4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 29, 2008 11:25 AM by (Laer)

    Using Z Depth questions

    Level 1
      I'm confused as to how you would use a separate z-depth greyscale image sequence in AE7 to affect a separate standard RGB image sequence. It seems like the z-depth has to be embedded in the RGB, as the various 3D Channel effects seem to have no way of referencing an external sequence.

      If you CAN, how do you do it?

      If not, is there a way in AE7 to merge the separate greyscale z-depth sequence and the RGB sequence to create an image sequence with embedded z-depth (so you could then use it with the 3D Channel effects)?
        • 1. Re: Using Z Depth questions
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          You can create a Z-Matte effect simply by using the depth files as a luma matte on top of the RGB layers. Apply e.g. a Levels effect to the depth sequence to adjust the clipping planes. Generating an RLA/ RPF is no good idea - AE's 3D effects are at this point strictly limited to 8bpc processing which with large depth ranges would result in incorrect clipping.

          Mylenium
          • 2. Re: Using Z Depth questions
            Level 1
            Are you saying to have 2 layers of the footage, one unaffected, the other blurred, and use the depth files as a luminance map between them? If so, that won't work. That will only do cross dissolves between the blurred extreme and the unaffected one... not blur each part at different levels.

            Is there not a way for the DOF or 3D fog filters to actually reference the true depth data from another clip/layer. It seems that you can only really use renders that have the depth embedded (which is fine for C4D, and works great)... but for XSI renders, who (unfortunately) render the depth info as a separate image sequence, it doesn't work.
            • 3. Re: Using Z Depth questions
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              Of course The workflow I mentioned will only work as a matte. If you need to create DOF, use Compound Blur, Lensblur or one of the many third-party plugins like Frischluft Lenscare or RecvisionFX Smoothkit.

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: Using Z Depth questions
                Level 1
                Why is it that the 3D Channel filters can use EMBEDDED depth channel data correctly (actually varies the amount of blur/fog, etc based on the data), yet they can't do the same with SEPARATE depth data files?

                It does seem to work with .pic files and their associated .zpic depth data files, but the data is actually inverted for some reason (and since AE is only referencing the external data file, rather than loading it and using it in a layer, no editing/translation of it can be done).