Compositor and Sequence editor

Hey everyone,

It seems by reading the documentation that you should be able to use the compositor on video sequences as well as still images. However, I can’t seem to find any real information on this. So I have two basic questions.

  1. Is there any tutorials that you know of to do this?

  2. I use a different computer to render my animations. What file format should I use when doing this to go back into blender on my main computer and edit with sequencer and compositor.



Yes you can use video (single asset media or frame sequences) in the compositor.

Try to use frame sequences where possible to maintain quality in editing. People often use .png as it has compression and alpha channel available (for keying). You load a frame sequence by ensuring that the name of the 1st rendered animation has a frame number string at the end. Blender will do this automatically, but be careful not to write over previous animation render files.

so once you load the sequence, then what? Nothing shows up in the compositor. I render on another machine so there is no render to pull from i guess.

Still mostly lost


In the Render Settings, under the Post Processing tab, you need to enable ‘Compositing’. Also, in the Node Editor, enable ‘Use Nodes’.

What I want to do is render a animation (on my other computer ) then bring that file back into blender to use the VSE and Compositor as it seems you do in after effects. It seems that this is overly complicated or I am missing something huge. Is there a tutorial (perferably video with spoken instructions out there on this process or since I own a legitimate of after effects from school should I just learn that. Would rather stay in blender.


What about tiff? I realize the compression may not be as sophisticated, but when I tried using png for texture mapping, I got a lot of artifacts. After switching to tiff, no more artifacts.

I’m just wondering if the same thing happens with png in the sequencer and if tiff would be an improvement.

@rontarrant I didn’t know that png gave problems in texture interface? Have you submitted a bug to the tracker for that? Of course image sequences can be any format you like, even (as with Mango) EXR! For the work I do I am ok with compression and just use movies in QT or other.

@Montedre I see your point now. Blender is not set up like After Effects. Blender has a video editing mode that has simple effects like dissolve, it is the VSE. AND it has a place to do complicated layered effects, the Node compositor.

In AE you have access to both ways of working in the same place. In Blender (at the moment) that is not the case.
You must:
1.render a movie (in movie file or image seq)
2.import them into Node Compositor (or send the 3D view there)
3.render the Node output
4.import result into the VSE for editing.

There is a script that can send from the VSE to nodes but that is more complicated for now. If you are super interested in that check this out:

No. It was quite a while ago I noticed this, so it may no longer apply. I haven’t tried png since then, so I don’t know.

I tried to submit a bug for something else at one point and, frankly, I found the whole process confusing. Do you know of a howto for bug submissions I could look at?

EXR… Very cool. Is there an advantage to EXR over tiff in Blender? (or any other application, for that matter) This must be a fairly recent development (EXR format, that is); here in this forum is the first I’d heard of it.

It’s a multi layer format but blenders own multilayer image type is perhaps more flexible. Both are 32bit capable IRC.

Thanks David,

That helps a lot. I did check out you blog, most of I is still Greek at the moment but will have to study it further.

If I wanted to say have the lights in the seem have some compositin to it - say a soft glow. What would be the rendering proceeds you would use given what I have said about? It seems to me you would render out the main scene minus the lights the. Use render layers to render out anoher set of images thats supports transparency ( targa or png) then bring them back it the compositor as image sequences - composite and render

Is that the gist of the process ?


For simple glows added to lights it’s often more efficient to do the compositing during the scene rendering. This is done using the Render Layers node, which can separate various scene components out for special treatment in the Compositor. For example, putting your light elements that need a glow on a separate Render Layer (they can remain on the original Render Layer as well), you can then pass that portion of the scene through a Blur node or other effects node, then add it back into the full Scene rendering using a Color>Add or Color>Screen node. All this can be done during the main scene rendering, which can save a ton of multiple-rendering of passes to be composited later on as image sequences. You can set the file up for this kind of compositing on one computer and then it renders that way on the other comp as well, since it’s all part of the .blend.