View Full Version : LW & AE - RLA, RPF, openEXR, or something else?

08-24-2007, 06:10 PM
There is so much information - this subject gets really confusing really quick. I have done a lot of research but am still not clear on the way to go.

Here is what I am wanting to do:

I am rendering out of LW and doing post in After Effects. I definitely need to be able to add DOF & Fog in post. Adding motion blur in post would be nice too.
Changing object colors in post using material ID's is something I MAY want to do but is not really important right now.Here is what I know:

RPF & RLA export the depth info that is needed for AE to do DOF as well as Fog. BUT...there are problems with this format. Namely jagged edges in the DOF & Fog unless you choose to AA the depth data and then the data is no longer correct.
You can fix the jaggies by rendering the depth data at 2x or 4x and then scaling that back down in AE.
openEXR provides the same functionality in exporting depth buffers as well as many others and allows you to do it in 16 bit.
DOF can be accomplished in AE CS3 by using the render buffer export and then using the Lens Blur plugin.
Jeremy Hardin's idof seems like a good option for DOF as well.
There are several plugins for LW that allow you to output motion vectors for use in Reel Smart Motion Blur to apply motion blur in post.What I need to know:

Has there been any progress with the problem of jaggies in RLA/RPF when creating DOF & Fog in post? Do you still have to render the depth pass out at 2x or 4x to eliminate this?
Does openEXR have the same problems as RLA/RPF as far as the jaggies go? Do you still have to render out the depth pass at 2x or 4x to eliminate this with the openEXR format?
Looking at ProEXR here: http://www.fnordware.com/ProEXR/ The free AE plugins included with it look awesome but again, will the problems with LW exporting the correct information seriously affect the usability of something like this?
I have read in some places that you need to NOT use adaptive sampling when rendering the RPF or RLA and that will fix the problem of jaggies. Is that true? If so, how do you render your "beauty" pass with adaptive sampling but not the depth pass? By using the "proxy" trick in AE?
Using the Lens Blur plugin in AE CS3 seems like a great option for DOF but what do I do about FOG?
Jeremy's idof looks like a great option for DOF but will it allow me to do Fog as well?

Check this out: http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56630 Read siproduction's posts. He talks about using this plug for DOF, fog, changing object colors, etc. He is doing it in Digital Fusion but would all of that be possible in AE as well? He seems to allude to the fact that it would when he talks about doing a tutorial.
Will the motion vector plugins work in conjuction with any of the above options in AE or will I run into problems trying to do both DOF/Fog & Motion blur at the same time?I know that in earlier versions of the LW the material/object ids were assigned numbers way out of the range of what AE can use. So it made it very difficult to adjust colors in post via id's. Has this been corrected in the latest versions of LW?

Can the latest versions output the info needed to take advantage of Walker Effects great plugins for relighting, recoloring, etc?

I am basically looking for the most flexible, highest quality workflow for doing all of these things in post rather than having to do it in LW.

That being said...honestly, is Digital Fusion much more suited to this task than After Effects CS3?