Mittwoch, 21. Januar 2015

Important video editing Addons for Blender


If you are goingt to attend to more complex video editing with Blender, you will most likely find yourself confronted with certain limitations of Blender's capabilities.

Fortunately there are ways to come by the most problems with the help of some nice Addons! Because finding those Addons turns out rather difficult, I am going to name some of the most obvious limitations in Blender followed by the Plugin that provides a solution.

3D Lookuptable editor

Dedicated NLEs provide a way to manage your video material before adding the clips to the timeline. Blender does not allow this, but using the SunTools Addon you are able to view and trim your clips before adding them and you can even sort out clips that are not usable by hiding them in the file manager.
It works with one Blender Window but is actually designed to be used with a dual monitor setup: Duplicate the Window in Blender's info header so that you end up with two windows, each showing your timeline setup. Now you can add a file manager section to one of them and use that window to pretrim your clips and then add them to your main timeline in the other window using the operators in the plugin.
There is also an option to insert those trimmed strips as a metastrip with combined audio and video.

There is also an amazing Addon that provides the capability to tag your footage and define in- and outpoints using a slightly different approach.
It enhances your workflow significantly by making you able to manage your media in a more semantic way. And there is also a video tutorial!

Trimming strips and navigating through the timeline is not really comfortable. For example there are many situations which demand for a way to move and trim clips quickly and precisely in relation to each other and to the playhead (for example if a clip should start exactly after the previous one ends).

The SunTools Addon provides a second section called TrimTools.
It enhances the efficiency of trimming and cutting clips in the timeline by providing operators to trim a clip's starting- or endpoint to the current playhead position.
You can also select a video strip and it's according audio strip simultaneously and use a snapping operator that works in analogy to the Blender's one, moves the strip so that it's endpoint matched the playhead, not it's starting point.

There is also the very useful Jump to Cut addon. It moves the playhead to the nearest start- and endpoints of clips in the desired direction. It is a good Idea to assign this functions to shortcuts via Blender's user preferences. Simply hover over a button of the plugin and add the python command shown in the tooltip to new hotkey.

My setting is: Q to jump left, W to jump left and Shift+Q and Shift+W to trim the start and endpoint to the playhead using TrimTools. Those addons play together very nicely!

Then there are the sequencer extra actions. It's a great toolset which adds essential functions. The Wiki Page speaks for itself!

The color grading and compositing features in the VSE are rudimentary while Blender comes with a great nodal compositor that cannot be used in the sequencer directly. What a pity!

This addon tries to unleash Blender's great grading capabilities by offering a way to grade sequencer clips in the nodal compositor.
(Because the initial developer is not active in the thread anymore, the recent download links are found on the last pages.)

The most NLEs provide an intuitive way to transform clips in the canvas.
This unique Addon adds exactly this functionality to Blender! Personally I have been waiting for such a feature for a long time.

The video tracking features of Blender are exceptional and we may use them for proper video stabilization!

And then there is something much more experimental:
The LUT Editor is capable to use Blender's features as a 3D editor to edit 3D Lookuptables. The caveat is that you have to recompile Blender to use the addon...

Generally it is a good idea to assign those important functions to shortcuts. It will take some time to understand how to use those addons efficinetly, but it the end there is a chance that you will gain a very intuitive and fast workflow!

Now have a try and enjoy experimenting! ;)

By the way:
I don't like the idea of disturbing your reading experience by showing annoying ads on my Blog. Yet, writing articles takes a meaningful amount of time, so as you can read in the right column of my blog, if you would like to say "thank you" for the hopefully useful posts, you can easily do this by making your next Amazon purchase using the links provided in the "Note" box. It won't cost you anything more, but helps me keeping this blog running! Thanks! :)