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Anti-Distinctlyminty
01-23-2008, 09:25 PM
Hi all, this is a post of mine from the Newtek forum, but I thought this may be a better place to put it :)

Been using the demo of Combustion...nice feature list. But I'm finding it oddly awkward to use. I'm used to the nodal system of compositing and I'm actually finding working with layers really...well awkward.
I'm having a few workflow issues:
If you're a combustion user, please comment if I'm talking out of my arse...(or you agree)
1. Masking; I had a particle effect (created in LW) I was trying to comp itto some footage. It needed to go behind someone's head so I just thought I'd mask the persons head and invert the mask. But I couln't apply the mask to my particle layer, yet still see the footage layer. So I couldn't position the mask properly. Urgh.

2. Control toolbox; Lots of the time the controls for a particular tool do not show in the contol toolbox. It required much seemingly randomly clicking to get the controls to show up.

3. Alpha channels; The particle effect I had rendered out in png format with an alpha. Imported into Combustion and put the layer over my footage. But the alpha wasn't working so I had a huge black rectangle over everything. Again, I had to randomly click on layers and options and ended up getting it to work (not by actually changing any settings, they were all toggled on and then back off).

4. Tracking; The way tracking works I find quite odd. The tracker just dissapears as soon as you click off the layer. So to apply this motion to something else I imagine that you'd just have to link it's motion to an object that is already tracked?

So yeah, nice feature list, but it feels very awkward to me. Is there just a learning curve and once I get over it everything will be great? Or is it actually this annoying?

hemmerli
01-24-2008, 01:11 PM
...

Been using the demo of Combustion...nice feature list. But I'm finding it oddly awkward to use. I'm used to the nodal system of compositing and I'm actually finding working with layers really...well awkward.
....
1. Masking; I had a particle effect (created in LW) I was trying to comp itto some footage. It needed to go behind someone's head so I just thought I'd mask the persons head and invert the mask. But I couln't apply the mask to my particle layer, yet still see the footage layer. So I couldn't position the mask properly. Urgh.

2. Control toolbox; Lots of the time the controls for a particular tool do not show in the contol toolbox. It required much seemingly randomly clicking to get the controls to show up.

3. Alpha channels; The particle effect I had rendered out in png format with an alpha. Imported into Combustion and put the layer over my footage. But the alpha wasn't working so I had a huge black rectangle over everything. Again, I had to randomly click on layers and options and ended up getting it to work (not by actually changing any settings, they were all toggled on and then back off).

4. Tracking; The way tracking works I find quite odd. The tracker just dissapears as soon as you click off the layer. So to apply this motion to something else I imagine that you'd just have to link it's motion to an object that is already tracked?

So yeah, nice feature list, but it feels very awkward to me. Is there just a learning curve and once I get over it everything will be great? Or is it actually this annoying?

well, combustion, as any other software has its pro's and con's. and as with any other application, you just get used to the con's and its workarounds.
in general, if you are used to node based compositor, there's no need to change your workflow completely, although there're some specialties to keep in mind.

to answer your comments:
1. yes, that's some kind of "get used to it". either you work in a 2 viewport set up. in one viewport the mask op and in the other viewport the comp op, or you use the compare feature in the viewport of your mask op and compare it to the comp output, which is more convenient.

2. don't quite get what you mean. just double-click on a node in shematic view) and it shows the tool controles. or just select the op in the workspace and the tool's controls are showing up.

3. you'll find everything which has to to with imported footage in the footage controls. see my remark to 2.) sometimes it happens that combustion doesn't get the premultiplied alpha ot quite right, then you need to change the settings there.

4. yes, you don't have a special tracker node. the way it works is you just select the item you want to track and apply the tracker. can't be simplier. on the other hand, if you know, you'll need the tracking data multiple times, or you want to do other things with them, then you just track to a null-object, it stores the tracking data so to say.

hope this helped a bit. if you have any further questions just post.

cheers,
rayk

Anti-Distinctlyminty
01-24-2008, 02:00 PM
rayk,

I'm getting on a little better with it now. Just takes some time to get used to I guess :) I like the idea of tracking a null to store the tracker information - that's just the kind of solution I was after, thank you.
I may well have some more questions soon, thanks for your help!

Luke

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01-24-2008, 02:01 PM
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