Oct 24, 2018

Moved my tools to Github

I moved my set of SendTo_FFmpeg batches to a Github repoSo if you have issues, ideas, request, you can post them there.
There's also new AEExprTool I develop for myself. It's After Effects script for adding/removing error handling code to AE expressions in bulk. It's already a huge time saver for me. Would love to have some feedback cause I plan to make it a reliable full featured tool one day.

Aug 27, 2018

C4D, Redshift, Relighting and the Normals

Recently met the task of relighting in post and had a range of troubles trying to make it in After Effects. I do not recommend anyone doing it in AE :).
The free Normality plugin is barely compatible with the modern CC versions and produces crazy burnt highlight values and dirty edges (at least that was my experience of using it with AE CC2017). There's a better and payed alternative like Pixel Cloud now although dealing with all the required passes is not an easy task for starters.
Oh, the main reason for this post was actually just leaving a memo for any one who cares including myself. It's about C4D's standard renderers' normal pass specs that I've managed to match during the work/tests. Since I am a dedicated Redshift user I was able to identify that C4D's normal pass is a Camera space normals of unsigned values of 0 .. 1. Redshift by default operates on signed -1..1 values. So to get the equal normal pass from the Redshift you need something like this

With the RS State node set to Camera transform space.

Aug 24, 2018

Golden Ratio preset for Affinity Designer


A useful asset for Affinity Designer I made for myself.
Get it here



Jul 10, 2018

How to add comment field to any windows Folder

I think it can be really useful in your workflow to have a comment field for your folders.
So I searched for simple way of adding a comment without using any additional software.


1. Right-click the folder and select Properties.

2. From the Properties dialog box, select the Customise tab, and then click the Change Icon button.

3. In the Change Icon dialog box, select an icon from the selections and click OK. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box. If you'd like to keep the normal folder icon, you can simply choose it from the selection when changing the icon, it is the exact same.

4. Open the folder, locate the Desktop.ini file, and double-click it (its a hidden file, you need to enable its visibility in explorer or enter its name directly). Add new line InfoTip= under the [.ShellClassInfo] section and type your detailed description immediately after the = sign. Go to File -> Save and close Notepad.

You'll see your detailed pop-up description the next time you hover the mouse over that specific folder or when you enable Comment field displayed in your explorer windows.

Feb 1, 2018

Using ffmpeg presets in two clicks with windows Send To menu

The first part of FFMPEG lifehack for all video pros. Here you'll find a trick to get ffmpeg into your everyday workflow and to integrate it right into Windows Send To menu in this manner:

It's really easy and efficient way of transcoding your files which offers you better quality and better control of you output videos. You can have pretty many presets and do your conversions it 2 clicks (unfortunately Send To does not support sub menus, I've checked it)

1. You need to download FFMPEG itself from here, it's free. Install it, usually it's path to c:\Program Files\ffmpeg

2. Create a new text file with this text
@echo off
"c:\Program Files\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe" -i %1 -c:v libx264 -preset slow -crf 18 -c:a copy %1_output.mp4
pause
Save it, give it a desired name, and give it the extension .bat

3. Put this file to any convenient location for your presets. Create the shortcut for this file (drag + Alt) and place this shortcut file into %userprofile%/SendTo
You can rename it to get rid of Shortcut in the name, just do not change the .lnk extension. You can also change the icon of this shortcut in its file properties, this icon will be used in the Send To menu. If you can not find SendTo folder try search or look into ...\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

4. So basically you just did it. Now you can right click on any file and navigate to Send To item. You'll find your new preset item there. This .bat file will run ffmpeg to convert whatever you clicked to mp4 h264 video and it will place it into same folder with _output added to your filename.

This particular bat preset creates video of h264 high 4:2:2 L3.1, yuv422p and copies the source audio track into the new file as is. You can keep these presets in your cloud, and your shortcuts can refer to them so if you change your presets the changes are always in sync. You'll probably need to refer to ffmpeg docs to make more presets, but here I'll give you some very basic hints:

1. The bitrate is set by -crf parameter, values are from 0 (lossless) up to 53 (and up to 63 for 10-bit colour), the scale is exponential.
2.  -preset paramter also affects the bitrate
3. -c parameter defines the codec, -c:v for video, -c:a for audio (refer to encoders doc)

There're actually many GUIs for ffmpeg, but unfortunately I wasn't satisfied by any of those and many of them are not free. Using ffmpeg also makes you in charge of keeping your files compatible with your video players and any hardware you're going to use. To avoid such problems use -profile parameter in your presets, the profiles are codec-specific, so you'll definitely have to refer to the codecs docs here (video encoders, audio encoders). Here I'll give a few more .bat file presets I usually use:

h264 mp4 420p constrained to level 3.0 standard (compatible with most software), lower bitrate
@ECHO OFF
IF %1.==. (
ECHO [-------------- SendTo FFmpeg converter ---------------]
ECHO [     NO FILE SPECIFIED                                ]
ECHO [------------------------------------------------------]
) ELSE (
"c:\Program Files\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe" -v warning -i %1 -c:v libx264 -profile:v baseline -level 3.0 -pix_fmt yuv420p -preset slow -crf 24 -c:a aac -b:a 128k -y %1_420_constrL3.mp4
ECHO [-------------- SendTo FFmpeg converter ---------------]
ECHO [     SERVED                                           ]
ECHO [------------------------------------------------------]
)
PAUSE
h264 mp4 422p medium quality, slower better compression algo, less compatible
@ECHO OFF
IF %1.==. (
ECHO [-------------- SendTo FFmpeg converter ---------------]
ECHO [     NO FILE SPECIFIED                                ]
ECHO [------------------------------------------------------]
) ELSE (
"c:\Program Files\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe" -v warning -i %1 -c:v libx264 -preset slower -crf 16 -pix_fmt yuv422p -c:a copy -y %1_422_medium_slower.mp4
ECHO [-------------- SendTo FFmpeg converter ---------------]
ECHO [     SERVED                                           ]
ECHO [------------------------------------------------------]
)
PAUSE
h264 mp4 422p high quality and better compression algo, less compatible too
@ECHO OFF
IF %1.==. (
ECHO [-------------- SendTo FFmpeg converter ---------------]
ECHO [     NO FILE SPECIFIED                                ]
ECHO [------------------------------------------------------]
) ELSE (
"c:\Program Files\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe" -v warning -i %1 -c:v libx264 -preset slower -crf 8 -pix_fmt yuv422p -c:a copy -y %1_422_highest_slower.mp4
ECHO [-------------- SendTo FFmpeg converter ---------------]
ECHO [     SERVED                                           ]
ECHO [------------------------------------------------------]
)
PAUSE

Jan 13, 2018

for older ASUS mobo owners for whom AI Suite II stopped working

Since the new Windows 10 kernel update killed AI Suite II and ASUS doesn't give a fuck about it for all of you who lost control of your mobo fans here's a way. I've got managed to set up SpeedFan to control the fan speeds. It's nice, free, and lightweight utility but quite tricky to setup. It also gives you compound triggers (combined data from different sensors) to control your fans. It detected my both GPUs sensors as well, so I can use their data to control chassis fan for example. So... even better than the shitty Suite II. Give it a try. To give you a quick start begin with setting these to manual mode.




It's also easy to switch to manual control, just uncheck the Automatic mode button. The only problem I had was that SpeedFan reported my CPU temperature as -60, but cores temps are good, so I made that compound advanced feature to control the CPU fan.


I had tried SpeedFan before but with no luck, before I've know the first trick. Hope it'll work for you.