Blender Channel Converter Node vs Natron’s Shuffle Nodes

Hello Natron VFX Compositor Users,

Did I mentioned that I am a node based compositing nut job. If not, then yes I am. I have a little back story for you. I was always a fan of Apple Shake. Now that it is no longer in development, it still holds a place in my heart. It was Shake that opened my eyes to node based compositing and later Nuke in its early development from Digital Domain.

In Shake there was a node that was called Reorder. This node is like Nuke’s/Natron’s Shuffle node. It allows you to reorder or break out an image’s channel for surgical processing and combine them back together again. For a while I was using Blender’s converter nodes like Separate RGB and Combine RGB to process and generate spillmaps for my own personal green screen projects. Blender made it a lot easier to separate/combine color channels from the images. When I starting using Nuke for the same effect, I never saw a combine node to pipe the channels back together again. So what I was doing was just generating masks/mattes from the shuffle node and inject them in a mask input of another node.

Today while driving from a hardware store, it popped into my head that I can do the same thing with Natron what I used to do in Blender. This time it only needed to be one node instead of two. The shuffle node can break out channels and it can combine channels. You just have to pipe them in the right order of channels. I will admit it that I had a big duh sign on my forehead.

The images attached are references own how the process would look like between Blender Converter nodes and Natron’s Shuffle node. I’d processed my Bokeh King photo in Blender and I tried to duplicate the look in Natron. I was almost there, but I couldn’t figure out how to recreate the math node from Blender. I will continue to find out how. I just wanted to show this to those who are using Blender for these reasons. Also to let them and as well as everybody else in NatronNation that the process is possible. I am not doing this to attract or pull users from Blender. I am just doing healthy comparisons.

Blender’s Converter Nodes

Blender Convertor Nodes

Natron’s Shuffle Nodes

Natron Shuffle Nodes

Natron has a node called SeExpr1 and another user create a PyPlug called Channel Math. I have no clue how these nodes work or how to use them, but I am sure that they can help process channels in a math equation like Blender’s Math node.


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