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Rendering

Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 1:01am

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Zorn8

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I'm having a problem rendering something. I created an energy ball out of a lot of combined effects so it would be impossible to track this in some footage so I want to render this and then just set it to screen or something. This is what it should look like[/img]

And this is what it looks like when I render it.

Does anybody know what I am doing wrong?
Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 1:52am

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Axeman

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You aren't doing anything wrong, necessarily. That footage includes an alpha channel which isn't being displayed. The alpha channel controls which areas of the frame are transparent. So toward the edges, rather than blending the blue with black to make it fade out, the blue stays solid, then the alpha channel, which isn't currently being displayed, creates the feathered edge. Import that footage back into VisionLab, and you'll see that once VisionLab implements the alpha channel to composite it in, everything looks as it should.

By the way, I really like the look of that effect; nice work.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 2:19am

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Zorn8

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Ya I figured it was a problem with the alpha channel and I tried rendering with different settings with no luck. And I just tried putting it back in VL and it still looks the same. Is there anything I need to do to re-initiate the implementation of the alpha channel?

BTW, thanks for the help and compliment.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 2:22am

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Axeman

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What codec settings did you use?
Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 7:35am

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Zorn8

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Well I tried rendering with and without the "retain alpha channel" in the render settings and I tried rendering as an animation and a png. All had the same result.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 8:23am

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Axeman

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When you selected the animaton codec, did you make sure to set the color depth to "Millions+"? The + is the alpha channel, so if you use millions of colors, but without the +, it won't composite in correctly.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Dec 2010, 10:08am

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Simon K Jones

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Very nice looking effect!
Posted: Fri, 3rd Dec 2010, 7:27am

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Zorn8

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Thanks Tarn!

Axeman-I did not try that before. However I just rendered it with that setting and it still looks the same. It improved a little, but it doesn't look much different.
Posted: Fri, 3rd Dec 2010, 3:51pm

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Axeman

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Even after importing it back into VisionLab? The rendered file, when viewed on its own, will always look that way, its meant to. Once imported back into visionLab it should look correct.

If you have QuickTime Pro, you can go into the clip settings and change the way the alpha channel is displayed, if you like.
Posted: Fri, 3rd Dec 2010, 4:54pm

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Simon K Jones

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Do you have any composite filters in use or grade objects? They flatten the image and can override the alpha.
Posted: Mon, 6th Dec 2010, 3:07am

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Zorn8

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Axeman wrote:

Even after importing it back into VisionLab? The rendered file, when viewed on its own, will always look that way, its meant to.
But that doesn't make any sense. What if that was the finished product?

Tarn wrote:

Do you have any composite filters in use or grade objects? They flatten the image and can override the alpha.
Yes I have a displacement map and a glow. There are no grade objects.
Posted: Mon, 6th Dec 2010, 5:46am

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Axeman

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If it was the finished product, you wouldn't need to render it with an alpha. Alpha rendering is specifically so that the effect can later be re-composited. And perhaps I didn't mention it, but in Quicktime Pro I know you can change the way the alpha is displayed, I'm sure many other video programs have similar abilities.

I'm glad Tarn brought up the Composite filters, I had forgotten to mention that. The composite filters, including Displacement and Glow, require that the bg layer be in place when you render, as they require that the layers be merged to get the right look. Its not possible to perform an alpha export while Composite filters are implemented, due to the nature of how they work.
Posted: Tue, 7th Dec 2010, 10:52pm

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Zorn8

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So there's pretty much no way for me to render this correctly?
Posted: Tue, 7th Dec 2010, 11:40pm

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Axeman

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Just don't render with an alpha. You can render the effect over black, and use Screen or add to remove the black later.

But if you need the effect with an alpha channel then its not possible, no. Either the final composite will have to be created within VisionLab, or you'll have to come up with a different technique to create the effect, which doesn't involve composite filters.
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 7:21am

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Zorn8

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Axeman wrote:

Just don't render with an alpha. You can render the effect over black, and use Screen or add to remove the black later.
That was my original plan. I don't need the alpha. But the same thing happens when I render it with and without the alpha.
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 8:03am

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spydurhank

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That looks awesome. I'm assuming you have more than 1 effects layer so try this.
1. Make a preset for each effects layer.
2. Add your first effects layer to the timeline and track the origin point to your footage.
3. Add the other effects layers presets to the timeline.
4. Copy the orgin point from the first effects layer and paste it to the other effects layers so you don't have to track them and you should be good to go. Hope this helps. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 9:26am

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Axeman

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Ah, well, that shouldn't be. What render settings are you using? You un-ticked the "retain alpha" box, right?

And what codec are you using? If you are using Animation still, make sure to switch the color depth to 'millions' of colors, rather than 'millions+'.

Somewhere some setting is still trying to create an alpha, so its just a matter of finding that setting and switching it off.
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 4:23pm

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spydurhank

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If you want to render with an alpha channel, make sure you're rendering uncompressed. I just tried it and it worked.
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 6:41pm

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Zorn8

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Axeman wrote:

Ah, well, that shouldn't be. What render settings are you using? You un-ticked the "retain alpha" box, right?

And what codec are you using? If you are using Animation still, make sure to switch the color depth to 'millions' of colors, rather than 'millions+'.
Yes I have unchecked the retain alpha box. I am using the animation codec with millions of colors. Not the millions+. I've rendered so many times with all of the codecs and it's not making any difference. wall
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 7:31pm

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spydurhank

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Is that what the clip looks like when you import it into V.L. or are you previewing it in Windows Movie Player or Quicktime player? Here's what I did to render out with an alpha channel.
To use Quicktime.
Click "render settings". Click "retain alpha channel". Click Quicktime movie. Click render. Name and save video output location. Click "animation" or "none" then click "millions of colors+"

To use avi
Click render setting. Click retain alpha channel. Click avi. Click Render. Name and save video output location. Click uncompressed.

Just render out a few frames to save yourself some time as you're testing this out. Just make sure you're rendering out uncompressed, none, or millions of colors+.

Did you try my suggestion in my other post? It should work.
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 8:31pm

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Zorn8

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I do not want the alpha channel, that's what is messing everything up. There's like half a dozen layers in this effect, so I am just trying to render it out so that I can bring it back in VL and set it to screen to remove the black bg. In a sense I'm just trying to merge all the layers into one, so that I only have to track one item and not multiple.
Posted: Wed, 8th Dec 2010, 8:53pm

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Axeman

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I sent you a PM Zorn8, if you get a chance to look at it.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 12:07am

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spydurhank

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Zorn8 wrote:

I do not want the alpha channel, that's what is messing everything up. There's like half a dozen layers in this effect, so I am just trying to render it out so that I can bring it back in VL and set it to screen to remove the black bg. In a sense I'm just trying to merge all the layers into one, so that I only have to track one item and not multiple.
I understand what you've been trying to do, that's not the issue.
Did you try the method I explained in a previous post? All you have to do is track one effects layer then add the other effects layers, then copy and paste the origin point from the first tracked effects layer onto your other effects layers. Does that make sense at all? It makes it so you only have to track the first layer. The origin point keyframes will be transfered to all of the other effects layers when you copy and paste the origin point from the 1st layer. Please let me know wether you're understanding me or not. I feel like it's something really simple where you're missing a step.

But if you really want to render the effects onto one video clip I have a method that I've been using, before I take the time to explain it though... Can you tell us the process step by step that you're using to render out the clip? This way we can identify where you're actually having trouble.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 1:03am

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Axeman

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Pretty sure you can't paste origin point info from one type of effect to another, spydurhank. From one particle effect to another will work, if neither of them uses a quad emitter, but you can't transfer an origin from a particle to a optics effect or anything like that.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 4:01am

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spydurhank

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Correct. I assumed He had multiple particle engine layers and that's what he was talking about.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 4:38am

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Zorn8

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There are particles, optics, and lightning.

Axeman: Email sent.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 5:43am

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Axeman

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Got it, thanks.

I'm not entirely sure why this is happening yet, but I did find a possible solution. The problem seems to step specifically from the Glow composite applied to the third layer, the Electric Ball layer. Disable the Glow, and it will render out correctly. Obviously this isn't an ideal solution, as that glow is something that you wanted to be there, and although its effect is subtle, just discarding it isn't the optimal way to handle this.

However if you can do so for now, I'll continue to look into why things are going wonky, as obviously it shouldn't behave this way. And you might be able to substitute another technique to replace the effect of the glow, maybe doubling the Electric Ball layer, or adding another Optic to brighten that center area.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 6:53am

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spydurhank

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The simplest way to get this to work is if you have Photoshop or Gimp. You need pixels behind the effects layers in order for all of the effects to render out properly even though they should be rendering out fine to begin with. I can't seem to duplicate your problem but here's a quick fix for you.

In Photoshop or Gimp, render out a layer filled with black and make sure it's the same dimensions as your video. Import that black layer into V.L. and place it underneath all of your effects layers on the timeline and then render it out. You should then be able to re-import it into V.L. and set it to screen or add but I don't think it'll look exactly the way you originaly wanted it to because it'll either be to bright and or transparent.
Although you can easily now key out the black background with a value key. You can also add an erode white and blur alpha. This will make the edges look nice and soft with semi transparent pixles around the edges of the effect. Hope this helps. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 7:02am

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Zorn8

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Axeman you are awesome! But I swear rendered it without that glow and the displacement map. I feel kind of stupid. tard

Well to be honest that glow doesn't really make that much of a difference haha. So it doesn't really matter.

Thank you for your help.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 4:45pm

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Axeman

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Sure thing, though I'm still curious why it was behaving that way to begin with.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 6:41pm

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Zorn8

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One more quick question. Is it possible to make the canvas bigger?
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 6:43pm

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Axeman

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You can zoom in on the canvas, using the slider at the top right. but to actually change its pixel dimensions isn't possible, its part of the project settings which can't be altered. You would have to create a preset of each layer, create a new project with a larger size, then add in each of the presets to rebuild the effect.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 8:03pm

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Zorn8

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Axeman wrote:

You would have to create a preset of each layer, create a new project with a larger size, then add in each of the presets to rebuild the effect.
Ya I did that this morning.

Ya I couldn't figure it out. I was just wondering if it is possible for future reference.