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Creating effects with Filter nodes

From: Blender 2.48 Essential Training

Video: Creating effects with Filter nodes

Let's go over all of the different ways we can filter an image in Blender and I need to point out that in Shake, almost all of the nodes are called filters. I don't know exactly why, but we call nodes the nodes and then there's different families of nodes. The filter family of node is just a very small subset of the nodes that are in Blender. So I just wanted to go over that. We're going to be learning in this tutorial the nodes that if you press the Spacebar in the Node Editor window, that when you go Add > Filter, then these are the classes of filter nodes that we have.

Creating effects with Filter nodes

Let's go over all of the different ways we can filter an image in Blender and I need to point out that in Shake, almost all of the nodes are called filters. I don't know exactly why, but we call nodes the nodes and then there's different families of nodes. The filter family of node is just a very small subset of the nodes that are in Blender. So I just wanted to go over that. We're going to be learning in this tutorial the nodes that if you press the Spacebar in the Node Editor window, that when you go Add > Filter, then these are the classes of filter nodes that we have.

First up is a general purpose Filter node. It takes an image, the input image, and let's go ahead and press F12 to invoke the renderer so we get a render of the current image of Captain Knowledge in front of some boxes in the background. So the image that we see that comes into the Compositor from CG is very crisp and clear, and looks totally artificial. Lot of the Filter nodes are just designed to soften it up, to make it look like it was taken with a real camera, which is what the audience expects to see.

So the general purpose Filter node has a couple of different filters built into it. First, we can take this very crisp image and just soften it up by a little bit, just kind of blurs around the edges. This filter also can sharpen up and image and make it even sharper and enhance the contrast. This is a very cool effect. It's totally artificial, but it sharpens around and increases the contrast around all the little edges. Again, all of these Filter nodes, you can control the amount of filtering that is done by changing the Factor.

So a Factor of 1 is a full Sharpen, which is a very glaring kind of comic book kind of render, which is kind of cool. Or we can just scale that on down, and I'm just clicking-and-dragging left and right to change this Factor to maybe soften the effect, maybe tighten it up a little bit. We have a couple of other kinds. We have a Sobel filter, which is very cool. This does edge detect and then makes everything neon colored, and just from an artistic standpoint, I really love that effect.

All of these filters, you just take this one filter and then you do other things with it. Like for example, I fed this to a Color Ramp node. So I've taken these Sobel colors and values and then mapped them to this Color Ramp node and now I have almost like automatic rotoscoping or edge detection of the pixels in this image. Again, any kind of input; it can be a CG or a movie or image sequence, whatever you want to do this filter processing on. Another filter family is the Blur node.

I'm going to go ahead and press Shift, middle mouse button, and drag. The Blur filter uses a couple of different algorithms shown here. We have the Mitch, we have the CatRom, Fast Gaussians and Regular Gaussians, Cubics, Tints, Flats, just general purpose kinds of ways in which it blurs the pixels and the surrounding pixels. We can do it in a circular fashion by using Bokeh and Gamma correction on the Gamma-adjusted values of the pixels that are being blurred.

We can do it Relative in percent or to define the radius, or if we turn off Relative there, then we're going to be talking in terms of absolute number of pixels. So what this does is it simply takes each pixel and it blurs it with surrounding pixels. Yet another example of how you can combine these nodes, the size is fed here with the Time node. The Time node goes from whatever value on the left to whatever value on the right, based on the frame range here. So in this case, I've changed the curve to put out a value of 1, so it's going to do a full Blur at Frame 1.

Then as we proceed down through Frame 10, it's going to do no Blur. So the net effect if this was shot out to video would be focusing. The Dilate/Erode node is very cool, in that it takes an image and it computes the pixels around the outside, based on some mask; in this case we're using the actual image itself. We could also use the Alpha values if we wanted to. If the number is positive, it expands the radius.

If it's negative, it shrinks the pixels. So usually one or two is plenty for controlling, for example, matching this up with the Blur, so that only the edges of an object are blurred. If you do a one Dilate, another Erode, and multiply them together or subtract them from one another, then you would come up with an automatic edge detect that you could use then to control the Blur, so if you only want to blur the edges. So lots of cool effects there also based on edge detection and processing.

The Vector Blur node blurs things based on how fast they are moving. In order to grab and use the Vector Blur node, you need to have the Speed render pass enabled in your render layers. We'll just jump over here real quick. In your render layers, you just need to make sure that you've clicked Vector here. Now, the other thing you need to do of course to have a Vector Blur is you need to have stuff moving. So in this case, I have really cranked this box.

Even though it appears still in this frame, I'm applying sort of a Fake Motion Blur, if you will, to this one box, by running the image through this Vector Blur node. The other thing that this node takes into account is the distance of the object from the camera. So even if something is very far away from the camera, but it's moving very fast, it won't get blurred very much. But if it's very close to the camera, z value is very little, then it's going to get blurred a lot.

Here you can see this box is just like really cooking. Captain Knowledge is also in motion as well. So this applies the Blur. You can crank up the number of samples for higher quality Blur, and you can also restrict the minimum amount of speed and the amount of Blur that's applied. So we can crank this down to 1 let's say, and that only applies half the amount of Blur. So you can control the amount of Blur based on the motion of objects in your scene. Next up, we have the Defocus node. Defocus is one of the key components in providing a photorealistic image composite.

By simulating the effect that happens when you have light passing through an iris in a real lens, you get kind of a defocusing effect. That things that are outside the focal plane of the camera become blurred, either in front of the focal plane or in back of the focal plane. Now, in this situation what I've done, and we're going to come over here into the 3D view so I can right click on the camera and show you that the camera has these two fields right over here called Dof Distance and Dof Object. In this case I've entered the name of Captain Knowledge into the Dof Object field, and now the camera will stay focused, if you will, on Captain Knowledge.

When we come in here to the Defocus node, we need the image and the z values, and all we do is we thread the image and the z there and crank the output there. We set our fStop. A lower fStop setting has a wider iris, if you will, and so it has more of an enhanced defocusing on these boxes in the background. We can simply adjust this up to like an fStop of 30, and we can see that the defocusing effectively goes away, because now you have basically a pinhole and you have a very deep depth of field for the camera.

Last up, we have the Glare node. Glare node is very cool. Its one of those commonly requested features that Programmer keyed up and I appreciate that. So we have Glare to add glare to your light saber, to your jet engines, to your light bulbs, anything you want to have some glow to. There's a couple of different modes. We have Ghosts. We have Streaks of light. We have kind of a Fog Glow, like if you're coming out of the fog.

We have a couple of different Quality settings. We can mix that in with the original image; either fully or partially, and now it looks like Captain Knowledge is coming out of the fog. All right. So there are about 20 plus filters in Blender that provide an exceptional array, a very special image processing effects. When used individually, or when used in conjunction with all the other nodes, you can get some pretty astounding results.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.48 Essential Training
Blender 2.48 Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25869 viewers

Roger Wickes

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye

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