From Blender to .mp4

Export video in Blender the simple way

Video

In this article, I show you how to export a Video out of Blender as simple as possible.

If you are searching for a more flexible and advanced way you should take a look at Export animations in Blender the professional way, in which I show, how my current process looks like.

06/05/2022|In 3D, Video|1 Minutes

Set up the basics

Set the Resolution and Frame rate to the desired one and change the Output Format to FFmpeg Video.

Screenshot of Blender explaining the relevant settings for exporting Video.

After switching to FFmpeg Video you will have a lot of new options, switch to MPEG 4 since it is the most supported Container and set the Output Quality to Good.

Screenshot-Blender Render settings Arrow Pointing on Container and Render Quality.

If you want to use a custom Bitrate switch to Codec FFmpeg Video Codec #1 this gives you advanced video options. But if you are searching for a more advanced Option, there is an extra article for that.

Start Rendering

To start the rendering process in Blender, you just need to Click on Render > Render Animation or press CTRL + F12.

Screenshot of Blender with Arrowpointing on Render Animation.

OpenColorIO Logo on Magenta Background.

Install OpenColor IO (OCIO) in After Effects

Video

Recently I was searching for a Laptop too, which enables me to work from more or less everywhere.
I stumbled above a very bad article which claimed to be from March 2022 recommending me an 11-Inch MacBook Air from 2020 for 3d Design, which is the reason I am writing this article that there is at least one with useful recommendations.

03/05/2022|In Video|4 Minutes

Installation

Download OpenColorIO for After Effects

The first step, is, to Download the Plugin from fnord OpenColorIO for After Effects for your System.

Install OpenColorIO for After Effects

If you have a Mac you will get a .dmg which you can just install like every other program.

If you have a Windows machine, which you can unpack either with a Software like 7Zip or WinRaR. If you are using Windows 11 you can just make a right click on the file and click on extract all.

OpenColorIO_AE_v2.1.1_win Folder Content.

After that, you should have a folder which contains the OpenColorIO AE Manual.pdf and the OpenColorIO.aex.

Copy the  OpenColorIO.aex to this path:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects 2022\Support Files\Plug-ins\Effects

After that, you can delete what you’ve downloaded.

If you can’t find the path, Just make a right click on After Effects in your start menu and click on open file location. This should lead you to a file called Adobe After Effects 2022, but that is just a link, so you have to right-click and click on open file location again, which brings you into the Folder of After Effects there you need to open the Folder Plug-Ins. And then copy the file into the Effects Folder.

Installing Plug-Ins in After Effects was never simple 😢, but we are not done yet.

The Problem

If you open After Effects now, the Effect OpenColorIO is available.

OpenColorIO in After Effects CC 2022 Effect Rack.

The Problem is, if you apply the Effect to a layer

OpenColorIO Effect Configuration, No configs.

The Problem is, if you apply the Effect to a layer and select a configuration, it will show you No confgurations.

Download ACES configuration

Theoretically, everyone can create their own configuration file.

But the most popular configuration file project is ACES by Sony.
To download that, go to the GitHub page OpenColorIO-Configs GitHub and click on Code > Download ZIP.

Downloading OpenColorIO Configs on GitHub.

This will get you a huge file, so I already prepared a way smaller file without all the unnecessary things.

aces_1.2-config.ocio under ACES logo.

ACES 1.2 config

Place the Configuration folder.

If you downloaded the files from GitHub you will have a .zip file which after you extract contains multiple files and folders, one of them is called aces_1.2 which you need to copy and put it in C:\ProgramData (not programfiles) in the folder OpenColorIO which you still need, to create.

ACES_1_2-folder placed in OpenColorIO folder.

Now, you can select aces_1.2 within the OpenColorIO Plug-In in After Effects.

ACES_1_2 selectable in OpenColorIO in After Effects

Using OpenColorIO

Using the Plug-In is fairly simple.

It Converts the Layer on which the effect is placed or, if it is placed on an adjustment layer, it converts all the visible layers below from the color space which is chosen as Input Space into the Output Space.
The Invert Button swaps Input Space and Output Space.
And Use GPU makes the Plug-In use the GPU instead of the CPU, which in my experience works pretty well so.

Practical Use cases

Combine video clips with different color spaces.

OpenColorIO usecase for videoclips with different colorspaces

Combine Footage with CGI

OpenColorIO usecase for combining Video with VFX

Transform Color space.

OpenColorIO usecase for Converting 3D Renderings

Best Laptops for 3D Artists

Video

Recently I was searching for a Laptop too, which enables me to work from more or less everywhere.
I stumbled above a very bad article which claimed to be from March 2022 recommending me an 11-Inch MacBook Air from 2020 for 3d Design, which is the reason I am writing this article that there is at least one with useful recommendations.

25/03/2022|In 3D, Design, Video|10 Minutes

What should a Computer have to work in 3D?

A good GPU

GPUs are the main factor for rendering speed.
Currently, NVIDIAs RTX GPUs are the best by a long shot in every 3D application.

Nvidia knows this and certified some Laptops as NVIDIA Studio which according Nvidia are good for Design and visualization especially in 3D.

A good and Big Display

Working in front of a small display hours up on hours is really bothering which is the reason, it makes sense, to have at least a 15-Inch Screen but 16-Inch or 17-Inch are of cause better.
Besides, Display Quality can also play an important role which is something determinate primarily two factors, resolution and color.

 

Most cheaper Laptops with powerful chips are primarily made with gaming in mind. Which is the reason they have a bad display when it comes to Quality, but with a high refresh rate like 120 Hz or more this is helpful for competitive gaming but not useful for a Designer or Animator.
You should get a Laptop with at least a WQHD Resolution (2560*1440) UHD (3840*2160) would be better but is also way more expensive.

When it comes to color, what is important in my opinion is the Colors Space the display should have a 100% coverage of the sRGB color space. That enables you to get if you calibrate the Screen to get accurate colors.

Enough RAM

In most cases, 3D is not that RAM intense. But there are some cases in which a file can take up 20 GB of RAM and to supplement 3D most people are using After Effects which eats RAM like Popcorn 😃🍿🍿🍿. After Effects always profits from more RAM, which is the reason you should get 32 GB RAM or more. Ideally with a possibility to upgrade.

Laptop Recommendations

Razer Blade 17

The one I got for myself

The Razer Blade 17 ticked the most boxes for me, it is available with The RTX 3080Ti which is currently the best GPU for Laptops, it is available with an i9 12900h the Best CPU for Laptops, 32 GB of RAM which is expandable, the possibility to add a second SSD, and it is also available with a 100% Adobe RGB UHD Touch Screen. Probably the best Laptop Display on the market.

In comparison to most other Laptops from the Gaming category, it is lightweight and doesn’t look like a Gaming Device which can be a huge plus considering the comments I got when I got my first Computer for 3D with Tempered Glass and RGB of cause

which was sitting in an agency in which most people were using Mac and probably saw such a Computer for the first time.

Price: $ 2.300 - $ 4.700

MacBook Pro 16 M1 Max

The best all-rounder if 3D is not the main Task

Even do I currently don’t have a MacBook, I really like them, they are built better than anything else, the screen is great, the trackpad is great, they are extremely light, and the M1 CPUs are faster in all the Adobe Tools then any Threadripper 64 Core PC that is currently available. And GPU Rendering also Works in Blender and Redshift Render. While staying silent and having a good battery performance.

But the downside is, that even if that even is, they are fast they are way slower than the Current Nvidia RTX GPU. From what I tested at the Apple Store, the M1 Max is comparable to an GTX 1070Ti in 3D rendering, which I think is still pretty impressive and absolutely useable.

The other problem is the Software. Outside the Software which is optimized for the M1 Chip Programs like Marvelous Designer or Ember gen, the experience is not that good and things can become extremely complicated.

Price: $ 3.850 - $ 6.840

Alienware X17 R2

The Gaming Icon

The Alienware X17 is available with an i9 12900HK The best Laptop CPU and a RTX3080ti the best Laptop GPU, up to 64 GB of Ram, an UHD Screen and is even configurable with multiple SSDs.

The downside is, that it is bigger and heavier than the Razer for example, especially the Power supply. Also, the Screen doesn’t have full sRGB coverage.
It is built really well-built, not on the same level as the Razer Blade or the MacBook.

The Alienware aesthetic is Iconic, and personally I really like it, but not best suited for the working world.

Price: $ 2.250 - $ 4.550

Acer ConceptD D7

Specifically made for 3D work

In general, the Acer ConceptD products are made with Designers and Engineers in mind. The ConceptD D7 Laptop is the current top model of the Notebook Line-up. It comes with an RTX3080, An i7 12700KH and 64 GB of RAM, not as powerful as the Alienware or the Razer but still way more performance the necessary for most people.

What I really like about the Concept D series is, are the displays. Not only can all the display show 100% of the Adobe RGB color space which is an even bigger color space than sRGB they come also precalibrated, and they are Panton certified which doesn’t matter for 3D work in most cases, but it can be useful when it comes to printing it’s just another certificate to demonstrate how accurate the Displays are and I think it is the most accurate Display in a Laptop that is currently available. The only downside is, that it is just 15 Inch big, which is the reason it wasn’t interesting for me.

It doesn’t really have the cliché Gamer aesthetic which is definitely a plus point, but compared to most other laptops it feels a bit cheap since it is made out of a plastic and ceramic mix, but it feels just like plastic.

It should also be mentioned that there i also The Acer ConceptD D7 Ezel which has a flippable Touchscreen which could be interesting, for painting textures or photo editing in general and the Acer ConceptD D7 SpatialLabs Edition which can track eye movement to create a 3D Effect with this data. I wasn’t able to test it out, but I think it is more something which falls into the gimmick category.

Price: $ 2.950 - $ 4.000

Acer Nitro 5

The Budget friendly option

The Acer Nitro 5 starts at below $1000 in the lowest configuration featuring an RTX 3050 and an i5 and 8 GB of RAM which is a excellent price to performance Ration when 3D Rending is the most important task. In the most expensive configuration, it is featuring an AMD Ryzen R9 5900HX, an RTX 3080, 32 GB of RAM (expendable) and a 17-Inch QHD Screen. For around $2500 which is still relatively affordable, at least to most of the other Laptops on the List.

The problem with Laptops that are relatively cheap in relation to their main components is, that the companies are trying to save on anything else, which means, the build quality even is it made out of aluminum isn’t on the same level as a more expensive Dell Computer for example, also the battery, the trackpad and the Keyboard is more at the lower end.
And of course this Laptop was primarily made with Gamers in mind, which means that the Display doesn’t have a wide variety of colors or good contrast.

Price: $ 1.000 - $ 2.500

Asus ProArt StudioBook 16

Well build and with OLED Screen

The ProArt Lineup by ASUS is like the Acer ConceptD lineup specifically made for creators.

Price: $ 1.000 - $ 2.500

Dell Precission

Well build and with OLED Screen

Price: $ 1.200 - $ 3.800


Photo of a Monitor displaying After Effects Timeline

Export Videos faster with Voukoder

Video

Voukoder is only available for Windows

Voukoder is an Addon for Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, Davinci Resolve 17.x, Vegas Pro and Virtual Dub2 which enables you to use your GPU to export Videos which is in most cases much faster but how much faster depends on the CPU and GPU. I also should mention, that Voukoder is completely free. You also don't have to register somewhere or click through a setup full of adware.

24/03/2022|In Video|3 Minutes

Benefits of Voukoder over Quicksync

All these three programs already come with Hardware supported encoding called Quicksync so the question comes up, where is the benefit?

There are three main reasons why Voukoder is better then Quicksync.

The main problem is, that Quicksync only works with Intel CPUs with an integrated GPU. Which is something most people don’t have. Voukoder on the other side works with GPUs both from AMD and Nvidia which are much more comment, especially in a PC with high performance.

The second benefit is, that Quicksync only Supports the h.264 and h.265 Codec and it is very limited in the settings for these Codecs to. Which makes it unusable for many cases. Voukoder Supports:

FFV1
HAP
H.264 / AVC (x264, AMD AMF, Intel QSV, NVidia NVENC)
H.265 / HEVC (x265, AMD AMF, Intel QSV, NVidia NVENC)
ProRes
VP8
VP9

And it also has many more settings in each Codec.

The third reason that speaks for Voukoder is, that it doesn’t need as much Performance. Exporting a Video no Matter with or without Quicksync it uses close to 100% of the CPU power. Which makes the Computer practical unusable at this time. Voukoder uses only 20%-30% of the GPU which allows you to continue working or even play Videogames.

How to use Voukoder

Download and Install

You can download the latest Version of Voukoder here. Just download the installer-10.x.exe and go through the SetUp which self-explaining.

After Installing Voukoder itself, you need, to download and Install the Connector for the Software you want to use Voukoder with.
During the installation process, the Application for which you install the Voukoder Connector needs to be closed.

Screenshot Downloadpage Voukoder

SetUp your Export

If you open one of the Adobe applications and export something under “Format” you have to select the Option “Voukoder (CS6 Compatible)”

Screenshot Premiere Pro CC Selecting Voukoder(CS6 Compatible)

Now switch to the Voukoder Tab and Click on Settings. This opens a Window which gives you all the necessary options.

Screenshot Premiere Pro CC Opening Voukoder Settings

If you like Voukoder maybe consider Supporting the Voukoder Project to keep it compatible with the latest formats and applications.


Choosing the right framerate

Video

What is a Render-Engine?

A Render-Engine is an application, which takes the 3D models and all the information like light and textures and converts them into a 2D image.

11/03/2022|In Video|3 Minutes

*FPS= Frames per second

12 FPS

12 frames per second is common in cartoons, stop-motion animations or Animes simply because it means less work. And since it is exactly 50% of 24 Frames per second, it was compatible with most cinema projectors back in the analog age.

Today, it is more used as a stylistic element to create the anime comic book style.

A good example of that is the Spider-Man Spider verse Movie series, in which the frame rate switches between 12 FPS and 24 FPS. To have the Comic Look on the onside but still make it possible, to pursue fast movements.

Compatible with:

YouTube

Vimeo

Netflix

23,97 FPS

It is the minimum frame rat, at which the human Is not able, to distinguish separate frames. But since it is not practical, it isn’t in use. But in some software programs it is set as standard frame rate as an Easter egg.

Compatible with:

YouTube

24 FPS

Since the introduction of Soundmovie back in 1909 24 FPS was and I till this date the standars framerate for movies. Which menas, if you want, to create a cinemativ look 24 FPS is the Framereat of choice.

Compatible with:

Facebook

Instagram

Netflix

TikTok

YouTube

Vimeo

25 FPS

25fps is the standard for TV in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) it is the standard for TV in Europe.

Compatible with:

Facebook

Netflix

TikTok

YouTube

Vimeo

30 FPS

30 FPS was the standard of the North American Broadcasters Association. The standard frame rate of the American TV but thought YouTube which oriented at the standard back then it is now the standard Frame rat for Internet videos and is supported by every platform.

Compatible with:

Facebook

Instagram

Netflix

TikTok

YouTube

Vimeo

60 FPS

60 FPS is the standard High frame rate, the use of it is rarely used in cinema, but has his place in commercials and only video.
The benefit of using 60 FPS is that it is easier to follow fast actions, which makes it ideal for gameplay videos. It also has its use in Commercials. Apple used 60 FPS often in the past. Especially for explainer video, it can be useful since it is easier to follow what happens.
On the other hand it can make things look less realistic especially if there is no motion blur involved.

Compatible with:

Vimeo (Only for 720p or more)

YouTube (Onnly for 720p or more)


ACES how to install the better Color space in Blender

Video

ACES stands for Academy Color Encoding System for those who don’t know which Academy I am talking about. I am talking about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Which is primarily known for giving out the Oscar award. So we are talking about the real deal with ACES.
Now ACES is a Color Space like sRGBRec. 2020. or Filmic.
The idea behind ACES is, to have a colorspace to work in. That means Footage from different Cameras and Animated Footage is getting converted in to ACES. Which makes it way easyer, to combine different sources. On top of that it responds like a Camera would. That makes it the ideal Colorspace for Color correction and color grading.

Updated 31th October 2021

Here is the comparison between ACES and Filmic.
With a visual which I made for a fintech company a few years ago.

Why ACES in Blender makes sense.

Everyone who uses Blender for a longtime now, maybe remembers when Andrew Price (Blender Guru) published his video about the filmic color space in Blender “The Secret Ingredient to Photorealism”.
After his video, many people started installing Filmic in Blender and now it not only comes pre-installed in Blender, it is also the default color space.
But even if Filmic was an extremely helpful complement in Blender and improved, the renderings of many people, Filmic was never perfect. Which is something I discovered when i worked more in the professional world.
The renderings look pale and the color is always off and far from accurate, which is extremely problematic if accurate colors are important for a client. Fixing this in post is also far from ideal.
Which is the reason I started using sRGB or combined filmic and sRGB sometimes.

This video here, for example, was the first video where I switched back to sRGB for those reasons. This rendering is with no grading and the colors are WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more accurate than it ever would be possible in Filmic no matter how much time I would invest in to post processing.
But sRGB also isn’t ideal, which is the reason I combined renderings sometimes, but that made everything more complicated.
And this is the reason I started using ACES. It has the realistic color response of Filmic without destroying the colors.
I see it as the successor of Filmic and since it is becoming the industry standard one day, it will also be the standard in Blender.
But until this happens, you have to install it manually.

How to install ACES in Blender

Installing ACES in Blender is fairly simple. You just have to open the installation folder of Blender on your computer, which you can usually find under Program Files > Blender Foundation > Blender x.xx. In this Folder should be one folder which has the same name as the version of Blender you are using, like 2.93 for example. In this folder click on datafiles > colormanagement and what you see in this folder is what you need to replace.

Just delete everything in the folder and replace it with the files you can download here. This is contains a changed version of the ACES config file, which. is reduced from over 300 color spaces to just the view that is relevant in Blender.

Now ACES is installed, but using it is different to filmic, so read the How to use ACES in Blender section, before you use it.

How to use ACES in Blender

The first step should be to set the view transform correct. You can find the settings under Render Properties > Color Management.

By default, it should set this to sRGB. Set this to the color space of your monitor. In most cases this is sRGB but if you are using a more professional monitor which can display a bigger range of color, this can differ.

The second and most important thing you need to do is to set the color space of every image you are using in Blender correctly.

Use Utility – Linear -sRGB for HDRIs,
Utility – sRGB – Texture for Albedo Textures (Textures that show the color of something) and
role_data for any other textures like height, displacement, roughness, normal etc..


How to send video files that are too big for mail

Video

In this article, I want to show you three free best practice options how to send video files which are too big for mail.

Updated 22th August 2021

YouTube

For who is it

It is the best option in most cases, exceptions are if you want to send uncompromised files have a recipient that could be irritated by this method.

Pros +

  • It is simple both for the sender and recipient.
  • It works on almost every device, even with bad internet due to lower quality options.
  • There is no file size limit.
  • It is easy to share with multiple recipients.

Cons -

  • It compromises the video quality.
  • It requires to be logged in (but most people already have a Google Account.)

Step 1

The first step is to log in. YouTube doesn’t require a specific Account, it is a normal Google Account.

Step 2

After the login, click on The Create Icon and then on Upload Video.

Step 3

Click on SELECT FILES or just drag the video file into the field.

(Step 4) How to hide the video from others

Click on Visibility, in this menu you can decide who can see the Video.
If you don’t want to publish the video, you can either select Unlisted so only people with the Link can view and download the video.
Alternatively, you can set is to Private, which means only people that you add to the list can see the video. This requires a Google Account and disables people from downloading it.

WeTransfer

WeTransfer is the leader in the market for quick and simple file sharing. The services allow you to send files with up to 2 gigabytes. Without being logged in within a few seconds. They also offer a Pro version in which they offer files transfers up to 200 gigabytes.

For who is it

It is perfect for people who want to send small, uncompromised files quick and easy.

Pros +

  • It requires no Login to use the service
  • The process is simple

Cons -

  • They limited the file size to 2 gigabytes.

Step 1

Click on I agree to accept the terms and conditions of WeTransfer.

Step 2

Upload the files either by just dragging them on the screen or by clicking on the + Icon next to Upload files.
After that, put the Mail address of the recipient out. You can also add your own mail address and add a title and message for the recipient to it, but that is not required.

Compress the Video

Compressing a video or an image means decreasing the file size while keeping decreasing the image quality as little as possible

Pros +

  • It is possible to attach it directly to the Mail.
  • No need to agree to and third party terms.

Cons -

  • It is by far the most complicate technique
  • It can reduce the video quality dramatically.

What is HandBrake?

HandBrake is the best free Open Source Video Encoding Software. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
It allows you to convert your video files into other formats and sizes.

Step 1 Download and install HandBrake

You can download HandBrake at www.handbrake.fr.
By default, your operating system is selected. If not, click on (Other platforms) and select the version for your operating system.

If you are using Windows, you need to download .NET to make HandBrake work.

Step 2 Load the video files

If you open HandBrake, you will be greeted by this window. Just drag the video file that you want to compress in the field on the right.

Step 3 configure the export

At first, this screen looks really intimidating, but you only have to change two things. The first thing is to select an encoding preset.
Handbrake already comes with a preset for Gmail, which creates files under 25 megabytes. Select the preset according to the length of the video. The longer the video, the smaller the resolution will be.

The second to do is to set where you want to save the compressed video. You can do that by clicking on Browse and selecting a place to save the file.

Step 4 Encode the video

To export the video, you need to click on Start Encode. The encoding process can take a few seconds or minutes, depending on the size of the video and the processing power of the computer.

DropBox Premium

Dropbox was one of the first cloud providers that offered their services to private customers. With the basic version, Dropbox offers 2 gigabytes of normal Cloud storage but with a payed plan they offer up to 5 terabyte of cloud storage. The good things is, that it is possible to test these services 30 days for free. Which makes it the only option that I found to send huge files for free.

Pros +

  • The amount of spaced offered is huuuuge.
  • It is user friendly

Cons -

  • It requires creating an account.
  • It requires payment information.
  • The risk of having a chargeable if you forget to cancel the subscription.

Tips for better file managment as Designer / Content Creator

Video

What is a Render-Engine?

A Render-Engine is an application, which takes the 3D models and all the information like light and textures and converts them into a 2D image.

04/08/2021|In Design, Video|4 Minutes

Adobe Bridge is a file managing software that is currently free to use.

It is really helpful to get an overview of multiple files because Bridge can directly show you what’s inside PDF, Illustrator (and many other formats) files. It also shows some additional information, like the size of an image or even geotags (if available).

I thought it is nice to know that such software exists before you clean up your desktop ?

Create a Syntax for filenames

Having a standardized Syntax for naming files makes naming files a much faster process.

This is the Syntax I am using, which I adopted from an ad agency I once worked at. But come up with your own syntax that fits your needs.

Create a standardized file structure

A standardized file structure comes in handy if you open up projects again, which are a few months old or even multiple years because the clients want some changes after a year, for example, or you can reuse assets for another project.

It is also helpful if you hand over multiple projects to someone else because he can recognize the pattern and knows where to find what.

Consistency

Like in many things in life, consistency is also important for file handling. If you switch your naming Syntax or file structure every once in a while, it is harder to orientate in older projects.

No 02_ 04_ 00_

Some people name their folders.

02_Final Result

04_archive

Putting a number in front of repetitive folders is a bad idea since it makes searching for folders harder. And disables you from selecting a folder or a file by typing the first letter on the keyboard.

Give files an ID (identifier)

“An identifier is a name that identifies (that is, labels the identity of) either a unique object or a unique class of objects”

Wikipedia

The important part here is that an ID is always unique. No files should share a name. This not only makes it easier to find them again. But also reduces the risk of other people falling into depression if they need to work with your project.

Name things inside projects

The same principles are also appliable inside documents. You can give Photoshop Layers names, put them into folders, give them colors name objects in Blender or Cinema 4D, put them on different layers, and so on.

Plan in time for file handling

It is impossible to do something right if you have no time for it. Because of that, it is necessary to plan in time for data handling as well. For my projects, I plan in 5% of the time. For handling files.

Don’t save Things on the Desktop or the download

Saving files on the desktop is like saying I don’t later.
Which we all know is a lie.
We all know this moment where you have to just save the current file asap. To prevent that this file from landing on the desktop, just save it after you created it.

The same accounts for the download folder.
In Google Chrome, it is possible to activate an option, so that the browser asks you every time when to save it.
You can find this option under “Settings” scroll down and click on “Advanced” and under “Downloads” you can find “Ask where to save each file before downloading” which you can activate.


Design/ Media Trends of the next few years.

Video

What is a Render-Engine?

A Render-Engine is an application, which takes the 3D models and all the information like light and textures and converts them into a 2D image.

13/02/2021|In 3D, Design, Video|8 Minutes

AI Tools

More and more Software Companies like Adobe or Autodesk will create better features inside their software driven by AI. already there are features like object recognition, and AI Filters to change faces inside of Photoshop. Another really popular AI feature is the Denoising of 3D rendered images.

There are also interred Standalone programs like Cascadeur or AI Gigapixel which are built around the idea of making something better than with the initial method with the help of AI.

Those tools and features will appear more and more often in the next years and can make the creator more powerful, but that will also set a higher standard.

3D

A few years ago 3D was a remarkable and special skill I even got my first job as a Motion Designer because I had some 3D skills. But nowadays you rarely find a job description as a graphic / motion designer not including things like “basic skills in C4D or Blender is a plus” So the demand is definitely there and one day it will be the standard.

Or if you are a creator, maybe it is time to learn it. Because let’s be honest, during these times, we all sit at home and play video games or watch pointless YouTube videos and TikTok most of the time.

Here is the Tutorial, I recommend to every beginner YouTube.com/Blender Beginner Tutorial – Part 1
And here is the Download Link for Blender Blender.org/Download

Online Events

Since the last year, many events never happened the way they were planned due to contact restrictions. Which meant for some event organizers to look for alternatives.

And since online events are extremely practical since they are relatively inexpensive and not limited by location. With more possibilities, this might be part of the future, especially for events such as fairs.

Facebook Alegria

Few people heard about it but everyone saw it. Alegria is the Name of the ecosystem for Facebook Illustrations and probably one of the most copied design ecosystems on the internet.

And there are many reasons that speak for it like, it is inclusive since the people shown don’t are recognizable as humans but too abstract for anyone to feel discriminated against; The style is simple to recreate and to adapt, which saved time and money and; it works really well as a simple vector file, which makes it extremely easy and well performing for web applications.

The downside is that everything looks more or less the same. It is just not interesting it is more like a placeholder.

The actual creator of this style is the LA-based design Agency Buck.

Less demand for simple easy things

More small business recognizes that it is important to also be present on the web and in media, which created the market for easy-to-use tools to create media such as Adobe Spark or Canva. Also, a platform such as Fiverr profited from this need.

That means there will be less demand for graphic designers doing simple things or things for small businesses that don’t really have a real marketing budget.

Holistic Design Systems

Almost every big tech company has a Design System, a system that is adaptable for every situation and for every medium. Since it looks to become the norm, that companies are present on multiple platforms and mediums, there will be a need for holistic concepts and ideas.

Web micro-Interactions

Since Smartphones became advanced enough over the last few years to support almost everything that a desktop does and internet speed constantly increases, the web became more of a playground for designers. Websites can be bigger and more complex, which enables web developers to create a dialog instead of a monologue, a website that talks back to the user which can make communication way easier.

There most important example for this is the message got to send after clicking send on a form because without it unsettles the user. Makes him unhappy a subconsciously connects bad feelings with the website and the website owner. I think there are a lot of examples like this in which it can improve the communication of the website through micro-interactions.

There are already people whose only job it is to create such micro-interactions even do I think currently it is more part of a UI Designers Job.

VR/AR

Currently, VR and AR are more of a gimmick or a niche. But big tech names such as Mark Zuckerberg or Tim Cook think it will be the future. I think currently this is extremely fueled by the contact restrictions and lockdowns which created the need to shift more things in the online world.

Especially for Fairs, Many clients ask for VR and Real-time solutions. And currently, it is a real niche. This means perhaps it is a good train to jump on by now and maybe build a company around this field.

Human focused Design

Human focused design is the idea of designing something with the realistic behavior of humans in mind. It means to make text big enough so that it is easy to read, make things less boring so that people don’t get disinterested instantly, especially on the internet. It is about using colors with the question of how it influences the behavior of the viewer. Overall, it is about letting psychology and knowing about human behavior influence the design.

Back to basic

It is a more general development of humanity that happened in the last 20 years that people seem, to step back a bit from the current progress, that people care more about work-life balance, reducing stress, feeling connected to nature, consume less, be for minimalistic and focus on what is important.

And I think we are seeing something similar when it comes to media. Minimalism for example is a Design Philosophie that moved into the media world roughly 10 years ago. But it is more than that. People want to spend less time on their phones and also value printed media more.


Tips for better camera Animations

Video

What is a Render-Engine?

A Render-Engine is an application, which takes the 3D models and all the information like light and textures and converts them into a 2D image.

31/01/2021|In 3D, Video|10 Minutes

Orientate yourself on what is possible in reality and what is

In the Article Tips for more realistic renderings in Blender, I already wrote about how important it is, to have reference images of something real for Orientation. And you can apply the same thing to your Camera Animations.

Focal Length

Make a research about Lenses which lenses are existing and what are they getting used for. If you are making an animation of a Landscape for example your focal length is maybe 12 mm which is the lens with the shortest focal length that ARRI offers.

If you are making an animation of something which is supposed to look far away like an airplane, a rocket, a car, or something else maybe you should use something like 155 mm or 280 mm which is the biggest focal length you can find on an ARRI lens.

If you use values far above or below that it will look a bit weird because such lenses don’t exist humans will subconsciously see, that there is something off.

Who is holding the Camera?

Is a person holding the Camera? Is the Camera on a tripod? Or is the Camera on a Camera Robot? Is your Camera a GoPro on the head of a Dog?

There is an endless number of possibilities of things that your camera can be connected with and all of them are having an influence on how the Camera is moving, which Camera and Lens is getting used and where your Camera is positioned. If you are having a Handheld Camera it is unlikely that the camera is 3 meters above the ground. It is more likely that it is 170 cm above the ground and Is shaking a bit (Ian Hubert made a quick Tutorial about that.)

Think about what is holding your Camera and how it will influence it will have.

Maybe your image isn’t 100% sharp and has some noise and distortions as well all things that can help you, to make your Animation more believable.

Use Motion Blur!

Motion Blur is just a klick. To set it up Literally and so helpful at the same time.

It makes the Animation feel more real because every video taken by a real camera has Motion Blur.

It helps you, to hide some mistakes and can hide some missing details.

Also, a director with who I am working every once in a while, is known for using Motion Blur as a transition effect.

Use depth of field

Depth of field also exists in every video and can help you as well to hide some details.

It is also a Tool, to guide the viewers’ attention. So put some thoughts about where to place the focus.

Often, I create an Empty Object which I use as a Focus point because it makes the animation of the focus much easier. It is possible without an extra object but that makes it harder and can cause problems if you change the animation of the camera later on.

Most people connect a strong depth of field with high quality like they connect a lot of base with high-quality sound. The reason for that is, Big Image sensors and lenses with a wide aperture which are both found on more expensive cameras and lenses cause more depth of field but because of that too much blur is a common beginner mistake. Use it but don’t overuse it.

Make use of the graph editor

A Keyframe describes a certain state at a certain Frame but no one creates a Keyframe for every frame. Which lets the question open for what is happening between both Keyframes is it transitioning from one state to another consistently or is it starting slow and ending slow? Is it starting fast and ending slow? This is what the Curves in the Graph Editor describe. In most cases, it is good if the Curves are smooth like Butter. But it really depends.

Avoid having no movement

This is a mistake I frequently see in bad product videos, where the animation just stops. And there is just a static image. In every good video, there is always some motion. It doesn’t need to be the camera but there always needs to be something moving.

Make some thoughts about the image composition

One thing I really like about Pixar movies is, that every Frame looks like an Image that could be printed outputted into a Picture frame. This doesn’t need to be the case but go to different frames in your Animation and ask yourself the question is the Frame itself good and how can I improve it.

There is an endless number of things and guidelines, and it is a huge topic, so I linked you a separate Article about this topic.

Chose the right frame rate

Framerates also have an impact on how an animation Feels.

6-12 Frames per second

This is the normal Framerate of an Anime. The reason for that is, that in the past every frame got drawn by hand. Which meant more Frames drastically increases the amount of time and cost that is required. Now it is more a nostalgic thing. To create this hand-drawn look.

But it also raises the question if it makes sense if more and more people aren’t able to understand this because they are simply too young to use this framerate. Because to the, it looks just choppy.

Framerates also have an impact on how an animation Feels.

23.97 Frames per second

According to Science this is the number at which the human eye sees movement instead of singles Images

24 Frames per second

The standard Frame rate in Cinema because when videos was made with film, film was expensive and more frames required more film. Which is the reason they shot slightly about the minimum requirements for human eyes. And no one saw a reason, to change that till this day.  This means if you want something to look cinematic whatever that means it is the right frame rate for you.

25 Frames per second

Is the standard Frame rate of TVs here in Europe.

30 Frames per second

It is the standard Frame rate of TV in the US and on the Internet most and the most common these days.

60 Frames per second

Makes the video feel supernatural and smooth. I think it feels fascinating and is good for a video where it is important, that people can recognize, what is happening on the screen.

Think out of the box

There are so many ways, you can create a video in a different way. No one said, that a video needs to be 16:9. Why not make upright or with multiple views at the same time. I am still waiting for the first ad agency that creates a multimillion-dollar budget video project in 9:16 and because their target group primarily uses smartphones.

But I think I know why this will take a while until it will happen.

“As I said balls, we need balls. If you know, that means”

Oliver Kahn