As I delve deeper into learning Smoke 2013, I am enjoying watching tutorials on both 2013 Smoke as wells as prior Smoke systems (like 2012) and recreating the work on my 2013. I did a few over the weekend and have a few questions from my experience.
1. One of the tutorials done on Smoke 2012 shows bringing an image and it's matte into Paint. The matte was helpful in restricting the paint work to the proper areas. I could not figure out how to bring in the matte in the 2013 Paint ConnectFX or Utilities area. I tried making a matte container with the matte and having the image & matte as separate elements but no luck.
2. General question: A lot of the tutorials I watched showed making separate elements in Batch, processing them, then bringing them into a new comp. SInce there is no Batch area in 2013, my only idea to recreate this type of workflow was to have a scratch timeline. I would create an element on the timeline by starting with a blank gap or a colored frame, go into ConnectFX, create the element, exit, copy the element on the timeline and commit it, move the rendered (committed) element into a bin in my library. If I wanted to revise the element, I could always go to the original element on the timeline, modify, duplicate it on the timeline and commit it again.
I realize that most scenarios will not need this workflow and the goal is to create everything in one comp. But is there a better workflow than what I described to create elements separately so you could bring them into a new comp later?
2. Your workflow for "precomping" is valid. But I am not sure you need to commit the render. You can just use the CFX result in your new timeline. You can also create CFX clips in ConnectFX then copy them out of the Sources folder and into a saved folder in the library.
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Thanks Brian. I did get the Paint node in ConnectFX to recognize the matte. I was hoping to use the Desktop Paint tool in the Utilities menu because I wanted to create vector based squares. Is there a way to import and image & matte into the Desktop Paint tool?