-2011, 04:24 PM
We just go our licenses today and it's ridiculous how simple it is to use.

One of my animators had this observation/comment.

If you change the settings of your LightWave camera it would be nice if the comp size would get updated.

The marker thing... consider it done.

The resolution change is a very good idea but also one that's going to be harder. AE's uses the comp size to compute the focal length and the anchor points.

Like cobrasoft's request for custom objects update, resolution changes will likely require a new button. "Deep Sync" maybe, ideas for a better name are welcome.

Such a command would rebuild the comp, update text layers and replace the footage while leaving intact expressions and layers created in AE.


It can be done, but has to be planned well. (I really want to keep it as simple and "1-click" as possible. BTW, glad you liked this approach!)

nickdigital
08-05-2011, 04:29 PM
Like cobrasoft's request for custom objects update, resolution changes will likely require a new button. "Deep Sync" maybe, ideas for a better name are welcome.

ReSync? Deep Sync sounds like a DJ name to me, lol.

dwburman
08-06-2011, 10:09 AM
Super Sync - :)

vfxwizard
08-08-2011, 03:14 PM
@Oliver I kept looking for more info about the AD link but missed those videos, thanks for posting them.

The pass management is way cool! :thumbsup: My approach is much simpler, looks like the PSD export already in LW. In fact it's not a pass manager, it's a buffer exporter.

I found quite interesting how much data they do bake, and how baking was dismissed as something that doesn't impact much bidirectional exchange because it can be blended and re-exported. Uh?

This is something where I could really use some input, guys: would moving back and forth baked data be useful?

I always considered baked keyframes next to useless for further editing.

But if it's good for AD and is something many of you would like, then it can be added as a native feature.

BTW, next version already has an option to support the AE3D Export script, adjusting coordinates as described by raw_m.


Regarding the DJ or SuperHero button (:bday:), I'm happy to say they won't be needed. Both nickdigital's request for comp resizing and the many requests for updating Custom Objects' properties have been added without impacting the current workflow.

The following is a small preview of another forthcoming feature: complete light support, including color, intensity, cone angle and feathering (all fully animated).

http://www.vfxwizard.com/images/aelink-lights.jpg

in the image above the plane in AE is a solid, while the one in LW is a 3D object! But lighting is almost identical, and the match between graph editor's and AE light color animation looks pretty close.

The next beta with these and some more new features should be available in a few days. [Some of the new features can already be spotted in the image :D]

After this new release is stable, I'll focus on buffer management and export, probably by the end of this month. So if there's some must-have feature regarding buffer export, please let me know!

P.S.
AE7 Pro support is back. And Liberty3D is an official reseller for AE Link!

nickdigital
08-08-2011, 03:23 PM
This is something where I could really use some input, guys: would moving back and forth baked data be useful?


As long as the motion between AE and LW is always in sync baked data is fine. I think sometimes baking keyframes is a good way to make sure rendering on a render farm will go smoothly. You don't have to worry about a motion modifier burping on a node.



Regarding the DJ or SuperHero button (:bday:), I'm happy to say they won't be needed. Both nickdigital's request for comp resizing and the many requests for updating Custom Objects' properties have been added without impacting the current workflow.


If you keep turning features requests around so quickly we're gonna get spoiled.

What is the current system to check for updates? Does the plug-in communicate to a master server? With TFD there's a button to check for updates which will then prompt me to d/l one if one is available. AE's DUIK script checks for updates when AE launches. It can be a real large task keeping track of all the plug-ins you've bought and downloaded over time. If you don't get some sort of email or message it's very easy to not be up to date. Especially if a plug-in's development is in a forum thread.

raw-m
08-08-2011, 04:12 PM
Amazing stuff, looking forward to the next update to see where it's at. If it's buffer based will there be any support for exrTrader or have you something else in mind? It's a much more efficent system than layered PSDs.

Perhaps I'm missing something but I'm not sure I like the sound of baking keys in both directions or how it even helps when jumping between apps. As mentioned, making changes to animation would be an incredible pain. But like I said, I might be missing the point!

nickdigital
08-08-2011, 04:17 PM
This AE script might help for those that are working with baked keyframes.

http://aescripts.com/smart-baker/

nickdigital
08-10-2011, 12:13 PM
When I sync with AE my AE window doesn't stay maximized. Is there a way to keep my AE window maximized when Layout resyncs?

Would it be possible to specify a solid color in the AE Link Layer Type properties?

vfxwizard
08-10-2011, 05:20 PM
If it's buffer based will there be any support for exrTrader or have you something else in mind? It's a much more efficent system than layered PSDs.

Sorry, the comparison to PSD export was meant only to say that the layers will be already setup to recombine the beauty pass, with all the transfer modes in place (like in the PSD exporter).

You'll be able to setup the render buffers in the format you prefer, and I definitely plan to support exrTrader.

That's why buffer export features have been scheduled for the end of the cycle: I have to write some new code.


Would it be possible to specify a solid color in the AE Link Layer Type properties?

Yes, this is important. I'll try to fit the color changes in the upcoming release. A bit kludgy but it should work. Thanks for mentioning it.

Regarding baking keys


An option would be best I presume, because IF baking would be necessary to get a two-way connection (live would be awesome ^^), I'd prefer it to having non-baked motions but only a one way street. [...] Until NT or Adobe improve some data exchange I guess

Baking is the only way to get a two way communication.

It would be possible to only export real keyframes, and keep everything editable. It may even be possible to make this and keep a pixel perfect sync (by fitting the different animation curves).

But even if After Effects supported FBX or Collada, as soon as you enter the realm of application-specific motion modifiers or expressions... there's no way except for baking.

Anyway, I think the general consensus is that baked data is a small price to pay for a bidirectional workflow. So this is for sure something I'll look into.

Just a quick question: say you have a LW camera, export it into AE, rove its keyframes and reimport it into LW.

What would be better?

To replace the original camera animation?
To create a new camera and set it up so that it can be blended with the original one?





btw I wonder, do you think some of the stuff Adobe did for AD could help you with the LW-AELink?

Well, the easy pass/layer system seems great, but it's not a feature within the scope of AE Link.

The 3D export side is something that I would like to try out in practice. Judging only by the videos, it looks a lot like C4D, with the added advantage of being bi-directional.

I would like to know how it handles lights, stereo cameras, deforming vertices. If they have an AE UV remapper bundled with it. Things like this.



BTW, thanks for all the comments. I keep posting here (trying not to abuse the community) because this thread gave me a ton of ideas, insights and suggestions.

To me baked data has always been a final step, with the 3D app acting as a controller and the compositing app as a receiver.

But I can see how different workflows have different needs. Especially the "manageable amount of keyframes" remark.

It helps to see things from a different perspective. We used to use AE Link for very long shots (minutes) but most mograph shots are a few seconds long... so it makes sense.


Updates soon! (with pictures :D )

monovich
08-11-2011, 09:06 AM
looking forward to buffer support. sounds cool!

dwburman
08-11-2011, 11:27 AM
I was thinking that a cool feature when you get to buffer passes would be to automatically set up an object ID, material ID, or Special Buffer to mask the solid (precomp?) in AE based on the geometry in LW. I have a 3D object of an old TV screen with large rounded corners on the bezel. If I stick an unmasked/unmatted layer in front of that, I'll have the screen showing through the bezel.

I solved the problem by setting the object's screen surface alpha property to be constant black and I either put the screen content layer beneath it or use the render's alpha channel to cut away the edges on the screen content layer.

:)

vfxwizard
08-15-2011, 11:55 AM
Good thing is, my company is on supscription, so we'll get it in a few weeks.

I would love to hear your hands-on opinion about the AD solution!

Regarding the bi-directional export, I guess it will have to be an option. Coding wise, it's pretty easy. The hard part will be finding a good workflow without too many options or special cases.


What is the current system to check for updates? [...] It can be a real large task keeping track of all the plug-ins you've bought and downloaded over time.

Again, a good idea. Just added this option to v1.1. :)


looking forward to buffer support. sounds cool!


I was thinking that a cool feature when you get to buffer passes would be to automatically set up an object ID, material ID, or Special Buffer to mask the solid (precomp?) in AE based on the geometry in LW.

I can only hope it will be cool. The mask thing is getting dangerously close to real passes, but I'll see what I can do. :)

The way buffer export will work is this:

http://www.vfxwizard.com/images/aelink-buffers.gif

The buffers are exported either as separate sequences or packed into a multilayer Exr (this is where exrTrader support is required) and decoded in AE, with the proper blending modes setup to rebuild the beauty render.

There will be a reasonable amount of options & presets, but I'm mainly concerned with keeping everything as simple as possible.

I mean, it should not be necessary to know what "compensate scene referred profiles" does in After Effects to use the buffer export in AE Link. :D And this is going to be the hard part.


Okay, time to talk about v1.1.

AE Link v1.1 (beta) is now available along with a preliminary PDF to all AE Link users. Unless some outstanding bug is found, this will become the new shipping version.

Just a few key features

Complete Light support (including CS5.5 new features)
Sync of custom object's color, texts, comp & solid size...
Experimental support for Lightwave previews
Supports After Effects 7 Pro and higher
Markers, AE3D mode...


I'll post a what's new video about 1.1 in the next few days, right now suggestions and feature requests regarding buffer export are very welcome.

How do you all setup your layers? Does anybody use non-hdr images? Does anybody save sRGB straight from Lightwave?

Let me know, as most features in v1.1 are the direct result of a feature request posted here.

So, again, "thank you everybody" for all the cool ideas that have been shared in this thread.

nickdigital
08-15-2011, 12:08 PM
AE Link v1.1 (beta) is now available along with a preliminary PDF to all AE Link users. Unless some outstanding bug is found, this will become the new shipping version.


Downloading now!

archijam
08-15-2011, 02:41 PM
Grazie mille! :D

Dexter2999
08-15-2011, 05:31 PM
Very exciting, Sir.

khan973
08-18-2011, 10:42 PM
WOOOOOWWW Awesome, How did I miss this thread?!
I've been looking for such a thing for a long time!

Passes export seems promising.
For what it worth, I think it should be Renderfarm friendly and Janus / Passport Friendly
The biggest troubles I had with Transmotion was the scale. Impossible to have something that always work. I hope your plugin solves this. I'll watch your videos and purchase it ASAP. Newtek really has to communicate on that!!!

nickdigital
08-19-2011, 03:52 PM
Would it be possible to change the AELink license and config system? Currently they are one file that is written out based on where the config files are written. I like that this system respects the -c flag.

However, IMHO a system that separates the license and config into two separate files would be easier to manage for the reasons below:


Inability to put multiple licenses into one file.

Currently I have multiple license files on my network for each dongle whereas I would prefer a single license file. LightWave's license.key file allows me to do this. Worley and HDInstance allow me to do this. This makes managing my plug-ins much easier as I just have the one license file to worry about versus a license file for each dongle. We pull our plug-ins from a network folder so using a single license file to manage all my dongles is very convenient.

Current system makes it difficult for dongles to be swapped.

Because the license and config file's are a single file, this makes it very difficult for an animator to trade dongles with someone else. Some of my dongles have plug-ins that others don't. So when my animators go to trade dongles, their AELink plug-in will be reading the license for the other dongle.

GraphXs
08-31-2011, 08:45 PM
Just picked up this wonderful plugin! Just want to say thanks for making such a sweet tool! So very simple!

I do have a question, for the future version will it respect the light type? It seems to only like spot lights. Forgive me if this was already mention.

Thanks!

vfxwizard
09-01-2011, 03:07 PM
Sorry for the long delay, I was working on the buffer export stuff, and yet managed to miss this (so, Khan, we both missed one each other :) ):




For what it worth, I think it should be Renderfarm friendly and Janus / Passport Friendly
The biggest troubles I had with Transmotion was the scale. Impossible to have something that always work. I hope your plugin solves this.

It is renderfarm-friendly (and scaling-friendly :) ) but I honestly don't know if the buffer exporter can support pass-managers. There are just too many different pass managers out there, and most of them work by breaking out different scenes.

This would not work with AE Link, as it depends on scene names for synchronization.

A lot depends on what is going to be in LW 11. For sure, if a native pass manager exists, I'll support it.

Another solution would be to add another pass manager to the crowd, but this is not something I think would very beneficial.

What does anybody think about this?


Would it be possible to change the AELink license and config system? Currently they are one file that is written out based on where the config files are written. I like that this system respects the -c flag.


Snipped heavily, but I think this is similar to an issue you raised in the iBounce thread. I had a look at it, but it's not an easy fix. Sorry for not replying sooner: I placed this on the to-do, but can't say for sure when it will be in.


Just want to say thanks for making such a sweet tool! So very simple!
I do have a question, for the future version will it respect the light type?


Thank you! AE Link does support light types, but only After Effects CS5.5 allows to change the light type with scripting. So there's a bunch of workarounds in place for earlier versions, and everything syncs as expected, but you have to switch the light type manually.

Unfortunately this is not something that can be bypassed. CS5.5 is required to handle lights 100% automatically.



Everybody: an updated manual and videos are coming real soon now, I'll make sure to post here.

And, the next version -with buffer export- has been slightly delayed because...

...it will not only add buffer export. There are a few nice new features coming. Soon. :D

GraphXs
09-01-2011, 08:24 PM
Thanks!

nikfaulkner
09-02-2011, 12:38 AM
nice. cant wait for the next update as well as the new docs\tutorials

archijam
09-02-2011, 03:00 AM
PS. I actually liked the Italian update email, no need (in my case) to apologize .. feel free to send both! :D

nickdigital
09-02-2011, 11:01 AM
Another solution would be to add another pass manager to the crowd, but this is not something I think would very beneficial.

What does anybody think about this?

Having another pass manager out there isn't bad.



Snipped heavily, but I think this is similar to an issue you raised in the iBounce thread. I had a look at it, but it's not an easy fix. Sorry for not replying sooner: I placed this on the to-do, but can't say for sure when it will be in.

Thx. Changing the licensing system would really make managing a team of animators much easier.

vfxwizard
09-07-2011, 01:47 PM
@archijam Glad you liked it -will add you to both lists! (To explain: when we notified AE Link customers of v1.1's release, the system mistakenly also sent the newsletter for our non-english language online trainings - oooops!).

@nikfaulkner Thx, hope it won't take much longer. The new video is undergoing post right now.


Having another pass manager out there isn't bad.


Now, this is something I would love to hear more about from as many people as possible.

I admit I never used the most popular pass managers (surpasses, passport, janus) relying instead on custom solutions.

I did some researches on pass managers last month to see if AE Link could be made compatible with them.

They all look awesome, but each one of them seems to fit a specific workflow and pipeline. And, for renderfarm users, the only way to avoid the deployment of yet another plugin over the farm is to create separate scenes and objects for each pass. Something that breaks the "keep it simple" paradigm of AE Link.

Would a straightforward (and therefore less flexible) pass manager be a welcome addition? And, having to choose, would this be more or less of a priority than bi-directional communication between the "compositing application" and Ligthwave?

Let me know, please! I'd like to schedule features according to most people's needs.

nickdigital
09-07-2011, 01:54 PM
Would a straightforward (and therefore less flexible) pass manager be a welcome addition? And, having to choose, would this be more or less of a priority than bi-directional communication between the "compositing application" and Ligthwave?



I think a straightforward "basic" one would be the way to go. Janus is so powerful that if someone needed something more advanced, they should just invest the money into Janus.

A passmanager is something that has been the bane of every LW user. I would say that this is more of a priority than the bi-directional communication. We use AE for just comping so going from AE to LW is something that doesn't happen on our end. My 2 cents.

realgray
09-07-2011, 03:21 PM
I think a straightforward "basic" one would be the way to go. Janus is so powerful that if someone needed something more advanced, they should just invest the money into Janus.

A passmanager is something that has been the bane of every LW user. I would say that this is more of a priority than the bi-directional communication. We use AE for just comping so going from AE to LW is something that doesn't happen on our end. My 2 cents.

Completely Agree :thumbsup:

raw-m
09-07-2011, 03:37 PM
From a Motion Graphics perspective, a bi-direction workflow is pretty important to me. It's far easier for me to start off in AE with PS layers to get a basic layout and moves. Then comes the 3d stuff, replacing my AE 2.5 layers with "proper" 3d.

Having said that, I would much prefer a pass manager over bi-directional!! Being a mac user, I don't think any of those pass managers are available to me so even a basic one would be very welcome! I love the "keep it simple" approach, perhaps an "Advanced" button could take us off somewhere else where we would need to roll our sleeves up? A preset "shelf" to choose a collection of different passes from might be nice.

I really like the exrTrader approach of being able to tick the passes I want but rebuilding these buffers in AE to recreate an F9 render to use as a starting point seems very difficult. An automated click, render, open AE comp with all the layers in the right order with correct layer modes would be the Holy Grail for me!

Hope that makes sense. Long day!

nickdigital
09-07-2011, 04:04 PM
Is your proposed passmanager AE specific? If it isn't, you'll instantly attract more people to your plug-in. I think people would buy your plug-in just for that alone and then the AE communication would just be a bonus. Whereas things are the other way around right now.

monovich
09-07-2011, 04:21 PM
hey raw-m. there is a free plugin that will build the After Effects comp for you automatically from a layered file. Download and install this: http://www.fnordware.com/ProEXR/

the specific plugin you want is the layered comp creator, which is in the zip file.

when you install it, you just select the EXR sequence or still in AE, then go "file>create ProEXR layer comps".

BOOM. comp is created with all proper layers, precomps and blending modes that will match your LW F9 render.

raw-m
09-08-2011, 12:51 AM
Thanks monovich. Yes, I use it all the time but the blending modes are always set to normal. I'll check to see if I need to update the plugin....

nikfaulkner
09-08-2011, 03:35 AM
I think a straightforward "basic" one would be the way to go. Janus is so powerful that if someone needed something more advanced, they should just invest the money into Janus.

A passmanager is something that has been the bane of every LW user. I would say that this is more of a priority than the bi-directional communication. We use AE for just comping so going from AE to LW is something that doesn't happen on our end. My 2 cents.

i agree 110%

lwlurker
09-08-2011, 06:10 AM
Straightforward Pass manager 1st. This has been one of the biggest misses in LW. And this feature, alone, would be huge in the compositor's world. If it's wildly successful, you can always consider more advanced solutions later.
EXR is best -keep options for linear light and max bit-depth this way.
Don't exclude other compositors like Nuke and Smoke (ie. if you want to create an AE workflow, that's a bonus. Just make sure files are easily accessible for other compositing programs as well).

This is more exciting than VPR, tbh.

daforum
09-08-2011, 07:03 AM
hey raw-m. there is a free plugin that will build the After Effects comp for you automatically from a layered file. Download and install this: http://www.fnordware.com/ProEXR/

the specific plugin you want is the layered comp creator, which is in the zip file.

when you install it, you just select the EXR sequence or still in AE, then go "file>create ProEXR layer comps".

BOOM. comp is created with all proper layers, precomps and blending modes that will match your LW F9 render.

Thanks monovich.
I know you've just explained it but is there a tutorial on this (have you made one?)
All I get in the Mac download folder is ExtactoR, IDentifier, OpenEXR and ProEX Comp Creator plugins - is the last one the one you mention?
And being free is it only for 30 days?

monovich
09-08-2011, 10:55 AM
http://www.fnordware.com/ProEXR/ProEXR_Manual.pdf

no the After Effects plugins appear free based on the site, and are even included in AE5 (photoshop plugins cost), but I'm not sure the one that creates the comps automatically is included in AE5 so you have to install it. On a PC put it in a folder like this:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS5\Support Files\Plug-ins\ProEXR\

On a Mac I'm not sure which folder it is, but its basically your AE Plugins folder then I make a ProEXR sub folder. A mac person would know better where that folder should go.

The only one plug that you really need to install (if using something newer than CS3)is: ProEXR Comp Creator.aex

Once you have it installed, restart AE, then you just select the footage in your bin, then pulldown file> Create PRO EXR layer comps.

raw-m - I'm sure at one point this plugin did the blending modes for me, but you're right, for some reason it isn't doing it now. I'm baffled! :cursin:

raw-m
09-08-2011, 11:03 AM
Nothing's easy!

vfxwizard
09-09-2011, 02:28 PM
I tried to reply to everybody and ended up with a "War and Peace" sized post. Fail.


Seems there's quite a consensus about having a simple pass manager, so here's a quick reply on the main points raised so far:


@lwlurker A pass manager is going to be decoupled from the 3D data converter anyway - so yes, it would work with other compositing apps, not only After Effects
@nickdigital Janus is the juggernaut of pass managers - I can only guess the amount of work went into it! I agree that who needs to manage complex projects should not think twice and get it.
@raw-m I like the idea of creating presets! it's similar to what I was doing for the buffer exporter. It shouldn't be hard to adapt this approach to a (simple) pass manager.
I also like the suggestion of having both a simple "1click" mode and maybe adding a slightly advanced mode later
Of course, if LW11 or later adds a pass management solution, the native solution will be supported



I have a question: how many of you use renderfarms?

A pass manager works better, is less error-prone and more farm-friendly if it breaks the scene into multiple sub-scenes and object copies. But this is also a nuisance...

I'll spare the technical details until I have something to show, but right now the first release is likely not to be able to support shadow-only passes or refractive glass when rendering over a farm.

Would these be serious issues?

THANKS for all the suggestions, it really helps to know what's necessary and what's not. I'll keep you all up to date!


PS
For users of the japanese localized version of Lightwave: I just received confirmation that AE Link works properly with LW 10.1 japanese released last week.

nickdigital
09-09-2011, 02:47 PM
I have a question: how many of you use renderfarms?


We use one.

daforum
09-10-2011, 03:11 AM
http://www.fnordware.com/ProEXR/ProEXR_Manual.pdf

no the After Effects plugins appear free based on the site, and are even included in AE5 (photoshop plugins cost), but I'm not sure the one that creates the comps automatically is included in AE5 so you have to install it. On a PC put it in a folder like this:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS5\Support Files\Plug-ins\ProEXR\

On a Mac I'm not sure which folder it is, but its basically your AE Plugins folder then I make a ProEXR sub folder. A mac person would know better where that folder should go.

The only one plug that you really need to install (if using something newer than CS3)is: ProEXR Comp Creator.aex

Once you have it installed, restart AE, then you just select the footage in your bin, then pulldown file> Create PRO EXR layer comps.

raw-m - I'm sure at one point this plugin did the blending modes for me, but you're right, for some reason it isn't doing it now. I'm baffled! :cursin:

Thanks monovich.

Just for reference for other users: in AFX CS3 the OpenEXR plugin is in the Plugins/ Format folder.

JBT27
10-26-2011, 04:28 AM
We have a render window-box ... we don't like to talk about it ... 8~

Just bought AE_Link ... very nice indeed - it's about to make a cloud fly through a whole lot easier ... :thumbsup:

Julian.

eagleeyed
10-26-2011, 04:53 AM
Just to chime into this thread.

I have been eyeing AE-Link for a while now, and its not a matter of if I buy it, its when. (Still learning AE and just purchased 5.5 Production Premium so wallet needs to recover).

Seeing talk of a pass manager is an very welcome surprise aswell, been eyeing off Janus just today even, a great simple pass manager would be an extremely welcome edition.

Currently the render farm only exists of 2 computers at the moment, but do use network rendering.

Just chiming it basically to say you have another very interested spectator, soon to be customer.

souzou
10-26-2011, 05:01 AM
when you install it, you just select the EXR sequence or still in AE, then go "file>create ProEXR layer comps".

BOOM. comp is created with all proper layers, precomps and blending modes that will match your LW F9 render.


@monovich thanks for pointing this out! :thumbsup:

@vfxwizard we use a renderfarm

We just had a project where bi-directional support would have been really helpful, as it was 95% in AE (and needed starting/roughing out in AE) with a few 3d elements added in. Agree with raw-m on both his points/suggestions.

dwburman
10-26-2011, 09:46 PM
The ability to move pixel tracking data into LW might be useful too. :D

akademus
10-26-2011, 11:54 PM
+1 on pixel tracking data

we use farm here as well, actually both local and online, local managed by Deadline.

ksnoad
10-27-2011, 01:21 AM
Yep, we use a render farm (BNR) but manually separating shadows and refractions wouldn't be a massive issue if everything else is handled.

This could be incredibly useful :)

Kev xx

raw-m
10-31-2011, 05:29 AM
Hi all. I'm getting a problem where it will only sync the first 60 frames (0-59) of a 150 frame scene. Anyone else had this? Theres no keyframes going on around this point just a bit later on in the scene so not sure what makes it think theres only 60 frames. Tired it on a new scene with just a moving null and it's doing the same.

Edit - hang on, this might have started happening since I "upgraded" to Lion. Anyone confirm?

akademus
10-31-2011, 06:06 AM
Maybe you need to set your render range to 150 frames in Render Globals?

raw-m
10-31-2011, 06:48 AM
:censored:

How embarrassing! It's Monday......

raw-m
11-02-2011, 05:34 PM
This (http://www.maxon.net/en/news/press-releases/singleview/article/maxon-announces-a-new-exchange-plug-in-for-cinema-4d-and-adobe-after-effects.html) is interesting, a new plugin for After Effects that will export everything to C4d, made by Maxon. What are the chances Newtek are doing something simiar :D?

UnCommonGrafx
11-03-2011, 06:42 AM
Welp,
I have joined in on the fray. I must say, I like this setup. Have to switch my head around quite a bit again.

Can anyone familiar with lwconnect give me some feedback on how I might get that kind of functionality with this setup? I really have to admit that I don't quite grok all that I can do here.

A question, or two, of mine:
It is best to have the scene rendered?
Geometry doesn't really go into AE? Or is this a CS5 requirement? I have CS3; CS5 at work.


Edit: I get it - my contrast of lwconnect: it is why I would rather have bi-directionality. Being able to pop INTO LW from AE for dressing would be quite cool, as well.

I am finding this a most intriguing, and painless, setup. I would vote for bi-directionality before pass management.

raw-m
11-10-2011, 05:32 AM
Just caught Mentalfish's AE Remote for Lightwave (http://vimeo.com/25989304). Really nice realtime solution. Would be a nice feature to incorporate, without clicking the sync button - perhaps add an "auto" or "go commando" facility to the plugin?!

vfxwizard
11-11-2011, 04:56 AM
Sorry, I'v been away from the forum and missed many posts.

@eagleeyed, akademus & souzou: I think I have found a way to handle renderfarms, while keeping everything as simple as possible.

@souzou & UnCommonGrafx: bi-directional is coming, but the rewrite needed to make this as seamless as possible is taking a lot longer than expected.

@dwburman, akademus: 2d pixel tracking should be easily doable as long as both AE's & LW's cameras are locked to the default AE camera position. Will have a look at this feature next.



It is best to have the scene rendered?
Geometry doesn't really go into AE? Or is this a CS5 requirement? I have CS3; CS5 at work.


#1, depends. You may want to defer rendering until you are done tweaking the animation. A nice trick is to use the old "Render mode: Quickshade" to create quickly a temp track and work on that.

#2, correct: true 3d geometry can't be handled by any AE version.


Mentalfish's AE Remote for Lightwave. [...] perhaps add an "auto" or "go commando" facility to the plugin?!

Yup, Mentalfish's idea is very nice. The issue is with animations: as soon as you start updating in realtime, keyframes must be updated as well. Even doing so after the user has stopped moving the item is going to kill performance. There may be a way to do this with direct app2app communication, but this is not likely to be implemented soon, sorry. :(


Thanks everybody for the comments and suggestions! A beta of v1.2 is coming. Soon. :)

BTW, AE Link works 100% with Lightwave 11, just tested.

meatycheesyboy
12-07-2011, 09:49 AM
Hi everyone,

I just purchased aelink but I'm getting 404 errors when I try to download it. Has anyone else had this problem? I tried it in Chrome and IE.

vfxwizard
12-07-2011, 10:36 AM
Hi everyone,

I just purchased aelink but I'm getting 404 errors when I try to download it. Has anyone else had this problem? I tried it in Chrome and IE.

Ooops, sorry. Guess you are right-clicking and "Saving as...". Please do a single left click on the links and it will work. It's a by-product of the download protection.

Either that, or our server can't stand a Chuck Norris download. :) Seriously, sorry for the issue and thanks for choosing AE Link!


BTW, everybody, a new version of AE Link is almost here. For real!

It will also include a small extra. A very simple Pixel Blender filter for AE that helps getting that "vrayish" look out of LW's renders with a basic exposure control that works well along with linear workflow.

An example is in the Bullet test animation posted here: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=124259. It's a simple tool, but may be useful since AE doesn't have a built in, non-linear, exposure tool.

http://www.vfxwizard.com/external/aelink-exposure.jpg

meatycheesyboy
12-07-2011, 10:45 AM
Thanks for the quick reply but unfortunately it still doesn't work.

If I left click a link I get a 404.

If I right click save as it downloads a broken 5Kb file.

*Update 1* - The manual, release notes, samples and menu configs download fine, it's only the actual plugin that isn't working.

meatycheesyboy
12-07-2011, 11:36 AM
It was the cookies in my browser, I nuked 'em and everything worked afterwards.

VFX was kind enough to also send me the files directly. Can't wait to use.

djwaterman
12-07-2011, 01:16 PM
I use AELink for lightwave to AE, but for the other way I use this free plugin, it works perfectly and basically just a one click solution.

http://www.motion-graphics-exchange.com/after-effects/AE3D-Export-Maya-Max-and-Lightwave/4bff8b4034916

works for Maya too.

raw-m
12-07-2011, 02:14 PM
BTW, everybody, a new version of AE Link is almost here. For real!

It will also include a small extra. A very simple Pixel Blender filter for AE that helps getting that "vrayish" look out of LW's renders with a basic exposure control that works well along with linear workflow.

That sounds sweeeeet! :D

data3d
12-07-2011, 05:37 PM
This might be fairly obvious, but apparently not to me. I've worked with Lightwave for a while, but am fairly new in working with After Effects (CS 5.5 Production Premium). I see the strong support from the seasoned Lightwave / AE users here, which has me almost ready to pull the trigger, but I'd like to better understand what the primary uses / advantages are to a potential new AE link customer like me. Can anyone share the basics on ways they currently use the two tools (LW/AE) together? That would be a really good marketing tool for AE Link in my opinion!

monovich
12-07-2011, 05:40 PM
In many situations there are some elements you want to do create 3d, and some you want to create in 2d or 2.5d. For 3d you use lightwave, for 2 or 2.5d you use After Effects. To seamlessly create elements in both packages you need to be able to syncronize your work between the two.

data3d
12-07-2011, 07:05 PM
In many situations there are some elements you want to do create 3d, and some you want to create in 2d or 2.5d. For 3d you use lightwave, for 2 or 2.5d you use After Effects. To seamlessly create elements in both packages you need to be able to syncronize your work between the two.

Thanks for the response, Monovich. So something like set up a basic camera move around a 3D logo in Lightwave, then bring it over into After Effects to add foreground or background elements, text or other effects that sync up with the original movement of the LW camera.