View Full Version : Placing Animation Frames on the Timeline

Tom Wood
10-08-2003, 08:13 PM
I saved a sequence of frames that make up a one minute long talking head scene. I saved them as .tga files because the list of available file formats didn't include -just- .rtv, but three Screamernet .rtv formats. Use the alpha one, even though I'm not using Screamernet?

When I drag them onto the timeline, TED sees them as still images and makes each frame 5 seconds long, the default for still images. How do I tell TED that this is a video sequence of frames to be played at 29.97 fps? Where did the video field information go? Dragging and dropping this many frames is a real chore, is there a way to make TED treat these like an animation, all at once?

I keep hearing the advice to not render out a single animation file, but that sure seems more convenient than this. I must be missing something.



10-08-2003, 08:35 PM
Well you could load it into Aura and uncheck preload then save it out as an rtv or you could go into VT preferances and change the default still length to 1 frame then make that a subproject.

Scott Bates
10-08-2003, 08:39 PM
I've never tried importing any (LW?) frames Tom, so keep that in mind ... but ...

As I recall numerous other discussions on the subject, you do want to save .tga's with alpha from LW.

In VT-Edit, go into Preferences and change still frame duration from 5 seconds to 1 frame.

Drag that folder of stills onto the Timeline and you'll get a SubProject. If you Expand it you should see all your frames set to 1 frame duration each. You could then render the timeline to a .rtv clip.

Or - seems like the majority of the advice I've seen here on the subject is to load your frames into Aura as a sequence and export a .rtv clip from there.

Hopefully someone with more first-hand knowledge will show up to either confirm the above or tell you how it really should be done.

Tom Wood
10-08-2003, 08:58 PM

Of course.

But where is the video -field- information? Is it captured within the .tga -frame-?

Sorry, I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around this.



10-08-2003, 09:04 PM
Simple, really.

Drag the DIRECTORY onto the timeline and it will make a vid of that. Of course, first change the prefs to treat them as single frame. You may find this painfully slow. ;)
Personally, I find it quicker in Aura without the preload or through DFX.

10-08-2003, 09:06 PM
Do the frames have any of that information in them? If not, then don't worry about it. ;()
That is to say, if you didn't render them with fields then you can just use a fielded mode in Aura. But then it will cut your anim length in half.

Load them into Aura few times to test it out.

Tom Wood
10-08-2003, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by UnCommonGrafx
Do the frames have any of that information in them? If not, then don't worry about it. ;()

Yeah, that's the thing, I rendered them out with odd fields first checked. But I got the same number of frames as the entire sequence. So I really should have double that then? Hmmm...


10-08-2003, 09:35 PM
Yeah, because it takes two fields to make one frame. And mind you, I have only hit this through my own trial and errors. ;)

Try it, my friend, as it will be painless if it's not right the first time. Then, go re-render what you need. hehe

10-10-2003, 02:31 PM
I use lightwave rendered animations with VT3, no problems. Use Odd field first and save as RTV. When lightwave is done you are ready to go...

Some Lightwaver's always recommend not rendering to 'animation' such as RTV is, for various reasons, but I find skipping the single frame to RTV step and not have double hard drive space used enough reason to ignore that advice for most projects.

If you are rendering a masterpiece with long render times, single image saves would make sense as you could stop or start anywhere, and check sample frames as it works, but on a fast machine with a simple animation, a re-render can be very quick if you need it, so I opt for RTV.

Tom Wood
10-10-2003, 04:14 PM
Yeah, I came to the same conclusion about rendering animations. The only downside is that Screamernet only does individual frames, so there's no batch rendering while you sleep. Most of my stuff is short enough that it probably won't matter. I'll open more than one instance of LW and just keep trucking.


10-11-2003, 10:37 PM
Yea, no Animation files on SN. The reason of course is because the frames come in out of order as your nodes work. But... Newtek states somewhere that RTV is an exception and it can be rendered on Screamernet. A while back, I could not find anybody who was aware of this or had any details. I tested a bunch of things and if I remember right finally figured it out, but have not tried it in a few months. If I run across the answer I will post it here. I seem to remember the secret was to render to single frames but use a (special?) RTV codec, and it sorts it out.

10-11-2003, 11:06 PM
You are the only person I have seen that remembers that conversation out there! IF you set it to screamernet you can see the error on your nodes; I think this would/could be fixed if a package were prepared for us that would install the files necessary for a non-vt box to read/write rtvs. Especially for lw, rtvs and vtedit as a unified architecture from one company.

Glad to see it wasn't just me...

Tom Wood
10-12-2003, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by bradl
... But... Newtek states somewhere that RTV is an exception and it can be rendered on Screamernet. ... I seem to remember the secret was to render to single frames but use a (special?) RTV codec, and it sorts it out.

In the Save RGB Type drop down menu for single frames, there are three RTV format choices - RTV-Screamernet-Alpha, RTV-Screamernet-Normal, and RTV-Screamernet-SuperBlk. Might this be what they are talking about?


10-12-2003, 09:28 PM
Yes that's them. I will try to test this week if I have time... or if you get it working let us know!