How can Blender be used in visual fx

I know that Maya is currently the flavour for most visual FX, e.g. Gollum is a Maya product. Because blender is like Maya how it be used in visual fx.

If I understand correctly, the word you’re looking for is compositing. Here’s a start: http://www.weirdhat.com/blender/compositing2/.

http://www.centralsource.com/blender/effects.htm

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Also depends on what your doing. Maya really made a name for itself in the character animation arena.

We still use Lightwave or any of our professional 3D animation needs, even though the Lightwave Rendering Engine is starting to show its age.

Many CG houses might start with Lightwave, or Maya, but have lots of in house developed scripts and sometimes even entire software packages.

Although, in our shop, we tend to use the right tool for the job. While Lightwave is our primary 3D appliction, we have several plugins to generate things like natural looking secenery, etc… The other major advantage is we can quickly find a high quality model w/textures for most objects. Not always the cheapest method, but we need a F-15, we can buy it, download it, and have it in the renderfarm oftentimes by 5PM that day.

We composite scenes with either Shake (more and more) or After Effects and use Final Cut Pro to edit and render the final product together and then author to DVD using Apple Pro Tools.

One of my complaints sometimes about blender is the attempt to make it everything to everyone. So developers get off on turning it into a NLA/compositing tool, or a character animation tool, or video game creation tool (which was what Blender was designed for in the first place).

Maya gained the reputation for character generation, 3D Studio Max for architectural (after Autodesk bought them) and 3D game model creation, and Lightwave for TV/video broadcast quality work.

The answer IMO depends on what you want to do with Blender.

I agree with Unimatrix: Blender sometimes tries to be all things in one, and that can trip you up. If you want to do really high-end work, you need separate tools for the job (IMO).

Here’s an example (admittedly not the best):

http://www.ceridwenproductions.com/CPMovieViewer.php?movieid=6

This short film used Blender to create the sword. But after Blender was done with it, I composited it using Discreet (nee Autodesk) Combustion.

So yes, Blender can do lots of good stuff, sometimes all self-contained, but to really get the most out of it you need to use it for its strengths and then export to a compositing program to get the best overall.

I get what you are saying It’s just I’m a Independant Filmmaker in South Africa and around here all that Software runs into the thousands if not hundreds of thousands.

I’m trying to get my first film off the ground and I don’t want to make anothe Apartheid story I want to create a film with CG effects. I am using my salary from another job to fund the project and I can only afford open source software.

I have a guy who is helping me write phyton scripts so I’ll see what we can do.

Is it possible then to improve on an existing compositing tool like Jahshaka using plugins to link Blender and JahShaka.

Bischofftep; that was a funny film :stuck_out_tongue:

Alas, the effects were good too…

Glad you liked it!

I’m not very familiar with Jahshaka, but I’ve heard that it can do some cool basic stuff.

Good luck, Camthalion, and welcome to Blender!

I get what you are saying It’s just I’m a Independant Filmmaker in South Africa and around here all that Software runs into the thousands if not hundreds of thousands.

I’m trying to get my first film off the ground and I don’t want to make anothe Apartheid story I want to create a film with CG effects. I am using my salary from another job to fund the project and I can only afford open source software.

I have a guy who is helping me write phyton scripts so I’ll see what we can do.

Is it possible then to improve on an existing compositing tool like Jahshaka using plugins to link Blender and JahShaka.

People can judge me for this around here, but if your going to do the job, do it right and my suggestion is save up and buy a Mac and get the Final Cut Studio Suite. Yes, that’s about USD 3,000 with an iMac and software, but compared to what this stuff cost only five years ago. But that is Final Cut Pro/Shake/DVD Studio Pro/and something else I never use. Ten years ago it would have taken a room and $100,000 to do the same thing.

(Professionally we use FCP suite for almost everything now. We also have the Adobe CS suite as well including After Effects, but almost all our compositing is now done in Shake)

There are some packages out there that offer some of the things your looking at for an affordable price.

FXhome.com - Effectslab DV and Composite Lab DV are both good programs more likely in the price range your looking at.

Composite lab DV is only ~USD 110 and the Pro version ~USD 155. Fxhome is a UK based company…maybe they’ll give you a commonwealth discount…

Effectslab DV and Pro are the same price as CompositeLab respectively.

VisionLab HD is their top of the line product, it includes both compositeLab and effectslab pro with even more features and sells for roughly USD 550.

For what your trying to do, I might advise saving up a little longer and purchasing the VisionLab HD software. It really is the poor man’s FCP.

Personally I’ve used Effectslab’s older sibling and while it’s not After Effects, it is better for what I like to do because it is a lot easier to use and has more built in funtions.

I can agree with unimatrix. I work for an advertising firm (one of the largest in the world), and although we have 50+ thousand dollar avid setups, we use our G5’s with Final Cut Pro more than anything. FCP is fast, efficient, and powerful, and costs nearly nothing for its industry. The suite is amazing. I even author our DVD’s using DVDStudio (before it goes to our duplicator, that is). If you have any kind of budget, you should really consider it. If you have aboslutely no budget (which is what it sounds like), his cheaper options may be your only venue, but they’re far better than nothing.

Great advice. However The Mac and After effects are out of my reach. Unless offcourse I have rich uncle somewhere I don’t know about who kick the bucket and leaves me a stack of cash. I’m running a render farm built up from old P.C.'s I salvage over weekends.

And No! There is no such thing as a CommonWealth Discount. I’ll look into what software I can buy. With the Rand (that’s the South African currency) USD and Pound exchange rate that might be harder than previously though. We South Africans are at the mercy of the developed world in this regard.

But I’ll do the best with what I got. Maybe when I move up in the world I’ll buy the Mac and Shake.(No Pun intended). The only fast alternative that’s in my reach is Indian technology, 64Bit computer I’m saving for.

But thanks anyway.

My movie is just an independant flick to see what I can do with a limited budget, I now know that a CG movie will break the bank if I go Mac and Shake.