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## Version 2.2.8
– OpenGL interact is now always affected by transforms even if there is motion blur.
– Radial, Rectangle and generators: when the Extent is set to Size, and Reformat is not checked, Bottom Left and Size can be animated.
– add Box filter to Transform, CornerPin, GodRays, and all Distortion nodes.
– ContactSheet, LayerContactSheet: Make a contact sheet from several inputs, frames or layers (beta)
This week the Mayor’s Assistant of my city’s municipality asked to me assist them in doing a “Twas The Night Before Christmas” animation as the Mayor reads the story for the Christmas Holidays. I am completely unfamiliar with this story but took on the challenge anyway. I thought about using Adobe & Apples products for the this task but I decided to go another route. I am a big supporter of open source software and I came across this software called Synfig Studio. I am by no means a cartoonist or animator by trade. I will get the basics of this software within the next week. I will be using Gimp to do all if any cut out to do a composite overlay with the Mayor.
The basis of the software is to allow you draw a vector base character and animate its vector splines Data along a timeline. You can also scan a graphic or texture into the computer and animate it. To create some depth for the project, I will bring in static backgrounds in to Blender as 3D plane objects. Then I will composite all the data assets in to Blender’s Node Compositor and finish the grading in Blender’s VSE (Video Sequence Editor). I will have to match the lighting setup of the mayor to make it somewhat believable. I hope can put this off in 2.5 months.
I will be using my Sampltude ProX for for all post audio work.
Some SynFig Screen Shots
Sample of Blender’s 3D Space and Sample composite for a scratch concept. I will keep you informed as progress is being made.
Open Shot Video Editor
Open Shot is a Linux OS video editor that will eventually come to the Windows platform. If you have a Linux Box, please support this editor and the developers. It is definitely going places.
Blender 3D has an amazing node base compositor. The examples below are just 1 of many examples on pulling a matte in an open source application like Blender. The image is using a split screen node to show how the advanced keyer is pulling a screen matte on the left and and source alpha matte on the right. This viewing example help you visualize noise such as grain and other fire flies in your matte.
This image is a process using nodes to pull a Difference Key Matte / Spill Suppression. Some color keys, linear keys and chroma-keys nodes may not have enough color information based on the hue and chroma sampling in the image. Their algorithms may be coded to key certain range of colors. I have learned this process from the great Steve Wright. He is a VFX GURU. Using the math node and color ramp node to subtract one channel from another and then clamping my whites and blacks, I was able to get a decent HI-CON matte.
Difference_Matte / Spill Suppression
After your all your keys has been pulled, the final is to sell the shot with what is called an edge matte. It is also know as doing a lightwrap. All objects in nature has some sort of absorption or reflection around its edges as well as on it’s surfaces. You use the edge matte (lightwrap) as a mask to let some of the background image pixels bleed through the foreground objects. When pulling a key it can sometime produce hard edges or edges that make to foreground seam out place. Lightwraps are your friend when its comes to green,blue,red screen keying.
Edge Matte (lightwrap) final comp with basic grading.
Blender 3D also has a clip assembler from the scene modeler, animation and the compositor. It’s main name is called the “VSE”. In the VSE you can edit and arrange video, still images, audio and color correct / color grading for your finishing.
Sometime in the future I may revisit this process with higher quality images in stead of the internet’s low-res JPEGs. I will also demo the 2d/3d camera motion tracker, masking and rotoscoping features in blender.
Inkscape Vector Drawing
Gimp Photographic Software
Scribus Desktop Publishing
Scribus Desktop Publishing