[Bf-committers] Blender into a pipeline

Campbell Barton ideasman42 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 3 15:13:41 CET 2014

Theres a patch for UNC path support:
https://developer.blender.org/T21836 think we could have this for 2.70
if some dev wants to spend afternoon on it (then maybe another
afternoon doing extensive tests to make sure no changes backfire on
other systems OS's :) ).

On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 12:48 AM, JF <pyroevil at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 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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- Campbell

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