Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to Grab Individual Channels out of an EXR

Pretty easy actually, if somewhat hidden:

In the gateway, double click on the "Multi" icon and it'll crack open your EXR and allow you to just grab the passes you want.

My new favorite pass: the point depth pass--it's like having three depth passes.

Also of note: Ctrl Up and Ctrl Down will flick through your EXR layers in a Gateway Import.  Also works for Actions with multiple outputs.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Matte Edge is Wonderful

I've already covered the greatness of matte edge for it's ability to soften linear gradients and also add grain into them.

Today I was building my own light wrap setup when I noticed that I need to use far fewer steps now. In MatteEdge, change edges to "Advanced" and in there you can setup up a zero width edge and adjust the gradient for both inner and outer edges. It's very nice.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top 5 Nodes November

5. Action Gmasks. There's still some bugs in them (I had one that refused to create any more keyframes last night, and when you manipulate the verts off-axis, say on a plane rotated 80 on the Y, they get gummy) but they've got a lot of promise and allow you to do some pretty clever things when combined with a camera track. Admittedly, you can do this with old gmasks, which are also 3d, but having everything live inside of Action makes 3d gmasking much more viable.

4. Matte Edge. I think I overuse this guy a bit, but it's so so useful.

3. Sapphire MatteBlur. No other node will do a blur inside a matte as nicely as this guy. I keep waiting for the day when i can not use it, but that day is not here, so it gets on the list.

2. Point Cloud. It's a damn shame this feature only works with flame generated camera tracks, because it is beyond useful. Hold Shift and drag an axis manipulator over it to snap the axis to the point cloud, or parent an axis and define how the point cloud places the axis. A very smart and very useful feature. Needs to be opened up so any axes can be converted into one.

1. Color Warper. A bug in the CC's curves sent me back to the warper and I remembered that it's curve function (which works on NURBS instead of bezier curves) has a live histogram that will warp as you push values around. Awesome.

Hotkey Wednesday!

Hotkey I just found: Alt + Left/Right arrow: jump to next keyframe. Great for roto.

Shot +2/3/4 in Action: Front/Side/Top view. Wonderful for 3d.

SPACE +F4: working camera. Again, great for 3d, camera tracks etc.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A very useful expression

how to negate a scale:


or, for the cavalier:

very handy for non-proportional scales that need to be re-proportionalized (e.g. front/matte sources that scale an image to the edges)