FX animation - see short video here.


I did a quick FX video with Blender and some real video. I wish there was a way to use AVI-Alpha Channels in Blender. It would make the video more realistic looking.

VIsit the web page HERE. It is only 1.5MB, but allow a few seconds for the web page to load it. WMV format.

The method I used was totally homemade as I was creating the whole thing, so I have no tutorial of reference.

lol good work the shadows are great

looks pretty good :slight_smile:

how did you render the mouse without render the actual object? alpha zero or something?

Yes, really nice shadows indeed!
Except on the mouse-cord, as it’s not modeled :wink:

And what is this little ball with a timer? A flying bomb? /me runs away

Lol, nice animation, good work with the combining of cg and real footage. I know it is just a test but I think you can do a very cooler animation with this .blend.

Perhaps use OSA the next time (if you haven’t already used it) and create a more softer shadow. (With Blenders non-ray-traced shadows)

That is really cool, how did you get the shadows in there. I can see that you ed some of the stuff thata the shadow was on but how did you make it so you can only see the shadow and not the m0del? Also how did you get the video into blender?

I think the flying ball is the flying clock I need that reminds me that time does fly when you’re having fun.

Good work!

With Blender, I cannot use OSA and Chroma-Key without sacrificing something. If I use OSA, then I’ll have the “Blue Screen Halo effect”, if I don’t use OSA, I have no Halo Effect, however the edges are harsh and fake looking.

If Blender had a way to place an Alpha channel into an AVI movie file, then I could have soft realistic edges without that blue halo. And I could adjust the transparency levels too.

There are ways I can do this with TGA files and a lot of hand Image Masking, but it is not worth the effort (30 frames per second).

Also, I just wanted to see what I could do (capabilities), or where I can take this project. But for now, I am putting it aside until I find a better way of accomplishing it. I have no reason to create this project, other than to satisfy my curiosity.

A few things that I would need Blender to do:
-Alpha channel for AVI
-Objects that can have an alpha channel, except shadows (and vice-versa)
-Shadows that are solely Alpha channel
-objects that are solely Alpha channel
-colors that can be assigned to alpha channel
-and a few other things…

Thanks for the comments everyone.

could you give an answer to him, Spin?

could you give an answer to him, Spin?[/quote]

In the material buttons you activate the option “Only Shadow”

thx :slight_smile: and only reflections?

the restriction of not having an alpha channel is not a blender problem
the AVI standard does not support transparency.

I’ll post the answer to the “shadow” question today, as soon as I finish compiling my other project.

Well… I have found AVI codecs that support an 8-bit alpha channel, but Blender doesn’t pass that. I tried it. So far, only the background in Blender creates an alpha channel in a saved TGA file.

Another thing about those AVI codecs. All of the ones that I have tried compress the AVI resulting in a flossy output, something I don’t want with raw video.

Video Screenshot

How-To Video Here…

This shows that the final video, posted at the beginning at this thread, is actually 3 videos put into one.

Step 1.
I recorded a quick video, a lame one, but it was all I needed for a quickie demo. I made sure that the section of video that was going to have FX was a “still image”. Actually it is a still image. The last frame of video extended.

Step 2.
Since I had a still image of the scene, I loded that into Blender’s background window.
I setup Blender in multiple windows for fine adjustment of the camera. I press NumPad+0 to get camera view. In the other windows, I adjusted a basic object, such as that square drawing pad we see with the rounded edge.

   Now I had to adjust the camera lens in Blender to get the optics to match my camcorder's lens. Also adjusting my mesh at the same time. Once that was done, I was able to add more meshes and size them up easily. Finally I added a lamp to match the real video lighting and shadows.

Step 3.
Create an animation. In this case. A little ball that floats around. Since I know I can do chroma-keys (Blue-Screen method) with Blender, I needed to make animated shadows.

To avoid Blue-Screen confusion, I used a magenta screen instead of blue screen, since my floating ball had some blue in it.

I changed the world color to magenta, I made all of the objects (except the ball) magenta, and turned their shadow off, but not the ability to recieve shadows.

I save this as a RAW AVI movie file.

NEXT, I recorded the animation again, but just the ball (no shadows - moved objects out of view), and saved that animation as a RAW AVI movie file.

Step 4.
Putting it all together.
-Original video short
-Ball video
-shadow video

In my generic video-editing software, I have a time-line and 3 rows for video tracks.

Track ONE is the original video, untouched.

Track TWO (ball) is parallel to the original the original video and exactly on TOP, so I adjust the editor to make the MAGENTA invisible (this is called chroma-key). Now the ball is floating, with no shadow. Minor adjustments slightly softens the edge of the ball.

Track THREE is the shadow. It is on top of the other two videos. I make the magenta invisible and soften the edge a bit. ALSO, I make the shadow 20% transparent, to allow some of the original video show through.

Compile the the 3 videos into one video.

Now, you can see that using OSA in Blender softens the edges of objects, but makes it difficult for the video editor to distinguish the chroma-key color.

Chroma Key on left with crappy edge. Alpha on the right, with soft neat edge.

By the way, some people may wonder what video software I used to capture desktop activity for making Blender video tutorials. “Camstudio”. It is 100% freeware - search Google or Yahoo. My only objection is that it does not offer RAW uncompressed AVI.

thx for the info, maybe it’s handy to give some render tips without keying out blue or green:

press the buttons; premul, RGBA and save to PNG.

making object only cast shadows, press “only shadow” in material buttons (thx [email protected] :wink: )
letting object dissappear press “Env” in material buttons.

Aren’t Non-Linear movie editors available which support seperate files for frames? I can’t imagine that they don’t exist.

But isn’t PNG format for still pictures?

yeah, i save all those pictures to a folder, open them in quicktime pro as an image sequence save it and composite it in Final cut express.

Thanks, for the tip.
I’ll have to see which method is better, as far as image quality (and disk space). I have a feeling that there isn’t going to be much difference between a RAW AVI or a folder full of TGA files.

I’ll do a test run and come back with the results.

I have a feeling that there isn’t going to be much difference between a RAW AVI or a folder full of TGA files.

Raw-avi is going to be HUGE, because every image is stored as a bitmap. At least, if it’s really raw.

As for the images, isn’t PNG more flexible? It always has my preference, if only because it’s an open format :slight_smile: TGA is propiatary :frowning: