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Blender 2.8: VFX Nodes (Version 1.5) [Addon]

October 29, 2019

Hey everybody and welcome back to another darkfall video. So today we’re going to be looking at version 1.5 of the darkfall VFX nodes If you’ve missed any of the previous Versions go ahead and click up here and there’ll be a link to check the previous one or There’ll be a link to the playlist in the description. But first, let’s go ahead and enable the add-on So providing that you’ve downloaded it and if you want to see how to download it again, check the previous video, but first Let’s go to edit down to preferences Then down to add-ons and we want to search for the previous version, so let’s just type darkfall So go ahead and open this up if it says version 1.4 you need to go ahead and remove it and Then we can go ahead and install 1.5 So just navigate to where you saved this to select the script and then go ahead and install it And then go ahead and check this and now it’s enabled now I can close this down And then we can switch this from the 3d view to the compositor window So let’s go ahead and check use nodes and also change this to the darkfall nodes tab so now in the tool section We have the 2d planar tool and then within that we actually have two options We have the 2d planar tool and then we also have the subsurface skin node. So this is very similar to this except It’s a little more Specific to the subsurface skin whereas this is good for general 2d planar stuff It also has the option for a drop shadow So if you need to use a drop shadow, then that’s a good idea to use that one But we’re going to take a look at both of these. So let’s go ahead and remove the nodes Let’s add some additional nodes. So first let’s take a look at the 2d planar tool So we have these nodes here that’s just been added. And then if we connect this movie clip to the movie clip slot And we can plug this into the output And the viewer node, let’s go ahead and load up a movie clip and then to see the backdrop Let’s go down here and click this button here So this is the video I’m using and again, I found this out Hollywood camerawork .com, I’ll leave a link in the description So you guys can check it out So it’s another great clip where the head is moving in different positions and got a whole bunch of markers One thing I would note, if you’re recording the footage yourself. You only need four tracking markers I’d say this area this area this one and this one So for the planar tracker to work, it only needs four tracking markers But since we didn’t record this footage, we don’t have the control over what gets recorded So just keep that in mind when you’re recording yourself, just to only add four tracking markers also I would say that these tracking markers are quite big Blender is great for tracking and these are far too big if you notice she’s got Pierced ears and that dot here is actually the size that I would use and I will show you an example When we do the tracking, but so again just keep that in mind when you’re adding the tracking markers You don’t have to make them too big. So now we have this movie clip. We need to do a couple of things Let’s go over here and add a new workspace Let’s go down to VFX and add in a motion tracking Now you can close these windows by right-clicking in the center and just closing them or you can just drag this section up Since I’m lazy, I’m just going to try get out the way select this movie clip icon and choose the movie clip that we loaded in and Then we can go over here and set scene frames which will set the timeline to be the length of our movie clip But for this example, I only want to use a small section of this clip. So maybe 99 to 180 something like this So I’m going to jump to the first frame and then I’m going to click prefetch So if we play through this we can see she moves in loads of different positions The mouth moves the head moves, there’s loads of different things going on So as I mentioned before these are far too big and there’s too many So I’m not even going to focus on these outer ones here I’m going to assume that when you record this yourself or the one that you’re working on There’s only four markers or maybe six markers here. So let’s go over to the tracking settings I’m going to change the motion model from location to location rotation I’m going to change the match from keyframe to previous frame and then I’m going to enable normalize These are the general settings. I use you can use whatever tracking settings you want and depending on the footage You probably will need to change these but I find for the most part I generally use these settings a lot the next thing I want to do is change this to the tracking tab so we can see the tracking markers and then I’m going to hold ctrl and left click To add a tracking marker. I would like to see the search size You can also go over here to clip display and just enable it here if you want same thing so I’m gonna scale this up a bit by pressing s Then press G move it over and then scale is down a little bit and then I’m gonna click copy from active track So any new markers I add will share the same settings and I’m quickly going to click on these like this Like I said before these tracking markers are far too big. blender does a really good job with small areas I mean we could actually use this as a tracking marker. This is actually a good size I’d maybe make it a little bit dark if you wanted to but I’ll just show you that blender can track this area just as Good as it can track this one. So now you’ve added your tracking markers, press a just to select all of them We can go down here open this up and You can use this panel if you want or we can use these same icons here. So I’m just going to use this section I’m gonna track these forward since we’re on the first frame So we can see it does a good job even this section over here So now we have these I’m gonna jump back to the first frame if we double tap a we can deselect everything Then we change this to the solve tab And then if we open up the plain track Now as I said, if you want to create a plain track you will need for tracking markers selected So I’m going to select this one Hold shift select this one this one and this one Now if we click create plane we can see we have this box has now been added And if we play through it sticks to the face, which is pretty good now jump back to the first frame I’m going to scale this up on the Y Little bit on the X and then I’m gonna press R to rotate and just put it somewhere like this So that’s the planar done now We need to create the area of effect, which essentially is the area on her face Which we want to show this a texture or image that we want to put on. So let’s change this to the masking tab We can go over here to track in and just change this to masking Or we can press the tab key on the keyboard and It’ll switch the windows for us So in the masking window we can go over here to new Create a new mask Then let’s create an area So I’m going to hold ctrl and click and I’m just going to add these points to kind of make a shape. That looks good Then we can press a select all of these then gonna press V I’m going to change this to Automatic give this more of a fluid shape and then come back and refine the areas if you need to But say we’re happy with this I’m going to press a to select it again, since you already have the planar track selected, we can see that because it’s white I’m gonna hold ctrl + P. So now this mask has been parented to the tracking marker So if we can see it will follow Perspective and we can see it as well since the this marker moves a little bit The actual masks moves as well in most cases. You don’t want the mask to move But in this case actually works it looks good It looks as if the skin is stretching and let’s change this back to the general workspace So now we go over to the planar track deform We select this icon here. choose the movie clip that we have loaded in Then if we choose this icon here choose the camera Then choose a tracking marker to be the plane track And if you want we can enable motion blur and with motion blur it will make the effect look so much better Let’s go ahead and add an image so go to open So this is the image I’m using and it’s just a leather texture and if I can remember where I found it I’ll make sure to throw a link in the description and you can use whatever image you want and the next thing we need to Do is add in a mask shift a imput mask Then select the mask icon and choose the area of effect and then plug this into the area of effect mask slot So now we have this which looks a bit crazy, but there’s a couple of things we need to change So the first thing you see is this black line Which is going to be the drop shadow If you don’t want to drop shadow, you can turn this off You can click here and turn off the Alpha All the way down to zero and then you can just add the effect that you want So the first option we can play around with is the mask feather which is this border edge here So we want to get this a bit of a further so maybe eight And again each scene will be different. So depending on your scene you might need to play around with it See works for you. Another thing we need to do since we added motion blur for the tracking deform here It’s good idea to add motion blur for our mask And one thing you should note the more blurs that we add the longer it will take to render So I will be checking this at the end before I render it out. I just don’t want it to slow down the computer So now the next thing we want to do is soften this edge here So that’s the drop shadow inner feather. We can give this say 20 And if that’s not enough we can go maybe 40 that looks pretty good So now we need to position the shadow we can see that lights coming in from this direction and it would hit the face here so maybe if we move this on the X, maybe – maybe Minus 10 and this could be maybe minus 9 That’s not too bad. Maybe it’s a bit too dark. So let’s change this to maybe point seven or maybe point seven eight That’s something like that now if you want to reduce the size There’s one thing you can do you can tab into the planar node And if we see here we have this drop shadow amount It’s essentially a dilate erode node right now. It’s minus 30. We change it to minus 10 So it goes a lot smaller. It kind of looks a lot closer to the the surface the bigger this is the deeper the sort of Subsurface looks if that makes sense So you can play around with this and make it look as deep and pushed back as you want or make it as shallow And as close to the surface as you want, so one thing I do want to improve in the future I want to make this option available In the output here right now. I’m not sure how to do that with the dilate erode node We can see there’s no socket here So I pretty much need to figure out a way to add a socket and then connect it up if you guys have any ideas how to do that leave in the comments below So now we have this and if we play through we’ll see it moves and all the shadows and everything looks good Now obviously we need to get rid of these tracking markers here So if we jump to the first frame I quickly show you how to do that Let’s tidy this area up here. We don’t need these now Then under tools we go to the marker removal node And let’s add in the marker removal node Then just drop this in now, of course, we need a mask to plug into this. So let’s change this back to the motion tracking Now since we’re already in masking mode, let’s go over here. Just add in a new mask. Let’s call this marker removal Then all we need to do is select one of these markers Then I’m going to left-click just to add a 2d cursor if you’re using a different button configuration You probably need to hold shift and then left click. So once you’ve added the 2d cursor you can shift a add a circle I’m just gonna scale this down The previous tutorial and so I said to maybe give it a bit of a gap but in this tutorial I’m going to tell you to give you a give it a big gap Because these these tracking marks are far too big but now we have these if we hold ctrl and press P They’ve been parented and we can play through this and see Now I’m just going to do the exact same thing for these other tracking markers here and if you want to see in detail how The marker removal is done will be a link up here. Just go ahead and check that out in this example I’m not going to go into too much detail. I’m just going to speed through this and I’ll be back in a second So now I have these let’s jump back to the general workspace shift a add in a mask Select the mask icon Choose the marker removal and then plug this in So as I mentioned last time, we just need to move this either on the X or the Y It’s entirely up to you which way you move it. I’m gonna change this maybe minus 40 Minus 44. Let’s see how that looks So it is quite noticeable here that it’s brighter So we wouldn’t need to play around with the brightness and maybe even split it off Individually, like we would with the rest of these and then add a new mark removal node and just separate them off again I explained that in the last tutorial if you want to check it out I know there’s gonna be some of you is going to complain that I’ve not removed these tracking markers and maybe I’ll do it for the final example, but if I don’t hopefully you guys will understand It’s not about the tracking removal if we mute this We can see that this is before And then this is after so obviously you wanna do same for the rest of these. I just noticed this one down here So I’ll go back and do that in a second, but you guys get the idea We have a nice easy effect to add 2d planar. So let’s move on to the next one, which is the Subsurface skinned node, and I did a tutorial quite awhile ago now about the subsurface skin and this kind of will help with that process So let’s just select all of these and get rid of them. Don’t need them. Let’s add in the additional let’s load in that movie clip again and Then add in the subsurface skin node Same thing with this. We just need to connect it up. So the image to the movie clip plug this to the output and Then connect up to the view node then the next thing we need to do is go down here to the planar track deform just as we did before we just need to select this movie clip icon Tell it which movie clip that we’re working with Then select the object which is the camera And then choose to track your marker, which is the planar track. And again if you want motion blur make sure you enable it so Now we have this we just need to do one more thing which is add in the mask just so we can define the area of effect so shift a Go down to mask and it’s the same masks that we use before which is the area of effect So plug this and maybe I should have kept it around. Maybe we did need some of the nodes Ah Well now we have this we can see we have this crazy effect going on here So there’s a couple of things we need to do We only have one option on here, which is the mask feather you can see right now It’s a harsh line. But if we change this to say maybe 30 See how it looks so now we can see it’s far too bright when I select this Texture Node here, which has been added shift a go to color Then go to RGB curves and drop this in here Now this will be different for each scene that you work with and obviously I can’t predict which scene you’re working with So, if it’s too bright, you’ll need to just drop this down a bit Or if it’s too dark You can brighten up again. Each scene will be different depending on what you’re working with. So it doesn’t look too great right now One thing you should know this texture node here. If we change this window to the texture node editor then if we change this to brush and Then select this texture icon and choose the texture that’s been created for us If we scroll out we can see where it is So one thing you should know I did want some of these options Preset but there’s a bug in blender which won’t let me set this using Python. I think they are working on it I did report this as a bug Hopefully this will be fixed in future versions. But for right now we need to go to this texture Change this to hard and then change this from blender original – original perlin now again You can play around with these and find something that works better for you. But I find these settings for this example works great So I changed this back now to the compositor And we’ll see what’s happened. So now we have this which I think is a lot nicer We can also play around with this scale and position by using these values here and then again play around with the RGB curves So we can see it adds a nice subsurface skin effect and again we need to remove those tracking markers so you just add a removal node here and Then when you’re ready, you can go ahead and render this out by using the render panel So hopefully you guys will find the 2d planar tool and the subsurface skin node useful If you do be sure to give this video a like as always. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you next time


  • Reply cput cput October 27, 2019 at 11:06 pm


  • Reply Spicky Danto October 27, 2019 at 11:15 pm


  • Reply Leonardo Nascimento October 28, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Good job. Very useful addon.

  • Reply Bucky Barnes October 28, 2019 at 3:34 am

    very usefull update… ♥️😘
    can you please help us fixing auto track addon for 2.8, available here

  • Reply HARD 3D October 28, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Thanks a lot for your work!

  • Reply BWWKH October 28, 2019 at 6:49 am


  • Reply Emile Rodriguez October 28, 2019 at 8:26 am


  • Reply Max camilion October 28, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you for this! BUT what if I dont have tracking markers set up and I want to replace an area that was cut out out with a photo of said area in order to replace the cut area?

  • Reply JeffreyBlakeney October 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I've been banging my head on the problem of exposing the Distance setting of the Dilate/Erode node for a couple hours but it seems Blender still hasn't addressed this issue. There are a lot of nodes that have settings with no input port on them. Many of them are simply integer or float values. I figured you could use another node that has the input type you want (integer or float) and connect that to your group inputs and name it Distance. Then you put a driver on the Distance value of the Dilate/Erode node to be set to the value of whatever node you used. Unfortunately, it will only ever be set to the default value. It might work when rendering but it won't update while you are working on your edit. I thought that maybe I could get around it by using the actual group input value in the driver instead but I couldn't find a way to access anything in the compositor window directly, only stuff that was inside a group.

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