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Sebasvideo
01-04-2013, 05:37 PM
I started learning Lightwave less than a week ago. One of the things that led me to download the trial and buy learning materials was to see the demo reel and see how many movies had great CG done in Lightwave. But I'm confused as how video compositing works in it.

I searched this forum and Google for articles and tutorials on how to import video into Layout to composite the 3D object over it, keyframing animation and anything that needs to be done to make it look as part of the original footage, such as textures, lights, etc.

But all I could find was how to import a still image and composite the object over it, but nothing on video. So it looks like Lightwave can't use video as a background? I know that you can work on a scene in Lightwave, render it as a video file with an alpha channel and then put it as a layer in AE, or even Premiere, Edius or any other NLE, but to do something that looks decent you need to work on the scene with the actual video as a background, not only to match colors, lights, shadows, etc, but to animate the model if it's an animal or a person, or just a robot walking.

I know that Lightwave doesn't come with a camera tracker, but that you can do that in other app and then bring the tracking into Lightwave. Still, that's only part of the process, you still need to preview how the object will look in motion over the footage.

Am I missing something here? I mean, seeing all these great clips from movies and TV Shows with CG done in Lightwave, I have to believe I missed something, otherwise it would be almost like flying blind, working on a scene in Lightwave, waiting for it to render, then layering it with the footage in AE or Premiere to see how it looks, then going back to Lightwave to make changes, render again and so on over and over.

But then again, other than examples of Lightwave CG rendered over footage, I can't find any tutorial that says how to preview the model animation with the footage inside of Lightwave. If Lightwave doesn't have this, I wonder if all these 3D design apps are the same, or is it that Lightwave doesn't have that feature and others do?

Thanks,

Sebastian

JoePoe
01-04-2013, 07:23 PM
1) More windows > backdrop options > Compositing > background image ...... then load a .mov
or
2) In image editor > load image, but change type to "sequence" ..... load your sequence by selecting first image. Than use that in compositing section instead of the .mov
(don't forget about the controls in the image editor.... frame in/out etc.)

Sebasvideo
01-04-2013, 07:55 PM
Ohhh, so that was the way! Huge thanks, I spent quite a while trying to figure this out. Although for Windows users like myself, MOVs don't seem to work, I loaded the MOV from my DSLR and it told me it didn't understand the file, then I converted it to QT Animation in AE, still didn't take it, and finally I converted to an uncompressed RGB AVI, which it took just fine.

Thanks again

JoePoe
01-04-2013, 08:13 PM
Glad to help.

I was just logging in to edit my post to say.... also:
Remember, you can use your sequences (or your AVI :)) on geometry too, not just in the compositing tab.
Background geometry, surfacing, driving mesh deformation, driving fibers etc etc etc...... :thumbsup:

Dexter2999
01-04-2013, 09:46 PM
Your issue with MOV files most likely is because you are using the 64bit version on PC and Quicktime doesn't support 64bit PC. I believe you can still run Quicktime/Pro in 32 bit mode. And you can export image sequences.

Sequences are the accepted "best practice" for working with assets in the industry, to my knowledge. I would strongly urge you to get in the habit early on.

Sebasvideo
01-05-2013, 10:41 AM
Sequences are the accepted "best practice" for working with assets in the industry, to my knowledge. I would strongly urge you to get in the habit early on.

I would guess that's probably because if assets had to be exchanged between different people with different OSes it's better to avoid video codecs, in which case it makes sense, but uncompressed RGB AVI is actually the same, it's a sequence of uncompressed stills without any codec, which can be read by Macs as well. Still, if I work on any project down the road that will have to be shared with someone else, I'll work with sequences instead.

shrox
01-05-2013, 10:52 AM
I would guess that's probably because if assets had to be exchanged between different people with different OSes it's better to avoid video codecs, in which case it makes sense, but uncompressed RGB AVI is actually the same, it's a sequence of uncompressed stills without any codec, which can be read by Macs as well. Still, if I work on any project down the road that will have to be shared with someone else, I'll work with sequences instead.

If your movie or AVI crashs during render, you have to start all over again. With seq frames, you just start rendering from where it crashed.

Netvudu
01-05-2013, 04:26 PM
ditto. Nobody renders to video directly. Everything is rendered to image sequences and afterwards converted to video.

JoePoe
01-05-2013, 05:11 PM
Sequences are the accepted "best practice" for working with assets in the industry, to my knowledge. I would strongly urge you to get in the habit early on.

Absolutely! And I'm not just agreeing with Dexter (um...... from Florida..... :eek:) because he's a serial killer. :D (boy, I hope you get that reference).

But, the initial question was about bringing media INTO Lightwave. Not sure what the benefit is in breaking down a vid into frames for import. Seems like an extra step to me...... You end up with all the same options and amount of flexibility in the image editor. If there's something else, please tell me.
I guess if you have to end up converting the video into other formats anyway (like you did) a step is a step. Frame it up.

On the OUTPUT side, yes yes yes frame sequence is better....... for all the reasons above. :thumbsup:

ncr100
01-05-2013, 07:06 PM
The way I understand this "rendering to image sequences" is done is:

1 Rendering 3d as 32 bit PNG images gives you picture with 8 bits for alpha transparency - the 24 bits remaining is the color of your 3d.
2 Then bring the images into a video editor (recommendations?) along with your other pictures and video you wish to composite.
3 Arrange, sequence, and render the composition to more image sequences, or to a final video.

Likely there's bigger awesomer ways to do this..?

Netvudu
01-06-2013, 12:12 PM
Absolutely! And I'm not just agreeing with Dexter (um...... from Florida..... :eek:) because he's a serial killer. :D (boy, I hope you get that reference).

But, the initial question was about bringing media INTO Lightwave. Not sure what the benefit is in breaking down a vid into frames for import. Seems like an extra step to me...... You end up with all the same options and amount of flexibility in the image editor. If there's something else, please tell me.
I guess if you have to end up converting the video into other formats anyway (like you did) a step is a step. Frame it up.

On the OUTPUT side, yes yes yes frame sequence is better....... for all the reasons above. :thumbsup:

Well, the CODEC dance is always your enemy. For instance you use a specific video as a texture without any problems in YOUR computer, then you go for screamernet rendering on your render farm, and bang! three systems donīt like your video and the render fails miserably....always safer on image sequences...

JoePoe
01-06-2013, 12:23 PM
For instance you use a specific video as a texture without any problems in YOUR computer, then you go for screamernet rendering on your render farm, and bang! three systems donīt like your video...

Ah! good point!!

dickbill
06-20-2013, 03:35 PM
....
I continue this thread. In my case i can't load the .mov quictime movie generated by a Canon camera. Is there a medicine for that?

shrox
06-20-2013, 03:46 PM
....
I continue this thread. In my case i can't load the .mov quictime movie generated by a Canon camera. Is there a medicine for that?

You might have to precess it through another program, it's probably the codex. I use flv to avi (http://www.flvtoavi.com/) It converts from many different formats to many different formats.

JoePoe
06-20-2013, 04:23 PM
You might have to precess it through another program, it's probably the codex. I use flv to avi (http://www.flvtoavi.com/) It converts from many different formats to many different formats.

Another option.... bypass the codex.

Open the movie in (QT) Player: File > Export > Movie to Image Sequence.

Ryan Roye
06-20-2013, 06:03 PM
2 Then bring the images into a video editor (recommendations?) along with your other pictures and video you wish to composite.

Virtualdub (http://www.virtualdub.org/) (free) will allow you to preview/convert image sequences to video files if the video editor being used doesn't support image sequences. It is also an extremely lightweight program, so you can open/dismiss it very fast as if you were using notepad... handy for when you just want to peek at various sequences to see how they rendered.

shrox
06-20-2013, 06:46 PM
Virtualdub (http://www.virtualdub.org/) (free) will allow you to preview/convert image sequences to video files if the video editor being used doesn't support image sequences. It is also an extremely lightweight program, so you can open/dismiss it very fast as if you were using notepad... handy for when you just want to peek at various sequences to see how they rendered.

I forgot about VirtualDub!

dickbill
06-20-2013, 08:49 PM
I got flvtoavi as adviced by shrox and i used the output option Xvid.avi, that's the only avi format that LW let me download. flvtoavi could convert my original canon .mov into Mpeg4 (and Mov again) but LW didn't let me load them in the image editor. So Xvid.avi it is.
Also the image editor didn't let me use it in a 'sequence' format so it's still under 'animation' but at least i got it. Thanks guys.