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Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences

From: MODO 501 Essential Training

Video: Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences

Once you set up the resolution and the antialiasing for your render and you've got all the Shading Rates correct so that everything looks clean, you're going to want to render it out to something, whether it's a still image or whether it's just an animation. So in this case, if I press F9, we get our nice render window. When this happens, if I wanted to save this out, I can very simply come up here and hit Save Image, and I can save that out as any type of still image file that I want: 16-bit TIFF, Photoshop, JPEG, whatever I need. I do this all the time when I want to give an image to a client, I want to do a little preview; even stuff for this course has been rendered out this way.

Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences

Once you set up the resolution and the antialiasing for your render and you've got all the Shading Rates correct so that everything looks clean, you're going to want to render it out to something, whether it's a still image or whether it's just an animation. So in this case, if I press F9, we get our nice render window. When this happens, if I wanted to save this out, I can very simply come up here and hit Save Image, and I can save that out as any type of still image file that I want: 16-bit TIFF, Photoshop, JPEG, whatever I need. I do this all the time when I want to give an image to a client, I want to do a little preview; even stuff for this course has been rendered out this way.

So that's number one. And of course, we can go back to any preview renders because our buffer saves them. We can save those. This final color output that we are saving that comes from the Render tab. Let me close the window, and when I click on Render and I open this up, that is the final color output that has been set up in the render by default. You can add more of these by going to Add Render. And when you come down into all these different little properties in here, you can set up a new output, and with that output, you can put in anything you want.

So if you come down to Special, choose Render Output, we can say, well, we've already got a final color. Here's an alpha. You can right-click on this, and these are all the other different types of renders you can take a look at. So what if we wanted to look at the Shadow Density or the Reflection or perhaps Luminous Shading. Now these may or may not work, depending on your scene. If I had rendered out the car perhaps, maybe that will do it. So you need to have these in place though when you set up your render; otherwise, that value is not going to be calculated.

So let's go ahead and set one of these. I am going to put in any kind of transparent shading. Now the thing is with this particular setup here, we have just the texture, and it probably won't show up much. But if you take a look at the final color output, the alpha won't show anything, because we have one solid polygon. And the Transparent Shading, well, there really isn't any. If we came back to these values, you're not going to see those outputs. That's because they were not rendered with the scene, which is the point.

So make sure that if you want to set something up, that you need your client actually want you to send perhaps a geometric normal, or an Indirect Illumination pass, or perhaps a Luminous Shading pass of your render, make sure you put that input there. Now with this one I've gone ahead and rendered this out, and part of rendering, not just saving an image, is also testing. So in this case, here is this animated motion, and it's just a little too much. I mean it could be good, depending on what you want it for, but let's change that so it works a little bit differently.

We are going to open up, this is the TextureRender file in the exercise files. And I will select Marble Noise, and I'm going to remove the Noise Seed animation that was set up, I believe, in Chapter 8. We are going to right-click on that and say Remove Animation. Simple enough. All we are animating now is the frequency. What I can very simply do is just come through, and you can see that that frequency is just changing in there, and it's still a little too much. So how can we adjust that? It goes from 3 all the way up to 4--not very much.

So what I am going to do is I am going to remove that Frequency animation as well. And instead of animating these noise values, let's animate the position value. So I am going to go to the Size or to the Position; either one will work. I think I'll do position on the Z, and the reason I will do that is because, if you take a look at the animation and take a look at the model in the scene, the Z axis is back there. I'm looking down the Z axis for this camera. Well, the object is flat, which means if I move this texture position, it will move to left and right on the X; it will move up and down on the Y. What would happen on the Z? The Z, it would actually just look like it's just sort of rolling around, because it really can't go anywhere.

There is no geometry for it to actually move on to. So it just changes position. So let's do this. So frame at 0, create a keyframe, and we will come up to 120. And I'm just going to crank that like that, and we just made the animation. But how do you animate this out? That's where we come up to the Render up here and we say Render Animation. When we click that, you have two choices: Save As Image Sequence or As Movie. You can save with layered Images if you want, but in this case, we just want movie or image sequence-- any type of animation.

There's some thought out there about doing straight-to-movies or doing straight-to-image sequences. I am going to give you my theory on it. I always render image sequences unless it's just a preview. The reason I render finals to image sequences is that movie codecs, such as QuickTime or AVIs, do tend to crash. And let's say you're rendering out a complex animation, or something with a lot of shading rates and calculations like our car. That one frame took about three minutes, which wasn't too bad, but let's say of an 1,800-frame animation; you have a full minute.

That can be a lot of time. So why waste 10 hours when a 12-hour render suddenly crashes at the 11th hour? What that means is your animation will not save. If that render crash is saving to a movie and that codec crashes, nothing is saved. A QuickTime movie will not save partially; it has to finish. So for that reason, I render to sequences, which means every frame that's rendered gets saved in order. And it will be whatever we name it, so we can click OK, and we would save it as, not as a JPEG-- do not compress your file-- save it as a nice high-res TIFF.

That's the other reason I like saving sequences. Number one, if my system crashes, power goes out, or the QuickTime movie crashes, I don't have to worry about all that, because every frame is saved as soon as it's rendered. The other thing is, in your haste, you might actually set the wrong codec and the wrong resolution in your movie preferences. So suddenly you've rendered out a movie file--perhaps it did actually save--but then you realized you put some really cheesy lousy compressor on, and it's all pixelated and chunky.

You've just wasted a lot of time rendering. So by rendering out sequences, I know that I'm getting a full high-res image as a sequence and if my system stops, I can just pick up where I left off. The final advantage is that if your client needs an image for a brochure from the render, all you've got to do is pull it from your sequence. So, a nice way to work. Now that I've said all that, I am actually going to go ahead and render a movie, because I do render movie files just simply as a test. So I am just going to render this. We'll save it right on the Desktop, and we will call this just TextureRender2. It's saving it as a QuickTime movie, and I'll hit Save.

And you will see it renders frame 1, 2, it just automatically goes. And where those frames are coming from are in the actual Render Settings, which we had set up in a previous video. Frame 1 was our first, frame 120 was our last, and we had a Frame Step of 1. So we will let this finish and then take a look at it. So a little bit of time has past, and now 120 frames have rendered. So you can see it just says Complete: 100%. We will close that window, and then I will open up my QuickTime player and open up that movie, Open File, and I just put it right on the Desktop.

It's called TextureRender. And let's take a look at it now. Now it's looking more like we want it. So rather than all that noise just moving around, we actually just animated the Z value of that texture, and it creates a really cool look, very kind of scientific, changing, and you can just fade this in and let it render out. So now that I know that this QuickTime movie, this quick little preview, actually looks right, I can go ahead and set up my antialiasing and my rendering and everything else I need, all my settings, increase these, bring my value down, bring my Threshold down, if needed.

I don't need to go too far with the texture like this. Then go back up to Render > Render Animation and then save out a high-quality Image Sequence, and I've just rendered out of modo. That's it. One last thing I should mention, because it has gotten me in the past. Down here at the very bottom of the screen under Options, by default, modo is rendering your animations at 24 frames per second. So I had quite a while, I was rendering out, modo wasn't even checking this, believe it or not. And importing that sequence into QuickTime Pro version 7, the older one, which allows me to import that sequence, and then I export it out as a movie file or waveform or whatever kind of file I need.

I was importing it at 30 frames per second. So even though the animation played and it looked okay, there is something little off about it. That's because of that frame rate. So be cautious of this. If you're mixing this with high-definition video that is shot at 24 frames a second, perfect. But if you're going to broadcast, you might want to make sure that this is 29.97, or 30, depending on where it's going. That is something you really have to consider, so don't forget that. With that, you can render out anything you want. Just be sure to set the resolution, set the antialiasing, save it out as a nice high quality, and then you can play it back anywhere you want.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for MODO 501 Essential Training
MODO 501 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 4668 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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