ACES how to install the better Color space in Blender

What is ACES

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.

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

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

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

Published 13th February 2021

Every year around the time of new year, articles about design trends are popping up. I wanted to do something different and list up trends or movements of which I believe they will stay for way longer than a year which is in my option much more useful information, because it enables you, to learn new things which are relevant long term.

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 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

Published 31th January 2021

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


Stereo Audio Spectrum from Adobe Audition

EBU R128 and Co: Set Volume of your videos correctly

EBU R128 and Co: Set the Volume of your Videos correctly

Edited 12th December 2020

What is EBU R128

EBU stands for European Broadcasting Union which is a society that develops and publishes standards for Broadcasting which are getting used around the world.
R128 is their latest standard for Loudness.

The goal of the EBU R128 standard is, that every TV Channel, Every Radio Channel, and every Video has roughly the same loudness so that the user doesn’t need to change the Volume or doesn’t get frightened by a loud Video.

This works by taking the average loudness and putting it to -23db which has been proven, to be the optimal average loudness.

In my opinion, this is one of the things which sets professionals and amateur apart.

Other standards

Also if EBU R128 is the most common standard there are also other standard, which can be more relevant. So I have a small ist her of other audio specs, which are maybe relevant to your project.

Max Integrated: –13 LUFS to -15LUFS

Max True Peak: -1dB

Max Integrated: –13 LUFS to -15 LUFS

Max True Peak: -1dB

Max Integrated: –16 LUFS

Max True Peak: -1dB

Max Integrated: –14 LUFS

Max True Peak: -2dB

Max Integrated Dialog: -27 LUFS

Max True Peak: -2dB

Using EBU R128 in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder

No Matter if you Export a video inside of Premiere Pro, Export it from After Effects via the Adobe Media Encoder or convert your Video with the Adobe Media Encoder the settings panel looks the same in every scenario.

There Under Filter, you have the option “Loudness normalizer” You have to tick the box and then you can select the Preset EBU R 128 which is everything. If you export your video now the volume corresponds to EBU R128

Screenshot of Premiere Pro CC 2019 which explains, how to set up the EBU-R128 Filter

YouTube video gear Tipps

Camera

Don't buy a camera!

Cameras are way overrated. If you want to improve your video quality it is likely, that there are other things you could change like lightning, better sound, a new lens, or post-processing. It is really important to understand, that the camera is only a part of the gear.

If you are staring YouTube you shouldn’t buy a Camera use your smartphone. I don’t want to discourage anyone, but I heard about many people, who bought expensive gear and then stopped making Videos. To underline this the Oscar-nominated director Steven Soderbergh shot a whole Movie called “Unsane” only with an iPhone which also ran in cinemas.

Yes, Yes, just tell me which camera is good!

I think the biggest mistake people make is, that they buy a photo camera for making Videos. I believe the reason for this is, that Photo cameras are much more popular and if you type in camera on Amazon this is, what pops up first.

But you definitely should prefer a video camera for video over a photo camera.

The reason for this is video cameras are able, to capture videos with a higher bit rate. This results in more details, fewer artifacts, and a wider range of colors especially very bright and very dark parts are problematic. It is a bit like making a RAW Photo and making a JPEG.

My recommendation is the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Yes, what a name ;p that’s the reason most people cal it BMPCC4K. It is the cheapest cinema camera from a well-known Brand. And I think most people aren’t able, to see the difference between this camera and a $50000 ARRI Camera. In the professional industry, you primarily pay such a surcharge for more reliability or better Service because a production day of Commercial or Movie productions can cost multiple hundred thousand of dollars. And if the camera isn’t working that’s a problem.

Lens

The lens is responsible, for how the Image looks and how sharp it is so you definitely shouldn’t cheap out too much there.

Don't buy a Kit Lens

Kit Lenses are those, you can buy in a bundle with a camera. They are most of the time not that great and really overpriced in the aftermarket to make the bundle seem like a good deal.

Get a nifty fifty

A nifty fifty is a cheap 50 mm lens. Most good photographers and cinematographers own one. The reason for that is, that good 50 mm lenses can be very cheap. You can also look at the used market. Overall it is the best cheap lens you can get.

Helios 44mm lens

Don't care about the aperture number.

The Aperture Number F1.8, for example, says how wide the aperture can be opened which affects your Image in two ways.

A lower Aperture number makes your Image brighter. This can be good, in darker situations cause it allows you to use a lower ISO so you have less noise. But it can also make your Image to bright so you probably have to use an ND filter if you want to shoot with a wide Aperture.

A lower Aperture number also makes the Background of the Image more blurry. But this also means that it is way harder to focus. Which is the reason, F 4.0 or high is being used.

So you shouldn’t care if the lens has F1.8 or only F3.5.

My recommendations

There isn’t really the lens or the Brand to Recommend. Of course, a $5000 Zeiss Lens makes wonderful Images But I guess that’s not really relevant.

I recommend, to do your research and look and footage of different lenses. And also look for more unknown Brand. Like Voigtländer for example. Or take a look at the used market.

One really affordable line of lenses which also gets used by MKBHD and Corridor Digital is the Art Series by Sigma.

Lights

In my opinion, lightning is, what makes the biggest difference in the Image most people don’t use lights or reflector for their Photos and Videos at all. But the things is equipment for good light can be really cheap and it can make such a big difference.

Light Set-Ups:

Ring light

The Ring light is just a Light in a Shape of a Ring usually made out of a Neon Tube. It really has a distinctive look to it and was really hyped, when it was new. But now it seems like everyone is doing it, so I am not quite sure if it is cool anymore. but personally I like the look, that it has to it.

Image of black men with ring light

Two Light set up

To create a less stylized look I think the two light set up is ideal for something with minimum expenditure and cost.

Just two lamps one on the front left and one on the front right of the person. Sometimes the right light is bigger or stronger.

The reason for that is, that we culturally learned, that the light comes from the top left corner. You can also observe this in most Hollywood movies.

Sound

I think especially beginners make the mistake to underestimate how important Sound is.

"Sound is 50 percent of the movie going experience, and I've always believed audiences are moved and excited by what they hear in my movies at least as much as by what they see."

Georg Lucas

Also, if the Camera or Phone has a built-in microphone it is more like the salad on the burger. You don’t buy the Burger cause of the salad.

Hardware recommendations

The cheapest method is, to use the headset, that comes with your Phone. The Advantage here is, that the microphone is much closer to your mouth so there are much less other sound and much less noise.

Other popular solutions are Lavaliere microphone which are the things you see most of the time used in TV Shows. Which is more or less the premium version of the just use headphones idea.

A shotgun microphone is good at capturing sound which comes from one direction without capturing much sound from other directions. The problem is, that they are the most pricey ones. They usually start at $250 The most popular one is the Sennheiser MKH series.

If you just want to make a voice over it is really simple since you don’t have to hide the microphone from the camera.

The two most popular ones are the Rode NT1A and the Shure SM7B. But don’t forget you need an Audio Interface for them too. Just make sure you buy one from a well-known brand such as Behringer or Yamaha. They start at about $30

Don't forget to sync your Sound!

If you ever asked yourself for what these clapboards are useful this is one of the reasons. If you use one device to capture the Video and one, to capture the sound you somehow have to synchronize them.

By clapping no matter if you use a clapboard or just your hands you can synchronize the clapping sound with the frame, in which both hands are together.

film set with clappboard

Tripod

I think the only thing you should know is, don’t cheap out at things like Tripods, SD Cards and Filters Don’t put your $2000 camera on a $10 Tripod. It is important, that the Tripod is well-built and that the mechanics work as they supposed to be. Maybe go to the store and try some of them out. Just not buy a $10 thing on Ali express or so.

Editing Software

To everyone who wants to start video making, I recommend Davinci Resolve.

The reason for that is, That there is a free version without any time restrictions and more features than most people will ever need. And no, it is not a crappy buggy piece of garbage like Nero or Pinnacle or whatever there is. It is the standard color grading Software in Hollywood and it now develops into a Video Editing Software. It is really intuitive, It is the fastest video editing software on the market and for most people there is no reason, not to use it.

And No, I don’t get pays to say that ;p

The only reason I use Adobe Premiere Pro is, cause the integration with After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator is excellent. And since all these programs are made by Adobe I think there will never be an alternative for Premiere Pro. But I think if I would primarily Edit and Grade Videos I would also use Davinci Resolve.

You also get a license for the Studio version of Davinci Resolve if you buy a Blackmagic Camera which I recommended.


Laptop Keyboard with a

Export animations in Blender

Export animations in Blender

Edited 11th December 2020

I think, exporting a video out of Blender can be a bit confusing for beginners. It also took me a while to come to this workflow I am currently using so perhaps not only beginners but also more advanced users can learn from this.

I am rendering in single frames and in a linear format. Because I want to be able to pause the rendering process and be as flexible as possible with my rendering when it comes to post-processing.

Step 1. Bake your simulations

In Blender, there are multiple types of simulations. Make sure, that you bake every single one of them, which saves the simulation even if you open and close the project. This is not only a time-saver because you don’t have to run the simulation process again. It also doesn’t create the same result every time which would mean, that if you want to pause rendering and start it again it would create a glitch in the simulation.
To achieve this you just have to click on the Bake Button in each Cache Menu.

Screenshot of Blender baking Cache

Step 2. Activate the Denoiser

In Blender Version, 2.81 Blender got the first AI Denoiser which really delivers remarkable results. You can read more about it in this article.

Comparison of a denoised by Intel Open Image Denoise and a image without denoiser

Since Version 2.82 There is another AI Denoiser by Nvidia which was developed for real-time Ray-Tracing on Nvidia’s RTX GPUs. But even if it is now possible, to use it without an RTX GPU it is much slower than using the IOID in the Compositor which means if you don’t own an RTX GPU you should do it how I described it here.

If you use a Denoiser you can use fewer samples because you don’t have to worry about noise.  Which can lower your Export times dramatically.

Step 3. Check everything

Watch if everything you want to render is enabled in the Outline Tab, check if the resolutions you set are correct, and make a Test render, to make sure, you don’t forget anything.

Step 4. set your Output settings

Create a folder where you want to have your files exported in because you will have a single Image for every Frame.
And Chose OpenEXR as File Format. That will not give us the Highest Image Quality. It is also a linear Format without any Color space, Which gives you the most possibilities when it comes to choosing the Color space and post-processing without losing any quality.

Screenshot of Blender render Output settings

Step 5. Start the rendering process

Before you start the rendering process don’t forget to save. Also, don’t worry if you open up one of the Images it will look a bit weird which is caused by your OS don’t know what it is and how to work with it.

Screenshot of Blender clicking on Render Animation

Step 6. Import the Images in Davinci

Davinci Resolve is the standard Hollywood color grading software. But it is also possible to edit with Davinci and the standard version is completely free and doesn’t have any limitations at the basic functions. It is also possible, to edit inside of Blender currently this is not recommendable.
To import the images just create a new project and click on File> Import File> Import Media, then navigate to the Folder, where you exported the Images in and select all of them.
And then just drag the footage on the timeline.

The images don’t contain any Information about the Framerate which is the reason you have to set the Framerate manually if it is not 24. You can do that by right-clicking on the Footage and then click on Clip Attributes and change the Framerate.

Screenshot of Davinci Resolve importing Media...

Step 7. Change the Colorspace

A Benefit of exporting everything in a linear Color space is, that you can switch the Color space after the rendering process. A reason for this could be more realism from the filmic Color space or more color accuracy from the standard Color space.

To change the Color space you have to switch to the Fusion Tab which is something like the Compositor in Blender but much more resilient and advanced.

Screenshot of Davinci Resolve importing Media...

Then add an OCIC Color space Node by right-clicking > Add Tools > Color > OCIO Color space.
Hold down Shift and place the Node between both of the other Nodes.

SCreenshot of Davinci Resolve adding OCIO Colorspace Node

In the Inspector Panel on the right side, you have the settings for each Node.
For the OCIO Color space Node load the OCIO Config file of Blender. Just click on Browse and navigate to the config.ocio file. You can find it in the installation folder in datafiles > color management config.ocio.

Screenshot of Davinci resolve loading in Blender OCIO file

After this set the Source Space to linear and the Output space to which color space do you prefer. For me, this is filmic sRGB or sRGB in most cases.

Screenshot of Davinci Resolve with OCIO Colrspace Node

Step 8. Export

What you do next depends on you. You can post-process it and color grade it or just export it.


Photo of a Monitor displaying After Effects Timeline

Export Videos faster with Voukoder

Export Videos faster in Premiere, After Effects and Vegas with Voukoder

Published 13th March 2019

! Voukoder is only available for Windows !

What is Voukoder

Voukoder is an Addon that works with Premiere Pro CC, After Effects and the Adobe Media Encoder which enables you to use your graphics card for exporting 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. Don’t forget to support such awesome developers.

Voukoder Logo a rainbow Tornado

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-2.x.exe and go through the SetUp which self-explaining.

While installing you installing it, you have to close After Effects, Premiere and the Media Encoder.

SetUp your Export

If you open one of these programs now and export something under “Format” you have now the Option “Voukoder R2” Which you have to select.

Screenshot Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2020 Export with Voukoder

Now you should have the Tab “Voukoder” where you can select the Codec for the Video and Audio Signal. The rest is self-explanatory.

Screenshot Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2020 Export Voukoder options