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Integrating the Compositor with the VSE

From: Blender Essential Training

Video: Integrating the Compositor with the VSE

Now some plug-ins, notably the green screen plug-in, does not work on one particular variety of Apple and those are Macs that have a Nvidia card and if you own one of those computers, I would encourage you to write to Apple and ask them to update their support for that particular video card and update their driver. Otherwise, you might also too just want to not use the plug-in and want to process the green screen using the nodes, and I really haven't shown you how to integrate the output of the Compositor into the Sequencer, so I thought I would take this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Integrating the Compositor with the VSE

Now some plug-ins, notably the green screen plug-in, does not work on one particular variety of Apple and those are Macs that have a Nvidia card and if you own one of those computers, I would encourage you to write to Apple and ask them to update their support for that particular video card and update their driver. Otherwise, you might also too just want to not use the plug-in and want to process the green screen using the nodes, and I really haven't shown you how to integrate the output of the Compositor into the Sequencer, so I thought I would take this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

So instead of using this video strip here. I'm going to right-click on it. Press X to delete it, because we can't use it. And what we need to do is come up here and switch of our Compositing desktop layout and add a new empty scene and we are going to call it comp, just because that's short for compositing. Now any scene that we are working in, we have to have a camera. So I have to switch over here real quick to the model layout and choose my comp scene and just add a camera.

It doesn't matter where it's pointing or what its orientation is. It just has to be there so that Blender can render the output. While we are here, we are going to go and switch to using the Composite output instead of the Sequence output. So switching back to our compositing desktop, we are now setup to transfer the output from our Compositing desktop layout to the Sequencer. All of the different settings on those, as far as the size of the video and the frame rate and everything like that, is copied over when we created this scene.

So it's all set up perfectly for us. There is nothing we have to fiddle with over there. So now that we are in our Compositing desktop layout, we just click on Use Nodes. We don't need the Render layer node. So just press X to delete that one when it's selected. I'm going to grab and drag the Composite output node over to the right there, and we want to add an image input node and load up that green screen video. We select the GS_Intro movie and that brings it in. We want to use all 1660 frames of the video and I'm going to click Auto Refresh.

So to pull a green screen you have your choice of Matte nodes. I'm going to use the Chroma Key Matte node and click this color swatch, the eyedropper, and sample a representative image of the green screen background. Now to see how we are doing, I'm going to select the Chroma Key node and add an Output > Viewer Node and we can see we've pulled a pretty good matte. However, there is a couple of issues. One is there is this green halo around her and some colors spill onto her clothes and like that.

Hair is notoriously pretty difficult to pull a green screen from. So we are going to do a little processing on the matte that's used. First of all, this matte is not a perfect black background, so we need to make that a really a sharp black-and-white image. So we need to do some contrast enhancement on that. Also this edge here is pretty aliased, so we are going to have to blur that edge a little bit. And to get rid of that green halo that I just talked about, we are going to have to shrink this mask down just a little bit. To process the matte, I like to use the ColorRamp node, which is in your Converter Group.

I'll thread this now to the Viewer Output. I'll cut my Alpha channel. I don't really need that auto threading for me. And now as I click and drag on my left handle, I'm bringing up the black level. So then a medium gray is in the middle of this ColorRamp. Any medium grays or dark grays even are now mapped to pure black. Next up, I'm probably going to get rid of that green glow and add a Dilate/Erode filter.

And now the Dilate/Erode filter I'm going to cut the thread that was auto-threaded for me, because I want to thread from the-- and I'm going to go ahead and move. Do a little housekeeping here so you can see. I'm going to thread the image output socket to the mask and press Shift+D with this Viewer node selected and drag-and-drop it over here, so I can see the output of my erode. Now as I shrink this erode down let's say 1 or 2 pixels, you could see down here in the UV Image Editor, you could see that mask shrink down just a little bit.

Then I want to blur this edge and so I'm going to with the Dilate/Erode node selected, go ahead and add in a Blur filter. For this particular image, after I thread it in to my, let's say I'm going to reuse this Viewer node to see how I'm doing, to blur the outline of this image. It's in high def. It's 1200X768 pixels, so it's a pretty huge image. I've found that about 5 pixels up and down provides a nice blending that we can use to then combine this image with a background color.

So we are going to add the Color > Alpha Over Node. Then use this blurred Mask to feed the factor socket of the Alpha Over. All we do is we take our Chroma Key Output node and thread it to the bottom socket of the Alpha Over, because it's the foreground image that we want. Then thread the output of the Alpha Over to our Composite output. I am going to select a Viewer node, press Shift+D, and drag it over there, and hook it up to the Alpha Over node and now we can see that we have a very nice neutral white background pulled against her key.

Now we have a little bit of an Alpha Over halo kind of image problem going on here. So I'm going to Convert Pre-multiply, which then smoothes out that blending and blends this foreground image very nicely into the background image. Lastly, I'm going to check my Alpha Over and I want this background to be Alpha 0. And as you can see as I'm dragging over here down, down here in the bottom corner, you can see that the UV Image Editor is actually telling me that it's Alpha 1. So I need to use this Blur output to feed the Alpha channel output.

So what I'm going to do is thread those sockets to there, like that, and now in my Viewer node where the Blur output is black, it creates an Alpha 0, which is exactly what I want here on the background and then as we get her, then it's an Alpha 1. So now I have pulled a great green screen matte using nodes. Now how do we feed that in? Well, what we need to do is first of all just to test render, just to check our results, and boom, here we get the full HD image render of her.

So that's our test render. We've primed the pump now. And now we come back over to our sequencing desktop and with the scene selected, we are going to Add > Scene, and now we have a choice of a couple of scenes. I have a title scene where I have the Garden Spot as a title text object that you can use and play with in Alpha Overing, or mixing into this image. But what we want to do is we want to bring in the comp output and I'm just going drag-and-drop it here to frame 1 and actually I'm not going to bother mousing around.

I'm going to switch over to my Sequence desktop and just in the Start field, click in and type 1. Now we have our video strip brought in, we still have the audio strip and because we haven't changed the timing or anything, the audio and the video will still match up. That's how you use nodes to pull a good matte from this green screen video and how you feed the output of the Compositor into the Sequencer.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender Essential Training
Blender Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25188 viewers

Roger Wickes
Author

 
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  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      58s
    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
      14s

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