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sean hargreaves
04-24-2008, 06:08 PM
Hi Guys,

Whats a good off the shelf compositing software. I have a robot I built and want to composite (and animate it) relative to a scene i filmed for a test.

Thx!

sean hargreaves
04-24-2008, 06:10 PM
ps I'm on a Mac!

Magnus81
04-24-2008, 06:31 PM
How about After Effects? I think that works on a mac. I've been using it for years and I'm happy with it.

Jim_C
04-24-2008, 06:36 PM
This might answer some questions...
It got quite detailed.

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78829

Kirdian
04-24-2008, 06:38 PM
On Mac You can choose between Shake and Nuke.

sean hargreaves
04-24-2008, 07:10 PM
Thanks guys. I think Combustion is the way to go, but i have to research it for a while.

toeknee
04-24-2008, 07:25 PM
Well I love the work flow of combustion but I think for the Money Shake is more powerful. Also there is a way with shake to bring in 3D models. That is a very powerful thing that you can do in combustion. and at $499.00 it is hared to say no to that in LA. but personally I prefer Nuke or Fusion. After Effects is good if you are in the Motion graphics work and want to work for a TV station of a video post house. but the other three I mentioned are more powerful. I personally really really don't like Apple but that is a person issue I have with the company not there products. The only down side to shake is that it is a discontinued product.

toeknee
04-24-2008, 07:26 PM
sorry for the type o I was trying to say that you can't bring a 3D model in to Combustion but you can in Shake.

sean hargreaves
04-24-2008, 07:30 PM
Oh, then that makes a difference, a big difference! I need to bring in a 3d model to an environment I film with a digital camera. Is there something similar to Shake?

I can't use nuke (mac). And I've heard spotty things about after effects.

Magnus81
04-24-2008, 08:04 PM
How about boot camp with XP, then you nuke to your hearts content.

Magnus81
04-24-2008, 08:06 PM
And I've heard spotty things about after effects.
I'll admit that the old after effects wasn't real hot as far as production worthy:bangwall:, but you really should check AE CS3. New interface, and tools. Just my opinion though!:thumbsup:

toeknee
04-24-2008, 08:23 PM
the only reason I say that having the power to bring in a 3D model is a really big deal is for things like Particles. I know that the particle engine in Shake is very good and the ability to
us the compositor particles in 3D space with object IDs is very cool. I am very competent with hyper voxels but I much prefer the interaction of a compositors particle engine.

toeknee
04-24-2008, 08:32 PM
Magnus I agree that After Effect is easyer to us and the new CS3 version is very powerful. the only real down side to AE is that it can't import 3D objects and it has no real functioning node flow to speak of. This is the direction of all high end compositors. That with the fact that it would cost much more than Shake is why I advised it. I teach 3D and Compositing here in China right now and I have the opportunity to work with Nuke, Fusion, Shake, After Effects, Combustion, Toxic, Flame and inferno and I just think for the money shake is a very powerful tool that will train you in the direction of all the other high end tools.

Magnus81
04-24-2008, 08:38 PM
did I hear that right? Shake is discontinued. Why?

toeknee
04-24-2008, 08:42 PM
Yes, they are working on a new compositing tool. I don't think that they have announced it yet but that is why it is so in expensive. There is not going to be any more development on Shake. But this is just what I have heard I am no expert on the matter.

Steamthrower
04-24-2008, 09:07 PM
Yes, Apple's newest compositing tool (codenamed Phenomenon) is rumored to be announced this year. I'm guessing it will be unveiled at SIGGRAPH, but that's just me. It's being built off the Apple Motion codebase, apparently, but will still contain nodes.

That brings me to Apple Motion 3. I use it as my sole compositor. It's outstanding for the (limited) amount I use it for compositing/element tracking. As a titler, and as a motion graphics generator, it's outstanding as well. Beats After Effects hands down in that regard. I have this sort of pet peeve against AE for some reason (not sure why, I just hate it).

If you can afford Final Cut Studio 2, it's well worth the investment.

Magnus81
04-24-2008, 09:24 PM
that's ok, I have a pet peeve against Mac. Oh no! I think this is the wrong thread to say that in. Now I'm going to get pasted!:)

toeknee
04-24-2008, 09:41 PM
Don't sweat it Mangus I also deeeeeeeeeeeply dislike apple as a company but there tools are very good. There hardware is good to I just don't like the company and the mind set of trying to control hardware and software. I say this because I think that Final Cut is a very good video editing software but Apple wanted to use that software to drive sales of new computers. because of this business direction they did not help 3rd party developers to create real time hardware to accelerate the tool. It also seemed to me that the hardware upgrade path seemed to be faster than that on the equivalent PC based hardware and software equivalent. the last issue is that because Apple is first and foremost a hardware company when ever they buy a software that is on multiple platforms
they tend to kill it on the competing platforms. This is evident in software like Shake and Logic. Both of these tools I used on different platforms before Apple bought them and I stoppped using both of them because of Apple killing them on PC.

Magnus81
04-24-2008, 09:48 PM
I just wish we could live in a Linux world.

toeknee
04-24-2008, 09:51 PM
That would be the coolest!

Steamthrower
04-25-2008, 06:35 AM
Hey, don't get me wrong. After Effects is a great tool and I know a lot of guys who use it for incredible stuff. It's just so slow and clumsy to work with that I really dislike it. That's just my opinion though. Not slamming it or anything. :D

Sarford
04-25-2008, 06:43 AM
I know that the particle engine in Shake is very good and the ability to us the compositor particles in 3D space with object IDs is very cool.

Ehhh... particle engine in Shake... Do you know something that I don't? My version (4.1) most certainly doesn't have a particle engine, maybe you are refering to Motion?

Sean, don't let the fact that Shake isn't developed anymore get to you. Shake is still being used on blockbuster movies as a main compositing tool. It is an increadible powerfull piece of software and very easy to understand and use.

By the way, I hope your digital video plates are HDV and not DV, otherwise you're in for a bit of trouble :P

sean hargreaves
04-25-2008, 10:34 AM
Thanks guys for all your help and comments. Hmmmm..........I would hate to buy something (Shake) thats discontinued, and then this 'Phenomenon' software comes out and its incredible. I might just wait and see, I think thats the best thing to do.

The crap thing would be

1) Phenomenon does'nt import 3d models. and...
2) Its $2000

Ugghh........

Captain Obvious
04-25-2008, 12:25 PM
Shake, without a doubt. Awesome bang for the buck, even if it is EOL:d. Even if it never recieves another update and "Phenomenon" is too expensive, Shake will be a better compositing application than After Effects for the forseeable future, simply because of how much better it is right now.

Sarford
04-25-2008, 04:27 PM
Defenitly agree with Captain Obvious.

If you discard Shake just because it is discontinued, you don't know what you are talking about. Shake might be only 500 bucks now, it is definitley no toy. Download a demo and try it, if you don't like it, then discard it.
For only 500 bucks you get a compositor which is very capable for still a number of years to come.

besides, if you own Shake, chances are you get a nice discount once Phenomenom hits the streets

BarkingTreefrog
04-25-2008, 04:57 PM
I own Shake. Although I haven't even scratched the surface of what it can do, it suits my needs.

I also thought I heard something about Shake and Motion combining into one product. That could be the reason it's being discontinued, but I'm not 100% sure.

Captain Obvious
04-25-2008, 07:07 PM
While I haven't really gotten into either Nuke or Fusion, compositing is more about understanding how compositing works, rather than the ins and outs of a particular package. I went from never having used Shake before to doing a composite and grading of a full CG animation made up of 10 or so passes, in one night. Started at around two in the morning, rendered the fileout nodes at eight or so.

If you know how to composite in Shake, it shouldn't take you more than a few days to get up to a reasonable level in Fusion on Nuke.

As for After Effects, it is NOT a compositing application. It's an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink application for moving imagery. It does motion graphics, editing, compositing, grading, special effects, etc etc. The problem is that most of this, it doesn't do particularly well, compared to a dedicated application, and the layer-based approach is simply not as versatile or powerful as the node-based approach used by higher-end applications.

Mike_RB
04-25-2008, 07:22 PM
The point is pretty much moot anyway since even $2k is quite high for him. At $500, Shake is a great deal. I would rather use Fusion (oh wait, I do). I'm actually reiterating what others on the Fusion list (the professionals who work on films such as Speed Racer, Iron Man and TV Battlestar Galactica)have echoed concerning upgrades, development and what many studios are buying. Nuke is the app that's outselling just about everything else.

We did all our Iron Man shots (the entire escape sequence) with shake.

M.

LastofTheLarrys
04-26-2008, 01:14 PM
Well I have to disagree about After Effects. I've worked on Flame, Shake, Nuke, Combustion... everything but Fusion. I use After Effects as my go-to compositing app.

There's this bias of people who really have never used AE and believe that it's not suitable for compositing effects shot. That was true before version 7, but now it's a very good compositing tool.

After Effects now works in 32 Bit float, does multipass EXR import, and multithreads. I use it with Lightwave all the time and the results are just as good as the other more expensive apps.

I personally wouldn't advise learning Shake as it is discontinued and probably will not be sold after this year. Nuke is my next favorite after Ae, but is very spendy.

Combustion on the mac has been very random and crash prone (though I haven't used it extensively since version 4 for this reason) so I was loathe to use it except for roto and paint.

AE has seemingly millions of plugins available and allows you excellent timeline integration with Final Cut (via automatic duck). It's by far the most versatile of the compositing apps.

It's also the easiest to learn and has more training resources available online.

Magnus81
04-27-2008, 12:38 PM
I agree with that!

Mike_RB
04-27-2008, 02:29 PM
I can only assume (hopefully correctly) that composites were done in quite a few different studios. Let me know if I'm wrong since I do NOT want to pass false information.

I have no idea what ILM and The Orphanage use for their comps.

toby
04-27-2008, 02:57 PM
Unless you're a freelance compositor, or unless you're determined to have *the best* of all software at all times, I wouldn't worry one bit about Shake's lack of future development, for the price they're offering - basically the price of a LW plugin. Nuke is great, and *is* available for the Mac, but last I saw it's exactly ten times more expensive, $5k.

kfinla
04-27-2008, 03:06 PM
Fusion and Nuke are the two leaders at the moment I would say. Shake will be used in production for 2 or 3 more years still though. It was THE app. I know at least one major studio paid the $50K to buy the source code/SDK to write their own tools and continue to develop shake in their pipeline.

Shake is a great deal for the money, and is certainly good to learn on. THe only reason it is so cheap and not as much at NUKE and Fusion is because it is end of life'd.

AE is probably underrated. It is a real workhorse and can do probably 80-90% of what you can do in Shake. I've worked with both, and nuke and I'm not sure what I could do in shake I could not achieve in AE by merging compositions. The difference is it is not node based, which is the Paradigm all the compositing apps except AE and Combustion use, but I often find myself going back to AE even old versions to use the tons of plugins. I know exactly how to get an effect I want from it with a setting and plugin.. vs. setting up a large branch in Shake to do the same thing. Shake is more flexible ultimately, but if i know i can get what i want from AE it will be faster.

kfinla
04-27-2008, 03:12 PM
PS. Years ago when shake 3 or 3.5 was out I know lots of places were still using SHake 2.5.1.. the last Windows version, would not be surprised at all if lots of places are still using that version of shake.

Captain Obvious
04-28-2008, 04:18 AM
AE is probably underrated. It is a real workhorse and can do probably 80-90% of what you can do in Shake.
As with anything else, it can do 100 % of what all the other apps can do. When it comes to comparing applications, it's not the final output (what you can do) that's relevant -- it's how easy it is to get there. I'd argue that After Effects has a less efficient workflow for any compositing that is more complicated than just a few layers and adjustments.

If you have an AE composite with a dozen Composites, several dozen layers of various sorts, sizes and formats, etc... It quickly adds up to something that's very difficult to manage, especially if you need to work on someone else's project. With a node-based system, like Shake or Fusion, the data is presented in a graphical manner and it's a lot easier to untangle the composite to do adjustments or replace layers or whatnot. A node tree can be so messy it becomes difficult as well, of course, but I find that it's significantly easier to figure out what's what in someone's messy Shake tree than someone's messy AE project.

Larry_g1s
04-30-2008, 11:28 AM
Wow, lot's of good information. From what I'm gathering though for a Win user, and for the money, AE is really the only alternative for compositing right? Because even to upgrade to Fusion 5 from the DFX+ that came with the past LW upgrade is almost $2K.

Captain Obvious
04-30-2008, 11:32 AM
A reasonably priced Mac Pro from eBay and a copy of Shake will generally be cheaper than Fusion or Nuke or whatnot, I'd wager.

Larry_g1s
04-30-2008, 11:46 AM
A reasonably priced Mac Pro from eBay and a copy of Shake will generally be cheaper than Fusion or Nuke or whatnot, I'd wager.Right. So that means AE is still the best option for bang & buck for strictly Win users?

Mike_RB
04-30-2008, 11:51 AM
Right. So that means AE is still the best option for bang & buck for strictly Win users?

Personally I'd go with combustion.

AbnRanger
04-30-2008, 12:12 PM
Right. So that means AE is still the best option for bang & buck for strictly Win users?Boy, I tell ya...for a program that's the only one in the industry having both nodes AND layers, a sweet particle system, works with most any AE plugins, a number of tools derived from the Flame, Flint and Inferno systems, much deeper RPF workflow (Discreet invented the format...very similar to EXR, but with more channels) than AE or Shake...Combustion gets no love here at all. :confused:

Larry_g1s
04-30-2008, 02:48 PM
Boy, I tell ya...for a program that's the only one in the industry having both nodes AND layers, a sweet particle system, works with most any AE plugins, a number of tools derived from the Flame, Flint and Inferno systems, much deeper RPF workflow (Discreet invented the format...very similar to EXR, but with more channels) than AE or Shake...Combustion gets no love here at all. :confused:Okay, but as I mentioned, "best option for bang & buck"...how much is Combustion? I haven't seen a price on Autodesk's site, only "how to buy."

Larry_g1s
04-30-2008, 03:08 PM
EDIT ABOVE POST: Alright, I found on their site the price....$995.00 actually isn't that bad, but is it really worth twice the cost of AE? I guess if that was a heavy portion of your work. What's really got me looking at a compositing software is the article SpinQuad had recently about Timothy:
Albee:http://www.spinquad.com/article/story/9 (http://www.spinquad.com/article/story/9)
Now he used Fusion for that. But I think the same abilities are there with other apps.

AbnRanger
04-30-2008, 03:18 PM
EDIT ABOVE POST: Alright, I found on their site the price....$995.00 actually isn't that bad, but is it really worth twice the cost of AE? I guess if that was a heavy portion of your work. What's really got me looking at a compositing software is the article SpinQuad had recently about Timothy:
Albee:http://www.spinquad.com/article/story/9 (http://www.spinquad.com/article/story/9)
Now he used Fusion for that. But I think the same abilities are there with other apps.Fusion is definitely the Mack Daddy of desktop compositors right now, and it's price reflects that, but using buffers is something you can do with most any compositor.
BTW...After Effects is $1k:
http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/?promoid=BPDDW

Larry_g1s
04-30-2008, 05:47 PM
BTW...After Effects is $1k:
http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/?promoid=BPDDW

You Sir are correct. I dunno where I was getting the other price. So Combustion (being the same price as AE) , for a Win user, is the best bang for the buck? Is that what's agreed upon?

Can someone help me out then? What is DFX+, the app. we got with the past LW upgrade. WHere does that fit in?

Captain Obvious
04-30-2008, 06:05 PM
Boy, I tell ya...for a program that's the only one in the industry having both nodes AND layers, a sweet particle system, works with most any AE plugins, a number of tools derived from the Flame, Flint and Inferno systems, much deeper RPF workflow (Discreet invented the format...very similar to EXR, but with more channels) than AE or Shake...Combustion gets no love here at all. :confused:
Hang on, Combustion has nodes? I thought it only had layers. I've never actually used it. Hmmm... If it has nodes, maybe I'll have a look at it. You wouldn't happen to have something like a video demonstrating the node workflow in Combustion?

Also, RPF has one crippling disadvantage compared to EXR: It's not HDR.

Titus
04-30-2008, 09:36 PM
Yes, Combustion has "nodes" or to be more exactly, has a visual way of connecting layers. With real nodes you can connect any operator to almost any other operator, this is not true with Combustion.

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 12:51 AM
Hang on, Combustion has nodes? I thought it only had layers. I've never actually used it. Hmmm... If it has nodes, maybe I'll have a look at it. You wouldn't happen to have something like a video demonstrating the node workflow in Combustion?

Also, RPF has one crippling disadvantage compared to EXR: It's not HDR.By HDR, you mean 32bit Float, right? RPF works in 32bit float, 16, 10, 8...whatever you want. EXR is just a more Open format than RPF, and therefore works on more programs.
The other bonus is that RPF contains camera information in 3D space, meaning that if you place text or an object in your scene, Combustion will use the zdepth and camera info to occlude the text when it goes behind an object automatically, or cast shadows on the object (properly...not just a flat shadow, but wraps according to it's 3d dimensions) when in front of it. Here's 2 examples (the first one, just skip to about the last 1/3 of the video to where it covers the Combustion workflow):
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1650
http://download.autodesk.com/media/MNE/qt/G_Buffer_Builder_01.mov

Tracking using Particle Emitter (great for quick missile trails):
http://download.autodesk.com/media/MNE/qt/2004_10_combustion_max_tracker_particles_900k.mov
3D layers/Raytrace lighting:
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1132
Particles:
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1004
Morphing:
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=940
Paint Tools/Tracker/Custom Brushes/Text Tools:
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1019
Multi-Layer Photshop/Illustrator integration:
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=967
For those who said Motion Graphics in C* is slow and painful, I guess they haven't been using Capsules....so check it out
Capsules (saved effects/operators):
http://download.autodesk.com/media/MNE/qt/Capsules_01.mov
More Capsule goodness:
http://download.autodesk.com/media/MNE/qt/Capsules_02.mov
TimeWarp:
http://download.autodesk.com/media/MNE/qt/c4_timewarp_demo_380k.mov
Video Editing (Edit Operator)/Tracking/Stabilizer:
http://download.autodesk.com/media/MNE/qt/c4_general_1_demo_380k.mov
RPF workflow (If you don't know what the RPF or EXR formats offer over standard tiffs or PNG's, watch this):
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1035

2 of my favorites (can't do this in AE or Shake), as a Max user as well...
Painting Live Displacements (Combustion painting on one monitor, and updating live in Max on the other monitor):
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1071
Painting live textures (again Combustion/Max):
http://www2.autodesk.com/streaming/playback.php?sid=1053

New Nodes (Schematic View) enhancements in Combustion 2008:
http://thestreetproductions.com/download/TSPC200804.zip
New Color Warper (inherited from Flame, Flint, and Inferno systems), very fast and accurate color matching (great way to quickly match up car model or arch viz renderings with live footage):
http://thestreetproductions.com/download/TSPC2008CW05.zip
Compare Tool (check this one out...has a cool tip on viewing the surrounding area while adjusting your mask, instead of seeing only black):
http://thestreetproductions.com/download/tspcompare.zip
More free video tuts:
http://thestreetproductions.com/tips.html

Overview of nodes (Schematic View) and the Commit To Disk feature from 3D Buzz.com:
http://rapidshare.com/files/111674060/Schematic_view.avi
Other 3DBuzz videos (may have to register and login first):
http://3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_dl_list.php?c=12

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 01:23 AM
Yes, Combustion has "nodes" or to be more exactly, has a visual way of connecting layers. With real nodes you can connect any operator to almost any other operator, this is not true with Combustion.REAL NODES? What? Excuse me, but define what a node is, in the first place. I get so sick of people saying "It's not REALLY nodes" or It's not REALLY a compositor"...and another say's "It's not REALLY a Motion Graphics tool." Nodes and Schematic View are synonymous terms, for the record. Just because Autodesk chooses to propogate it's operators locally within a layer, or globally using a different method than another Compositor doesn't make it half a product. The way it works is very intuitive for me. Having been a long-time Photoshop and Illustrator user, it makes perfect sense to me.
If you prefer a different method, more power to ya'...but don't go trashing a program just because it doesn't quite suit you.

I'm still waiting for you, Titus, to give some specific details as to how Combustion is worse than AE or Motion in the area of Motion Graphics! Don't be a drive by shooter :2guns:...at least be willing to back up your statements...some folks here may take it as fact. And whether it is or not is yet to be determined. Because it doesn't come with some pre-built templates? That's your reason? I guess LW sucks cause it doesn't come with Poser models thrown in, huh?

Captain Obvious
05-01-2008, 03:15 AM
By HDR, you mean 32bit Float, right? RPF works in 32bit float, 16, 10, 8...whatever you want.
I could of course be wrong, but I thought RPF was just 8/16 bit integer.

As for Combustion's nodes, they seem about on par with most other node-based systems out there.




Nodes and Schematic View are synonymous terms, for the record.
Sort of, yes, but it's not like Lightwave's schematic view is comparable to, say, Houdini's node tree.

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 03:55 AM
I could of course be wrong, but I thought RPF was just 8/16 bit integer...PNG's are only as high as 16bit...so maybe that's what you actually had in mind...so many new formats these days, it's easy to do. EXR and RPF are pretty similar, but RPF is more specialized and closed since it was created by Discreet (now consumed by the Borg...AD). So it currently has 5 more render buffers than EXR, along with the camera info.

Cageman
05-01-2008, 04:01 AM
I'm still waiting for you, Titus, to give some specific details as to how Combustion is worse than AE or Motion in the area of Motion Graphics! Don't be a drive by shooter :2guns:...at least be willing to back up your statements...some folks here may take it as fact. And whether it is or not is yet to be determined. Because it doesn't come with some pre-built templates? That's your reason? I guess LW sucks cause it doesn't come with Poser models thrown in, huh?

Long time since I used Combustion, version 3 I think. As far as I remember, the "nodes" were really just a schematic view with very limited ways to connect. Actually, comparing LWs Schematic view with Combustions "nodes" is quite fair. It really just made it visually easier to see how the layers were stacked (of course, things may have changed alot with later versions).

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 04:25 AM
Long time since I used Combustion, version 3 I think. As far as I remember, the "nodes" were really just a schematic view with very limited ways to connect. Actually, comparing LWs Schematic view with Combustions "nodes" is quite fair. It really just made it visually easier to see how the layers were stacked (of course, things may have changed alot with later versions).You can see clearly how the layers are stacked in the layers menu. You don't need schematic view for that.
If you so choose, you can work entirely in Schematic view or entirely in Layers menu...or both. There seems to be alot of misconceptions floating around out there, and that's why I took the time to provide links to videos so folks in this forum can see for themselves.

Cageman
05-01-2008, 05:53 AM
You can see clearly how the layers are stacked in the layers menu. You don't need schematic view for that.
If you so choose, you can work entirely in Schematic view or entirely in Layers menu...or both. There seems to be alot of misconceptions floating around out there, and that's why I took the time to provide links to videos so folks in this forum can see for themselves.

There you go! :) I totaly missed the links... looking back I kind of wonder how I could not have seen them in the first place. :) The schematic view looks alot more usefull nowdays, or I simply must have made an error with the settings way back when I used version 3 (for a limited time and on crappy 1024x768 resolution).

It seems you are correct in your assasement that there ARE alot of misconceptions floating around about Combustion. I've always known it is a powerful software, but I may have gotten the wrong idea of how to work with it in order to be efficient. So, whatever experience I have of it, I may have gotten the wrong impression of it's UI and workflow based on (obviously) too little time spent to actually learn it.

I see this (misconceptions) almost every day concerning LW, and it kind of aggrevates me somewhat sometimes. :) I can clearly understand YOUR frustration with people who have very little or no possitive things to say about Combustion which, in many many cases, boiles down to limited knowledge about it (such as in my previous post).

I declare myself corrected. :)

(but I'm still more into Fusion though). ;)

Dexter2999
05-01-2008, 06:58 AM
You Sir are correct. I dunno where I was getting the other price. So Combustion (being the same price as AE) , for a Win user, is the best bang for the buck? Is that what's agreed upon?

Can someone help me out then? What is DFX+, the app. we got with the past LW upgrade. WHere does that fit in?

Okay, I'm not an expert on this but I did look into it a year or so ago. My understanding is that DFX+ was the consumer version of FUSION. It lacked the bit depth of the FUSION and all the bells and whistles in capabilities, but you could add those in by purchasing "modules". DFX+ looks to be discontinued. You may want to check the eyeon site or call their sales people to see if there are packages available though. There is a DFX+5 available but it apparently can't be upgraded to FUSION. You can upgrade DFX+4 to the 5 version for the price of After Effects and gain OpenEXR support and some other nice features and have the node base compositor. It still won't be as powerful as full blown version of FUSION but I guess that is when you ask yourself if you NEED it or just WANT it.

Here is the question that plagues me as well, for $1000 I could purchase After Effects, or Combustion. OR for $2000 I could upgrade DFX+ to the latest version of FUSION. (Oh, and let's not forget the $395 subscription fee that eyeon is now charging.)

Good luck with your choice.

jeremyhardin
05-01-2008, 07:34 AM
Of course it's not a toy. But then Lightwave 5.6 is still no toy and some people (like myself) still use it along with LW9.3.1. The thing is... if you were to now just learn LW5.6 and then have to move up to LW9.5, you're learning curve would be MUCH greater.
...
For personal use, Shake is great. If you're planning on ultimately trying to get a job in a pro studio - the advice (as I see it from the Fusion list) is Nuke. And then of course there are the subscription fees for these highend apps..... :(


Megalodon, your perception of shake is incorrect. We are using it right now on The Dark Knight. (Needless to say, we wouldn't under any circumstances _consider_ LW 5.6 for the job, so your analogy is a bit off.)

Studios don't dump hundreds of software licenses the moment something new comes out. If I had to guess, I'd say large studios like ours will be using Shake for the next 5 years easily. And the principles of Shake translate straight into an environment like Nuke.

Titus
05-01-2008, 08:31 AM
I get so sick of people...


Well, that's your problem not mine ;). Get calm, take a deep breath and be more tolerant of people with different opinions and experience, even if you think they are wrong.



and another say's "It's not REALLY a Motion Graphics tool." Nodes and Schematic View are synonymous terms, for the record. Just because Autodesk chooses to propogate it's operators locally within a layer, or globally using a different method than another Compositor doesn't make it half a product. The way it works is very intuitive for me. Having been a long-time Photoshop and Illustrator user, it makes perfect sense to me.
If you prefer a different method, more power to ya'...but don't go trashing a program just because it doesn't quite suit you.


Yes, I agree, nodes are more intuitive but Combustion's nodes are limited compared to those in lets say... Shake, Fusion or any other nodal compositor (alas! even Blender) because you cannot connect them the same way that in those previously mentioned programs. Schematic nodes are more a visual aid to create and connect operators to layers, but you are missing the power of nodal paradigm (i.e. connect any output to any input).

If you read carefully my post you'll discover I'm not trashing Combustion or a nodal system, actually when I teach Combustion I first present the layered system, then when my students understand the logic behind compositing they are amazed with the nodal paradigm.


I'm still waiting for you, Titus, to give some specific details as to how Combustion is worse than AE or Motion in the area of Motion Graphics!

Oh, you're waiting a response!

Look, if you try to do motion graphics with Combustion (in my studio we have done plenty) and make an error (change a font's color, import a movie or call an operator with the timeline slider in the incorrect position, etc. thus unexpectedly creating a keyframe) you have to dig into infinite branches of a tree to discover where's the damn key you just created. Animating with these small windows and infinite collapsing trees is a nightmare, if you don't believe me just dare to accept a paying motion graphics project, and you'll really understand my comments because you simply cannot fail a deadline, your butt is at risk. Please inform me when you're done with that project.

In a nutshell, motion graphics in Combustion is for brave or very patient men.


Because it doesn't come with some pre-built templates? That's your reason? I guess LW sucks cause it doesn't come with Poser models thrown in, huh?

I just gave my reason, hoping you accept to be a little objective here. I use Combustion in a daily basis and think it's a good product but limited when you need to work on big (big like in many files or many objects moving) or fast projects (fast like in "we need this for tomorrow").

Captain Obvious
05-01-2008, 10:09 AM
Schematic nodes are more a visual aid to create and connect operators to layers, but you are missing the power of nodal paradigm (i.e. connect any output to any input).
So what is it, actually, that you can and cannot connect in Combustion? I mean, compared to Lightwave's nodes, Shake is pretty limited as well...

Titus
05-01-2008, 10:17 AM
So what is it, actually, that you can and cannot connect in Combustion?

Let's say I want to connect a grayscale image (a node) to the amount of gaussian blur (also a node), even when both nodes exit on my project you simply can't do this. It this way the nodes in Combustion are limited.


I mean, compared to Lightwave's nodes, Shake is pretty limited as well...

Well, you're comparing apples to oranges. Shake nodes are still more flexible than those you find in Combustion.

Titus
05-01-2008, 10:31 AM
This is an example of compositing nodes in Blender (a real example of a recent project). As you can see, you connect values and not only operators like the case of Combustion.

Captain Obvious
05-01-2008, 10:34 AM
Let's say I want to connect a grayscale image (a node) to the amount of gaussian blur (also a node), even when both nodes exit on my project you simply can't do this. It this way the nodes in Combustion are limited.
You generally can't do that in Shake either, though.

Titus
05-01-2008, 10:38 AM
You generally can't do that in Shake either, though.

Your argument has no logic. This doesn't proof Combustion has better nodes.

jeremyhardin
05-01-2008, 10:42 AM
You generally can't do that in Shake either, though.

Yes you can. iBlur. iDefocus. iRBlur. Etc. Plus you've got layerX, so you can make your own anything that takes input 2 and have it affect input 1.

Also, any parameter can follow or affect any other parameter, even when it doesn't have a node input, by typing 1 parameter's name in another parameter's textbox. Enhanced node view shows all those connections as well.

Larry_g1s
05-01-2008, 12:46 PM
Wow...this just jumped in info. Great thread though, I think much needed info. & discussion.

So can people tell me why no love for AE? I love PhotoShop, so my thinking is that it would integrate well.

Captain Obvious
05-01-2008, 12:50 PM
Your argument has no logic. This doesn't proof Combustion has better nodes.
No, that wasn't what I was trying to prove. I'm not trying to "prove" anything, in fact. I've never even used Combustion, fer crying out loud! :p




Yes you can. iBlur. iDefocus. iRBlur. Etc. Plus you've got layerX, so you can make your own anything that takes input 2 and have it affect input 1.
Yes, some layers let you do that, but I haven't seen a way of doing it to anything on any node, as you can in Lightwave. As for the LayerX thing, how do you actually do that? I've never used it, and I must admit I am still a novice Shake user.


So can people tell me why no love for AE? I love PhotoShop, so my thinking is that it would integrate well.
Photoshop makes me so frustrated sometimes, though.

Dexter2999
05-01-2008, 12:58 PM
Wow...this just jumped in info. Great thread though, I think much needed info. & discussion.

So can people tell me why no love for AE? I love PhotoShop, so my thinking is that it would integrate well.


Well, I prefer AE to BORIS. And AE does work well with Photoshop in that Adobe designed the whole suite to tie together along with Premier Pro.

AE is great for flying in titles and picture in picture stuff. When you dig into it you can do a whole lot of stuff. But I think Titus pointed it out that when you are working on VERY complex project with many many layers and attributes that you can accidently put a keyframe where you didn't intend, and you have to start digging through layers to find it.
Nodes are just proving to be a more useful tool with compositing, like LW users are finding with the node editor in our texturing.

So it isn't a case of it is bad. It is just that there are other things that are better.


My take on things anyway.

Larry_g1s
05-01-2008, 01:15 PM
Photoshop makes me so frustrated sometimes, though.lol...no app is perfect I guess.


Well, I prefer AE to BORIS. And AE does work well with Photoshop in that Adobe designed the whole suite to tie together along with Premier Pro.

AE is great for flying in titles and picture in picture stuff. When you dig into it you can do a whole lot of stuff. But I think Titus pointed it out that when you are working on VERY complex project with many many layers and attributes that you can accidently put a keyframe where you didn't intend, and you have to start digging through layers to find it.
Nodes are just proving to be a more useful tool with compositing, like LW users are finding with the node editor in our texturing.

So it isn't a case of it is bad. It is just that there are other things that are better.


My take on things anyway.Gotcha. I appreciate the info.

Dexter2999
05-01-2008, 01:18 PM
One more thing,

Shake, http://www.apple.com/shake/trial/
After Effects, https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?promoid=BONQY&product=after%5Feffects
Combustion,http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=10178588&siteID=123112

I think you implied that you had DFX+ so that should give you an idea what FUSION is like.

And I thought at one time there was a trial version of NUKE, but either I was mistaken or it is no longer offered.

Larry_g1s
05-01-2008, 01:24 PM
One more thing,

Shake, http://www.apple.com/shake/trial/
After Effects, https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?promoid=BONQY&product=after%5Feffects
Combustion,http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=10178588&siteID=123112

I think you implied that you had DFX+ so that should give you an idea what FUSION is like.

And I thought at one time there was a trial version of NUKE, but either I was mistaken or it is no longer offered.I appreciate it. Like I mentioned before though, I'm a Win user. so a couple of those don't apply.

Compositing isn't going to be my "bread & butter" of my business, so basically what you said about AE and it's uses, I think that's kind of the boat I'm in, at least at this stage. But again, it's always an investment, so if on is going to purchase an app. you don't want to do it twice when it could have been done the 1st time.

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 02:23 PM
Look, if you try to do motion graphics with Combustion (in my studio we have done plenty) and make an error (change a font's color, import a movie or call an operator with the timeline slider in the incorrect position, etc. thus unexpectedly creating a keyframe) you have to dig into infinite branches of a tree to discover where's the damn key you just created. Animating with these small windows and infinite collapsing trees is a nightmareAgain, Titus, don't blame the software if you refuse to use the tools it gives you. I know what you're talking about and I just happened to learn some good options that address it properly. They're called "Channel Filters," and you can use hot keys that let you quickly get to the channels (in the timeline) you want...little to no digging needed, really. If you have a glitch, you should have an idea where the problem lies...so you put your brain to work...hit the appropriate hot key, and you're right there, ready to fix the problem.
Plus, in C* 2008 you have new option to adjust your workspace, if you need more real estate. So...watch this video and determine if the problem indeed lies with the software...or the operator.
Timeline/Channel Filters:
http://thestreetproductions.com/download/tspfiltering.zip
C*2008 UI enhancements:
http://thestreetproductions.com/download/TSPC200802.zip


In a nutshell, motion graphics in Combustion is for brave or very patient men.And in a nutshell, just how is AE or Motion superior in this case? I'd honestly like to know, if there really are tangible means of speeding things up. The thing is, sure, there are some things that other applications do that make them unique. Each one has one or more. I am not trying to say Combustion's for everyone, just that...like Lightwave...it's MUCH deeper than most people give it credit for.

Anti-Distinctly
05-01-2008, 03:15 PM
I appreciate it. Like I mentioned before though, I'm a Win user. so a couple of those don't apply.

I started the other compositing thread http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78829 from scratch - absolutely no opinions or bias (as much as one can have no bias) on one pice of software over another. I wanted the best tool for my price range which excluded Nuke, Fusion and Toxik.
I had nothing but windows machines, but decided to buy Shake plus an imac. I used every piece of software I could get my hands on and my satisfaction with Shake is demonstrated by me buying an additional machine to run it. Now I'm using it daily and I'm exceptionally happy with my purchase.

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 03:53 PM
I appreciate it. Like I mentioned before though, I'm a Win user. so a couple of those don't apply.

Compositing isn't going to be my "bread & butter" of my business, so basically what you said about AE and it's uses, I think that's kind of the boat I'm in, at least at this stage. But again, it's always an investment, so if on is going to purchase an app. you don't want to do it twice when it could have been done the 1st time.The very best thing to do, Larry, is try the demo's before making a decision...first identify specifically what tasks you plan to use it for (for me, all the nifty Max/Combustion integration features was the determining factor...being able to render out multiple passes from Max and have it save it directly to a Combustion Workspace already set up for me, etc...was something I knew I'd use a lot and that couldn't be done in AE...so, for me, it was an easy choice). In your case, both AE and Combustion can likely do what you need. In the video links from one of my previous posts, you see a video that shows the Photoshop and Illustrator integration. So, you may want to explore a bit further on the AE end as well. The reason AE is such a big player in the market is the leverage it has in the Creative Suite.
So, once you've identified what specifically you'd use it for, then download the 30 trial of each, and test them in those areas...how well does Combustion work with PS files, layers and all. Try the same with AE's demo...and so on
You can spend $30 for a full months access to VTC.com 's full CG Training titles, and there are a handful for both AE and Combustion. That way you can just watch the videos that cover the areas you're interested in.
Once you've tried the demo's the differences may not seem to be too drastic...it may end of coming down to something like which UI you prefer

Larry_g1s
05-01-2008, 04:03 PM
I started the other compositing thread http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78829 from scratch - absolutely no opinions or bias (as much as one can have no bias) on one pice of software over another. I wanted the best tool for my price range which excluded Nuke, Fusion and Toxik.
I had nothing but windows machines, but decided to buy Shake plus an imac. I used every piece of software I could get my hands on and my satisfaction with Shake is demonstrated by me buying an additional machine to run it. Now I'm using it daily and I'm exceptionally happy with my purchase.I did follow that thread a bit. How much did you get the iMac for, and how much was Shake (something goofy w/ their site right now, showing in Eur.)? So your total was?


The very best thing to do, Larry, is try the demo's before making a decision...first identify specifically what tasks you plan to use it for (for me, all the nifty Max/Combustion integration features was the determining factor...being able to render out multiple passes from Max and have it save it directly to a Combustion Workspace already set up for me, etc...was something I knew I'd use a lot and that couldn't be done in AE...so, for me, it was an easy choice). In your case, both AE and Combustion can likely do what you need. In the video links from one of my previous posts, you see a video that shows the Photoshop and Illustrator integration. So, you may want to explore a bit further on the AE end as well. The reason AE is such a big player in the market is the leverage it has in the Creative Suite.
So, once you've identified what specifically you'd use it for, then download the 30 trial of each, and test them in those areas...how well does Combustion work with PS files, layers and all. Try the same with AE's demo...and so on
You can spend $30 for a full months access to VTC.com 's full CG Training titles, and there are a handful for both AE and Combustion. That way you can just watch the videos that cover the areas you're interested in.
Once you've tried the demo's the differences may not seem to be too drastic...it may end of coming down to something like which UI you preferYou know that's really prob. what I need to do. Just download the demos...try before you buy.

Titus
05-01-2008, 04:21 PM
Again, Titus, don't blame the software if you refuse to use the tools it gives you. I know what you're talking about and I just happened to learn some good options that address it properly. They're called "Channel Filters," and you can use hot keys that let you quickly get to the channels (in the timeline) you want...little to no digging needed, really. If you have a glitch, you should have an idea where the problem lies...so you put your brain to work...hit the appropriate hot key, and you're right there, ready to fix the problem.
Plus, in C* 2008 you have new option to adjust your workspace, if you need more real estate. So...watch this video and determine if the problem indeed lies with the software...or the operator.


Thank you for trying to teaching me, it's so cute!

AbnRanger
05-01-2008, 04:38 PM
Thank you for trying to teaching me, it's so cute!Same goes to you for trying to talk to me like I was one of your students...really sweet of you :D And even if I was one of your students, pointing this out in class would make you look pretty foolish...don't you think?
So, I pointed out a solution to what you were complaining about, and this is your answer? If you are so far above learning something new, then why didn't you use those options in the first place before telling everyone here how useless the software is?

Titus
05-01-2008, 04:40 PM
it is not useless, just a pain in the butt :D

Titus
05-01-2008, 05:01 PM
I started the other compositing thread http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78829 from scratch - absolutely no opinions or bias (as much as one can have no bias) on one pice of software over another. I wanted the best tool for my price range which excluded Nuke, Fusion and Toxik.
I had nothing but windows machines, but decided to buy Shake plus an imac. I used every piece of software I could get my hands on and my satisfaction with Shake is demonstrated by me buying an additional machine to run it. Now I'm using it daily and I'm exceptionally happy with my purchase.

Last year at the VES I think was John Knoll (not sure about this) who demonstrated how they did the comps for Pirates of the Caribbean using Shake and AE. I'm convinced in the versatility of Shake, and was kind of surprised on the AE part.

Anti-Distinctly
05-01-2008, 05:25 PM
I did follow that thread a bit. How much did you get the iMac for, and how much was Shake (something goofy w/ their site right now, showing in Eur.)? So your total was?

You know that's really prob. what I need to do. Just download the demos...try before you buy.

Can't recall precisely, but in the region of £1500. More expensive than a license of Combustion or AE, but like I said - I really do not regret it. I did come relatively close to buying Combustion, but as I discussed on the other thread, I really did not have fun with Combustion. It was like pulling teeth. Admittedly a demo, but I had equal time with all apps I tried, probably less time with Shake and I immediately warmed to it and everything felt straightforward and easy - which is precisely what you want from a package.
You may hate it and love Combustion, by all means try them out. Try to find someone you know with a copy of Shake and get them to give you a tour or let you have a go.

Anti-Distinctly
05-01-2008, 05:28 PM
Last year at the VES I think was John Knoll (not sure about this) who demonstrated how they did the comps for Pirates of the Caribbean using Shake and AE. I'm convinced in the versatility of Shake, and was kind of surprised on the AE part.

Yup. The fact that it's end if life'd doesn't really make any difference whatsoever. Unless there's some amazingly giant leap forward in compositing within the next year somehow. It's still used on feature films and will continue to be.

Magnus81
05-01-2008, 07:05 PM
I don't. I've used AE for years now, and I've been very happy with it. Your right,Larry, it does integrate well with Photoshop and the other Adobe tools. And as far as the argument that AE isn't as "good" or have as many features as Shake or Nuke, come on guys. the same argument could be made about LW VS Maya or XSI, but we still use it. I think people get kind of bi-polar when it comes to software choices. Why not worry about making art rather that arguing about tool preferences!

jeremyhardin
05-02-2008, 06:32 AM
Magnus, I've used maya on feature films, commercials, and games. I've used XSI on commercials and feature films. And I've used LW on commercials and games.

For a medium-large feature film pipeline, LW isn't as good as Maya for a primary host application on which the whole process rests. Period. Not saying it doesn't do some things better, but there you go.

That said, for a medium-large compositing-based pipeline, AE isn't as good as Shake as a primary compositor on which the whole process rests. Not saying it has more features or that AE doesn't do some things better, but there you go.

(I've used AE on commercials and games, Combusion on commercials and games, Fusion on commercials and a feature film, and Shake on music videos, games, commercials, and feature films. I'm not software-monogamous.)

Captain Obvious
05-02-2008, 07:22 AM
Software monogamy for the lose!

jeremyhardin
05-02-2008, 08:49 AM
Yes, some layers let you do that, but I haven't seen a way of doing it to anything on any node, as you can in Lightwave. As for the LayerX thing, how do you actually do that? I've never used it, and I must admit I am still a novice Shake user.

Captain Obvious...


Yep. First off, you can mask any node in shake (and fusion) and limit that node's affect based on the greyscale of a node. And unlike the layer based (or pseudo-nodal) approach, you can use one mask to mask unlimited nodes _or even filters_.

58396

As far as driving things with a layerX, you do the same thing you do with any parameter. Type it right in the text field. So to have a greyscale image in input 2 drive an effect in input 1, you just type what you'd like to happen in the text field. Here's a simple mask effect with layerX (where the greyscale drives the opacity).

in the red text box...

r*r2
green...

g*g2
blue...

b*b2
alpha...

a*a2

You can of course get more complex than that, including things like width (by typing width in the box and doing any math you want). Or a parameter from any other node. To reference another node, just type it's name, a period, and then the parameter. So lets say in the example above that I wanted blur amount to drive my simple mask. Here's the above example (for the red channel) using a blur node called Blur1's xPixels parameter.

r*r2*((width-Blur1.xPixels)/width)

You can be as simple or as complex with your setups as you like.

AbnRanger
05-03-2008, 05:56 PM
it is not useless, just a pain in the butt :DSorry Titus for getting so abrasive there. I guess even a man in his 30's can get a bit too big for his britches sometimes...not referring to your avatar :D...just myself. I'll do my best to mend that behavior.

Titus
05-03-2008, 07:27 PM
Hey, we“re cool! :thumbsup:

Magnus81
05-04-2008, 01:04 AM
Sorry Titus for getting so abrasive there.
Aahhh. The loves still there.:heart:

AbnRanger
05-04-2008, 01:54 AM
Aahhh. The loves still there.:heart:

Didn't want to start burning bridges, after all...sometimes it's easy to take negative comments about something you own in a personal way...software's no different, really, than a car or home, etc.

On another note, Jeremy, since you've used Combustion before, do you have any ideas on how to emulate that 2.5D lighting technique you produced in Shake? With the normals and zdepth channels in RPF and EXR, I'm thinking there ought to be someway of pulling it off. Thanks :)

faulknermano
05-04-2008, 03:42 AM
do you have any ideas on how to emulate that 2.5D lighting technique you produced in Shake? With the normals and zdepth channels in RPF and EXR, I'm thinking there ought to be someway of pulling it off. Thanks :)

see my hack:
http://lernie.riot-inc.com/normalspass.html

AbnRanger
05-04-2008, 05:55 AM
see my hack:
http://lernie.riot-inc.com/normalspass.html

Thanks...BTW, the link to the .mov file deny's permission.

faulknermano
05-04-2008, 08:48 PM
rats... you can try again. i think it works now.

(the main idea: use a keyer in RGB colorspace to key out the normals. your resulting matte can then be used to apply re-lighting. use tolerance and softness to attenuate the effect of the key. that's basically it. :) )

riki
05-04-2008, 09:48 PM
Regardless of what it can do, I wouldn't even consider Shake as a viable option since it's been discontinued by Apple and since they've failed to provided any reassurance or indication of future direction. If you're going to invest time and money, buying and learning a new application you want to be damn certain it has a future. It's not just a matter of what the application can do for you now, but also a question about the future industry and community built around it. If there is uncertainty, there's not going to be investment. If I was an educator I know I wouldn't be planning any new products along the lines of Shake video tutorials. If I was a developer I wouldn't be planning any new Shake plugins and if I was a studio I wouldn't be fitting Shake into any new pipeline. Think also about your future employment prospects, if you become master of a discontinued product.

Magnus81
05-04-2008, 10:00 PM
sometimes it's easy to take negative comments about something you own in a personal way
Tell me about it! You should hear the comments people make about my face, and I'm like,"Hey! I own that!":devil:

AbnRanger
05-05-2008, 01:11 AM
Think also about your future employment prospects, if you become master of a discontinued product.Perhaps that's why Autodesk is kind of giving us Combustion users a hint...that it's eventual replacement is already here in the form of Toxic. They say that it's still being developed, but in the same breath, encourage us to move up to Toxic. Should sales numbers justify it, they'll probably keep C* around just to compete with AE at the sub $1k level. However, the major dilemna they have with Toxic, is that if they make it the Rockstar of desktop compositors then it would consequently eat into their hi-end systems. Can't have that, now can we?! :stop:
Hence Toxic and Combustion get no marketing love ($$$) from AD

I doubt Shake users will have a major problem getting aclimated to it's replacement (why would they break every Shake convention just for the sake of it?), and Apple will likely give them a sweet upgrade offer...so that's probably why many continue to use it as if nothing happened. Then you add it kinship with Final Cut.

Tell me about it! You should hear the comments people make about my face, and I'm like,"Hey! I own that!"
Magnus, when they start cracking on your face, just tell them you aren't done yet...they're just looking at the low poly model! :D

rats... you can try again. i think it works now.
(the main idea: use a keyer in RGB colorspace to key out the normals. your resulting matte can then be used to apply re-lighting. use tolerance and softness to attenuate the effect of the key. that's basically it. ) Thanks, faulknermano...I'll give that a try.

toby
05-05-2008, 02:54 AM
Regardless of what it can do, I wouldn't even consider Shake as a viable option since it's been discontinued by Apple and since they've failed to provided any reassurance or indication of future direction. If you're going to invest time and money, buying and learning a new application you want to be damn certain it has a future. It's not just a matter of what the application can do for you now, but also a question about the future industry and community built around it. If there is uncertainty, there's not going to be investment. If I was an educator I know I wouldn't be planning any new products along the lines of Shake video tutorials. If I was a developer I wouldn't be planning any new Shake plugins and if I was a studio I wouldn't be fitting Shake into any new pipeline. Think also about your future employment prospects, if you become master of a discontinued product.

I would agree, but only if this were going to be your #1 tool and you were training to be a compositor. With a 5 year lifespan and for $500 Shake is a great value for someone who just needs to composite their own 3D. I still use AE 5.5 at home, because I don't major in compositing.

Disney is another big company that still uses Shake; linux version, with no current plans to switch to anything else. Just like Win XP, if enough people use it, there will be support, from 3rd party if nothing else.

Magnus81
05-05-2008, 12:25 PM
Magnus, when they start cracking on your face, just tell them you aren't done yet...they're just looking at the low poly model!
:lol: I'll just tell them it's a WIP.

Captain Obvious
05-06-2008, 06:33 AM
Captain Obvious...
[indent]
Yep. First off, you can mask any node in shake (and fusion) and limit that node's affect based on the greyscale of a node. And unlike the layer based (or pseudo-nodal) approach, you can use one mask to mask unlimited nodes _or even filters_.
Well yeah, of course. If there's a node implementation out there that doesn't do that, it's fundamentally broken.



You can of course get more complex than that, including things like width (by typing width in the box and doing any math you want). Or a parameter from any other node. To reference another node, just type it's name, a period, and then the parameter. So lets say in the example above that I wanted blur amount to drive my simple mask. Here's the above example (for the red channel) using a blur node called Blur1's xPixels parameter.
So you could use that to, for example, use an image to control the amount of blur on a per-pixel level?

Titus
05-06-2008, 07:25 AM
the major dilemna they have with Toxic, is that if they make it the Rockstar of desktop compositors then it would consequently eat into their hi-end systems. Can't have that, now can we?! :stop:

I really doubt Toxik could take the place of Flame or Inferno, even with excellent marketing. Those systems (Flame and Inerno) have a realtime workflow, they are bought because clients want to be seated behind your overpaid compositor for 12 straight hours and make changes at the moment. At the end of the day can you do the same with Toxic than with Flame? I don't know, maybe, but every system in AD line up has its own niche.

jeremyhardin
05-06-2008, 08:27 AM
So you could use that to, for example, use an image to control the amount of blur on a per-pixel level?

yep. simplest way though is iBlur, which does just that. blur amount on input 1 is multiplied by per-pixel values in input 2.

next way would be to mix the blurred/nonblurred pixel values based on values with layer x. though that's still visually the same as masking a blur effect node.

finally, if you were to use convolve math, you could write your own node to control per-pixel blurs.

to access specific pixels in colourX and layerX nodes, just use x and y. here's a simple example that generates random grain by taking the pixels x and y coordinates, as well as current time, and generating a random colour value for each pixel.

noise3d(x,y,time)

Captain Obvious
05-06-2008, 08:49 AM
yep. simplest way though is iBlur, which does just that. blur amount on input 1 is multiplied by per-pixel values in input 2.
Well yes, but imagine I want to do it to anything that has any sort of control. Like controlling the actual hue offset with a gradient, or something, rather than masking in the adjustment.

You wouldn't happen to know of any tutorial that deals with this? Or you'd like to share a simple Shake script, or show me during the next LWUG meeting? :) I'm still a bit of a newbie at Shake, but keen to learn more.

jeremyhardin
05-06-2008, 02:16 PM
Well yes, but imagine I want to do it to anything that has any sort of control. Like controlling the actual hue offset with a gradient, or something, rather than masking in the adjustment.

You wouldn't happen to know of any tutorial that deals with this? Or you'd like to share a simple Shake script, or show me during the next LWUG meeting? :) I'm still a bit of a newbie at Shake, but keen to learn more.

Well, anything is possible, but with the exception of thing like blurs and kernel based effects, the results of a gradient driven effect would be almost indistinguishable from a gradient masked one. the reason being that the iBlur uses the second input to increase the sampled area of the blur for each pixel. however, hue offset doesn't sample surrounding pixels. it's a simple math operation on each pixel individually.

If you wanted an iHue-like experience, I'd just create a group or macro that interface-wise gives you what you want, but behind the scenes is alpha-ing the effect.

Still, I say anything is possible because you could google hue rgb colour conversion math and plug that bit into layerX to create a real iHue (though as I say, it'd be nearly indistinguishable from a masked one.)

If there's a specific tool you're wanting or example, let me know and I'll try to throw a group or macro together.

Captain Obvious
05-06-2008, 04:03 PM
however, hue offset doesn't sample surrounding pixels. it's a simple math operation on each pixel individually.
I know, it's a pretty bad example, but I couldn't think of anything better. How about using an image to drive a 2D move effect, to create a ripple or shear effect (sort of like plugging a procedural noise into the position vector for an image in Lightwave)?

I can't really think of anything specific I need, to be honest, but I always like to learn about the inner workings.

AbnRanger
05-06-2008, 04:05 PM
I really doubt Toxik could take the place of Flame or Inferno, even with excellent marketing. Those systems (Flame and Inerno) have a realtime workflow, they are bought because clients want to be seated behind your overpaid compositor for 12 straight hours and make changes at the moment. At the end of the day can you do the same with Toxic than with Flame? I don't know, maybe, but every system in AD line up has its own niche.I meant in the sense that Toxic (like Fusion or Nuke) has a background renderer (called Suave) and on an 8 or 16 core workstation, could instead very well fit the bill with many boutiques...meaning they don't HAVE to take out that mortgage on their home in order to bring in a Flame, or pay the steep upgrade price for holding out a few years. :devil:

jeremyhardin
05-07-2008, 12:04 AM
How about using an image to drive a 2D move effect, to create a ripple or shear effect (sort of like plugging a procedural noise into the position vector for an image in Lightwave)? specific I need, to be honest, but I always like to learn about the inner workings.

That would be iDisplace in the Warp tab. :) And if you wanted to write your own custom iDisplace, that'd be the DisplaceX node in the same tab. :)

EDIT: And here's a tutorial where someone used DisplaceX to put together UVMapping of a render of a 3D object in Shake...
http://www.digitalartform.com/archives/2005/07/uv_map_now_or_u.html