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Fade in with Alpha

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Rob
Fade in with Alpha
by
on Oct 15, 2007 at 2:23:15 pm

I have a question about a scene I'm working on. I'm creating a "Beaming up away team", scene
where I'd like the green screen footage of the actors to FADE in, as the particle beam comes in
and out. I don't see a way to do this in PI, so I'm assuming the fade in part has to be done in Vegas?
Here's the scene before I've added the actors. http://www.robjames.net/Beam.wmv So my question
is now, how do I export uncompressed .AVI with Alpha from Vegas? So that I can finish the scene in PI.
Has anyone done this successfully? UltraKey does not have a way to fade in footage either, so it
has to be done in Vegas.
(On a side note) The 24-bit .AVI output of UltraKey crashes Particle Illusions 3.02 but not 3.01a.
Something the developers might want to look into? It's not completely tragic, as I've found a
work-around. I export out of UltraKey in 32-bit .AVI with Alpha, then remove the Alpha in Particle
Illusions. Here's a screenshot of the only two export options in UltraKey
http://www.robjames.net/UltraPic.bmp So if anyone wants to confirm or deny it, I've uploaded
a 10 frame video in UltraKey 24-bit .AVI format for you to test it. That way I can know it's not just
my system. Here's the Winrar packed clip. http://www.robjames.net/10F24-bitWedding.rar
(It's 1.44megs)


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Elvis Deane
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Oct 15, 2007 at 3:44:01 pm

There's no way to fade a background up in pI, you'd have to do it in Vegas before exporting.

There's a bit in this tutorial on how to export uncompressed AVI from Vegas. Make sure you have no video tracks below the one that has transparency in it before you export.

--
Elvis Deane!

The Apprentice Magician's Guide to particleIllusion

Wilbur of Wumbaberry


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Rob
Re: Fade in with Alpha
by
on Oct 15, 2007 at 6:43:24 pm

Thanks Elvis, I'll give that a go. BTW has anyone tested the Ultra clip I posted to see if it crashes PI for you too? Just curious, all in the interest of easy workflow.


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Alan Lorence
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Oct 15, 2007 at 7:04:19 pm

I tested it -- it doesn't crash me, but it doesn't display anything either. This is an old problem that we've never been able to figure out: some uncompressed AVIs don't load in particleIllusion. Sometimes it's on a per-machine basis.

Do you have any other codecs installed that support alpha channel? If not, I suggest Huffy UV or Lagarith. After installing one (or both), choose that in Ultra and see if it lets you save a 32-bit AVI.

That will load fine in pIllusion (and will save disk space too).



Alan.

http://www.wondertouch.com


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Rob
Re: Fade in with Alpha
by
on Oct 15, 2007 at 8:21:49 pm

Thanks so much Alan, for shedding some light on this subject. I'll download those codecs, run some tests, and report back. I'll also run codec sniper to see if it's something on my end. Thanks again for taking the time.


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Rob
Re: Fade in with Alpha
by
on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:14:43 pm

Ok just to follow up. I've downloaded and installed both Lagarith, and Huffyuv v2.1.1 and Codec Sniper. The latter shows all my codex are fine. Ran tests on exporting Alpha screen footage out of UltraKey, in Huffyuv format. I checked off "Enable RGBA (RGB with alpha) Compression". Particle Illusions loaded this file without crashing, but doesn't show the Alpha. In other words no layering. I see no options to export with Alpha in the Lagarith codec. So the only option that works for loading UltraKey output into Particle Illusions is uncompressed 32-bit .AVI with Alpha. Yet if I want to export UltraKey footage without Alpha, in otherwords uncompressed .AVI 24-bit, that footage crashes PI 3.02. So I'm at a loss to get this to work as I hoped. I'll try Elvis' tutorial on exporting Alpha footage from Vegas next. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, PI is a fabulous program!! I do have a work around for getting non-alpha footage out of UltraKey and into PI, I had just hoped that it would support the 24-bit files, and that the other codec's supported alpha in PI.


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Alan Lorence
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:18:02 pm

Just export to a PNG sequence with alpha and be done with it.



Alan.

http://www.wondertouch.com


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Elvis Deane
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Oct 16, 2007 at 5:50:03 pm

You'll see in my tutorial that I suggest always exporting from Vegas as 32 bit. There's no reason not to, other than that it makes the file size a bit bigger, since you can just turn off transparency information if you don't want it. There's just some flag that Vegas doesn't seem to write in the 24 that it does in the 32 that makes the clips display in pI.

--
Elvis Deane!

The Apprentice Magician's Guide to particleIllusion

Wilbur of Wumbaberry


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Rob
Re: Fade in with Alpha
by
on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:43:42 pm

Thanks for the info and help guys. My aim was to stay away from .PNG sequences they don't seem as clear as .AVI's with alpha to me. I want my final product to be of the highest resolution possible. So I tried your Vegas exporting tutorial Elvis, thanks for that. It's not bad, but renders the alpha black so the overall green screened .AVI, is darkened. It's useable but not as good as UltraKey's white alpha 32-bit. So I'll be sticking with that. I also did try the FrameServer. I got very excited about that idea, thinking I could tweak the green screen footage from Vegas while monitoring inside Particle Illusion. But alas, you can't do that. Man, that would be powerful if you could!! Anyways thanks for all your help. Here's an example of how the green screen UltraKey white 32-bit footage looks out of Particle Illusions, definitely useable.
http://www.robjames.net/Gwaoul.wmv


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Alan Lorence
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:57:43 pm

PNG is a lossless format if you save a 24-bit or higher PNG. TGA is lossless too. Which means that the contents will be exactly, pixel-for-pixel the same as uncompressed AVI.




Alan.

http://www.wondertouch.com


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Paul Wright
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Mar 6, 2010 at 3:00:27 pm

PNG may be lossless, but it doesn't look lossless on my setup right now. Trying to put a PNG sequence with alpha generated from PI3 into Vegas, and it's not retaining it's clarity or transparency. It's working, but it's muddy and blotchy... Is there a setting in PI3 that switches between 24bit and 32bit images? Not sure what I'm doing wrong...


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Theo van Laar
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Mar 7, 2010 at 12:04:27 pm

I always use the free lossless Lagarith codec to go from PI to Vegas. Works perfect. Don't forget to include the alpha channel in the Lagarith settings.

http://lags.leetcode.net/codec.html

Theo


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Paul Wright
Re: Fade in with Alpha
on Mar 7, 2010 at 4:09:01 pm

OK I will try this today. I've had good luck with this sort of thing before with fx generated in AE, but this is my first try with a demo of PI. I'm blown away by the program and I hope to convince a client that we should buy it but I need to get these to work in Vegas since that's their main workflow. Thanks for the tip...

PW


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