[Bf-committers] Blender into a pipeline

JF pyroevil at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 3 14:48:10 CET 2014

The UNC issues is the biggest for me. I get some opportunity to use Blender at Ubisoft in ourpipeline but because of this , I cannot do it smootly. And asking to map network path on all Ubisoftcomputers just "for me" seam to not be a good solution. :) I always want to send a email about thatbut this morning when I see this one , I just take the opportunity to talk about this. :)
FBX support for me is a good thing too and need to be more supported. This is the most "supported"format by others softwares so really important for me to export/import stuff between Blenderand others softwares.

Jean - François  Gallant

Artiste 3D sénior: Éclairage/Généralistewww.pyroevil.com

> From: francoistarlier at gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2014 12:57:54 +0100
> To: bf-committers at blender.org
> Subject: [Bf-committers] Blender into a pipeline
> Hi everyone,
> I haven’t been around for a while now, but I had the chance to integrate
> Blender in a small part of a recent project in my company for the
> matchmoving part (we don’t do much of those where I work now). I have seen
> all the progress an new sweet features in it, and I wanted to congratulate
> you all for the great work.
> I never really had to integrate Blender into an existing big pipeline, at
> least in a real case scenario. By doing so for this project, I got several
> bullet points which might be interested to you. Some might look like bugs
> to me when it might just be a design decision, so I won’t fill any bug
> report for now.
> As for the disclaimer, I didn’t have much time to do a full integration
> into our pipeline and didn't had much time to work on it, so you have to
> consider this in the following experience I had. But that's also another
> good point about blender, being able to work with it in a couple of seconds
> after just downloading it, having some file format like fbx which makes
> integration easier. I need it to be able to work fast with it, exchange
> data with others, work with our infrastructure and in-house tools.
> We are using After Effects, 3ds Max, Thinkbox Deadline, FFMpeg, Data
> Servers (mostly nothing in local computers), in-house pipelines tools
> (shotgun like, lots of automation process, …), Perforce, and so on…
> I have been using Blender version 2.9-fd0b104-win64 from 20/01/2014 from
> the builder.blender.org
> So here they are :
> *Start Frame Convention** : *
> This is a tricky part and a bit confusing to be honest. I guess we can do
> pretty much what we want with the « Start Frame » and « Offset frame ». Yet
> that was really confusing to me, and I didn’t trust myself with that.
> Our entire pipeline start at 0 for several reasons, which might sounds
> logic or not to you, yet the convention is like so. Works better like that
> with FFmpeg, AE, 3ds Max,..
> The first time, I made sure my timeline was set properly as my Render
> settings.
> I imported the Movie Clip (which was an image sequence starting at 0),  but
> didn’t notice the «  Start Frame 0 » in the « Footage Panel ». I did my
> tracking and when exported it I had a frame offset happening in Max.
> I’m sure all that sounds stupid to most of you and that the solution is
> really obvious, again for me not so much. I don’t have time to guess if
> what I did is correct or not with the start frame and the offset. I just
> need it to work like it should straight away so I can concentrate on the
> real work which in this case was the matchmove.
> For the second shoot, I decided it to setup my scene correctly defining
> what I thought was correct by setting the start frame at 1 et the offset to
> -1 with my timeline to 0. Still today I’m not even sure that was the way to
> do it, but it actually revealed some kind of bug. The track panel
> (magnified image of the tracker) became unusable. If I clicked in it,
> Blender was creating a keyframe at the previous frame, and while dragging
> the panel didn’t get updated.
> All that to say, at the end I came back to the default settings, because I
> didn’t have time to figured this out and even so would be sure about it. I
> told the 3D guy that he would get an offset in the exported file, so he
> would have to move the keyframes a bit in 3ds mas
> That is not so good, and makes communication about frame range between 2
> application very hard.
> So I would suggest to have this defined in the preference. So I could
> choose by default that all my projects start at the frame I want (usually 0
> or 1 depending of the pipeline) and be sure that blender does all the
> tricky stuff for me.
> *FBX Export** : *
> THIS IS SO NIIIICCCEEEE to have ! Without this, I don’t know how I would
> have possibly used Blender for that project since I needed to export the
> camera and some objects.
> I haven’t check everything, only what I was interested to which is the
> camera and it’s animation as well as a few simple objects (cones, boxes, …)
> All got exported well except the scale is totally off. I have no idea why !
> Both Blender and 3Ds Max are setup in Metrics. But if I create a box of
> 1,7m in Blender and import it into max, the scene is sooooooo small you
> can’t even see it.
> I have try to overwrite the importer fbx unit system in Max (trying all
> metrics) but I can never get it right. We had to parent all the imported
> object to a dummy, and scale it until it looks approximately right. which
> is kind of bad when you need to be really precise.
> If you need some help with testing, I'm all yours :)
> (I believe Max's importer thinks the fbx file is setup in inch, but couldnt
> find that in the file. weird...)
> *UNC path** : *
> Of all, that was probably the biggest pain in the ass. No support for this
> is very sad. We are trying to avoid Network Drive for several reasons :
> Mostly because if one computer does not have it, nothings works (unc always
> does),
> also because our render farm does not have it. Deadline have a great
> support for Blender out of the box
> (*http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/deadline-6-blender/
> <http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/deadline-6-blender/>*) .
> I couldn’t use the render farm  because of that, that’s a shame ! Network
> Drives only mounts when you are opening a windows session. If you are
> running a slave as a windows service, the drives won’t be there.
> Yes the farm has some path mapping features to bypass this kind of issue.
> But again, didn’t have the time to setup the render farm for that, and we
> try to avoid tweaking it in the middle of a production, especially this
> kind of features.
> Anyway, missing UNC support a lot :)
> *Motion Tracking*
> Not much to say about the 2d tracker or the camera solver, those are really
> INCREDIBLE IMO !!! And I had the surprise to find out about the release of
> the weighted track, that was perfect for that project. I needed to solve
> lots of 3d positions of objects which I couldn’t track really well and
> would have affect the camera solve quality ! that was awesome to have,
> thanks a lot :)
> Yet here is a few thing I noticed while working with it.
> 2D trackers Colors :
> I love giving colors to my trackers, I love the fact that I can see them in
> the 3D view. But it’s sad that the 2D tracker does not get the color. It
> remains white all the time in MCE :(
> Disabling Track :
> hard to guess what it will do. especially when tracking backwards. I
> understand perfectly how it works in forward, so I can predict it. but when
> I do it backwards, the experience is not quite the same. I would love to
> select a bunch of frames and disable it as well (which would creates
> keyframe at the beginning and end of the selection)
> Tracker Panel :
> I understand that what I see in the tracker panel is what the tracker use
> to do it’s job, so selecting channels can affect the track and this is
> great. But when I do supervised tracking (like tracking frame by frame a
> very tiny white dot by hand), I’d like to bump up the brightness / contrast
> so I can see it better. It would help me to see what I’m doing. Maybe it
> wouldn't have to affect the tracker when it’s tracking by itself.
> being able to lock it at the top. I’m scrolling all the time to find some
> parameters underneath this panel, (display, tracker parameters, …). but I’d
> love to always have this panel on screen no matter what.
> Changing the name of the tracker does not update the dopsheet for some
> reasons.
> Focal lens :
> if you select a camera preset, it get reset every time.
> can't animate it this limit a few things. Solving zoom is hard, but
> overwriting it could be helpful. For instance :
> Shoot A is a wide camera (24mm) it sees a lot of markers
> Shoot B is more narrow (70mm) it sees less markers than the Cam A.
> Since Blender does not support survey yet a could old technic is to concat
> both shoot A and B and give the keyframes in shoot A, so shoot B can
> benefits the 3D point solve of Shoot B. Not being able to animate the focal
> lens by hand, didn’t let me do that. So I had to align the Cam B by hand
> (thanks to the great 3D cursor though)
> 3D markers :
> I wish I could render those ! any shape I’m selecting in the property panel
> of the 3D view.
> The 3D marker to mesh button, does not create the mesh in the camera space,
> so it is not really usable. (and I haven’t find how I can choose a shape
> for it (sphere, cones)
> The cones shape is not really practical. It’s pivot point is centered and
> the tip of the cone is facing up. It would be better IMO if the pivot point
> was at the tip of the cone, and facing down.
> Create default scene :
> I really don’t get this cube in the middle o_O. Is there a good reason for
> it ? I don’t see the advantage at all. I would prefer to have it sit on the
> floor personally
> Having a default material created which does Wireframe + MovieClip
> projection by default which I could assign to any object I want would be
> perfect !!! I know there is some tricks to create it by using some GLSL
> turn on and other stuff, so you only see the front wireframe, yet I can’t
> remember how to set it up. I had to do it for that a long time ago :
> *https://vimeo.com/33462761
> <https://vimeo.com/33462761>*
> Compositing default nodes :
> handy, but a bit messy IMO. You always have to re-arrange them. A
> simpler/alternate pipe could be done if distortion is not solved as well
> Distortion :
> I managed to work without computing distortion on that project, because it
> was very very small and didn’t affect the solve much. Yet if I had, I would
> have to re-render distorted plate with some overscan parameter. Maybe it’s
> there somewhere but I haven’t find it.
> Set as background does not activate it on camera :
> It’s too bad you have to go on the camera to turn it on, while the button
> could have done it for you
> 3D stabilisation :
> This is really something I’m missing from blender. While stabilizing the
> camera path probably could be done via python, I wouldn’t get the new
> distorted plate which goes with and this is too bad. Something which was
> needed on this project, we will probably do a 2D stab on the final
> composite then, but that’s really not the way we wished to do it
> Dopsheet :
> selection of markers in the view does not update dopsheet selection.
> usually the selected marker in dopsheet, does not match the one selected in
> the view.
> Timeline :
> being able to lock markers would be nice.
> Don't allow frame to be selected with mouse, I would love that to work with
> the arrow key as well !
> Those are all the points I did stumble on. Anyway thanks again for all the
> great work
> cheers,
> F.
> -- 
> ____________________
> François Tarlier
> www.francois-tarlier.com
> www.linkedin.com/in/francoistarlier
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