Tagged Blender 2.77

Velvet Revolver has now support for h264 conversion

velvet_goes_h264

As requested long ago by Nathan, Velvet Revolver has now support for h264 encoding. This is still experimental, but should work both for proxy generation and full-res copy creation. Reasons for such change are actually simple.

Technically, the suitable formats for editing are ProRes and MJPEG. This is especially true when you want to change the speed of those videos by using the “Speed control” effect in Blender’s Video Sequence Editor.

Second, my old recycled laptop computer, a Pentium M from 2005 (!), finally died. I was never able to edit videos on it, for obvious reasons. Last month, I bought myself a newer machine, an i5 ThinkPad from 2010. Video editing there seems promising with SSD, but asking for ProRes or MJPEG is simply too much because disk space there is an issue – the files are simply too big.

Used and older computers are great because you save some electronic waste and prove, at the same time, that 2D video can be achieved at lower cost machines, which can be crucial for activist groups. If you’re in the field, you need something fast, light and at hand, so h264 makes a hell lot of sense in this scenario.

Thanks Nathan for pointing that out in the first place and encouraging it, even though time has been short here and it took way longer than expected to have the peace of mind of implementing those changes.

Beware, though! Changes with the “Speed Control” effect may not render or work as expected since h264 is not an intra-frame codec. Test whatever you want to do before assuming things will go smooth with the 30′ documentary you have to deliver in the next 2 days.

 

Also: as computaholic pointed out at GitHub, Velvet Revolver was having issues when converting files down from 59.94fps to 29.97fps. When Blender 2.77 was released, direct access to the project’s FPS* seemed not to be working, so I changed the code to mimic the way Blender was supposedly calculating it. It turns out the old code is actually working now, so I raised the previous version from the dead and any problems should be fixed now.

 

*bpy.context.scene.render.fps

 

Blender Velvets updated for Blender 2.77

Blender277_Splash

 

The Blender Velvets are ready for the recent Blender 2.77 release! An important note is that there are some internal changes in the new Blender update, so the Velvets for Blender 2.76 are not compatible with 2.77 – just download the new versions and reinstall the ones you use.

 

New features in VSE

Blender 2.77 has introduced two interesting features this time: the first is that new projects change their FPS according to the first video you insert on your timeline. Cool stuff. =)

The second and most important one is that you can add whole nested scenes to your timeline using Shift+A and chosing “Scene” – remember that with Velvet Goldmine, you can navigate through your Scenes using Shift+Tab.This is probably a very expected addition so many kudos to the Blender team, that has been improving the VSE steadly these last years!

The bad news. Thing is if you try to use Velvet Revolver to toggle between full res and proxies, you’ll realise it won’t affect the nested scene, even though the code has been recently reviewed to affect metastrips (thanks Nathan for pointing that out!).

This issue will probably addressed by the Velvets in the near future but until then, in case you want to use the new “Import Scene” function with Velvet Revolver, you’ll have to run the shortcuts in all the scenes you’re using: Shift+Tab to navigate to them, then Ctrl+Alt+P/Ctrl+Shift+P to toggle between proxies/fullres in each scene.

Also, there is a small change in one of the Velvet Shortcuts. The function “Set Timeline start to frame one” has now a new shortcut, since Alt+S is now taken for “Swap Inputs”, so use Alt+1 instead.

 

Blender bugfix?

Blender 2.77 also brings a bugfix of an error that ocurred especially when using Ctrl+UpArrow and Ctrl+DownArrow with the strips in the timeline. Unfortunately, the new behaviour is not as it used to be in Blender 2.73 (long ago!). If you Ctrl+DownArrow your strips until they get over the ones on the channel right below them, they’ll be thrown to the end of that strip, messing up completely your edit. A new bug report has to be added or the Velvet code will have to be rewritten – until then, watch out.

 

Community rises

The community around the Blender Velvets is starting to sprout. Thanks Nathan, Magali and mentat-fr for help with the code, documentation and thrown out ideas. Things have been rushy, but hopefully all email answering and code reviewing will be done soon.

 

Some video

 

This is a somewhat strange video as teaser for the Cryptorave 2016. The Cryptorave is a huge crypto party conference in São Paulo and since Brazil is now all about politics (and the rise of NeoFascism), the audio is loud and messed up with the bombs (just in case no one has ever blown teargas in your face). Just don’t take it too seriously and things will be fine.