Tag Archives: fxphd

UPDATE – Cubic Lens Distortion Pixel Bender shader for AE (with scale & chromatic aberration

cubic lens distortion & chromatic aberration

If you haven’t seen my previous post yet, here is the Syntheyes’ Cubic Lens Distortion algorithm ported to Pixel Bender.

New Features

  1. Scale factor : works exactly as Syntheyes Scale Lens Workflow (v2)
  2. Chromatic Aberration : based on Martins Upitis‘s GLSL posted here (v2)
  3. Blue/Yellow Chromatic Aberration based on Dorian modification (V3)


  1. Download ft-CubicDistortion.pbk here : http://aescripts.com/ft-cubic-lens-distortion/
  2. Place it in your “Support Files” folder (which is in your AE install folder)
  3. Launch AE
  4. Look for the effect called Cubic Distortion

Source Code

just download the file at http://aescripts.com/ft-cubic-lens-distortion and open it with your notepad application


still if you wish ^^

PixelBender Cubic Lens Distortion for After Effects


If you are doing Matchmove, you probably bumped into Lens work-flow issue, where you have to un-distort the footage in your matchmove software, then track it, and export a new undistorted footage, so your client can compose the 3d rendering on top of it and then distort it back.
I don’t really like this work-flow, since for instance AfterFx do not have Cubic Lens Distortion FX and it would be really hard for the client trying to match the distortion back.

After watching Victor Wolansky’s FXPHD Class on SYN202 (syntheyes) about Lens work-flow, I thought : “hey why not porting the lens distortion algorithm ?”. Pretty easy to do, since I already did it for HLSL & Martins Upitis did port my shader to GLSL !
Thanks to SSonTech for sharing there alogrithm

Pixel Bender Cubic Lens Distortion :

Not much to say, it does what it suppose to do ! You can copy & paste values from Syntheyes and it will match perfectly (or it should at least). See the screenshot below.

  1. Download CubicDistortion.pbk here : http://aescripts.com/ft-cubic-lens-distortion/
  2. Place it in your “Support Files” folder (which is in your AE install folder)
  3. Launch AE
  4. Look for the effect called Cubic Distortion

UPDATE : now with scale factor & chromatic aberration, see the post here

Thanks to Jerzy Drozda Jr (aka Maltaannon) for his great tips about Pixel Bender.

So now, you can create a new comp with your distorted footage > pre-comp it > undistorted it with the shader > track it in syntheyes > export the camera to a 3d package > render the scene > import the render into your pre-comp > desactivate the shader. Should match perfectly 🙂


(yeah I know, PFTrack grid with Syntheyes … not cool ! :p )

Distorted Grid
Syntheyes Cubic Undistortion
AE with Cubic Lens Distortion shader
compare AE & Syntheyes Lens distortion


If you wish

Stuart Maschwitz’s (aka Stu) 5D Settings port to D90

I’m currently taking a class at Fxphd called “DOP210 -DSLR Cinematography” with Stu Maschwitz (prolost) & Mike Seymour as mentors!
This is an awesome class if you have a Canon 5D or a Nikon D90 and want to make movies with it and post-production/grading as well!
Either if the class is talking about the two cameras, the focus is mainly on the 5D!
Stu had a really nice post on Prolost about setting the 5D called “Flatten Your 5D“. Those settings aim to get a neutral picture (low contrast, low sharpen, low saturation,…) which would give a better control in post-production for grading. Settings which he’s using in his class of course !
Since I own a D90, I thought I would give a try to port his 5D’s settings to the D90!
Here is what I have done :


I also turn off D-Lighting, but I’m not sure it is the right move. I’m not sure it is the best settings yet but it looks close though

Update : Also I recommend you to take a look at Understanding and Optimizing the Nikon D90 D-Movie Mode Image on the DVXUser Forum, it give nice tips to trick your camera a bit

Here is a test I have done with those settings and Rebel CC on After Effects.

Mobile Version on Vimeo

Ten Stereoscopic tips from Pixar (via FXPHD)

As I said in a previous post about the 15 minutes of Avatar, what I think the best 3D movie out today is Disney/Pixar’s Up. In my opinion They got the most of it, and Mike Seymour (vfx supervisor and teacher at FXPHD) seems to have the same point of view.

So Mike talked to the Pixar team(cf FxguideTV episode 65), and he create a list of 10 tips for creating Stereo Movie.
You can find this list here on the Fxph Dean’s blog

MatchMove with Syntheyes a Nikon D90’s plate

Those days I’m working on Reels, at least one for the moment, a matchmove one. So far I’m putting together some pieces I did at my Fxphd’s classes, and also some of my shoot.

This one I did with my Nikon D90 which is none for a rolling shutter issue (jelly video look) when shooting video.

so those were the challenge for this plate :

  • shoot from the back of a car on small road
  • hand held
  • 24fps
  • 1280×720
  • 33mm

To be honest, the hardest part were dealing with the Rolling Shutter, this one is a real b**** ! it doesn’t show to much on the video, but when you look closer the image keep getting distort all the time which give a high error to the tracking data. Plus on top of that you have fast movements which give the “debug tracker” part a real nightmare. It’s not perfect, but I do think it’s looking very well.

you can watch the result in HD on the vimeo website

[MatchMove] : small road with Nikon D90 from François Tarlier on Vimeo.

Part of the shot I did track for my reel.
The particularity of this one, is the hand held kind of shot with the “Rolling shutter” issue of the D90.
It looks easy with all the features but it was a really informative one to track. I learned a lot with this shot, like do not try to get it perfect! at some point, I got a lower error (right now it’s 0.8hpix) about 0.4, but it wasn’t looking as good as this one. I guess it good be much better at some point but so far I think it works pretty well right now.
It has been track with Syntheyes, Blender for the 3d grid, and After FX for the compo/roto

Fake Running Crowd on Vimeo

Fake Running Crowd from François Tarlier on Vimeo.

This class (which was teach by Gareth Edwards)was really amazing, I highly recommend it !! I didn’t learn so much about AfterFX but mostly about how to get the job done in a small amount of time, and this goes through “organization” !! Keeping your workflow as clean as possible, taking time to renaming everything (cuz god it could get really messy in AE),…

My result is far from being perfect, I can see so many things I could change (the way they are running, the dust, the lighting, the shadows, … ). but so far, I think it’s quite good and I have so much other things to do that I cannot work any more on this piece! I’ll probably make a small “making of” video later on, just to show all the passes (shadows, AO, Dust, lighting,..) were done in After Effects, only the 3D tracking was done with Syntheyes, but so far it was a super easy one !

What I learned with this project :

  • Many AE tricks : can’t tell all of them, but I definitely think I’m more efficient now with AE. I’ve done many mistake and encounter many problems that did teach me a lot 🙂
  • Organization : I won’t say it enough, it might sounds silly but when you look at all the job that Gareth has done on “Heroes and Villains: Attila the Hun” (VFX breakdown here) in such a small amount of time, you have to say he had a pretty good workflow. So far that’s the reason I took this class and I don’t regret it
  • Faking : That’s mostly what I like in compositing, is that you can fake so many thing which usually with a good amout of blur you won’t see the trick 😉 . But even with that, we usually go for the hard way (3d, particle system, IA, ..). As I said, the result is far to be perfect, but I guess you have to keep in mind that the quality of your work could depends of the target you have and of course the budget (cf the production triangle). In this case the target is TV Shows, so I guess it should be “Fast” and probably “Cheap”, which leave “Good” a bit behind. Of course it should be as good as possible and that’s why I think knowing how far you can go with faking is a really good thing, and so far that’s also something I did understand more in this class.

Careers for Creatives | MuseCareers

I was just watching a “Background Fundamentals” Fxphd course, which was talking about salary of creative jobs in the world. And a woman called Teresa Hall from “Muse Careers” was interviewed to answer some of the commons questions we are all asking ourselves.

Anyway I thought I would share with you the link to there website which look really interesting.

Careers for Creatives | MuseCareers.

At MUSE CAREERS, we promote Creative Artists to global organisations within the creative, entertainment, media and design industries.

The Muse Careers Online Database is a visual aid to the recruitment process. Our unique service gives global clients instant access to Creative’s Showreels. Our Online Database has been specifically designed to ensure speedy turnaround of the selection process, from start to finish.

FxPhd : Jan09 first 2 weeks bilan

fxphd Here we are, already the 3rd week! So now it’s done, for sure I’m taking the following 4 classes for this term:

  • MSV101 – Introduction to Massive
  • AFX301 – A Guerrilla Filmmakers Guide to After Effects
  • PFT202 – PFTrack in Production
  • FUS101 – Introduction to Fusion


This class is really nice, but in the other hand, massive looks like the most complicated software I ever “had to” learn. But it’s really interesting and I can’t wait to see what is going to come out of it… Continue reading FxPhd : Jan09 first 2 weeks bilan

FXPHD : AfterFX 303

Ah Ah I forgot, I already took this class and it’s just amazing !

To be honest I wasn’t going to take any AfterFx classes at FXPHD since I think website like VideoCopilot.net are way enought to get into it. But I took a look at the first class which is rule by Gareth Edwards and I was so impressed by his workflow he had.

Ok, just to be clear, this guy made the VFX of a show for the BBC, called “Attila – The Hun“, He did it :

  • all by himself,
  • at home,
  • 256 shots,
  • in 5 months,
  • using afterFX and Premiere

by working like that, YOU got to have great tips, really fluent workflow, and great organisation. So that’s why I enrolled in his class as well

The trailer of "Atilla - the Hun":