In the olden days, producers knew what visual effects were. Now they’ve gotten into this methodology where they’ll hire a middleman – a visual effects supervisor, and this person works for the producing studio.
They’re middle managers. And when you go into a review with one of them, there’s this weird sort of competition that happens.

It’s a game called ‘Find What’s Wrong With This Shot’. And there’s always going to be something wrong, because everything’s subjective. And you can micromanage it down to a pixel, and that happens all the time. We’re doing it digitally, so there’s no pressure to save on film costs or whatever, so it’s not unusual to go through 500 revisions of the same shot, moving pixels around and scrutinizing this or that.

That’s not how you manage artists. You encourage artists, and then you’ll get – you know – art.

If your idea of managing artists is just pointing out what’s wrong and making them fix it over and over again, you end up with artists who just stand around asking “OK lady, where do you want this sofa? You want it over there? No? Fine. You want it over there? I don’t give a fuck. I’ll put it wherever you want it.” It’s creative mismanagement, it’s part of the whole corporate modality. The fish stinks from the head on down. Back on Star Wars, Robocop, we never thought about what was wrong with a shot.

We just thought about how to make it better.

Phil Tippett

[Macro] [KAK] - KAK 3 is here! *Current version: 3.2*

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[Macro] [KAK] - KAK 3 is here! *Current version: 3.2*

Post #1 by SecondMan » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:10 pm

KAK_Interface_KAKHQ.png


I am happy to release a brand new version of the Kick Ass Keyer today! This release is pretty much a complete rebuild of KAK, adding numerous new features:

  • A completely overhauled interface. All parameters are now sorted in convenient tabs to make KAK even easier to use.
  • Completely new core, based on the KAKr (KAK Core) fuse, adding many new features without sacrificing speed. Even faster in Fusion 7.
  • More than 20 output options to give you maximum control and clarity during every step of your keying process.
  • New Luminance Compensation in the Keyer.
  • New advanced Despill functionality.
  • New Noise Reduction functionality.
  • Much improved Luma Matte Fill.
  • Convenient new workflow for inside/outside mattes.
  • External Mattes will scale automatically to the working resolution.
  • Additional Quality Control output modes to help you make sure you get everything out of your footage what there is to get.
  • Ability to key Red (yes, red) in addition to Green and Blue.
  • Auto Screen Type - no need to select your Screen Type anymore (unless you want to!)
  • Int8 and Int16 input formats are automatically converted to float32
  • Much better Screen Select prediction. Only one parameter left for fine tuning.
  • Replacement of unintuitive parameters with more user friendly and useful options.
  • Consistent and clear parameter naming.
  • KAK can now use a static clean plate derived from your frame of choice.
  • Makes use of additional erode/dilate modes when running inside Fusion 7.
  • More Matte Controls.
  • Improved Background wrapping.
  • Ability to wrap background onto spill areas.
  • Bug fixes, and lots more tweaks under the hood.

To install KAK, you'll need to copy the KAKr and Switch fuses to Fusion's fuses directory. You can get the Switch fuse from here: Switch Fuse v1.71 on VFXPedia or attached to this post. KAK_v3.2.setting goes into the Macros directory.

Documentation will soon follow. In the meantime feel free to contact me with any issues, questions or requests you may have.

Special thanks to Eyeon for amazing tech support and some really awesome work on Fusion 7, and to Stefan Ihringer for his Switch fuse as well as for sharing fuses built with great clarity, without which KAKr would not have happened.

KAK is free to use. Donations are not necessary in any way, but if you find KAK useful, they are very much appreciated
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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #2 by Tilt » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:21 am

wow, that sounds awesome! And you got info from eyeon about the erode/dilate methods? Lucky you :-)

Gonna try it asap.

edit: oh I thought you meant erode/dilate as a fuse function. But that's not what you meant, right?

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #3 by SecondMan » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:46 am

Ah, no. :)

That was indeed planned for this release, but that in particular was the one question that was answered with "there will be examples of that soon".

I guess the upside of it is that currently KAK still works on 6.4 as well. About twice as fast on Fusion 7 though. That new fuse compiler is just wild.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #4 by Tilt » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:02 am

Peter Loveday has rewritten parts of my SparseColor fuse using new methods from Fusion 7 (basically pointer stuff that C++ was able to do all the time but Fuses needed to use slow getpixel and setpixel methods). That sped up the rendering from something along the lines of 4 seconds a frame to 4 frames a second!

The Cleanplate in KAK 3 renders a bit slow on my machine (although I have an ancient Macbook and I fed it a 2K image) but I'm wondering if maybe that new pointer stuff can speed it up even more than the MultiProcessPixels() call you're using.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #5 by SecondMan » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:23 am

That's very interesting! I would love to see that.

The slowness you're describing doesn't come from the fuse I think. That part renders at about 23 fps on my year old laptop. More likely it's from an erode node using the new filters. Another reason why I wish that part for fuses were documented. I am considering a quality setting in future versions of KAK where you can sacrifice a bit of quality for speed.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #6 by Kristof » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:21 am

That's great news, Pieter! Introduced KAK while working on a new feature (still on it now) and it bumped the level of keying to new heights! I prefer to make my own cleanplate though, using a macro. Did notice some weird things when using KAK (multiple?) in combination with time related operations (timespeeds, rsmb) and a tracker node (directly, applying the (un)steady offsets via a transform node and linking does work).

The above applies to the previous version of KAK, though.

Great tool. Can't live without.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #7 by SecondMan » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:41 am

That's the greatest kind of compliment! Thanks Kristof!

Hope to see some of that work when it's done. What macro do you use for creating your clean plates if you don't mind me asking?

I actually haven't tested KAK in setups with complex time operations, although I haven't seen problems when averaging frames as long as the source images are actually there. If you can, and if it still happens in this version, don't hesitate to send all the weird stuff you come across.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #8 by Kristof » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:04 pm

It's a macro that a colleague wrote to assist KAK. It's called grow color. I'll share it, but I'll ask him if it is ok first. I assume so, but I'd rather ask and check with him. Nothing earth-shocking, mind you.

You still need to use something like primatte to create a matte and the macro will fill in the area. I used my own edgeExtrude macro first, but it is vector based and slower than the grow color one.

I can see the difference between the shots that are done with keylight and the ones with KAK.

I plan on making a backup of a few shots. Expanded my keying technique with a new trick or two too. Would love to share it with you and get some feedback from your end.

And I'll try to copy a comp which suffers from some of the issues mentioned.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #9 by SecondMan » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:19 pm

Sounds awesome. Can't wait to see all that stuff. For sure I'll give you all the feedback you want.

Good to hear KAK kicks Keylight's ass :mrgreen:

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #10 by msadauskas » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:59 am

Very nice. Gotta try this when will have an access to workstation with fusion once more. Unfortunately there are not so many fusion studios left around.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #11 by SecondMan » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:39 am

Thanks Miko. I think there might be more than we think. Hopefully this forum helps bringing them all together and out in the open more.

Also, if Eyeon would pay equal attention to their 2D toolset as to their 3D one during the Fusion 7 cycle, we're in for a treat. Doug Trumbull certainly thinks VERY highly of Eyeon's tools - and with UFOTOG coming out soon and no doubt getting a lot of attention, Fusion could be in the spotlight once again.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #12 by msadauskas » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:20 pm

I would love to see Fusion popular once again. Any day I work within Nuke I miss Fusion's elegance and speed a lot.
And I do believe that your work helps this goal to come true.

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #13 by alkesh » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:14 pm

Hi!! Reading all the posts, I gather KAK is very powerful. Earlier I read a post suggesting a video tutorial was underway. Did someone manage to do one?

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here!

Post #14 by SecondMan » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:48 pm

alkesh wrote:Hi!! Reading all the posts, I gather KAK is very powerful. Earlier I read a post suggesting a video tutorial was underway. Did someone manage to do one?


Not yet. That's why it's underway. ;)

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Re: [KAK] - KAK 3 is here! *Current version: 3.0.1*

Post #15 by SecondMan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:16 pm

Bugfix update!

Version 3.0.1 of KAK is now released. The opening post is updated with the latest version. You only need to replace KAK_v3.0.1.setting, the Fuse remains as is.


Bug fixes:
  • Background color and brightness wrap could never darken the edges, only brighten them.
  • In certain cases there were small bits of background screen that would not be removed, due to a clamping error in the key.

New feature:

  • Edge Color Bias in the FG/BG Combine tab - you can now tint/darken/brighten your transparent edges to your liking. Very handy. :)

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