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Now we have got to talk about how to get something out of the Compositor. There is a couple of different features. One is the Composite Output. This is a simple node that takes the image and pumps it out, so that when you click here, Do Composite, this is what actually delivers then whatever this images is out to either the Sequencer or to the final file. You've got to have one and only one of these Compositors per scene. If you have more than one, then Blender is going to get all confused and probably crash on you, because it doesn't know which image to actually deliver, and it can't help that.
Next up is the all-handy Viewer node. This Viewer node simply takes a picture of whatever the image is in progress and shows it to you. Now, the neat things about the UV Image Editor is here under the Image Selector. We can select Viewer node. When you have a Viewer node in your Compositing Noodle, the UV Image Editor can show you a very nice detailed image of the image in progress. So the Viewer node is kind of small and you can't really get a lot of detail of it, so I usually just keep those minimized.
Then down here, whenever I click on the Viewer node, the UV Image Editor refreshes to show me the contents of that particular Viewer node. So I don't need to waste space in my Compositing Noodle with all these little Viewer nodes, I can just come down here. Now that it's in the UV Image Editor, I can now click and drag and get exact value. So if I'm trying to do like a color match right here on this particular Alpha Over, by clicking and dragging I get my RGBA values for every particular pixel within the image.
A variant on the Viewer node is the Split Viewer node. I'm going to go ahead and click this Alpha Over node, and then add an Output Split Viewer. Notice that when you add a node, if it has a compatible socket, Blender automatically threads that socket to this socket for you, so it saves a lot of time. So let's say I wanted to compare this Alpha Over with this Alpha Over Output, and that's what this Split Viewer node does. It splits the view, either vertically or horizontally, and it shows you one image on the left and the other image on the right, and you can vary this split if you want.
So to use probably a more dramatic example, we go like this and now you can see that I have split it. When I split this way, the top socket is the top part of the image and the bottom socket is the bottom part. So here I'm comparing the two images. Very often when I'm doing mixing or color matching or color adjusting like that, you can compare the two images side by side to make sure you are going down the right path and getting the effect that you like. If you want to save the output of whatever it is you are working on at any particular time out to a file, you can use the File Output node.
So we go ahead and Add Output, File Output. Now, for every time I change a frame, it's going to write out this image that it gets out to a file. If I'm using an EXR format or a Multilayer format, I can even right out the 'z' value for each pixel in the image. I can change the Quality, and then also say; when for what frames I want to save a particular snapshot. By default, it is going to grab every frame within the animation, but if like say I wanted to focus on Frames 200 through 220, now every time I'm progressing through these frames, I'm going to go ahead and create a file that's saved to this folder.
Here I can select the Format of the image that I want to use. If I'm writing out the 'z' value, by the way, I need to use an Open EXR format, otherwise I can just write out a JPEG image or PNG or TARGA. So that's the way that you get images out of the Compositor, and either passed on later onto other Compositing elements in Blender, the Sequencer, or just to create the final output video.
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