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Rob James
A question on procedure
on Nov 12, 2011 at 4:14:26 pm

My goal is to add PI effects to HD footage, and keep it at the highest resolution possible. What is the correct render settings out of Vegas 10 so that I can load it into PI, add my effects, and export it from there? What is the best exporting settings from PI, of my finished Product? I've tried uncompressed .avi (though I know PI doesn't recommend that) because I want the highest resolution possible. But the .avi plays in slow motion, which makes timing of the special effects impossible. Not to mention the resulting video also plays in slow motion. I know PI recommends a lossless format, so to that end, I installed HuffyYUV 2.2.1 but I don't see it available as a render option in Vegas. I'm just trying to get my head around the proper procedure for creating effects, at the highest resolution with 1920 X 1080 29.97 fps HD footage. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Rob,
http://www.robjames.net


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Rob James
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 13, 2011 at 6:27:45 pm

Well it seems there is absolutely 0 support on this forum.........nice! I don't understand how someone can fully test out a product without support from those who know it well. I mean this looks like an extremely nice product, but how can you know until you are able to do what you're interested in doing with it? Yes, it's easy to let good low resolution results. But getting effects on HD footage is proving to be a bit of a challenge. I'm left with experimenting with various output formats, to see which ones are actually workable, and yield the desired results. I am making headway but it's a long labourious task. One that would have been so much simpler with guidance! And yes, I did watch the video at Wondertouch on working with HD footage, but it's too vague for my taste. I need detailed render formats, bit rates, resolutions etc. While I'm ranting, there is another issue that should be addressed. The fact that PI doesn't maintain the audio portion of the clip. It would be so much simpler to sync up PI footage with the original footage in a NLE if the audio was intact. You could use a tool like Plural Eyes to sync them up exactly and easily. Anyways, it seems like I'm just yelling in the wind, looks like no one's at home in this forum. I'll figure it out on my own.

Rob,
http://www.robjames.net


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Alan Lorence
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 14, 2011 at 3:22:34 pm

Yeah, I don't typically read the forum over the weekend -- apparently nobody else did either.

I don't know why HuffYUV wouldn't show up in Vegas. You could try Lagarith, but the other option is to just render an image sequence like PNG. I don't use Vegas so I can't say how well it handles image sequences, so that may not be better.

Alan.

....................
Alan Lorence
Product Manager
GenArts, Inc.
http://www.genarts.com
http://www.wondertouch.com


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Rob James
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 14, 2011 at 7:27:30 pm

Hi Alan, sorry for my excited tone. I really thought there was no one on this forum anymore. Glad to find out I'm wrong. Anyways, do you have any personal experience placing PI Special FX's on HD Footage?? If so I'd really like to know what render settings you used out of your NLE? Specifics, such as bit-rate, resolution etc. I'm going to try your suggestion of .png frames, though that's another thing to try and learn. Is it covered in the manual, or is there a link to a tutorial? I mean, if that works it would be very cool! So to understand you correctly, you're saying .png frame animation will play smoothly in PI, and not in slow motion? All the while retaining their HD resolution? If so, that may well be the solution I'm looking for. Gonna run some tests and get back to you. Thanks!!

Rob,
http://www.robjames.net


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Alan Lorence
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 14, 2011 at 8:40:16 pm

Here's what I would do:

1) output your video as a DivX AVI or something similar. You'll be using it for reference in pI3 only, so it doesn't need to be great quality.

2) If it plays back fast enough in pI3 (note that you may never get real-time playback at HD res in pI3 as it's not really optimized for that), use it, add your emitters, then when it's ready move to step 5.

3) If it's not fast enough, scale it down in your editor -- half-size or whatever. Then use that in pI3, setting your stage size in pI3 to the smaller size of your video. Setup all of your emitters, then when they're perfect...

4) Use the "scale project" function in pI3 to scale your emitters and every back up to HD size.

5) Turn off your background video (click the "bg" icon in the layers window) then render just your particles with alpha. Use a format that can save alpha (AVI using HuffYUV or Lagarith codecs, or PNG image sequence).

6) Load the rendered AVI or PNG sequence into your editor, layering it above your original video.

Hope this helps.

Alan.

....................
Alan Lorence
Product Manager
GenArts, Inc.
http://www.genarts.com
http://www.wondertouch.com


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Rob James
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:00:58 pm

Okay, thank you Alan for your reply. I'm going to test out all the options you mentioned. I have already tried exporting .png sequences out of my NLE, which I had high hopes for. But even that plays in slow motion in PI. I guess I'll have to keep trying output formats until I find one that plays smoothly in PI. A quick question on that. If I export something other than my original footage's size (so that it plays smooth in PI) Will that affect the placement of the emitters once I export the finished file?
On another note, I really like your idea of hiding the background image and exporting it with Alpha Channel. Got to try that one out. I'll report back, once I've had another go around. Oh, one final question, is there a way to replace an emitter with another, after all it's moments have been mapped? I ask because, due to having my "Show Particles" off, I inadvertently used the wrong emitter. It was a lot of work to place things and I'm hoping I can just swap out the emitter with another. No mention of switching emitters in the manual.

Rob,
http://www.robjames.net


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Rob James
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:36:08 pm

Just a quick update, the hiding background and saving Alpla Channel idea worked really well!! No more problems with a black frame at the beginning and horizontal black lines at the end. So the final result looks quite good, other than the fact that the explosions aren't moving correctly with the footage's object. It has to be due to the fact that my footage or .png sequences play in slow motion in PI. I mean, if I check it frame by frame in PI, it looks perfect. But the exported video doesn't have the same accuracy. I think once I find the correct format to load into PI, things will be fantastic! It's still a matter of trial and error at this point. But if I do find that magic format, I'll be dancing on the clouds. Thanks for your help, thus far Alan!

Rob,
http://www.robjames.net


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Alan Lorence
Re: A question on procedure
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:26:41 pm

If you check it frame-by-frame in pI, it's correct -- there's no difference between rendering and preview.

I suspect it may be a framerate issue. The easiest way to avoid this: don't output AVI. Just output an image sequence.

Also, the feature you're looking for is called "replace", and *is* covered in the docs. Just r-click on the stage emitter and select "replace".

Alan.

....................
Alan Lorence
Product Manager
GenArts, Inc.
http://www.genarts.com
http://www.wondertouch.com


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