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Thread: Rendering motion vectors out of Lightwave for ReelSmart Motion Blur

  1. #1

    Rendering motion vectors out of Lightwave for ReelSmart Motion Blur

    Hi there

    Ive been looking around the web, and Ive only managed to find a few out dated and highly complicated posts on this subject.

    Im trying to render out a single file motion vector pass to use in After Effects with ReelSmart Motion Blur.

    All Ive managed to do is render out separate X and Y vector passes using the features inside Compositing Buffer Export, under the Image Filter tab. But these two separate files seem to be useless for RSMB and I cant find a way to combine them in After Effects.

    Im running LW 11.5 on Mac if that is at all relevant.

    I would really appreciate any help with this. Im hoping for a simple solution, as scripting and complex node setups really arent an option for me.

    For reference purposes - here are images of the scene and the X and Y renders (flying down a valley with mountains).

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  2. #2
    TrueArt Support
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Compositing software needs 2nd (x) image in X-R channel, and 3rd (y) image in Y-G channel.. ?
    You can load them in new fresh scene, make quad covering entire screen,
    then in Surface Editor, Node Editor make Image node,
    use Make Vector,
    plug them to X and Y,
    plug output from Make Vector to Diffuse Shading.
    And render.

  3. #3
    Thanks Sensei

    Im not understanding 100% here...

    Are you saying I need to use the Red channel from the X image, and the Green channel from the Y image? What about the blue channel?

    The other problem Im having is that the colourful X and Y images posted above, were saved individually out of Image Viewer. When I choose the save to file option, the X and Y vectors get saved to greyscale images.

    Does that sound normal to you?

    Thanks again for your help

    Cape Town, South Africa

  4. #4

  5. #5
    oh corks
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    end of the line
    There's a node setup you can download in this thread:

    I used it back in LW 9.6 to give RSMB compatible motion vectors to an AE compositor, so I know for a fact that it did definitely work in 9.6. Whether it still works in newer versions of LW is anybody's guess.

    For some reason, my brain says it needs Pom's Nodes to be installed. My brain could be wrong. It often is. DB&W host Pom's Nodes in the free downloads section of their website.

  6. #6
    Thanks Mark

    Thats a great video... I had read about EXR Trader in another forum, but without seeing it I was skeptical. Now having seen it in the video I can see its definitely the way to go for a simpleton like myself. I was hoping to find a free solution but I guess Im gonna have to suck it up and get EXR Trader.

    The node setup approach is going to take some time to get my head around - I have absolutely no understanding of how it works, or why it works at this stage in my Lightwave journey.

    Cardboard - thanks for the link to the node setup. I also got in touch with Lightwave support and they put me on to a similar node setup that I find slightly easier to follow.... here it is here:

    So it would seem there is no simple and easy solution to get motion vectors for ReelSmart MB out of Lightwave at this point, without buying EXR Trader or putting together a complicated custom node setup. As far as I know RSMB is the only way to work with motion vectors for motion blur in After Effects. Does anyone out there know of any other way to work with X and Y motion vectors for MB in After Effects?

    Thanks again for your time and help everyone it is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by scott.newman.ct; 06-28-2017 at 01:56 PM.

    Cape Town, South Africa

  7. #7
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Los Angeles
    I can highly recommend exrTrader! I've been using it for many years and it works great for embedding motion vectors. I have to confess I've only used this feature with Fusion's Vector Blur node but I believe there are options to make it work with AE and RSMB.

    Also, there are two old plugins that will output an RSMB compatible motion vector pass from your scene. They're easy to use but I'm not sure they're still available or if they work with recent versions of LightWave. A search in these forums should turn them up.

    Let me know what you wind up doing. I really should test this myself since I'm using AE more often these days, and the subject even came up at my workplace yesterday.

  8. #8
    Dreamer Ztreem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    I use the standard buffer output in lw with layer exr export, motion vectors from these files works perfect in fusion and should work with rsmb also. I have a preset for fusion export somewhere, if I find it I can share it.

  9. #9
    Thanks Zstreem

    Ive actually been avoiding this subject for years. Im more of a compositor than a 3D guy and I often work with Maya artists who just output the motion vector pass for RSMB and I work with it quickly and easily in After Effects without giving it a second though.

    When I have to do 3D on my own projects as a solo artist, Lightwave is my tool of choice. Ive never managed to figure out getting a RSMB vector pass out of LW so Ive always just slapped the standard RSMB plugin onto my 3D layers and let it do its own calculations (which come out OK sometimes).

    But now I really want to get to the bottom of this seeing as though I paid for RSMB with the full Pro vector functionality.

    RE:Vision Effects got back to me with a solution inside After Effects that seems to work quite well - using the Set Channels effect and pre-comps... although it has quite a few steps and requires you to work in 32 bpc in AE. So not ideal and easy by any means.

    Greenlaw, thanks for the suggestions. I checked out the older discussions on this forum and seems some of the plugin links no longer work, or they are Windows only, or for older versions like youve said.

    Cape Town, South Africa

  10. #10
    I should probably add that Im exclusively looking for a solution for RSMB inside Adobe After Effects out of Lightwave. Not Nuke, or Fusion.

    As far as Im aware, RSMB is the only option for doing XY vector motion blur in After Effects.

    Cape Town, South Africa

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by scott.newman.ct View Post
    I should probably add that Im exclusively looking for a solution for RSMB inside Adobe After Effects out of Lightwave. Not Nuke, or Fusion.

    As far as Im aware, RSMB is the only option for doing XY vector motion blur in After Effects.
    Just in case, this is a simplified node setup using db&w Remap node in DP NIF:

    More info here:


  12. #12

    First of all - thanks again to everybody whos given of their time and experience to try and help me out here.

    Gerado - I havnt tried your node setup yet, but I will.

    So I finally decided to suck it up and learn how to work with nodes.... I followed the Youtube video link that was sent to me via LW Support (the dwburman video in my 3rd post). Unfortunately that didnt seem to work out for me. See the pictures for the results.

    What did work though, was a LW to After Effects workflow sent to me from Pierre at RE:Vision. Again see the picture for the result.

    BASICALLY THIS IS WHAT WORKED FOR ME (thanks again Pierre!):

    -Rendered to EXR files from LW using the standard Compositing Buffer Export to add X and Y motion vectors to the file
    -Inside After Effects, use the EXtractoR plugin (found under Effect > 3D Channel) to extract the X and Y data to two separate instances of the EXR (one for X one for Y)
    -Apply an After Effects Shift Channels effect to each instance, and enable only Red Channel for the X instance of your EXR. Enable only Green for the Y instance of your EXR. Other colour channels set to Full Off.
    -Make sure After Effects is set to 32 bpc
    -Put the X instance layer of your EXR on top of the Y instance layer. Set the Layer transfer mode to Add.
    -now add a new solid above these two layers. Make the solid R: 0.5 G: 0.5 G: 0 and set this solid to Screen transfer mode
    -this comp is now your motion vector pass and can be used to drive ReelSmart Motion Blur Vectors in another comp
    -When you apply RSMB, set Max Displace to 1 and set Vec Scale Y to -1. The blur amount seems to behave as expected.

    Thats what worked for me

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    Cape Town, South Africa

  13. #13
    Good grief! Gerado that is an amazing article in that link. Incredible work.

    Cape Town, South Africa

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    i was attempting to figure out this exact thing yesterday, so thanks for starting a thread on it.

    i found that the solution in scott's post #12 to work great for me. i would add, which maybe obvious to some, is that the motion vector pass needs to be matted with alpha. also to maybe not confuse compositors, it's possible to invert the y motion in the buffer export rather than having to change RSMB's Vec Scale Y to -1.

    anybody with better compositing knowledge know what's the purpose of the 50% gray screened layer?

    also i tried the dwburman technique from post #6 ( the node image filter portion works, but when i try to use the compositing buffer with the node pixel filter, the rendered buffers seem to not use the pixel filter. any ideas on why?

  15. #15

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