Using Visualize FOR EXPORT

In addition to the ability to "edit" recorded DepthKit footage, Visualize allows users the ability to export to a number of formats that allow for further editing/exporting.

Current supported export formats:

  • PNG image sequence with or without transparency (to be combined into a video).
  • Textured .OBJ file sequence
  • Textured Alembic (.ABC) sequence
  • Combined custom per pixel video file (for Unity importing)

How to Render from Visualize

When you render out of Visualize, you have two "choices" about what will be rendered: How much will be rendered and what format will be rendered.

Designate a whole comp to be rendered
By default, DepthKit will render the whole comp. 

Designate a segment of a comp to be rendered
On the "Camera" tab of the Timeline, use Shift+T to set a keyframe in the track. Use Shift+T again else where on the track to set another keyframe. When the comp is staged for render, the render will start at the earliest keyframe it finds in your camera track, aka the "In" frame. Rendering will stop at the last keyframe it finds in the track, aka the "Out" keyframe.

You can set up more than two keyframes in a comp (helpful for complex camera moves), but when rendering, DepthKit will always render between the earliest keyframe and the last keyframe.


Rendering in Visualize

 Rendering with these selected settings would export a 1080p .png sequence, along with the Combined Per Pixel render necessary for Unity integration.

Rendering with these selected settings would export a 1080p .png sequence, along with the Combined Per Pixel render necessary for Unity integration.

In the "Export" setting of the "Settings" menu, select the export option of your choosing. Note that you can select multiple options to render multiple types of files with a given export.

To export with the selected export settings, click on the composition name in the "File Manager" to go back to the menu where you are able to view all of your Takes and their corresponding comps. Notice the small 'R' (Render) button next to each comp.

To stage a composition for rendering, click the "R" next to the comp you'd like to render. When you click the "R," you will see the composition added to the render queue on the right side of the screen. You can remove a comp from the queue by clicking the small [x] next to it. Note: If you make changes to that comp you will have to re-add the comp to the queue by clicking the Take in the render queue and re-adding the comp.

Once you've selected all the compositions you wish to render, click the "Start Render Batch >>" button and sit back and relax as all the compositions you've queued up begin to render. Be careful not to press the spacebar - it cancels your render.

Renders are saved into the _RenderBin folder in the main workspace folder (next to _calibration). Each rendered folder is stamped with the scene name it was rendered from, as well as the composition name and the date of export, which prevents renders from ever being overwritten.


Visualize Export Options

Export as Image Sequence (Video)

Choosing to export  as an image sequence lets you leverage the bulk of the effects possible inside of Visualize by rending them out as image frames.

Visualize exports an image sequence by default, and as such most functionality within in the tool is built for this type of export. Exporting for video works by rendering a given composition from the perspective chosen in the camera track (what you'll see in "Lock to Track" mode in Settings) into a series of PNG frames.

Frames render at 1920x1080 by default but can be changed on the right-hand side of the Settings in the Visualize app by changing the Frame Width & Frame Height Sliders. There are presets for 720P & 1080P built in below the sliders.

The image sequences will be rendered out with the black background as transparent using an Alpha channel for compositing. However, if "Draw DoF" is checked it will remain black or if you've changed the background color it will not render with an alpha channel.

Designing Shots for Export

Camera Moves

What's a video without camera moves? To create a camera move, navigate to the "Camera" tab of the Timeline, and then scrub to a place in the timeline you'd like to start your move. Adjust the camera in the Scene Viewport to reflect the angle/orientation you'd like for the camera to have at that point. 

Once you find a position you like, either press "Set camera point" on the GUI or press SHIFT+T to create a keyframe at that time and location. You'll see the keyframe you created represented by a blue marker appearing on the Camera timeline. You can then scrub to a different place on the camera track, move the camera to a new location, and press SHIFT+T again to create another keyframe. In doing this, you're setting "In" and "Out" points for your camera move, declaring where the camera should start, and where the camera should end.

To see the actual camera move you just designed, select "Lock to Track" (or press SHIFT+L) on the Settings panel, then press Space to play. You'll see the camera traveling along a path your just described with your two key frames.

Other Keyframe Actions

  • You can click and drag the camera points to change their location in time.
  • You can delete them with the Delete or backspace key.
  • Right-clicking on a keyframe allows you to select different tweening methods between keyframes.
  • By clicking on the triangles to the left or right of the marker and pressing the up or down arrows you can have the camera movement ease in or out represented by a curved arc, or cut (blocky steps.)


Depth of Field

 Example of Depth of Field effect

Example of Depth of Field effect

The Depth of Field effect can be convincing for simulating a camera language. To get started, select "Draw DOF" from the Settings menu. Next, navigate to the "Depth of Field" tab in the Timeline. You can adjust the Depth of field setting by setting keyframes and values in the tracks in this tab.

Depth Distance in the Depth of Field tab allows you to change the focus plane is in relation to the camera - think of this like turning the focus ring on your camera.

Depth Range changes how large your focal plane actually is. Think of this like adjusting the aperture.

Depth Blur controls how much blur should be applied to out of focus objects. 

Depth of field keyframes matched to camera moves can simulate racking or tracking focus. The white rectangle on the top right acts as a focus-assist by marking the area in focus in white and previewing the focus range.


A Few Tips

  • The rendering styles are screen-blended onto one another. So you can get a lot of mileage out of combining points, wireframes and meshes together & varying opacities.
  • If you don't feel like you can get the aesthetic you want, you can duplicate comps and render out multiple passes allowing you to blend in an external compositing tool like After Effects.