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Axis Soft Effect - Invisible Pan Keyframes?

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Hillary Knox
Axis Soft Effect - Invisible Pan Keyframes?
on Aug 20, 2011 at 9:05:20 pm

Bear with me, I’m fairly new to Smoke & real new to compositing within Smoke…(I also posted this same thing to The Area)

I’m attempting to 2D comp some still-image posters onto the walls of a room in a live-action scene by using Axis soft effects on timeline layers. Pretty straightforward stuff - get everything scaled properly, match perspective using shear & rotate, a little tracking to compensate for some camera jostling, some color correction to make it match up - all accomplished reasonably successfully (not particularly quickly yet, but successfully).

The real problem/question I’m having is whether or not I am using Pan (spacebar-N) correctly - as in, the manner in which it is intended to be used. In a lot of cases, it seems to be the quickest way to position the comped layers. But it seems like it might be auto-keyframing (?) even though I have auto keyframing turned off. There are no Pan keyframes that show up in the Animation graph, yet the layers still seem to have invisibly-keyframed Pan values (inexplicably moving themselves around the screen in a motion that is not related to the tracker), and I don't know how to delete this motion. So, what happens is, if I'm (accidentally) not on Frame 1 when I Pan, I can't find a way to get rid of the accidental Pan that I set on Frame 44 when I wasn't paying attention to which frame I was parked on. My guess is that I’m using the wrong tool for the job...?

The tracker I'm using (not tracking scale or rotation) is keyframing the X & Y position values. I guess the big question is, how does Pan interact/overlap with the X & Y position values?

Many thanks.


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Tom Tortoriello
Re: Axis Soft Effect - Invisible Pan Keyframes?
on Aug 22, 2011 at 1:34:22 am

I think you are confusing pan, as in "Pan Keyframes" in the animation view, with a axis offset. I would recommend doing compositions within the Action module (or within Batch if your using a Linux/Smoke Advanced system), as it gives you much more latitude for multi layer effects & global axes. If you DO want to reposition (offset) a tracked Axis on a soft effect on the timeline however...

Sounds like you tracked the Axis, so there should be a Layer tab above the X,Y,Z readout within the AXIS soft fx module. If you click it the readouts for XYZ should change to "0.00" (except scale which should read 100.00%). Use the LAYER coordinates to offset the tracked position. You can switch between the Layer (offset) and Axis(track)either by using the tabs above the coordinates, OR finding them in the Animation view (pull down tabs). You COULD probably also do it by adding a GAP axis effect above the layer with the soft effect tracked Axis in the timeline, but that seems clunky.

Another suggestion for monitor comps. is to change the image from Flat, to Bilinear, so you can corner pin the comp. into the monitor. Good luck!-Tom T


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Tom Tortoriello
Re: Axis Soft Effect - Invisible Pan Keyframes?
on Aug 22, 2011 at 2:28:16 pm

I realized after re-reading my post that I referred to "monitor comps", as opposed to "still-image posters onto the walls of a room in a live-action scene", but I believe the concept is the same. -tom


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