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Moving projects between FXLab and CompositeLab

Posted: Mon, 9th Mar 2009, 9:07pm

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Hello all
I'll apologize up front as this is probably a very simple question, but I did a search and looked at the video tutorials and could not find this.

I have both FXLab and CompositeLab. I have done some special effects in the FXLab and now want to move the project over for masking, etc in CompositeLab. Do I render this as a multi-file layered export and image stream? When I do that and open the image stream in CompositeLab it seems to be just one file, I don't see each of the layers. I would think I would need to see each layer to be able to mask and work with each special effect individually. Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your help. So far my son and I have really enjoyed working with the FXLab and look forward to being able to use the COmpositeLab too!

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(Andy)
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 9:06am

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Simon K Jones

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FXhome Team Member

I think there may be a problem with the multi-file export in the latest version of the software. Do you specifically need the separate layers? If you just need a specific layer from the EffectsLab project, you could turn off all the other layers on the timeline except for the one you need, then render it.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 6:57pm

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Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Feb 2009 | Posts: 6

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Thanks Tarn
I would think I will need multiple layers. I have several effects and need to mask each of them so they appear "behind" the subjects, etc.
I see that in the folder I save to there are numerous files so it seems the render is OK, but when I open the multi file by pointing to that folder it seems only one file (the main media file I think) shows up.

I thought possibly there was something that I needed to turn on or change to see all the other layers.

If this is a software problem it kind of makes buying both software useless..... Any suggestions on how I find out if FXHome is correcting this? Maybe they could supply VisionLab so that we can complete our projects? My son has a couple of projects for his school Visual Media Arts class and we have been strugling to figure out how to get the Compositepro to work. Since we are new at this we assumed it was something we were doing wrong.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 8:22pm

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Axeman

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For masking effects, you can accomplish that in EffectsLab just as well as in CompositeLab in many cases.

If you are rendering to seperate files for each layer, you will have to import each of them and place them on the timeline in order to see all of them in CompositeLab. You can't import one thing and have all the layers import automatically.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 11:02pm

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Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Feb 2009 | Posts: 6

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So you mean "Import Media" in the file menu? That gives me each of the individual frames if saved as image stream. So I guess while in FXL I would have to turn all the layers off but one and save each layer individually. As what, a AVI and check "retain alpha channel"?

SO to move between these two programs by the same company I would potentially have to save a dozen layers, rendering each individually, then import that dozen layers into the other program one at a time...... this must be a problem. I can't be the only one who has run into this. The whole purpose of buying both programs was so that we could do the effects and then move on to compositing.

Is there no way to open the project file from FXL in CompLab?
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 11:18pm

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Axeman

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If you have twelve layers in EffectsLab, and you want to export them separately, then yes, you will have to import the twelve separate layers into CompositeLab to use them there. The far quicker and more logical solution, to me, is to composite whatever effects you are creating into the clip within EffectsLab, then render out the finished clip and do whatever video compositing work you have to do in CompositeLab. Are you trying to accomplish some specific sort of compositing with the effects that can't be done in EffectsLab?

there is no way to open a project file from EffectsLab in CompositeLab. An EffectsLab project file saves all of the settings from any effects you have created. It contains the settings for every control of the effects engine for each effect you have applied. CompositeLab includes none of the effects engines, so it can't do anything with that info. You have to render out an effect before compositelab can do anything with it. Though if you want to composite the effects using a different program, then yes, Alpha rendering is probably a good idea. The only time when it might not be is if you are using some of the advanced compositing features of EffectsLab on the effects (displacement, gleam, etc.)
Posted: Wed, 11th Mar 2009, 12:44am

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Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Feb 2009 | Posts: 6

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OK, Thanks. When I tried doing some masking in FXLab it seemed the mask was not working so I thought possibly I needed to do that type of work in CLab. 12 was just a hypothetical number as we are just learning this and I envisioned complicated shots requiring a large number of multiple layers.

I guess I made an incorrect assumption that you could move between the programs a little more seemlessly. Guess that is another selling point for VisionLab. Is there any type of upgrade process to change from FXLab and CLab to VisionLab?

Thanks again for your patience with my newbie questions. Is there somewhere I can read about the multi-file layered export, as I don't think I understand where that would be used.
Posted: Wed, 11th Mar 2009, 2:18am

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Axeman

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No worries. As with anything, there is going to be a learning curve while you get the hang of the program and its nuances. There is absolutely a discounted upgrade from the EffectsLab/CompositeLab combo to VisionLab. In fact, right now there is a special on visionLab as well, so it may be discounted even more. Looks like its $219 at the moment; if you aren't in the US, you can check the VisionLab page in the store for your price.

As far as the troubles you ran into masking, if you describe what the issue was in as much detail as possible, we can likely help you get that sorted and point you in the right direction.

And as to the multi-file export, I don't know of a comprehensive write-up on it, but it might be used if, say, there were characters firing guns in the foreground, and eventually there would be a CG character or vehicle in the background, but the CG work hadn't been completed; the muzzle flashes could be alpha rendered, so they could easily be added back in on top of the CG work, once it was completed. Or for users who are using a different program for their final compositing, such as After Effects or Shake, they may want to have the effects in seperate layers for some reason or other when they put the whole thing together.
Posted: Wed, 11th Mar 2009, 6:55am

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Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Feb 2009 | Posts: 6

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I figured out what I was doing wrong with the masking so I'm ok now. Just need to put lots more miles on with the programs. Ran through some of the tutorials and worked with my son's project a bit.

If I get stuck I'll post again.
Thanks for your help!
1-Shot