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jake blackstone
A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 22, 2013 at 5:09:08 am

First, I have to say, so far I'm impressed with what I see in Smoke 2013. Now it is much more a standard Mac app with drop and drop, Mac menus etc.
First, unlike with Smoke 2012 and earlier, I can't find any kind of demos or tutorials for use of CFX. All I found are just a couple of hot tips. Any possibility of a tutorial on CFX?
So, with that out of the way, I'd like to know, if someone could tell me how to invert the key in a Luminance keyer. Also, as I remember, in the old Luminance keyer it was possible to directly manipulate keyer slider settings. Now, it seems, that everything needs to be adjusted by using numerical sliders.
And finally, for now, when I select "Load" for a new Flare and select it, all my views are reset and the same default flare is still there. There are no other options available for the "Load" button.
Thank you for all your help.


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Brian Mulligan
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 22, 2013 at 2:20:16 pm

What do you want to see in a CFX tutorial? It's really just a matter of linking effects to achive your end result and there are lotos of ways to do that. I think that your best bet would be lookin gat some of the FXPHD.com classes. I learned most of what I know about Autodesk Node based work by watchig Flame tutorials. Even tutorials from several years ago still apply as the basics of node based compositing hasn't changed.

If you are usign the Luma Keyer CFX node or in the Modular Keyer, then
just add a Negative node after it to invert it.
I don't seem to have an issue changing the sliders for Tolerance & Softness in the Luma keyer.

If you want to LOAD a lens Flare. Use the Preset Node in Action. This will load the setup as Nodes and Media and append it to your exisitng setup. It doesn't load the defualt flare at all. The Preset Node defaults to 3D Text.. but just change the menu popup to Lens Flare.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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jake blackstone
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 22, 2013 at 7:30:59 pm

Initially, when I saw Smoke 2013 I rejoiced. Great, finally a "normal" application behavior. I can now hide it, I can use standard menus, drag and drop material from the Finder and, finally, I don't have to go into Preferences to quit the app.
Well, so now in order to load a new Flare I don't use a Load button (I'm not even sure why that button is there, if it doesn't load anything). Now, instead of using a Load button to load the new Flare, I need to use the Preset Node and load 3D text. What???
In Smoke 2012, it was possible to directly manipulate the histogram of the Luminance keyer and just choose the invert the mask right inside the keyer. Not anymore. Must use another node for that. That's progress?
And if that's not enough, now instead of learning CFX in Smoke, I'm advised to learn it in Flame instead, while spending hundreds of dollars doing it. But, thank god, there is 12 part series on dealing with material with Alpha. I guess, I shouldn't being surprised at the logic.


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Brian Mulligan
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 22, 2013 at 7:47:37 pm

OK how's this. The old keyer was not 16 bit float and has been retired. I can't wait to hear your comments on that when you enter Action.

The Keyer in AXIS works just like it did before and has your sought after INVERT button.

And you can load Lens Flares just like you did in 2012.. nothing has changed. It's obvious you were not aware of the Preset node in Action.
That is one way. The other is to load it just like you did before.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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jake blackstone
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 22, 2013 at 10:27:06 pm

As I said earlier "when I select "Load" for a new Flare and select it, all my views are reset and the same default flare is still there. There are no other options available for the "Load" button." Did I miss something?
Also, I just would like to point out, that the attitude of answering a question with a tangent on a new Smoke capabilities, that, frankly, majority of casual users couldn't care less, is not helping and counterproductive. Autodesk made a concerted effort to woe new users and for those users the new float keyer doesn't arise to the top of the must-have list. Ease of use does. Don't forget, most new Smoke users are not hardcore compositors. They are editors and colorists, dipping their toes into Smoke waters, looking for a one app finishing solution. I don't expect from you to know how to operate Baselight, FilmMaster, Lustre, Scratch or Resolve. So, don't expect me to just walk in and start using Smoke, like it's not a big deal. What may make sense to you, makes absolutely no sense to someone, like me. So, please relax and try to help, even if the question appears less that perfect... or don't.


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Brian Mulligan
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 22, 2013 at 11:38:14 pm

When you load any Action setups including Lens Flares, at the bottom left is a pop up button. Under it there is an option for Load Nodes or Load Nodes+Media. Either one of these will work.

NOTE: when you select ACTION in CFX the LOAD options are on the right of theUI under neither the name box. (text field) If you are using the LOAD on the left that is for CFX and might explain your issues.

However, my first advice of use the preset node, which allows you to load 3D text presets or lens Flare presets is the easiest option.

Just switch the button to Lens Presets and you will see the lens presets to load. Are you trying ot load a preset or a Lens effect you created and saved?

Since you mentioned previous versions of Smoke.. I wrongly thought you had some experience.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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jake blackstone
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 23, 2013 at 7:16:21 am

Well, the name of the thread kinda should've been self explanatory on my Smoke user level.
I appreciate the suggestion to use the Presets for loading new Flares, even if that doesn't make much sense for uninitiated in Smoke ways, but it works, even, if I can't just try different Lens Flares easily. Every time I load a new one, I have to redo my Light.
But I'm still stumped on the Load button question. Here is the screen capture, where I try to load a new Lens Flare. May be I'm not explaining myself clearly. The Load button doesn't give me any options and when I click on a new Lens Flare in the library, no new Lens Flare gets loaded.






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Grant Kay
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 23, 2013 at 2:28:11 pm

Hi Jake,

I have just seen this thread and I thought I'd jump on board :)

To answer your questions on Lens Flares.

1) To manually create a lens flare:
- add a light into your scene from the action node bin
- select thelight
- double-click on the lens flare node on the node bin and the lens flare elements will attach themselves to the light node producing the lens fare.
------- This is the default lens flare than you can create from scratch

2) To use a preset lens flare
- Just load your background into action (you do not need to add a light)
- in the action node bin, you will find a node called PRESETS
- double-click the PRESETS node to launch the browser
--------- The presets browser support 3D text presets and lens flare presets
- under the EXIT button, switch the option from 3D TEXT to LENS FLARES
- You will now see 2 folders called CREATIVE and REALISTIC lens flares
- Click any folder to view the contents.
- You can click the TITLES button at the top left of the UI to switch to a PROXIES (thumbnail view) so you can see what your about to select
- Make your select and click the LOAD button on the left of the interface.
- Back in action, when the preset is loaded, it will automatically add the light and the lens fare elements needed.

I have emailed you directly with regards to the more general CFX issues and questions.

Regards
Grant

Check out the Smoke Learning Channel

Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/smokehowtos
or search for the Smoke Learning Channel on iTunes
Follow me on twitter @discreetuk


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Brian Mulligan
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 23, 2013 at 2:35:14 pm

With no lens flare loaded. And from that same screen in your screenshot...

Hit Node Prefs.
At that point where th etext box on the right says "lensflareObject2" - it will change to Load Node.
Press Load Node. - This will dump you in to the file browser.
At the Bottom left there is a button that says ALL.
press and hold that and you will see other options. Choose NODES or NODES+MEDIA. This will append your lensflare setup or and set to your existing Action scene.

Now you have to navigate to where the Lens Flares are....
The Preset node does all of this for you.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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jake blackstone
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:29:09 am

Thanks Grant and Brian for help. Perfect.


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Daniel Burrell
Re: A couple of question from new user.
on Feb 11, 2013 at 6:06:14 pm

I am a new Smoke 2013 user as well, although this is my first experience with any version of Smoke. Autodesk has the smoke learning channel on youtube, which was helpful but still pretty basic. There is also a website, http://www.smoke-training.com, which has a much more in depth look at the program and its functionality. I found this one much more helpful, especially in using ConnectFX. There is a 10 part series just on ConnectFX that was very helpful to me as a new user. Hope this helps.


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