PDA

View Full Version : Import of film formats in Lightwave 2018



jaxtone
04-14-2018, 06:43 PM
Hi,

I bought the update to 2018 some weeks ago but havenīt had time to install it yet!

Been searching for information about what film formats that can be imported into Lightwave 2018 without any result.
I have just tracked some film footage in Syntheyes and saved the tracked information as a Lightwave scene.

But when I try to import the material into Lightwave 9.6 it tells me that there are no plugin for reading mp4 format.
What about Lightwave 2018, can it import different formats of film to be used as background material?

I am so bloody tired of creating tga or jpg sequenzes everytime this problem occur!

djwaterman
04-14-2018, 08:18 PM
Well, keep doing it that way, that's how it's always done, no one imports mp4 files, you should deal in frames.

jaxtone
04-15-2018, 01:05 AM
Hi djwaterman!

Thank you for your answer!

I started up doing that 1996 but it still feels awkward to do that and I tell you why I experience this as a totally pointless way to work in special situations. I understand that it might be a bad idea to use compressed film for scenes that needs detailed information or actually are meant to be finally rendered material. Personally I never use Lightwave for more than just the 3D-work. Iīd rather use software's that handle the visual effects and post work in situations where film footage are needed to make a point. I experience that 2D VFX softwares handle the post process way much faster and better than any 3D suite. But I guess you already know all about that.

However, and here is my point. Sometimes in a start up process you just need a rough idea of how things can get done. A simple cube and a background footage is enough to get in motion for what can be done in the project. I would like an importer able to importe almost any film format on the market for rough background footage to make this part of a project released from time consuming production parts.

I have noticed that Maya does the same but there you can create the tga or jpg sequenze directly in the 3D software. Donīt know yet if Lightwave 2018 have this option yet!



Well, keep doing it that way, that's how it's always done, no one imports mp4 files, you should deal in frames.

vncnt
04-15-2018, 01:15 AM
Use AVI.

AVI is frame based.
You can even store an alpha channel in uncompressed and some compressed formats.
Many chroma subsampling formats like 4:2:2 YCbCr, including 10bit formats.
Supported on every Windows PC.

Many codecs available for AVI, incl. Lagarith lossless, Huffyuv, NewTek SpeedHQ.
If you have an NLE installed there might be codecs from other professional parties.

A lot of software can read and write AVI, incl. LightWave.
You might want to test all relevant software that should read and/or write your video file.

Fusion can read AVI but removed the option of writing AVI - the program always seemed to have issues with some 2GB limit (other programs do not have this bug).

In case you already have a sequence: use VirtualDub to convert sequences (+ WAV) to AVI or vice versa.
Itīs free: www.virtualdub.org - latest version: v1.10.4
You can choose between a 32bit version (more codecs) and a 32bit version.

If you donīt need float formats (EXR sequences, etc) for extreme color detail, then AVI is still a good choice.

jaxtone
04-15-2018, 01:33 AM
Thanks vncnt!

I have a wage memory that I actually used AVI in the past in Lightwave just for pre-work processes but that was years ago and landed up somewhere in the area of Alzheimer and age disadvantages!

Nowadays most film material I use in pre-processes are already saved as Quicktime H.264, mp4 or similar. I guess I could re-render each footage using the Adobe Cloud subscription I have or "virtual dub" but in my opinion things could have been so much easier if it just were possible to import any film format to get into a pre-process to get ideas fast and accurate.

Well, I probably have to use avi then but bet a few cents that film footage will be an option in future 3D suites. Damn, sometimes it sucks to be a slow shadow, seconds or light-years before the future has introduced itself in present time :)


Use AVI.

AVI is frame based.
You can even store an alpha channel in uncompressed and some compressed formats.
Many chroma subsampling formats like 4:2:2 YCbCr, including 10bit formats.
Supported on every Windows PC.

Many codecs available for AVI, incl. Lagarith lossless, Huffyuv, NewTek SpeedHQ.
If you have an NLE installed there might be codecs from other professional parties.

A lot of software can read and write AVI, incl. LightWave.
You might want to test all relevant software that should read and/or write your video file.

Fusion can read AVI but removed the option of writing AVI - the program always seemed to have issues with some 2GB limit (other programs do not have this bug).

In case you already have a sequence: use VirtualDub to convert sequences (+ WAV) to AVI or vice versa.
Itīs free: www.virtualdub.org - latest version: v1.10.4
You can choose between a 32bit version (more codecs) and a 32bit version.

If you donīt need float formats (EXR sequences, etc) for extreme color detail, then AVI is still a good choice.

vncnt
04-15-2018, 02:13 AM
Asking for MP4 support for many years so itīs not likely that this is going to happen.

Distribution formats like MP4 are not advised for production work but sometimes you just want a single file that's easy to handle. Not only for playback. The OS, virusscanner, ZIP programs, and WeTransfer/e-mail are faster with single files.

Careful with tracking software like SynthEyes.
If too many details in the source shot are frozen for a few frames (by the MP4 codec) it can't solve the shot reliable.

VirtualDub canīt read MP4 files.
Fusion can often read MP4 files (sometimes it fails, donīt know why) but you can use it for interpolation of chroma subsampled sources for a cleaner look.

You might want to Google for a free MP4 to AVI conversion program.

jaxtone
04-15-2018, 05:34 AM
Thanks for you answer.

I guess I already have all the tools to convert film formats but thanks anyway!


Asking for MP4 support for many years so itīs not likely that this is going to happen.

Distribution formats like MP4 are not advised for production work but sometimes you just want a single file that's easy to handle. Not only for playback. The OS, virusscanner, ZIP programs, and WeTransfer/e-mail are faster with single files.

Careful with tracking software like SynthEyes.
If too many details in the source shot are frozen for a few frames (by the MP4 codec) it can't solve the shot reliable.

VirtualDub canīt read MP4 files.
Fusion can often read MP4 files (sometimes it fails, donīt know why) but you can use it for interpolation of chroma subsampled sources for a cleaner look.

You might want to Google for a free MP4 to AVI conversion program.

MonroePoteet
04-15-2018, 08:35 AM
Yes, LW2018 will read MP4 movies as an Image for use as a Background, Surface color, etc.

As recommended above, I use the free image converter FFMPEG (if not Sony Vegas) to convert between image formats. It's available here:

https://www.ffmpeg.org/

and a sample command line to convert an MP4 file to an Image Sequence is:

C:\FFMPEG -i InputFile.MP4 OutputSequence_%03d.TGA

-i specifies the input file and FFMPEG automatically recognizes the file types (MP4 and TGA - yes, I still use TGA files).

I set my default folder to where the MP4 file is located to avoid having to specify folder locations on the command line, and I place the FFMPEG.EXE file in the top-level C: for easy access. This will produce however many TGA files as are contained in the MP4 file with a zero-filled 3-digit sequence number (use %04d for 4 digits, etc.).

To convert to an AVI file, just change the extension on the output file to .AVI, although LW V9.6 might not be able to read the default AVI output format, since it's probably a newer compression algorithm.

C:\FFMPEG -i InputFile.MP4 OutputFile.AVI

mTp

vncnt
04-15-2018, 10:12 AM
I'm a huge fan of FFMPEG - it can also serve as a frame server (rendering each frame upon request by another application).

jaxtone
04-15-2018, 10:39 AM
Hi MonroePoteet!

Thanks for your information.

Since I have a full subscription of the whole Adobe suite I wonder a one thing when talking of ffmpeg... I usually render out an image sequence from After FX or Premiere! Do you mean that FFMpeg are faster?

Sounds like I have to install LW 2018 anyway and since LW 9.6 cannot import 3ds or obj-files any longer it seems like a must to install the new one. Believe me I didn't wan't that now since the deadline of the customer project is dead tight but what the heck :)



Yes, LW2018 will read MP4 movies as an Image for use as a Background, Surface color, etc.

As recommended above, I use the free image converter FFMPEG (if not Sony Vegas) to convert between image formats. It's available here:

https://www.ffmpeg.org/

and a sample command line to convert an MP4 file to an Image Sequence is:

C:\FFMPEG -i InputFile.MP4 OutputSequence_%03d.TGA

-i specifies the input file and FFMPEG automatically recognizes the file types (MP4 and TGA - yes, I still use TGA files).

I set my default folder to where the MP4 file is located to avoid having to specify folder locations on the command line, and I place the FFMPEG.EXE file in the top-level C: for easy access. This will produce however many TGA files as are contained in the MP4 file with a zero-filled 3-digit sequence number (use %04d for 4 digits, etc.).

To convert to an AVI file, just change the extension on the output file to .AVI, although LW V9.6 might not be able to read the default AVI output format, since it's probably a newer compression algorithm.

C:\FFMPEG -i InputFile.MP4 OutputFile.AVI

mTp

MonroePoteet
04-15-2018, 03:35 PM
Well, if you consistently have AfterEffects or Premiere open in the background, then you can probably bring the movie into one of them and create the image sequence quickly. As I mentioned, if I have Sony Vegas open, I can create the sequences with it easily.

If you *don't* have the application(s) open, then invoking an application can incur quite a bit of overhead (CPU time, memory usage, etc.), whereas FFMPEG is just a command-line utility without the GUI overhead, etc. Personally, I wrote a small GUI-based application to invoke FFMPEG with appropriate command-line parameters for the operation I need, which is *MUCH* faster than bringing up Sony Vegas if I don't already have it open.

mTp

Ma3rk
04-15-2018, 04:09 PM
There's also AEMpeg. Pretty solid script for After Effects that removes the pain of dealing with command line syntax.

https://aescripts.com/aempeg/

prometheus
04-17-2018, 11:53 AM
You can download most mp4 files from youtube(youtube downloader or jdownloader) and use directly in lightwave if you want, permitting the mp4 file is in the right format...but you NEED to change file extension from mp4 to mov format...then just drag the file from your downloaded location on to the image editor preview window and your movie clip is loaded and can be played...or load it the traditional way by filebrowser.

Just remember to rename from mp4 to mov format, should work both in lw 2015 and it also works in lw 2018.

Try this file and download and rename to mov and drag it to layout image editor preview window, then drag the little slider under the previewer to see the frames moving...or use that clip in background image and you can see it directly in opengl, if you use textured environment you have to use VPR since it isnīt opengl aware.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhZs3ALdL7Y

Or add a null and change volumetrics in the volumetrics tab to legacy, and add the old hypervoxels in the image processing button/legacy volumetrics tab, set hypervoxels to sprite and go to itīs shading/clip tab and select the fire clip, set alpha to black and you will have a fire clip ala starwars to play around with, note..check sprite slice to be orient slices to ray..or otherwise the clip will be flippend when rendered opposed to as how it looks in openGL.
It may be better though to work with proper frames if you can, saving out to png images sequences from another software.

Ztreem
04-17-2018, 01:55 PM
You can download most mp4 files from youtube(youtube downloader or jdownloader) and use directly in lightwave if you want, permitting the mp4 file is in the right format...but you NEED to change file extension from mp4 to mov format...then just drag the file from your downloaded location on to the image editor preview window and your movie clip is loaded and can be played...or load it the traditional way by filebrowser.

Just remember to rename from mp4 to mov format, should work both in lw 2015 and it also works in lw 2018.

Try this file and download and rename to mov and drag it to layout image editor preview window, then drag the little slider under the previewer to see the frames moving...or use that clip in background image and you can see it directly in opengl, if you use textured environment you have to use VPR since it isnīt opengl aware.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhZs3ALdL7Y

Or add a null and change volumetrics in the volumetrics tab to legacy, and add the old hypervoxels in the image processing button/legacy volumetrics tab, set hypervoxels to sprite and go to itīs shading/clip tab and select the fire clip, set alpha to black and you will have a fire clip ala starwars to play around with, note..check sprite slice to be orient slices to ray..or otherwise the clip will be flippend when rendered opposed to as how it looks in openGL.
It may be better though to work with proper frames if you can, saving out to png images sequences from another software.

A typical LW workflow, you have to rename the file!? No wonder I couldn’t get it to work when I needed it a couple of weeks ago. Does it work even if you don’t have quicktime installed?

prometheus
04-18-2018, 04:11 AM
A typical LW workflow, you have to rename the file!? No wonder I couldn’t get it to work when I needed it a couple of weeks ago. Does it work even if you don’t have quicktime installed?

Not sure...I donīt know for sure if lightwave installs some kind of codec, at least it is now supporting it for 64 bit.
Just try it, the link I provided to the explosion clip works for me, just download and rename to mov, drag the mov file to the image editor and drag the sequence preview slider.