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Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX

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Ian JohnsonSplines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 12, 2008 at 2:04:19 am


If I draw a spline and drop it into the face matte track of a layer to create a key, is there any way to feather the edge? I'm trying to create a vignette, and I can't find any way to soften the edge. There is soften in the mask tab for the spline track, but that only softens the edges of the track, not the spline itself. There is a soft edge parameter under Spline/Path/Border/Border1, however that doesn't seem to have any effect when used as a mask and it only goes to 6 anyway. I can almost do it with drop shadow, but there is always a sharp edge.

This is easy enough in Avid's animatte but I can't find a way to do it in Red.



Ian



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peter mcauleyRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 12, 2008 at 2:28:53 pm

Easy ... just apply a blur filter directly to the spline shape.

Cheers,

Peter.



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Ian JohnsonRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 14, 2008 at 5:30:30 am


Thanks, I hadn't thought to apply filters to vectors. I'm still having some trouble with something, and I think it might be a bug. If I make a spline shape, blur it, and drop it into the face mask of media that is the size of the frame it works fine. If I drop it onto media that is larger than the frame it doesn't work. I have a clip that was rendered at 3000 pixels wide so that it could be panned across. When I drop the blurred spline into the face mask the whole layer is keyed out. If I drop it onto the downstream mask it works like it should. However the downstream mask doesn't do me any good because it goes away when I nest it inside a 3D container.


Ian



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peter mcauleyRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 15, 2008 at 4:37:30 pm

Hi,

Yes, I have noticed that limitation also but you may be able to work past it by either setting the container to use the 2D renderer or by using a precomp instead of a Container to perform the required shape nesting.

I hope this helps.

Peter.



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Ian JohnsonRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 15, 2008 at 5:31:43 pm


I had it in a 3d container because I want to use a camera to do the move. Can I put the spline in the downstream mask, precomp it with 2D rendering, and then place that precomp within a 3D container? Will the precomp remain 2D inside, or does everything get turned to 3D?


Ian



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peter mcauleyRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 16, 2008 at 2:50:37 pm

Hi Ian,

I've looked further into the issue that you initially reported and from what I can see there might be an issue with the use of upstream spline masks in RED when used in media that is larger than the project dimensions. When the project and the media used are the of the same size everything appears to be operating as expected, however when I use an HD clip in an SD project I can see that downstream masks used on tracks that have been nested inside of 3D containers do not appear as expected.

I'll make engineering aware of the issue and I'm sure this will be fixed with a future update. Meanwhile, I like to suggest the workaround of using an RGBA raster image file instead of the live vector file for the mask and you should be good to go.

Cheers,

Peter.



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Ian JohnsonRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 18, 2008 at 2:25:04 am


So here is what I have been trying to do that is so much trouble-

I have two shots at 720x486, and want to do a horizontal camera move from one to the other. I have a very wide QT of some glowy, partially transparent particles that I want to superimpose over both shots, floating a little in front of them in z-space. I also want a soft vignette that will key out the particles completely in the center of each shot.

The particle layer needs a face alpha for the particles, which I have rendered as a separate QT and applied via pixelchooser. At each end there should be masks to create the vignette which I have created as bitmaps which could be blurred and scaled as needed.

I'm having 2 problems. The first is that any media that gets applied to the face track of the particles gets scaled to match the dimensions of the face media. When I drop a vingette onto the downstream key it works fine because the bounding box of the track is the size of the frame, no matter how big the media it contains. If I drop the vignette into the face itself, it gets scaled to match the bounding box of the face media itself which is the full dimensions of the clip.

I could adjust the size and position of the vignette so that when it gets scaled it ends up about where I want it. However it doesn't really matter because the face can only contain one mask, showing which ever one is on top. I can display the vignette, or the particles alpha, but not both within the mask track.

I tried combining the alpha QT and the vignette together in a container to create a single matte image. When I applied that to the face mask I ran into the scaling problem. The container properly displayed the oversized media, but its bounding box is defined by the frame. The frame sized bounding box got scaled to match the oversized bounding box of the face media.

Is there a way to create a new comp that is the size of the particle layer with a corresponding bounding box and then drop that comp into the face mask? I don't think I can do that while in the Avid because everything is limited to 720x486. If it is possible running standalone, would I then be able to open that project into a sequence within the avid?

The only thing I can think of doing right now is to precomp the particle alpha with the vignettes in after effects, but I wouldn't be able to adjust it once I start compositing in Boris.

Fortunately this isn't for any real job, I'm seeing what I can do in Boris to have in my bag of tricks. Applying multiple adjustable masks to a single upstream key is fairly basic and something I do with animatte all the time. However animatte won't let me work beyond the frame like Boris.


Ian



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Peter McAuleyRe: Splines as mattes in Red/Avid FX
by on Dec 18, 2008 at 3:13:52 am

Hi Ian,

Nice to see that you are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with Boris RED. It's a very powerful program and in the right hands, and with the right knowledge, it can be used to generate amazing results.

I'm sure I can figure this out for you so that you can generate the effect that you have in mind. Please send me the project (zipped) and I'll rework it for you. You can send that to me at peterm@borisfx.com. If it's over a couple of megs in size then you should send it to me via the yousendit.com free ftp service or upload it to your FTP and I'll pull it down from there. Again, make sure that you zip anything that you want to send so that all of the pieces make it through.

Cheers,

Peter.



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