Collada plugin for After Effects

More info here
Compositing Nodes for Truespace

Glow and DOF tutorial.

3 part video tutorial covering basic render passes, depth material, and use of the blur node for glow and depth of field effects. The plugin and nodes can be downloaded here. Composite node reference is found here.

color pass glow pass depth pass

Render Passes(wmv - 9:54 - 9.34MB)

The first video covers creating some render passes for color, glow and depth. Click the line above to get the video. At one point I use a rectangle selection tool, that script can be downloaded from here. The custom camera widget can also be downloaded from the same page. The glow pass was supposed to have an ambient light to flatten and brighten up the scene, but it still turns out ok in the end.

glow renderglow flow

Glow Effect(wmv - 6:17 - 5.23MB)

The second video uses the color and glow passes to create a glow effect using a blur and screen nodes. Click the link above to get the video.

depth of fielddepth of field flow

Depth Effects( wmv - 12:43 - 11.2MB)

The third video covers a technique for creating depth of field effect by using the depth pass and color distance node to control the blur operation. Click the link above to get the video. The video also looks at the Color Picker node and shows how the depth of field can be animated by changing the values of the color distance node.

Green screen compositing

The next set of videos will deal with 3D tracking using the Voodoo tracker and green screen processing.

Final Result:

green screen final

Click to picture to see the preview video (wmv 00:07 1216KB)

The live footage was downloaded from the Hollywood Camera Work website, tracked with the Voodoo Tracker and composited with the Night Church scene included with truespace. If you were doing it for real you would want to use a scene where the lighting matched the footage also a matte could be created from the parts of the girl with excess green and it could be used to further dial down the green in those focused areas.

voodoo tracking

Voodoo Tracking(wmv, 5:25, 6.96Mb)

Overview the final goal, download the greenscreen footage, import to the voodoo tracker and adjust the camera to allow for the footage horizontal compression. The Voodoo Tracker can be downloaded from

voodoo import

Tracking Data Import(wmv, 7:31, 7.95Mb)

Import the Voodoo camera data and tracking points into truespace. Also import the downloaded video footage, add a composite render and set it to the proper aspect ratio and adjust the camera's fov animation curve to match the video. The Truespace Voodoo text importer can be downloaded from here.


Masking the Green Screen(wmv, 14:58, 17.4Mb)

In this video the non-green portions of the video are masked out using green colored meshes. This video makes use of the parenting script. At the beginning of the next video in the series an oversight of this video is shown. The 3d view needs to have the wireframe turned off before rendering, otherwise the white outline of the mask meshes shows in the final result.

matte extraction

Matte Extraction(wmv, 19:10, 22.5Mb)

Cut the model from the background using a color difference node as the base, curve nodes to squeeze the values to black and white and a combination of blur and multiply to shrink the matte to follow the outline of the model more closely.

Fix Error from Previous video(wmv, 2:44, 2.66Mb)

The orange color used as a background to test the matte was a poor choice. In this video I replace the orange background with a black background to get better values for the multiply and blur nodes used in the matte extraction.

final comp

Final Comp(wmv, 23:53, 64.4Mb)

The final video is broken into 2 parts with the second part adding a drop shadow into the scene. In this video the matte and original greenscreen footage are combined and projected into the Night Church scene. Color correction is achieved through a multiply node. After the video was complete I adjusted the color one last time to rgb values of (0.75, 0.5, 0.55) and I turned off the grid and made a forground omni light invisible.

pre shadow drop shadow

Cheesy Drop Shadow(wmv, 19:34, 31.7Mb)

This is the second half of the final video and covers a way to add shadow to the scene using a mesh, the uv editor and a custom material driven by the v value of the uv. It wasn't really planned out so the flow of the presentation may wander a bit. One possible refinement to the shadow would be to edit the vertices of the mesh to change the shape from a perfect circle.