Writing custom LUTs for FrameCycler is kindergarten easy!

loocas | miscellaneous,software,technical | Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

FrameCycler custom sRGB LUT

That’s right! I needed to convert a fairly complex, proprietary, LUT for preview purposes to one of the IRIDAS’ formats. I chose .ilut, since it’s a really simple, yet, extremely powerful format!

Let’s take a look at the syntax first. On the online documentation IRIDAS site, you’ll see all the different LUT formats FrameCycler supports, as well as the syntax for those files. The .ilut format is pretty flexible. It supports either an XML (ASCII) syntax, or an inrerpretable script format. For my complex LUT I used the XML format. The LUT wouldn’t be of much use to you as it’s used on a specific machine with a specific graphics card, specifically calibrated display and generally a different color workflow than the rest of the machines at the studio. But, to demonstrate the usefulness of this LUT file format, I’ll show you my sRGB LUT I created a while ago using the interpretable script syntax for previewing linear images (OpenEXR for example).

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I’m finding Nuke quite interesting

loocas | opinions,software | Friday, May 8th, 2009

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As I’d mentioned, this year is a year of changes and expansion for me, so, naturally, I’m looking for ways of expanding my postproduction pipeline, namely, compositing. I’ve been using Eyeon’s Fusion for a few years now and I find it very powerful, fast and realiable. However, I’ve been looking into other areas as well.

While I own a copy of After Effects CS4, I don’t find it that flexible and suited for my particular needs. I certainly want to go the “node-based” way. Don’t get me wrong, After Effects is a great package with a huge userbase which means tons of plugins and tutorials are available for it, but, as I said, I don’t want to go this, linear, route. So, I have a few options that are within my financial reach: Fusion, Nuke or Toxik. I certailny don’t want to invest in a brand new product on the market with dubious future, especially when owned by Autodesk, which potentially rules out Toxik, however, I’ll see how well it plays with 3ds Max and Maya (downloading the trial as I’m typing). I’ve been using Fusion for some years and I love it, so that certainly makes it a hot candidate. However, I’m always open to new possibilities, better, smareter or quicker workflows. Basically, anything that helps to improve my work in any way, ultimately in quality, will be on my highest priorities list.

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I am a total control freak!

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software,technical | Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Yeah, when somebody looks at my screens, they don’t understand what the fuck I’m doing or what it even is that I run for the software.

control freak

I love total control over my stuff, be it software I use or things I do, that’s why I tend to make use of the latest technology, techniques or paradigms. I hate and feel very uncomfortable when something isn’t the way I want it to be. That’s why I love customization, that’s why I love VMware, that’s why I love software products from Microsoft and couldn’t care less about Apple, I’m a totalitarian control freak! ;) But I’m loving it! When computers do exactly what I tell them to do, when they do all the hard and repetitive work for me and save me tons of time to dedicate to actual creative tasks, that’s awesome! I don’t get people, namely artists, that constraint them selves to repetitive, boring and tiresome tasks just because they “think” they can’t script or are too lazy to open up ScriptSpot and dedicate a few seconds searching for a tool that’d help them out. I hate an argument “I’m an artist, not a programmer…” when I suggest a script or a little tool to help them out. I can’t stand when a guy thinks just because he attended a painting seminar that he’s the “one” that the entire project depends on, so he shouldn’t be bothered or disturbed while manually selecting a hundred boxes that should be moved a bit to the side, not realizing nor giving shit that he can filter them by size/color/whatever and spend about ten seconds writing a line of code, but instead, he’s such a great artist, he rather spends half an hour just picking up the objects in his, already extremely messy, scene. Good on you, bro…

Python 2.6 released

loocas | Python,software,technical | Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Python 2.6 banner

Python 2.6 had been officially released on 01.09.2008! Some really great new features but still compatible with 2.5 code, which is great for slowly transitioning to the upcoming Python 3000.

Don’t hesitate a second and go for the download!

Intermediate wheel rig.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Thursday, June 26th, 2008

A friend of mine asked me how I’d go about rigging a wheel so that it spins no matter which direction it travels and stick to a ground as well. At first I thought this’d be a piece of cake as all I really needed was a direction vector and its magnitude to add to the rotation of the wheel. Well, the solution turned out NOT to be that simple in the end.

(the video lags a bit, but the entire rig is actually faster than real-time)

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

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What are groups in Max, how they work and why you should avoid using them.

loocas | 3ds Max,opinions,technical | Monday, February 11th, 2008

groups_screenshot.jpgPeople who’ve worked with me already know my attitude towards groups and why I always tell people who collaborate with me NOT to use them. But they never bother investigating why I tell them so. I agree that it is easy to condemn something right away, however, believe me, I have very good reasons for doing so.

The thing with groups in Max is that they are a special form of a hierarchy which isn’t transparent enough for a general user. They’re fast to create, but mainly, groups are a very convenient way for creating selection sets that are persistent (i.e. they get saved with the file) and you can return to them anytime you want and select a bunch of objects immediately just by clicking on any of the members in the group. These are all great advantages of gropus. The huge disadvantage is their transparency (by that I mean the way they work is hidden from the general user). A user can quickly and easily get carried away and make complex nested group assemblies which can become a REAL pain in the ass in the production pipeline if not taken care of properly. I personally don’t use groups at all (as you can easily substitute them for a different, pipeline friendly, workflow) and very strongly recommend anyone who shares files with me or any other member in our production environment, NOT using them as well.

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