VFX for Guerrilla Filmmakers: New 4-week course!



  • SteveKarstensen  It has. It's worth a look. It's turning out to be quite an amazing compositor on top of being a shockingly powerful 3D animation system.

    Terrible as an NLE, though. The interface is fine (not as nice at the one in HitFilm by a long stretch), but the playback is choppy.

    It does play audio in Cion footage, ironically something where HitFilm still fails, but the video playback, at least with 12-bit footage in Blender is painfully slow, while it's smooth in HitFilm. Until, of course, the composites get complex. Then, not so much. Makes one wish for more processing power... :)

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @WhiteCranePhoto Since I'm just finishing up a bunch of sessions recorded with a Cion I'm totally blaming Aja for the audio issues. The only things that recognize the way the Cion maps the audio tracks are FFMpeg and a few programs that use FFMpeg for import. Everything else either fails or combines the two tracks into a stereo track. 

  • Aladdin4d  I don't, because EVERYTHING else works. Blender, Scratch, Resolve, Premiere and Edius. I can try LightWorks at some point, but reality says that HitFilm is the odd man out in failing in this.

    Combining them into a stereo track would be fine. Not loading them at all is however not.

    So, reality says that HitFilm is the odd man out here.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @WhiteCranePhoto After we had this conversation the first time I did even more checking and came up with several applications that refused to open Cion clips so to say everything else works just isn't true not to mention URSA Mini ProRes clips do import just fine in everything I've tested including HitFilm. 

    When you have a ProRes clip from camera A that fails to work with several applications and you have a virtually identical ProRes clip from camera B that does work with those same applications common sense says the issue lies with camera A and that's been my exact experience on this project so I'm going to blame Aja and the Cion entirely. 

  • edited March 2016

    I tried it in several industry standard apps, plus some that are notorious for not doing audio well (i.e. Scratch), and they at least played the audio. Every app opened the clips, including HitFilm, and every app except HitFilm at least played back the audio. I know people keep claiming that combining the audio into a single stereo track is a bug, but since it enables using that app to edit the footage, it's enough. HitFilm doesn't load audio from a Cion clip with just a single track.

    If it were other industry standard apps that were failing, I'd agree, but they're not. 

    Obviously I can't pretend to have tried them all, but between Premiere, LightWorks, and Resolve, not to mention Edius, Scratch and Blender, I've done more than just due diligence.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited March 2016

    Does AVID count as an industry standard app? AVID only recognizes the first stream and you have to remap the streams with Quicktime Pro or FFMpeg to get it to accept the second stream. To me that's a failure and it fails completely with a few industry standard DAWS as well. Again in contrast the URSA clips I have are issue free across the board so far.

    Combining the streams to a stereo track wouldn't be a concern as long as it happened consistently but it doesn't. Depending on the app it won't import at all or it imports but there's no audio or just the first stream, 2 independent streams or a stereo stream. In short with the Cion clips as is there's no reliable way to do a project interchange for round tripping or having the audio mastered elsewhere.

    The project I'm working on now has to interchange with Pro Tools at some point and even though I can open and edit the clips as is if I don't take extra steps now to both remap and extract the audio from the Cion clips the interchange will fail and it'll be seen as my fault.

  • edited March 2016

    I bought a license for VooCat not long ago because I can import its camera solve and point cloud into Daz Studio.  It's simplified things for me rather than having to track in Blender and then export the Blender camera. VooCat tracks a little faster than VooDoo and lets you specify the ground plane and add your own points. But it's not as automagically painless as say PFhoe.

  • @ESPictures having played with Voodoo and found the exported camera tracks don't always play nice with Hitfilm, how are you finding that in VooCat? Is it any better, was a problem fixed in the VooCat because it's not free?

    In Voodoo the tracking looks great, in VooCat it looks the same (just can't export it to check) I export as Maya, import into Hitfilm and...sometimes good, sometimes almost random. It'll add roll where there was none, or tilt. I can't tell if it swaps channels or is just broken and which side is at fault.

    Do your camera tracks import cleanly into Hitfilm?

  • edited March 2016

    I haven't tried an import into HitFilm yet. The Minotaur test, I used the VooCat solve in Daz and I already had a pre-existing mocha solve in HF, so I didn't bother importing the VooCat solve to HF.  I can test it out later this week and let you know though.  But my guess is that if VooDoo's output is causing you problems, VooCat's output will too. VooCat has extra features that VooDoo doesn't have, plus the commercial usage rights. But the solve quality seems about the same to me.

  • Pluralsight/DigitalTutors has a course called Short Film Compositing Techniques in Nuke featuring a few shots from the short film Sync by Haz that was mentioned in this course.

  • edited March 2016

    So what is the reason you don't use Hit Film's version of Mocha?

  • edited March 2016

    @Palacono I tested the VooCat .ma import into HF on multiple tracks. It seems there is some sort of gimble locking error. VooCat does something wonky with its output or HF doesn't like it for some reason. But it does have issues.

    But VooCat works fine for what I need it for - namely Daz Studio.

    It holds the camera track just fine there. 


    I did a slightly longer camera tracking shot out in the woods for this one.

  • @ESPictures , thanks for checking and confirming that VooCat has similar (or other) issues to Voodoo. I would need it to handle more complex camera movements than in your test example, which you could probably manage with Hitfilm's tracker using two points for scale and rotate. I've been playing with mocha again, and hoping it can do the jobs I foresee needing it for. Otherwise: AE CS6 on offer at $169 :)

  • edited March 2016

    I did multiple tests, moving the camera in arcs, etc.  They all caused problems on HF import.  That's just the simplest shot I did and it still produced 3 errors where the camera spins around for a single frame and then goes back to where it should be. But importing the solve into Daz didn't have any of those problems. So VooCat gives a good solve, HF just doesn't like its output.  And I could sort of fix it just by deleting the keyframe that spins the camera around.  But ... meh

    Most of my tracking needs inside HF  can be done by Mocha or the point trackers. And for those that can't, I still have Ye Olde PFHoe that I got many moons ago.  But VooCat fixes the big problem I had of tracking for Daz, which was my most serious matchmoving problem.

  • edited April 2016

    Last week's exercise for 4th week of VFX for Guerrilla Filmmakers. It's still a Work in Progress (WIP). Soundtrack is just a filler place holder for the actual soundtrack (including dialogue).

    This was made with trial of Pro4...can't afford it yet...so it's not HD...anyone know where a Certified ZBrush Professional can get a job?

    Thank you Glenn Patterson for your Greeble Generator Pro!! You are awesome sir!


  • Hello, Simon.  I took this course back in February and really liked it and learned a lot from it.  Just got an email about another class starting soon; is it the same course or have there been changes to the task and such?  Thanks.



  • edited August 2016

    @tddavis, its the same basic course, using the same project files and syllabus. But there have been some adjustments and new bonuses added this time around. some of the interviews are with different professionals this time, and there is a live google handout with oscar-winning visual effects artist Mark Ardington.

  • Is it permitted to sort of audit the course without doing the projects again just to view the new interviews?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @tddavis absolutely. I'm doing that myself. :-) 

  • Awesome! I've been hoping for a course like this!

  • Oh no! Can't join the course?

    Says: "Sorry, this course will not run again. Browse other Creative Arts & Media courses."

    Please have this course again!

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