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Soniclight
-- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas
on Sep 6, 2007 at 3:38:23 am

Hi Alan/Wondertouch Support,

I have created a temporary support question page for you to go to on my server -- this due to having to make a few full-size screen-shots in both PI-3 and Vegas. The screen-shots are overlayed with pertinent information (resolution info, etc).

The page is divided into two sections and each respective section is introduced with some further explanations of the issue.

As stated there, some rez loss is natural, but it's a bit worse than I'd expected. It could hamper the end results within Vegas, unless I can find some way to improve this.

The sections are:

1. Particle Illusion Screenshots
2. Vegas 6 Screenshots

Now,one solution may be to:

1. Bring the final footage (without any particles) back as uncompressed AVI into PI as background image. Right now, I use intermediate but sequence/length and fps correct stand-in AVI as background in PI.

2. Export them with the particles added (also as uncompressed AVI), then composite these back into Vegas. I'll be buying one or two bigger hard drives before the end of the year, so drive allocation won't be an issue.


This isn't the ideal solution. But maybe it's the only way to preserve the constantly improving and more nuanced magic I'm creating thanks to your program.

Thanks for any feedback and/or assistance.

____________________________________

Temp. Support Q Page (Note: The 5 screen-shots are full size, so some lateral scrolling may be necessary according to the viewer's system resolution. Best viewed in IE but OK in Firefox, etc. This page will not be up indefinitely.):

PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas



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Soniclight
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas
on Sep 6, 2007 at 9:08:14 am

P.S.: I've also addes the actual PNG files for each of the two particles in the example to that page.
.


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Alan Lorence
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas
on Sep 6, 2007 at 11:31:26 am

Although I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, or which images on that page you think are good and which are bad, I do have some suggestions.

#1 suggestion: Never use uncompressed AVI. It is a waste of drive space, and some people have problems with it in pIllusion. There are at least 2 lossless codecs that give you much smaller file sizes (Lagarith, Huffy UV), and a PNG image sequence is good too (and again lossless).

I'm not sure what you mean by "loss of resolution", so I can't address that, but the color desaturation I can address. The problem is the "intense" particles which are additive. When used on light colored backgrounds, they more quickly go toward white (they are additive). You have a couple of ways of avoiding this. The first is to check the "preserve color" option that is next to the "intense" option for each particle type of each emitter you use. This is not always ideal, as it changes the look of the emitter in many cases.

The other option is to always render on black in pIllusion, then check the "save alpha" and "remove black background..." options. Note that you'll have to choose TGA or PNG image sequence to get these options until 3.0.2 is released. Then when you import the footage into Vegas, make sure you tell Vegas that it is "straight" (not premultiplied).

Hope this helps, and hope that others with more Vegas experience can add some tips.



Alan.

http://www.wondertouch.com


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Soniclight
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas
on Sep 6, 2007 at 1:53:22 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, although as far as alpha channel and remove black, that info was included in the bottom title part of the page where the actual exported PNG frame files were ("... with Alpha Channel/Mask & Black Removed").

One can save and open these and see that it is so. I always export particles as shown (on black/no background image) for I need the transparency.

As far as what you said, "Although I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, or which images on that page you think are good and which are bad (...)":

I put some time and effort into creating that page for this question with its provided visual and written info, but the short version is that:

--- It seems (to me) that simply looking at the before and after (in-PI and in-Vegas) same resolution shots (100% 640x480) on black/no background, the deterioration of the details is very obvious. What shows up in Vegas is definitely degraded/flat compared to its pre-export in PI.

I will try the "preserve" color option and keep in mind what you said about its potential effect on particles, but it may already be activated in that project for both particles.

My system in tied up rendering something right now, so I can't open up PI to double-check without it struggling. No point taking chances.

Whatever the case, I'll experiment with and without the preserve and see what happens.

___________________________________

As to getting input from the Sony forum, I've already gotten some for they've viewed the same page and a slightly edited version of my opening post to you here at this board.

From the feedback I have gotten so far on this, it is also possible that Vegas Pro 8 does in fact have some new alpha channel and other stuff that may be useful in such cases.

But it's too soon to tell, for the IBC conference where it will be formally unveiled is this weekend.

September seems to be an important month for media applications (i.e. PI is to be updated, too :)
.


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Alan Lorence
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas
on Sep 6, 2007 at 2:02:58 pm

I suspect the problem is in how Vegas is treating the input footage, and how it's compositing. I've got about 10 minutes of experience with Vegas, so I'll wait for others to post here.



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Soniclight
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG Export to Vegas
on Sep 6, 2007 at 5:43:50 pm

That's fine. Thanks for trying (10 hours in Vegas, well, I've got a handful more clocked - lol :) One way or another, there will be some kind of solution or solutions. There is no way I am I going to give up on all the tlc poured into my "Wow, that's really coming out nice!" PI files.

For that export issue aside, it's funny how occasional seeming mistakes in particle tweaks can turn into new effects. Had just one mistake or discovery recently using something I'm starting to master: blockers!

The fun only increases the more one learns indeed.


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Soniclight
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG -- A Good Solution
on Sep 7, 2007 at 9:14:48 am

Alan (and anyone else interested in this thread topic):

Below is a copy of my most recent posting at the Sony Vegas forums. A couple of people suggested that I try changing the track alpha modality for those on which the PI exported PNGs are located.

Perhaps this info may be of use to someone here too.

___________________________________

A Happy Update:

While the details aren't quite as subtle as in pre-PI export, using "Add" in channel improved things a lot. At least now it reflect what happens when I develop the light effects in PI (i.e. said pink-leaning behavior in this particular example as shown on my screen-shots page).

Meaning that I get a far more accurate WYSIWYG feel going between the two apps.. I can then do some minor sharpening and color curving to polish them up in Vegas.

I may have gone a bit overboard in presenting this problem by spending so much time on the screenshots page to illustrate my dilemma. But for me then, it was a seemingly unsurmountable and can't-have-this-going on' situation.

Fortunately a simple solution was offered here which has only widened my mastery of Vegas..
So thanks to all of you for your input..


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Trelawney
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG -- A Good Solution
on Sep 7, 2007 at 9:11:27 pm

Hi Soniclight

I work at MS and help to manage and support EMEA vendors (tools & infrastructure). I just wish some of our vendors and customers were as informative and constructive with their tools reports as you have been - that's really good to see, so 10/10 for effort! >8o)

Not intended as a plug, but I also personally find TechSmith's SnagIt and Camstasia are great tools for capturing bug reports when I beta certain well known 3d packages (hobby rather than work here) - Great for demonstrating and annotating any issues (or demonstrating techniques).

Kind regards

Rod Davies (UK)


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Soniclight
Re: -- PI-3 Q: Color Range & Detail Losses in PNG -- A Good Solution
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:56:21 pm

Rod,

Thanks you for the kind words. I like to be efficient :)

As to using vid screen capture apps, I use Fraps suggested to me at the Sony forums. It's cheap (I live on a limited disabilty income) but it's used by game developers, so not some lightweight prog. Now also does HD/high rez.

I use it mostly for my NASA Worldwind and Celestia landscape/Earth terrain overflights (again, those are freebies too :)

I just don't have enough neurons available to delve into true 3D stuff now, so may ask for credit-for-use donations from some of the artists I admire in the field. In due time.

Some of their work is absolutely elegant and magnificent, i.e. Rosenberg, Kleiner and others. Rosenberg has even now developed his own 3D landscape prog, GeoControl, with some of his colleagues.

But I digress. Back to screen cap:

I didn't think of using motion clips as examples, but since you mentioned it, I may do that in further "help me" issue presentations.

All the best,


~ Soniclight
(a.k.a. Philip S. Knight, Los Angeles, CA)


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