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Animating Zdepth
show user profile  9krausec
Hey guys! I am playing around with some Zdepth and am having some trouble animating it's values over time...

What I am doing now, is Auto Keying the changed values.. It works, sort of, but I see no keyframes on the time line to edit, copy and move (for zdepth)..

How do I get zdepth Keyframes to animate zdepth properly?

Thanks much! I am a super rook when it comes to animation and even more of a green horn when it comes to Zdepth.

- Portfolio-

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9/6/2011 1:02:47 AM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:02:47 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
Not sure how you are animating the zdepth values, I cant seem to get them to animate, maybe that ability was introduced after 2009?

but anyway if you have indeed done it then you should be able to see the keys in the track view curve editor

but if you are using the zdepth for depth of field I would imagine you can just keep the same zdepth settings and animate the focus in the post which would be far easier and you wouldn't have to render the whole sequence again to change something.
To me, animating the zdepth values seems like the equivalent of rendering to a video format instead of frames i.e. a big no-no. but what do i know :)

read 918 times
9/6/2011 8:42:32 AM (last edit: 9/6/2011 8:43:49 AM)
show user profile  9krausec
Alright, cool Grote! I didn't even think to check the curve editor since the keys didn't show up in the timeline... I started the render w/o zdepth for time sake. It's already taking 172 hours to render 1700 frames and I bet it would be about 30% longer with zdepth (although I don't really know how much render time zdepth adds, just a guess)..

Thanks again man! How's work? Any bites on a job?

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read 908 times
9/6/2011 12:12:30 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 12:12:30 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
zdepth is done pretty instantly so that shouldn't be a worry. Remember to tick the 'enable filtering' tick box on the zdepth options or your zepth will come out aliased and jaggy.

nah no bites yet :(

read 902 times
9/6/2011 12:36:38 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 12:36:38 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
Sorry to hear about that Grotes.. I hope the economy and job opportunities get better.

So, lets talk zdepth.. How does it work? I have played with it, got DOF and everything through PS on my stills, but if the DOF point of focus can be modified in post without any changing of the Zdepth map, then what are the min and max values really used for?

Would it be safe to say, that as long the min and max values encompass your geometry (or what you want to have in focus (as well as the fallout to out of focus)), that the min and max values don't really matter too much?

That would make my life a whole lot easier. I'm already doing the final render for that damned washing machine that still isn't done, so no DOF on that, but this is going to be good to know for future projects.

Thanks (first day of school for the year, eww).

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read 898 times
9/6/2011 1:41:24 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:41:24 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
the min and max are there to dictate the white and black point of the zdepth image, NOT the focus plane, that's what the 'Blur Focal Distance' setting in the PS lens blur in post is for (or rather the After Effects' equivalent or the software that you are using).

read 896 times
9/6/2011 1:47:02 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:51:33 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
alright, that makes things a lot more simple. Thanks for the help! I'll post the finished washing machine soon! You better be excited, because this is the most exciting washing machine ever (I am so sick of it).. Haha!

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read 894 times
9/6/2011 1:48:29 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:48:29 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
Set the min and max to the closest and farthest object in your scene or at least the farthest and closest applicable objects i.e. if you have the moon in shot dont set the farthest value to that as its way too far away to have any effect on the depth of field. Then animate the focal distance

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9/6/2011 1:51:38 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:52:22 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
Have you ever worked with Nuke before or do you just do AE?

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read 886 times
9/6/2011 1:54:10 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:54:24 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
I dont use either :) never do video editing :)

read 882 times
9/6/2011 1:57:43 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 1:57:43 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
So no post work on your pieces? All in house with 3ds? What do you use for post work? Just PS for stills?

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read 880 times
9/6/2011 2:02:23 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 2:02:23 PM)
show user profile  reeves1984
Yeah in theory you should only have a zdepth pass with a full range, and then you can use it however you want afterwards.
ie You might want a different range too add fog in the comp, or use it for DOF - if you render it with a high bit depth, like float with an EXR you can adjust the black and white points of the zdepth

So thats like the min and max, but doing it after so you dont loose any areas.

Simon Reeves - VFX Artist & Blog
twitter <-- I work here

read 877 times
9/6/2011 2:06:00 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 2:06:00 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
yeah pretty much, i have done a little basic post on videos in PS using recorded macros but it would be easier in AE but I've never used it.

read 876 times
9/6/2011 2:06:11 PM (last edit: 9/6/2011 2:06:11 PM)
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