Oct 23, 2021

Rigging a Chopper

Solved a few challenging points to build this complex helicopter's cyclic control transformations.
Turned out pretty satisfying.

Jan 30, 2021

New dev project to ease renderpass importing/compositing in AE

Hi! Hope you're all doing well.

I finally finished the first alpha version of my renderpass importer for After Effects, and I need testers to speed up the development. Its very alpha, a bit shaky code but it can already save you some time, or a LOT of time if you have plenty of passes.

To make it useful all your passes must be in the same folder and share the same base name.

What it does:

  • After clicking the Browse button Pass.Port analyses the files in the folder you selected to find their shared name (stripped off of everything after the separator tag), it's called Basename. The one detected will be shown in the Basename field
  • If Pass.Port is able to detect the Basename, it will enable the Port button. Clicking it will import all found sequences, analyse them for the renderpass type (this is for the future feature of auto compositing) and for the Light Groups
  • Then if AutoComp is checked, it will sort the footage into separate compositions corresponding to the detected Light Groups
  • As a result you have all sequences imported and one or a few new comps, all placed into the project folder RS render passes created inside currently selected project folder. Pass.port will indicate this in its UI (and in the log file)
  • The script saves all your current settings between the sessions, including the last successful folder
  • Pass.Port creates a text log file with everything it has found and done named pass.port_log.txt next to your AE project file, or to your desktop if your project is not saved
  • Creates 2 undo groups, one for the Footage Import and another one for AutoComp stage, so you can undo by one

What it does not:

  • Doesn't rebuild your composition by the book yet, but its 100% next feature
  • Doesn't support multilayered exrs by now
  • The parsing is built for the default renderpass naming of C4D Redshift version only (with some variations), other Rule sets are on the list. But as long as you comply to the same rules you can use it with any other render engine
  • Tested on Windows only, cannot promise if it'll work on Mac
  • Doesn't change any of your files and does not access the internet
  • Unfortunately it will never be able to make you a coffee

Naming the renderpasses:

A tip for getting a consistent basename for your main render and passes with takes in c4d with tokens:

for main output: .../$take/$take

for RS AOVs: $take_AOV

Or with the $camera token in the same manner. Pass.port will recognise this naming very gladly

Usage and Feedback:

You can run Pass.Port as usual using the Run Script menu, or place it into ...Support Files\Scripts\ScriptUI Panels to be able to dock it into your AE interface

It is a free script, but please do not sell it and do not include it in any products free or paid

Get it for free from the Pass.port GitHub repository and join my Discord if you're actively using Pass.Port and have some feedback/issue.

Jul 27, 2019

AE script to create comp markers corresponding to the selected layers

This little thing will create markers corresponding to all the layers of your selection. There's tExtent variable that adds some extra space on both sides. It also names the markers with the corresponding Layer's name.

AE script to auto queue/render areas covered by comp markers

Made this new script quickly for myself. This thing queues all the segments of the selected comp covered by all composition markers and gives them names of the corresponding marker comment. Do not forget to set some length to your markers, the script takes exactly those fragments.
There're a few variables you can change sPath - sets your output path, sRStem - render settings template name, sOMtem - output module template name.
Uncomment the render command app.project.renderQueue.render() to auto start the render. Change the path and render settings accordingly.
Make sure your markers have unique names otherwise you'll get error message on render attempt and will have to rename your output files manually to fix it.

Jun 10, 2019

A few words on email notifications in your workflow

I recently took time to set up my UPS notifications to myself through email. I couldn't stop just there and now my UPS, my system, my renders etc, they all send me notifications to my email. This is really neat thing to have.

You will need a way to access you transmitting email account through simple smtp (not all services offer simple smtp access) or you can (what I did) set up a local smtp server on your machine, there's a nice and free one called hMail Server (you'll need your own domain or dynamic dns service for it). The most powerful thing is that you can set up emails to be sent for literally everything happening with your system, cause there's a way to send custom messages right from windows PowerShell script.

It can be done in just one command line but I use this simple extended (more human readable) script:

$EmailTo = "mail@gmail.com"
$EmailFrom = "me@example.com"
$Subject = "topic"
$Body = "Hi"
$SMTPServer = "mail.example.com"
$SMTPMessage = New-Object System.Net.Mail.MailMessage($EmailFrom,$EmailTo,$Subject,$Body)
$SMTPClient = New-Object Net.Mail.SmtpClient($SmtpServer, 25)
$SMTPClient.EnableSsl = $false $SMTPClient.Credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential("me@example.com", "smtp password"); $SMTPClient.Send($SMTPMessage)

You save it as a simple text file, change the extension to .ps1 and use the command like

Call “E:\mydocs\sendemail.ps1”

to send the message to yourself. You can make plenty of them and add to windows Task Scheduler for each system event you want to be aware of.

If you interested I can make more extended tutorial for setting up your hMail server and configuring your domain’s DNS for it. Or you just DuckDuckGo for it, there’s already plenty of info online.