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rBrady
04-14-2010, 04:08 PM
I have been wonder why there is a lack of a Maya Composite thread so I am starting one. I for one feel that its has added a huge amount of value for Maya to include Composite. Its a huge part of my workflow.

I know that some will say, "Just use Nuke or Fusion, they are better". As much as I like Composite, I do like Fusion and Nuke better. I just don't like them thousands of dollars better. I would like to invite productive comparisons between the compositors. For instance, I have found that multi channel EXR support is better in Composite than Fusion. My channels don't get mixed up anymore. But Composites motion blur isn't nearly as good as Fusions, So I am looking for a plugin. etc etc.

Whats everyones thoughts?

leif3d
04-14-2010, 04:33 PM
I really can't compare these apps because I've never use Composite.
I went to a demo years ago and on paper, Toxik wasn't able to much of what I considered essential in Fusion.
With the new releases this gap has become increasingly wide and I doubt that composite will be able to compete with Nuke or Fusion, specially since now it's not even supported as a stand alone product.

I agree with you that the fact that a node compositor comes with Maya is really great and saves a bunch of money, so I'm eager to see what other people have to say about their workflow with this app.

rBrady
04-14-2010, 05:03 PM
What would you consider essential that composite doesn't do? I came from fusion and didn't feel anything huge was missing. The Sapphire Suite more than makes up the difference in my situation. I also havn't used Fusion 6 though. 5.3 was the last version I used.

leif3d
04-14-2010, 07:13 PM
Like I said, I went to a demo years ago and there wasn't even a text tool. I believe it didn't have particles either.
The 3D compositing was poor in comparison to Fusion or Nuke and the interface felt clunky. Many 2D tools weren't as robust either.
I don't think composite supports RED natively either.

I can't remember the other reasons at the time, but yeah, this was a while ago...so I'm not sure how the current version compares to Fusion 6.1 or Nuke X in production.
Sapphier for OFX works great in Fusion 6 x64 BTW ,we also purchased Reelsmart MB, and the Krokodove plugs are great too.

As we all know, labeling something as"better or worse, depends on your needs. If you are going to use it as a compositing system for 3D passes and some color correction, then you will see no difference between apps, heck, you might even think Composite is better because it integrates into Maya better. I really would love to use it, I mean, it comes with my Maya install right?, but I doubt it can compete with the latest release of Fusion 6.1 or Nuke X.

BTW, how were your channels getting mixed up before? I've found that this is generally a problem with the pass system of renders and its naming conventions. I usually avoid using multi-channel EXR's, because it goes against the purpose of efficient I/O.

Hopefully this thread will enlighten me on unexpected things that are possible with this app. :)

bjoern
04-14-2010, 07:33 PM
there is no thread because, yeah, other tools are better :) hehe. And they always will be.
but that is not the point...
From what I feel right now. Thefoundry has exactly the attitude that I would want
from a softwarecompany, in terms of support and quality... And Autodesk is the worst case that I could name right now (shawn is an exception and a little bright light on the horizon:) ....)

90% of all major studios which are steering the direction of where the industry is heading, bought a site license of nuke.
In short: Nuke 'equals' compositing. this is a fact.
the same way it was with shake. Nuke just tooked the place. And most importnd!!
"No" other softwarecompany was able to fill the hole after shake died slowly. they all had the time and chance!
But they did not delivered, so I guess they are not willing or capable.
But don't get me wrong as a fanboy. I worked with Fusion too even AE... great tools.
But I don't spend time on software which has a small future and an even smaller support in the industry.

leif3d
04-14-2010, 07:49 PM
90% of all major studios which are steering the direction of where the industry is heading, bought a site license of nuke.
In short: Nuke 'equals' compositing. this is a fact.


Don't believe the hype. Good advertising works...
An incredible amount of movies are done in Fusion (Avatar included) and most studios use a combination of Nuke, Shake, Fusion, AE and Flame. Whatever gets the job done...
So saying "Nuke equals compositing" is really naive.
Nuke is great though...but it doesn't "equal" anything.


the same way it was with shake. Nuke just tooked the place.


This has to do with platforms as well. Fusion runs well on Windows, but poorly on Linux and has no OSX version, so Nuke just seems like the right choice for platform independence which is what most major studios are looking for. Not to mention Nukes Python support is superior.


"No" other softwarecompany was able to fill the hole after shake died slowly. they all had the time and chance!
But they did not delivered, so I guess they are not willing or capable.


Eyeon has survived over 20 years of compositors and Adobe has a huge user base, not to mention Flame is still the king of finishing. So numbers and "filling holes" has nothing to do with the quality of a product.


But don't get me wrong as a fanboy. I worked with Fusion too even AE... great tools.
But I don't spend time on software which has a small future and an even smaller support in the industry.

Again, don't believe the hype...that goes for all advertising...
Great work has been done with a million different tools in the last 20 years.
Use what best suits the craft at hand, don't substitute the craft with software buttons.

...BTW, lets keep this thread to comparing features of software so that people can get their own opinions. I know giving an opinion is inescapable, but it would be great to hear opinnions of specific features of Maya Composite in action.

bjoern
04-14-2010, 08:31 PM
Don't believe the hype. Good advertising works... An incredible amount of movies are done in Fusion (Avatar included) and most studios use a combination of Nuke, Shake, Fusion, AE and Flame. Whatever gets the job done... So saying "Nuke equals compositing" is really naive. Nuke is great though...but it doesn't "equal" anything. that is not a hipe, dude... And I'm not a person that would fall for that. And if you count by your self... ILM, Bluesky, Dreamworks, Weta, MPC, Framestore... don't know the rest but these guys represent at least 65-70% percent of the big players in the industry. And they are all on shake or switching slowly to there new Nuke licenses... So where is the hype...?
fusion? on Avatar... come on that is funny... that little bit what was done with it... some funky holographs displays... here I could say, don't believe the marketing hipe ;) ....

This has to do with platforms as well. Fusion runs well on Windows, but poorly on Linux and has no OSX version, so Nuke just seems like the right choice for platform independence which is what most major studios are looking for. Not to mention Nukes Python support is superior. I would say, overall, nuke ist just the more solid tool.

Eyeon has survived over 20 years of compositors and Adobe has a huge user base, not to mention Flame is still the king of finishing. So numbers and "filling holes" has nothing to do with the quality of a product. well, yeah. It managed to survive. What an achievement. I call that Fail in terms of taking the lead. Nuke managed to get more attention from the big players then any other tools. In a couple of years... not decades. This is a serios achievement ;)

there are all kinds of tools on the market. But from what nuke is for. Flame or inferno have different fields... but they are also get slowy less from what I hear. just too expensive...
And Adobe...Dude,hehe! I hope you consider AfterFX not as a compositing programm. that is a motiongraphicstool... It has nothing todo with a serios compositer

Cheesestraws
04-14-2010, 08:36 PM
that is not a hipe, dude... And I'm not a person that would fall for that. And if you count by your self... ILM, Bluesky, Dreamworks, Weta, MPC, Framestore... don't know the rest but these guys represent at least 65-70% percent of the big players in the industry. And they are all on shake or switching slowly to there new Nuke licenses... So where is the hype...?

Yeah they might make up 65-70% of the big studios, but they make up about 1% overall. And just because they have a site license does not mean that is all they use. Don't believe everything you read in articles online.

And Adobe...Dude,hehe! I hope you consider AfterFX not as a compositing programm. that is a motiongraphicstool... It has nothing todo with a serios compositer

After Effects is probably used to composite more shots than Nuke.

Nuke is cool, and would probably be my compositor of choice, but it is not what this thread is about.

bjoern
04-14-2010, 08:38 PM
oh, I forgot animallogic, Sony...
btw. the best way to find out what is the most used app for comp in the industry. simple:
Just look what is asked when the bigger shops are hiring... they ask only for 2:
Guess what? Shake or Nuke. And that, is definitly a fact ;)

leif3d
04-14-2010, 08:43 PM
For the love of Pete...Think whatever you'd like about who is specifically using which software and how important that is for you in making your own choices.
Why does every thread around here have to turn to a opinionated battle?

Can we move on please?
This thread was specifically started as a feature comparison discussion, please keep it that way.

jipe
04-14-2010, 08:53 PM
I was initially disappointed at the increased cost of entry for Maya, as almost double the price for features I'll never use -- hair, fur, cloth, etc. -- is hard to swallow. But if Composite can provide more features than After Effects (especially tighter Maya integration), it may make it worth the extra $1500. I'm curious to see if and how people without an extra $4.5k for Nuke are making use of Composite.

irwit
04-14-2010, 09:29 PM
Could anyone give an example of how one would use maya and toxik together. I've noticed theres an options about exporting to toxik ( or words to that effect) in maya. What does this help you achieve ?


I mostly work with 3d and get pretty close to my finished work in the 3d ap so comping a few passes with some grading and lens effects is all I do. As long as I can use ReelSmart motion blur and frischluft I'm a happy man.

I did use combustion and 3d max using rpf files which was fantastic but going to Maya I am yet too find an alternative workflow.

rBrady
04-14-2010, 11:28 PM
Lets get back on topic.

bjoern:
Rather than telling us how resistance if futile, convince me. I already have Composite and understand it. I know Fusion and Nuke. I do mostly full CG compositing with multi channel EXR files from mental ray. I also shoot on my 5DMkII and composite cg elements on top of live footage. I grade my first pass in mojo and a second pass in Composite. I almost never do green screen. I have the Sapphire Suite, and I love it. My only big complaint is I don't particularly like RSMB or Composites built in Vector Blur. I only have one license of Sapphire so I cant use those plugins on the farm. Tell me $3500 worth of problems Nuke will fix for me. ( I am not being sarcastic, I do want to know what you think )


As to Composite and Maya, thier "better integration" just means it pre-loads your footage. It seems pretty stupid as I can just drag my footage into the comp with very little time. But now with the camera sequencer that might become a kick ass feature. We are looking at in house tools to build sequences in Maya, break them out into render jobs, and then export them to Composite with all the appropriate cuts and offsets. That would be cool.

For the record, I think After Effects is the most common compositor. If you are judging a compositor by distribution numbers, nothing can compete. People do fantastic work in it. I still hate it with a passion. I want nodes, not layers. I respect what it can do but I die a little every time have to I use it.

bjoern
04-15-2010, 12:26 AM
well I don't think that I can convience you with just a motionblurfeature from any application... ;)
From my experience RSMB gave me allways good results. And 2D looked for me most of the time
ok enough compared to Vectorblur. You can get RSMB also for nuke. But it has also native support for Motionvector which a friend told me is very good (I never used that one). I do most of the time 3D motioblur... or quick and dirty 2D (less setup hassle then vector).
My Personal points for Nuke are: Rocksolid production proofed, liniear workflow (also everything is floatingPoint), untouched Speeeeeeeed in combination with multichannel-EXR, wicked 3D comp system, speeeeed, python, speed, qt, clean interface... it just feels natural in terms of comp.
Don't know if this does it for you...

AfterFX is maybe the most used one. But that does not make it a serios tool. It is just close to photoshop and there for a close choice when you get in to comp (beginner tools are allways easy). But for complex shots with hundreds of layers. It is a nightmare, as you know. And if you have to do HD and use nultiChannelEXR ( which I think is standart now adays) it is pretty much useless when it comes to rendering. Not to forget thet it still don't have nodes... which gets more funny with every year that passes. I still consider it as a motiongraphic tool. Not a compApp

kojala
04-15-2010, 07:27 AM
This is great!
Ive been wondering why there isnt any thread for Compositor (toxik). And Im telling this from a studio where we dont do that much renderings. The node based system is so much better than AfterFX and coming from maya its easy to learn.

Phlok
04-15-2010, 10:20 AM
Well...for Bjoern's arguments:

- Speed

Well, what do you specifically mean by "speed". I have been working in Toxik (former name of Composite) and it could handle very complex scenes in no time, had no problems with large EXR files and has some nice on- the fly image compression algorithms under the hood just for giving you that "speed" when working.

- Python an Qt

Composite is a Qt application and it has got a descent Python implementation. I have written some software for it myself.- feel free to ask, Mr Brady, maybe I can hand you over a script.

- Rocksolid blahblah

We have been using Toxik in a feature film production, no stability issues so far

- last

Maybe feeding the trolls is not a good idea.

rBrady
04-15-2010, 03:48 PM
I have to agree about the speed. It seemed Toxik 2009 was faster than Fusion 5.3 when I switched. It also seemed more stable. I had a harder time getting used to the interface. There are a lot of important short keys that I would have missed if I hadn't gone through some tutorials. After a few weeks I went back to Fusion and it felt a little clunky. Making connections with a "shift and bump" method is really nice. So is the C1-C4 method of displaying your comp.

Here is a list of my thoughts,

Fusion has been better for me in these ways:
-Vector Blur is amazing in Fusion
-Glow is horrible in Toxik
-Bloom in Fusion is much better
-Suppress color is a on/off button in Toxik(very annoying)
-film grain is limited in Toxik
-Ram/Cache preview isnt realtime when I do it (i dont care too much so I haven't looked into it much)
-Toxik has a retarded numbering scheme for batch render ranges, makes it almost impossible to setup with 3rd party renderfarm managers.

Toxik has been better in these ways:
-Better EXR support, faster, better grouping, no mixed up channels
-Alphas are easier to move around, no more bitmap alpha nodes.
-Easy connections when zoomed out
-Unlimited free rendernodes
-Custom Arbitrary LUTs
-Faster rendertimes (this is more perceived but I would be open to doing actual benchmarks)
-Faster UI, not in the clicking, more in the organization. Lots of gestures and shortkeys
-Some cool color correction, like color temprature etc.
-Dockable or floating for just about everything.
-Custom layouts can be shortkeyed.
-Amazingly fast (relatively) with 4k linear multi-channel EXR sequences
-Most of these limitations of Toxik can be fixed with the Sapphire Suite
-Free, sort of


I have had some crashing with some exr combinations in batch, I worked with Tech Support and they couldn't duplicate it. Foreground render worked fine though. So it wasn't a show stopper.

Nuke is really good software but if anything Toxik has the better heritage, It is based on discreet code. Nuke may be better, but not because of pedigree.

And After Effects is a compositor, I hate it too, but that doesn't mean its not a compositor and the people using it are not compositors.

bjoern
04-15-2010, 04:17 PM
Nuke is really good software but if anything Toxik has the better heritage, It is based on discreet code. Nuke may be better, but not because of pedigree.
you kidding? Nuke comes from DD. What can be better then a inhouse tool which evolves in to a commercial software...??
...mari will have the same success. But every body can use what feels comfortable. Even though I like some of what toxik can do. I just think toxik is not a good future investment :) . Maya had allready ones a composite tool bundled (a light version of Fusion). And it is gone...

rBrady
04-15-2010, 04:31 PM
You have heard of discreet, right?

bjoern
04-15-2010, 04:53 PM
? and what? flame and inferno are better in terms of speed. But thats it... built some special hardware around nuke... and by by discreet toys. Sorry, I know the history of discreet... But it does not impress me. 10years ago... maybe. But they don't deliver anymore cutting edge technology like back in the days.

rBrady
04-15-2010, 05:20 PM
So then, you don't know what pedigree means.

SheepFactory
04-15-2010, 06:15 PM
So then, you don't know what pedigree means.


Now you are just talking crazy. Not sure why you are so up in arms but bjorn is right. Pretty much every highend production has switched to nuke or is in the process of switching and for good reason. Comparing composite to nuke is just funny.

It definitely has its uses, it is great for freelancers or personal users or small productions that can save a lot of money by using composite (a couple local tv show companies here already do afaik).

But stop making absurd claims of pedigree and such.

rBrady
04-15-2010, 06:35 PM
Ouch, I guess discreet wasn't as respected as I thought.

With the term Pedigree I was suggesting that the code is largely based on previous generation of software. I know that some of the inferno code found its way into Toxik. The UI even takes some cues from Inferno. As far as I know Nuke doesn't have a pedigree. Am I missing something? Was their a parent piece of software that was Nukes predecessor? I thought it was a fresh start. I never said thats bad, I never said that it was better in any way. I was suggesting that there is a history of production software behind the development of Toxik. It can still totally suck, but the history is there. And its not a history of cheap software used on small projects.

I have used nuke and it does in fact seem to be better. The big question is why? Give me a bullet list. I don't know nuke as well as fusion so I cant make an informed review of the software. Maybe we could do a compositor shootout. Take a set number of common operations and see how fast the render, etc. All I hear from the Nuke fans are things that could be quoted from their sales brochure. Give us some facts.

I don't know a lot about Nuke but here are the things I like about it:
-Standalone price is lower than Fusion
-Great UI, easy to create nodes, like in Houdini
-I love the utilitarian feeling to the software
-There seems to be a huge number of nodes to play with. I haven't had time to drill into them but they look interesting.

There you go, four things I like about nuke.

SheepFactory
04-15-2010, 06:49 PM
Every compositor I know basicly starts drooling from the mouth and humping legs when they start talking about nuke. Judging from how fast productions around here are switching to nuke I would say they are doing something right and it is not just hype.

I am not a hardcore compositor but for what little nuke I use at work compared to shake before the main difference is speed. Nuke is FAST. the workflow is fast, the app is fast and it just gets things done without getting in the way.

My main worry about toxic\composite is that it is not a standalone product and seems to have the "this failed to sell on its own so now lets bundle it with maya" thing going for it. Hopefully Autodesk will prove me wrong and there were some really cool ideas on the beta forum regarding maya > composite connectivity that will definitely make me use it alot if it comes to fruition.


Honestly I don't think composite will ever be a contender in highend compositing due to reasons above. That does not mean it is bad or useless by any means. I think it adds great value to the maya package. I sure as hell do not need nuke at home when I have composite available for free.

sacslacker
04-15-2010, 07:27 PM
I haven't had the pleasure of using Nuke yet but I have used Fusion and I can say that Composite, once learned, ranks right up there with it. So much so that getting it for free with Maya will mean I won't be buying Fusion. I do plan on checking out Nuke. I do love the Foundry's apps and Mari is a huge development. In general I'd like to be part of that but for now, Composite and After Effects work just fine for what we do.

lazzhar
04-15-2010, 07:46 PM
I hope i'ts not off topic.
Can anybody explain to me why autodesk is legally allowed to sell 3 products under one package with the same price of one of them?
Isn't that what put microsoft in trouble with windows 98 when they wanted to bundle it with internet explorer?

sacslacker
04-15-2010, 08:00 PM
Those products aren't an operating system.

danlefeb
04-15-2010, 09:06 PM
I don't really do much hardcore compositing so I didn't take the time to learn Toxik when I got 2010. I was always under the impression that node-based compositors weren't very strong for my primary use: motion graphics. So it seemed weird to me to try to separate my compositing into a different program since I'd have to bring it back into After Effects for motion graphics anyway. But I've seen some comparisons to AE here it makes me wonder if you think it'd benefit me at all to incorporate Composite into my motion graphics pipeline. Would you recommend I use it along side AE or were my impressions incorrect and would Composite be a good replacement for AE for motion graphics projects?

rBrady
04-15-2010, 09:06 PM
Having talked to the folks at Autodesk I get the impression that they are moving towards a Creative Suite style marketing scheme. They seem to be developing it actively. Now with the whole max community on board there will be more pressure to develop it. I was surprised how fast and capable Toxik is. I haven't used Nuke enough to know the difference. I would like to do some benchmarking. I have a nice 1080p render thats a bit flashy we could comp in different packages. I would guess that nuke is faster, but by how much? Unless anyone has done an actual side by side who is to say? Would anyone be interested in a shootout? (just for speed, other factors are harder to measure)

bjoern
04-15-2010, 09:56 PM
Having talked to the folks at Autodesk I get the impression that they are moving towards a Creative Suite style marketing scheme that is what I'm most afraid of.
"you want to do nodebased particles in maya? haha here is your solution... you can use XSI and do particles there and bring it back to maya...." Piss of AD!!
A creative suite would be a nightmare. on the other hand I think it will fail anyway. Cause the DEvelopend of AD is very slow... so they will not be able to keep up with the cutting edge that the industry needs (with that I'm not dissing against toxik... In generell terms).
It is not like the design industry where you basicly can work with the photoshop and illustrator from 4 years ago... that would not slowdown the workflow much. In the 3D and postworld, I think that model is gonna fail. The studios wont by a nice price package. They need the "best" tools to be able to compete. Never befor have so many studios build there own custom stuff. Wich reflects the lack on the commercial software side....

leif3d
04-15-2010, 10:51 PM
I haven't had the pleasure of using Nuke yet but I have used Fusion and I can say that Composite, once learned, ranks right up there with it.

Really? What have you used Fusion for?
I mentioned key differences in the first page which are only 1/3 of features that are down right missing in composite, so I don't know how Composite can "measure up" at all. I've used Nuke in small productions and Fusion in pretty big pipelines and although Nuke is great, I like Fusion much more.

It would be great to hear some non-opinionated posts in here. How about a breakdown of examples, node by node in Maya composite which you think can measure up to other compositors?

Ryan has been posting some great examples of why his use of certain tools is either better or worse.

leif3d
04-15-2010, 10:54 PM
I don't know a lot about Nuke but here are the things I like about it:
-Standalone price is lower than Fusion


This is not true BTW.
Fusion has varying price schemes, unlike most software.
Nuke is $3500 + $1000 yearly subscription.
Fusion's pricing scheme that matches Nuke is called Subscription Plus, which is $1500 + $1000 subscription.
Which makes Fusion a lot cheaper actually.


-Unlimited free rendernodes

I wish more applications adopted this, this is a real big money spender...


-Faster rendertimes (this is more perceived but I would be open to doing actual benchmarks)

I would also be interested in seeing some benchmarks, but I doubt that any speed difference will be much different from app to app, sinse much of the speed comes from your I/O. We have 620mbps SSD RAIDs, so I doubt access speeds will be a factor.


-Some cool color correction, like color temprature etc.

You also have color temperature in most compositors including Fusion.


-Free, sort of

Can't even try to fight this one... :)

rBrady
04-15-2010, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the reply lief,

I didn't know Fusion had come down in price, When we bought 5.2 I thought it was about $4000.

Our comps come of 6x300gb velociraptor raid-0 (backed up daily). For lightweight comps we still max out at around 5 or 6 nodes. Really heavy comps can go higher but its been really hard for us to get Toxik to scale past 5 reliably. How well does your farm scale?

On color temp, its just nice that in Toxik its in the BasicCC node. Fusions is a separate node last I remember. Not really a biggie though.

Some of the essential things that you listed as critical I don't use. I haven't used 3d comping at all. What do you all use it for?

I am thinking of posting a heavy EXR sequence on Monday and working on some kind of benchmark. Who is interested?

leif3d
04-16-2010, 12:13 AM
We have only 5 Fusion render nodes, we've never gone past that need. That includes 70 shots we did last winter. So I'm not sure when the farm will bottleneck.
The RAID you run, is it local or networked? we have all out RAIDs local.
We use 3D comping in pretty much every project we do. Fusion imports FBX data beautifully from Maya and things line up to a pixel. We can then comp footage in any way we want with tracked footage and 3D geometry from our scenes for 3D masking and shadowing, all within Fusion.
The 3D projection nodes in Fusion 6 are also an incredible asset for us, specially when mixed with real time displacements and the new shader system.
The 3D particles are also incredible. Fusion 6.1 will introduce collisions and emissions with imported 3D geometry as well.
I can go on and on, but as you can see the 3D comping is fundamental for us.

I'm down to benchmark some sequences if you like. Let us know what you think on doing.

rBrady
04-16-2010, 02:46 AM
Everything is networked at our studio. Most of us have a dedicated port and ip address on the server. So there is no competition for bandwidth. We often get short turnaround changes. I had to recomp 4000 frames of multi channel exr sequences in only a few hours. 10 nodes of Toxik on a farm worked great in that instance.

I always wanted to use FBX files, but I use render-time subdivision on almost everything so I never looked into them. If I remember, you all use renderman, do you use displacements and subdivision? Does that effect things?

I know fusions particles rock. Thats the one thing I wanted to learn but never had the opportunity. I know thats something Toxik lacks.

sacslacker
04-16-2010, 04:24 PM
Really? What have you used Fusion for?
I mentioned key differences in the first page which are only 1/3 of features that are down right missing in composite, so I don't know how Composite can "measure up" at all. I've used Nuke in small productions and Fusion in pretty big pipelines and although Nuke is great, I like Fusion much more.

It would be great to hear some non-opinionated posts in here. How about a breakdown of examples, node by node in Maya composite which you think can measure up to other compositors?

Ryan has been posting some great examples of why his use of certain tools is either better or worse.

For someone who hasn't used Composite you sure have a strong opinion. Oh and when you quote someone, get their quotes straight. I said Composite ranks right up there. Which, in my opinion, it absolutely does. You did say you haven't used composite right? How are you forming your opinion?

I've been using composite for only since it came with Maya 2010 so I'm not a long term user but it has a great keyer and I like how many of the tools are one node. The interface flows quite nice for me. As far as particles and 3D comp, I don't get to do much of that stuff but perhaps someday.

leif3d
04-16-2010, 06:43 PM
You did say you haven't used composite right? How are you forming your opinion?
.

I was pretty clear in saying that my opinion towards Composite was purely based on comparing features, some of which are completely missing in Composite and are crucial to us day to day with Fusion.
Hence "it doesn't measure up" is a pretty good statement when you look at the feature list alone.
I'm really trying to be objective here, trust me. I'm sorry if it didn't come out that way.

leif3d
04-16-2010, 06:46 PM
I always wanted to use FBX files, but I use render-time subdivision on almost everything so I never looked into them. If I remember, you all use renderman, do you use displacements and subdivision? Does that effect things?

It does affect things, but I always export an ID pass for compositing, which is used in combination with our exported geometry.
The exported geometry is great for projections, shadow casting, among other things...

sacslacker
04-16-2010, 07:28 PM
I was pretty clear in saying that my opinion towards Composite was purely based on comparing features, some of which are completely missing in Composite and are crucial to us day to day with Fusion.
Hence "it doesn't measure up" is a pretty good statement when you look at the feature list alone.
I'm really trying to be objective here, trust me. I'm sorry if it didn't come out that way.

Yeah, sorry. I might have taken you the wrong way which is a problem with forums and such. I agree though, if you need particles, you aren't going to like Composite. So in that way, it definitely won't match up. My take on it was that the features that I use are available in Composite so it ranked up there with the compositors I've used (Shake, Fusion, After Effects). I still rely on AE if I'm looking for text just because I've used it for years and years. Most of my particle stuff is done in Maya or Soft these days. Sometimes maybe Particle Illusion or Particular too.

Composite doesn't have certain features so if you need those, it's not the proper tool. However, it's toolset, in my opinion is quite potent. At least it was much more robust than I had expected. I don't use a lot of 3D in my comps but Reaction with a shadow matte shader seems to work pretty well on that front. Working with Maya precomps seems to be a time saver. It's definitely worth the price and makes it harder to justify seats of Fusion.

Let's face it, if you're using Nuke and Fusion and have access to those tools, you're going to use them right? They both are clearly great apps. My take is, so is Composite!

leif3d
04-16-2010, 09:25 PM
Let's face it, if you're using Nuke and Fusion and have access to those tools, you're going to use them right? They both are clearly great apps. My take is, so is Composite!

I agree. The fact that Composite's foundation is the same foundation that has made such successfull products such as combustion and Flame is a big plus. Unfortunately, there are some tools that are missing and I can't work without.
If we were only a 3D production place I would really consider Composite, unfortunately we also do some heavy traditional compositing, which requires a lot of the tools within the application without going into a 3D app or After Effects, the fact that I can key RED footage, make great particle effects, make geometry and shade it with displacements and shadows and have a great 3D text tool that can take advantage of all these strengths is crucial for us.
I hope Composite really takes a road of becoming not only a 3D companion. Heck...the more competition the better! :)

CGphantom
04-17-2010, 12:04 AM
I don't have much to add here, as I am very new to Maya (on my second trial here with 2011, and no experience with compositing at all): but I am very excited that I even have access to a compositor... its a great plus for me, definitely brings more value to the table in justifying a license purchase of Maya :) Even if its not competitive to said apps: it will definitely help to familiarize my self with the flow, without having to put up another 3,4k.

Any who, point is: any info shared here is/will be helpful :applause:


One more thing:

How does Maya-Composite (toxic) fair in relation to XSI (or SI) compositing tools? Does one have any significant advantage over the other?

AlexAS
04-17-2010, 05:27 PM
Well, i'm a freelancer and working only on stereoscopic projects, like, for example "rides" for dynamic platforms.I'm doing everything from scratch by myself. So, at compositing side of my work, i need robust stereoscopic capability of compositing software. Well, all 3 contender have stereo support, but nuke's stereo workflow is just amazing. Even without Ocula plugin it's very powerful. I also like to develop small tools and scripts and python in Nuke is very cool. And Gizmos rocks too! I worked at Fusion for 3 years,and it's really one of the best software for everything.Beautiful Roto, Particles, 3D,in 6.0 it has stereoscopic support, even in openGL with quadro cards!But.....eyeonScript kills almost all fusion's advantages. It's horrible implementation of Lua syntax and more over - lack of documentation.In 6.1 eyeon promise to make python native.....well, we'll see. And whats about Maya Composite? From "stereo" point of view, there is nothing special, we can see anaglyph output and output to DLP devices.No specific "stereoscopic" tools. Integration with maya is......bad lets say. Precompositing works only on standard passes from maya, any custom pass need to connect by hand. There are 1 precompositing template witch describe what to do with standart passes, so for custom passes need to code template file, to tell toxik what to do. So what about customization? We all need ability to customize our workflow right? In toxik it's pretty decent i should say. We can have any kind of layout and can fill "pick list" with our tools we need, we can even put python scripts there. Gate UI in toxik is reeeeeally cool,fast, but not customizable unfortunately(( .
Versioning and other stuff like "comp in comp", multi user access,locking comp, sharing comp etc... is very unique and i'm sure, studios can gain large benefits from this. A little about custom tools.In toxik we can write any kind of effects in built-in PXL (pixel language) or CTL(color .... language). PXL have easy syntax,but need to know what,and how to do. It's pretty slow in some cases, of course depending on resolution, since it's per-pixel evaluation. PXL code automatically compiling by toxik.There a lot of presets build-in in PXL tool. Next. Macros( like in Fusion, gizmos like in Nuke)
Macros in toxik is pretty decent, but a little bit weird. We can combine any number of tools in one macro tool , but the resulting UI of our macro is not so tweak-able, i mean we can't for example have only XY coord of transform node in our macro UI, we forced to see all parameters of transform ! In Documentation it's says: "Not all parameters can be added to macro UI...." Yes, we can add separate parameters from different nodes inside macro, but not all. And thats weird and sad. Next. Python. I haven't dig to toxik python so much, but i can say it's very strong! Unfortunately script "editor" is very poor, it's not a editor either, it's output window =) . Well, i can go on , but i will sum up. Toxik , i mean Maya Composite =) is really a very cool compositing soft, yes he lack's some of features of top compositing packages like Nuke or Fusion, but if Autodesk make his goal to deliver a high-end compositing system,based on Toxik, to market, i think we would have the best compositing system ever, but Autodesk didn't want to do that (((. Right now toxik is very cool addition to maya, for free. And it's definitely very very good. Thats my point of view ! =) Thx for reading this, and sorry for my English, my Russian much better

leif3d
04-17-2010, 11:16 PM
Thats my point of view ! =)

Thanks for the helpful insight Alex. :)

cmogk
04-20-2010, 03:15 AM
Ken has a blog talking about Composite: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/kenl

In this post he does some comparison to Shake: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/kenl/composite_for_the_shake_user

Cory

BoostAbuse
04-20-2010, 04:24 AM
Hey Ryan, you've still got my email right? Drop me a mail tomorrow sometime if you get the chance as I'd like to talk to you more about the Sequencer -> Toxik stuff and just general "what could we do better?" talk.

I'm interested in hearing other users opinions as well and thanks to Alex for the descriptive post on his experience. Keep the thread going and let's try to keep it clean ;)

-s

leif3d
04-20-2010, 07:28 AM
Since people have been asking how 3D comping is used in practical terms, here is a video from Fusion highlighting much of what I consider to be essential in a modern compositor.
They show how to build a production scene with a still photograph and built in tools.

youtube.com/watch?v=sIKkwNYojUs

It would be great to hear how a shot like this could be approached in composite.

mustique
04-20-2010, 03:03 PM
IMO, MayaComposite would deserve it's name if it was integrated like the compositing tools in Houdini or XSI. In Houdini you even have renderoutput nodes that can ultimately merge into another one, with other comp nodes wired into them along the way. Very flexible stuff.

A similar approach would help maya tidy up the workflow and get rid of old hacks (like the glow attribute in the AE for maya materials)

vbrisebo
04-20-2010, 04:17 PM
Let me preface this by saying I was product designer on toxik (now Composite) for a little over a year so I am a bit biased (also by the fact I truly know what Composite is capable of). I work for Fusion-io now and thought you might find this interesting. We make super high speed solid state storage. Toxik truly shines when you give it resources, it quickly outpaces the other compositors as it linearly scales per CPU, 16 cores, 16x performance increase (even on effects on a single frame). The same is true for IO. with a single ioXtreme card I can play 2K 16bit RGBA at 30fps, with a second card I can do stereoscopic 2K and even 4K (using two QuadroFX 5800s). Fusion-io cards have extremely low latency so they act like RAM for apps that disk cache like Composite, which is why it gets a bigger boost than other compositors. I can run a 19 layer comp in real-time and color correct one of the passes while it's playing back, that's pulling 500MB/s of data off the drives (for all the passes) and writing 200MB/s on the drives (the new colored pass info and all the downstream changes); that's 600MB/s of data transferring at the same time... I've run the same tests with the other major compositors and no one comes close. That being said, Composite is ideal for playback and layer assembly and has all the color management stuff from Flame but may not have all the "traditional comp tools" for live action work. Composite is the ideal fit for 3D render pass assembly and is in use at very large studios that I can't name but have worked with. I provide Fusion-io cards for Autodesk at the trade shows so check out Composite there to see it in all it's glory, the Toxik core is truly impressive when given resources. Also good to note that The Academy uses Composite with Fusion-io cards to develop their new Image Interchange Framework, that says a lot right there... http://www.oscars.org/science-technology/council/projects/iif.html. for more info on the cards: http://www.fusion-io.com/products

vbrisebo
04-20-2010, 04:41 PM
You can't really compare the two, they each have their strong and weak points. As to why Autodesk is simply "giving it away", simple, desktop compositing is too small of a market for a $3500 application. You have to remember that Autodesk makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year and the entire Media & Entertainment section (Flame, 3dsMax, Maya etc...) is a small fraction of that. When the 3D apps make most of the money, adding composite as a feature makes sense. Another reason you see a lot of Nuke adoption is very simple, put out an ad for a Nuke artist and one for a Composite artist, who will you find? Simply because tons of artists have gone through DD and tons of DD artists have started shops, even if Composite was the holy grail of compositing it would be very difficult to compete with the massive amount of Nuke artists out there. What you will see in the next few moths/year is the really big studios realize that they have 600 seats of Composite with free network rendering in their shop already, that leaves an entire compositing pipeline's worth of budget available to customize the app and train users... just my 2 cents (and 11 years experience at Autodesk talking)

rBrady
04-20-2010, 05:57 PM
My vote is against total integration. Having better export/import with the cam sequencer would be good. But I want all the additional R&D that will come from sharing a compositor with the max community.

That was an awesome video. I do feel that the lack of 3D is most felt in the particles department. I know that fusions particles are amazing, and its something that Composite doesn't touch. I would like to see this change. Even combustion had much better particles (well, better as in it has them).

I don't feel that the camera mapping things are particularly remarkable, just fast. I do that sort of thing in Maya all the time. Its slower, but its not particularly hard. From what I have heard most of Composit's "donts" are more like "you do that in render instead of comp". I am not suggesting that composite is better than fusion, quite the opposite. But it seems to me that most of the lack of features in Maya is more of an inconvenience than a show stopper. When you only composite part time its not such a huge deal.

I am putting together a simple 1080p comp with multichannel exr files. Its 100 frames and about 8gb of renders. Should be a reasonable test. I just need to get my website fixed first since the files will be so big. But I am still excited about doing a composite/fusion/nuke benchmark. I am sure that it wont be exactly accurate, but it should give us an idea of performance. Plus we can compare different computers with the same software.

mustique
04-20-2010, 06:07 PM
My vote is against total integration... But I want all the additional R&D that will come from sharing a compositor with the max community...

Both communities might have app specific feature requests which could divide R&D efforts IMO. Not that big of a deal anyway. But an Houdini integration where you start the compositing while you create the shaders would be cool nevertheless...

rBrady
04-20-2010, 06:29 PM
You make a good point. It would be nice to see how your shaders are interacting with your composite as your working on it. I don't really know if the max community is going to do anything cool with composite, but it is a huge community. I am certain that at least a few more plugins and add-ons will be available because they are on board. Autodesk may even give them a larger budget too, but who knows? Shawn?

BoostAbuse
04-20-2010, 08:50 PM
You make a good point. It would be nice to see how your shaders are interacting with your composite as your working on it. I don't really know if the max community is going to do anything cool with composite, but it is a huge community. I am certain that at least a few more plugins and add-ons will be available because they are on board. Autodesk may even give them a larger budget too, but who knows? Shawn?

No clue man, sorry.. I know zilch about budgets or any of that :)

Good to see you again Vince, bumped into you at GDC that morning with Kyle from Blizzard but didn't get a chance to chat.

leif3d
04-20-2010, 08:50 PM
I don't feel that the camera mapping things are particularly remarkable, just fast. I do that sort of thing in Maya all the time. Its slower, but its not particularly hard. From what I have heard most of Composit's "donts" are more like "you do that in render instead of comp".

Lets no forget that this comparison is between Composite and other compositors, not Composite/ W Maya against other compositors.
That's one of the reasons I feel the advancements in other compositors are not appreciated very much, because Maya Composite is catered for the 3D artist. Someone that can pull off a shot in Maya and then composite it in Composite.
Lets remember that this is not necessarily the case in many studios and a cleaner pipeline (less software for a specific task) is always the easiest to go back and modify, which a client will do a lot.

A compositor needs to have the tools available in one software, in fact most of them have never opened Maya in their life and with the advancements in 3D compositing it's of little interest to them.
Also, it would make little sense anyways to buy a Maya license to do a 3D camera map, simple particles, 3D text, simple modeling and shading, etc, when you can have the tools at your disposal non-destructively in one application.

A pipeline involving multiple applications for one goal (be it only compositing in this case) is usually much harder to control and more destructive and lets not forget...would be prohibitively expensive.
That's why when you say: " I do that sort of thing in Maya all the time" I think it misses the point a little. It's a valid point, but I think we're getting a little caught up in comparing a comfortable generalist workflow (which everyone knows I love), instead of a compositor.

leif3d
04-20-2010, 08:53 PM
Let me preface this by saying I was product designer on toxik (now Composite) for a little over a year so I am a bit biased (also by the fact I truly know what Composite is capable of). I work for Fusion-io now and thought you might find this interesting. We make super high speed solid state storage. Toxik truly shines when you give it resources, it quickly outpaces the other compositors as it linearly scales per CPU, 16 cores, 16x performance increase (even on effects on a single frame). The same is true for IO. with a single ioXtreme card I can play 2K 16bit RGBA at 30fps, with a second card I can do stereoscopic 2K and even 4K (using two QuadroFX 5800s). Fusion-io cards have extremely low latency so they act like RAM for apps that disk cache like Composite, which is why it gets a bigger boost than other compositors. I can run a 19 layer comp in real-time and color correct one of the passes while it's playing back, that's pulling 500MB/s of data off the drives (for all the passes) and writing 200MB/s on the drives (the new colored pass info and all the downstream changes); that's 600MB/s of data transferring at the same time... I've run the same tests with the other major compositors and no one comes close. That being said, Composite is ideal for playback and layer assembly and has all the color management stuff from Flame but may not have all the "traditional comp tools" for live action work. Composite is the ideal fit for 3D render pass assembly and is in use at very large studios that I can't name but have worked with. I provide Fusion-io cards for Autodesk at the trade shows so check out Composite there to see it in all it's glory, the Toxik core is truly impressive when given resources. Also good to note that The Academy uses Composite with Fusion-io cards to develop their new Image Interchange Framework, that says a lot right there... http://www.oscars.org/science-technology/council/projects/iif.html. for more info on the cards: http://www.fusion-io.com/products

Interesting view on this topic. We looked at the Fusion-io cards, but we went with 3 SSD's in RAID 0, which gives us about 630mbps read/ 300mbps write. With this speed, fusion has been able to handle massive data. How do you think our choice would compare to the Fusion-io solutions?
It would be really interesting to see how Maya Composite takes advantage of them. Maybe I'll do a little test...

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