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New To FXhome - Advice On Purchase

Posted: Tue, 23rd Jan 2007, 6:19am

Post 1 of 4

ccirelli

Force: 1196 | Joined: 23rd Jan 2007 | Posts: 182

VisionLab User MacOS User

Gold Member

Hey gang,

I stumbled upon the FXhome site tonight and I'm intrigued. I've never heard of VisionLab but after checking out the site I must admit I'm very impressed. Before I continue, I will admit this is more or less a stupid "is this software for me?" post.

Like most people here I'm an aspiring filmmaker and visual effects artist, and my favorite genre is sci-fi action. My most recent short film ("Barrage") won IFC's Media Lab contest and was played five times on the Independent Film Channel this past November & December. I've taught myself to use a load of editing and compositing software, most recently Apple's Shake (loving it btw.. bye-bye AE!). My 3D app of choice is Eovia's Carrara 5 Pro (now owned by DAZ), along with Hexagon for higher-end modeling. Particle Illusion is also in my toolbox.

So before I lull you to sleep any further with my ramblings, I have a few basic questions (I did read / skim the FAQ):

1) Does VisionLab support SynthEyes (matchmoving app)? Or would I need to process matchmoving & tracking shots with the assistance of Shake? This is a biggie for me. What happens if I need to track bulletholes and sparks on a panning shot, for example? Can tracking be done directly within VL?

2) How well (honestly) does VL run on Intel-based Macs? I have an iMac C2D / 2.33GHz / 2GB RAM / 256MB ATi X1600. I am really, really trying to avoid purchasing non-Universal software at this point. And please.. don't make me use Windows...

3) I think I read somewhere that VisionLab does not have 3D capabilities - yet I could swear I saw some effects that looked 3D (rotating muzzle flashes I think). Can someone explain?

I'm sure I'll think of other questions, but it's late and this should get me started. I think VL might be the missing link to bringing my vfx elements together. I can tell right away that this community is friendly, helpful, and quite active (this is a big plus to me). I've already learned about "grading" just by hanging around here for a few hours. Had no idea how important this was.

ANYways, some guidance, advice, and comments from new and veteran users alike would be most appreciated. In the meantime I will download the demo and most likely get absolutely nothing done at work tomorrow.

Thanks gang, I appreciate your time.

craig
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jan 2007, 9:43am

Post 2 of 4

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Hi ccirelli! Welcome to FXhome.com!

ccirelli wrote:

1) Does VisionLab support SynthEyes (matchmoving app)? Or would I need to process matchmoving & tracking shots with the assistance of Shake? This is a biggie for me. What happens if I need to track bulletholes and sparks on a panning shot, for example? Can tracking be done directly within VL?
VisionLab doesn't support SynthEyes tracking or have internal tracking abilities. We're aware that this is something people would love to see though.

2) How well (honestly) does VL run on Intel-based Macs? I have an iMac C2D / 2.33GHz / 2GB RAM / 256MB ATi X1600. I am really, really trying to avoid purchasing non-Universal software at this point. And please.. don't make me use Windows...
It doesn't run as well as on a modern Windows machine, but it does run at a perfectly useable speed. I'd recommend downloading the demo and testing that out, as you're the only one that can really judge whether its performance is satisfactory for your needs.

3) I think I read somewhere that VisionLab does not have 3D capabilities - yet I could swear I saw some effects that looked 3D (rotating muzzle flashes I think). Can someone explain?
VisionLab is a 2D effects/compositing program but, as you say, the muzzle flashes are a slight exception. They're not full 3D, but they can be rotated in 3D to ensure that you can match them to any particular muzzle angle.

I'd recommend checking out some of the video tutorials, as they'll give you a good idea of what the programs can do, as well as how they do it:

http://fxhome.com/support/vidtutes/

The 'Get Lost' tutorial in particular gives a good overview of several techniques:

http://fxhome.com/support/vidtutes/?t=14&f=%2Bcat%3A3&cat=3

I can tell right away that this community is friendly, helpful, and quite active (this is a big plus to me).
Indeed, FXhome.com is a pretty friendly place, both for filmmaking stuff and general debates. Thankfully we don't yet suffer from the bile and antagonism that seems to overwhelm so many web communities.

I've already learned about "grading" just by hanging around here for a few hours. Had no idea how important this was.
Grading is indeed crucial. You might find that your main use for Visionlab will be its grading abilities, rather than its effects. After all, grading is something that every project needs (even if only in a subtle way).

Hope that helps, let us know if you have anymore questions!
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jan 2007, 2:18pm

Post 3 of 4

ccirelli

Force: 1196 | Joined: 23rd Jan 2007 | Posts: 182

VisionLab User MacOS User

Gold Member

Thank you for your thorough reply (very helpful!). I have the demo running on my PowerBook and I'm going through some tutorials this week. I'll test it out on my Intel iMac to see how things run as well. For what I'm doing now it should hold me over until the UB is available.

Side-question #1: since I already have Shake and Motion for compositing, what are the advantages of picking up VisionLab, as opposed to just EffectsLab Pro (other than the full production license)?

Side-question #2: does anyone know how long the 25% sale is running for? I'd hate to miss out on this after spending some time getting familiar with VL over the next week or so.

Thanks!
craig
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jan 2007, 2:24pm

Post 4 of 4

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

ccirelli wrote:

Side-question #1: since I already have Shake and Motion for compositing, what are the advantages of picking up VisionLab, as opposed to just EffectsLab Pro (other than the full production license)?
EffectsLab Pro has far fewer grading filters, so if you're interested in the grading side of things you might find that a little restrictive. It still has several, but they're designed mainly to help blend effects with your live action footage etc, rather than give the overall movie a specific 'look'.

VisionLab basically how all of CompositeLab's compositing tools, plus a fair few extra grading filters that aren't found elsewhere. Having every single filter at your finger tips can really aid productivity, as it opens up creative avenues that would be tricky or impossible if you were using the Pro products individually.

Side-question #2: does anyone know how long the 25% sale is running for? I'd hate to miss out on this after spending some time getting familiar with VL over the next week or so.
The discounts are expected to end by this Friday at the latest. Check last Friday's news article for more info:

http://fxhome.com/community/news.php