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View Full Version : Is there some plugin/extension to make blender a better compositing/editing program?


CerberusC
08-24-2009, 07:57 PM
Well, that's the question.

I see blender as a huge powerfull program, love it, but mainly for simulations/compositing/editing.

So i'm guessing if there is some cool plugins/extensions that are specific for compositing and editing.

Cheers and thanks.

dAfTiE
08-25-2009, 10:13 AM
There are some sequence editor plugins here:
http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~mein/blender/plugins/sequence.html

CerberusC
08-25-2009, 10:47 AM
Great, these are for the sequence editor, what about the compositing nodes?

Cheers

danielHinton
08-25-2009, 08:05 PM
I think you might have to roll your own for the compositor. Have a look at pynodes (http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Source/Blender/2.49/PyNodes)

Dan

tyrantmonkey
08-31-2009, 01:09 PM
as far as I know pynodes are only for material nodes the don't extend to compositing nodes

harkyman
09-04-2009, 11:57 AM
What exactly would you like to do? One of the most common things I see as a Blender trainer and writer is people saying "I wish Blender could do X," and in fact, it already can. So... what are you shooting for?

danielHinton
09-04-2009, 07:54 PM
Integrated roto? I know there's a workround using curves, but it would be nice tp have that functionality integrated into the node editor, rather than having to render a matte out then import it back in. More important is tighter integration between the sequencer and the compositor.

Dan

sundialsvc4
09-08-2009, 01:06 PM
Today, I use Blender for generating 3D content and I use Final Cut Pro for editing.

"Compositing" is a fundamental part of "generating 3D content," in my workflow. That is to say, everything is generated out in distinct passes and these passes are then "mixed-down" to produce the final scene ... like the mix-down process in multitrack audio recording. ("Urgh, that shadow should be just a little bit darker." (Twists the knob.) (No time delay...) "Ahh, there. Perfect.")

"Editing," by and large, occurs first. I don't want to generate anything in its final form if I don't plan to use it. The "preview render" button (lower right corner of 3D window) can spit out an animatic almost instantly, and it's an exact stand-in. That material is edited as close as possible to final-cut stage before any of the stuff is refined at all.

Use the best tool(s) for the job ... whatever they may be (for you). Blender is constantly improving but it's not the only kid on the playground.

CerberusC
09-08-2009, 02:02 PM
sundialsvc4: you have a point, but for a small studio, in this crisis times, belnder is a great bet, because is not the only kid in town, but is the cheapest, if i had money then i prefer to buy Fusion for compositing, but i'm in a hard position now, and i need to go by the middle way, wich i mean is that blender is good enought, but it lacks some things, the color correction tools are a bit primitive, there is no tracking system i think, some mask system (that is not a 3d plane animated and rendered), blender compositing nodes are really great, but lacks some tools, and i'm sure that for some developers can be really easy to develop it, that's because i'm asking about some extensiones/plugins for blender compositing.

We work over PC so for editing i'm thinking in aqcuiring a Sony Vegas License.

Cheers.

harkyman
09-08-2009, 02:19 PM
Once again, exactly what would you like to be able to do that it can't do right now?

You mentioned masking, tracking and better color correction. Is that your list? Also, there's no cost other than your time to try it. Why not download it and give it a shot? Then you'll know for sure if it has what you need or not.

CerberusC
09-08-2009, 03:09 PM
I'm using it, is because of that that i know that it's a great compositor, right now i cannot recall a complex list of features because i'm not with the compositing right now, but i must say that i can remnember one thing that i missed, the possibility of animation nodes over the time, like in any other compositing program, i know there is something with the time node, but right now i don't know how to do this, i'll look into it forward.
Another compositing node that i missed is a complex color correction, also some HDR workflow, i think that the last time i use blender for comp 32bit depth images were not supported (in EXR) but i'm not sure about that, i'm telling you that so you can confirm or deny it.
Also a "levels" node can be great.
The masks i think are really important so you can rotoscope something without the need of rendering the mask, and you can change the mask in real time (don't know if you can do this, again i tell you so you can confirm or deny)
I think there is something more that i cannot remember, if i were in compositing stage i could tell you something more.

Thanks and cheers.

EDIT1: One great thing can be support for AE plugins, so you can use some great and advanced plugins with blender, like the Reel Smart Motion Blur (i'm not talking about a vector blur, i'm talking about a pure pixel analyzer to do motion blur over the parts of the compo that are not 3d or that comes from other packages and don't have velocity channel)

EDIT2: I almost forgot, a time warp tool too.

LetterRip
09-08-2009, 05:32 PM
Blender is not really well suited for anything using live footage, it doesn't have motion tracking, and thus can't do things like camera stabalization and the wide variety of other capabilities that motion tracking provides (you can use some standalone motion tracking tools with it). Its rotoscoping work flow is extremely hackish and ridiculously clumsy. It has quite weak masking capabilities in general. Its node animation is fairly limited. Paint tools are fairly limited compared to other compositing tools. It lacks support for common input and output formats and doesn't support pulling directly from your camera.

It lacks presets for just about everything. Ie you basically do all of your fades, titling effects, particle effects, etc. from scratch.

If you are working with pure digitally created content, these limitations aren't really all that critical, but if you need to work with live content they can be quite limiting - it is roughly similar with working with compositing software of 10 years ago for the things it doesn't support or supports poorly, and thus you can accomplish the work, but the workflow speed and accuracy takes a big hit.

LetterRip

sundialsvc4
09-09-2009, 02:01 AM
Every one of us, in every situation, are always dealing with tradeoffs, such as "time vs. money." But we are also dealing with "the way the cards fell, some time ago." We made some decision, and basically we got used to doing things that way because it worked for us at the time (and it still does). At some point, in the heat of some past project, I started using Final Cut for certain parts of my personal workflow, and "I got used to it." So, I continue to do things that way... even though all of the tools in question have advanced. (Certainly the case with Blender!)

I guess that one of the reasons why I happened to latch onto using FCP is that I use it very, very early in a project. Basically, the first steps are:
Knock together a rough set and rough action, doing this "to scale." Place a bunch of cameras. Shoot a bunch of "film" using the preview-render button (bottom of 3D window). Very traditional editing... Come up with a "final cut." (Throw the rest onto the cutting-room floor.) Take-off strips and frame numbers and polish only those segments, making very heavy use of "passes" to save time. Composite these all together (in Blender... "nodes R us" :beer: ) to produce final footage. Replace preview shots with final shots. Because I spend so much time in step #4, and throw-away so much "film," FCP is fast and quick for me. I don't do anything at all with live-action footage.

(But I do a fair amount of "the Ken Burns Effect." mea culpa... :rolleyes: )

fxgogo
09-09-2009, 07:27 AM
As a daily After Effects user, I would love to see the sequencer and node compositing combined to form a super timeline and and node based compositor. Keyframes could be controlled via the sequencer if you needed.

I do think the compositor will get some good development with Durian, but the tools needed for live footage might only come when a project calls for those tools. Either way Blender compositor is the best alternative to After Effects for me, as Fusion, Nuke etc are way way way to expensive.

harkyman
09-09-2009, 12:24 PM
On the topic of AfterEffects plugins in Blender, my guess is that it will not happen. There are licensing issues. It depends on how the AE plugins would be called programmatically, but I'm guessing they share data structures and link, which would be a violation of the GPL:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLAndPlugins

kernond
09-09-2009, 02:07 PM
... but the tools needed for live footage might only come when a project calls for those tools...

Yeah, that's true. In fact, that project is already planned. The next Blender Foundation project, after Durian, will focus on live action integration so there will be a very big push in that direction in 2010.

FishB8
09-13-2009, 05:47 AM
[...] one thing that i missed, the possibility of animation nodes over the time, like in any other compositing program, i know there is something with the time node, but right now i don't know how to do this, i'll look into it forward.

The time node is not hard to use. You set what the start frame and end frame controlling what time range the curve works on. The X axis is time and y axis is the value that is output and sent to whatever it's connected to.


Another compositing node that i missed is a complex color correction, also some HDR workflow, i think that the last time i use blender for comp 32bit depth images were not supported (in EXR) but i'm not sure about that, i'm telling you that so you can confirm or deny it.

All image processing in blender is done in 32bit float, reguardless the bit depth of the source. OpenEXR can be either 32bit float or 16 bit float, both supported by blender.

There are basics like Gamma and RGB Curves. But you can also route through the sequencer to use the color controls in the sequencer which offers color balancing and correction not available in the node compositor. (Sequencer color tools are in the "Sequencer buttons" pannel, not in the sequencer itself.)

BTW: you can use the compositor and sequencer (or even multiple compositors and sequencers) at the same time. For instance if you want to use the sequencer's color correction on the output of the compositor, you set up a compositor tree, and set compositor as your rendering type. Then create another scene within the same file. For that scene, set the sequencer as the render type, and set the first scene as am input strip in the seqquencer. Then you can render it all in one pass. You can even set up more scenes with more sequencers and compositors feeding outputs to each other and render the output all at once.



Also a "levels" node can be great.

"levels" can mean quite a few things, but if I understand what you're referring to, you should be able to get the same functionality from the RGB curves node.



It's not as easy to set up or as intuitive as other programs may be, but there are lots of things you can do that are not immediately apparent.

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