This section provides some practical uses for Blender's Video Sequence Editor (VSE).
Making a Slide Show
Allright, you've just come back from vacation at the beach and before your beautiful tan starts peeling, you want to make a video/DVD showing the pictures you took. Simple:
- Add->Images and (the VSE window changes to a file browser) right-click each of the pictures (probably jpeg) that you uploaded from your digital camera and want to include. If you want to include a mass of them, just hold down the right button and drag the mouse over their filenames.
- When they are all selected, click the Select Images button and (the file browser window changes back to the VSE) drag and drop the strip to start at frame 1
- Set your end frame to the end frame of your strip (the number of images selected). Hint: use the Channel 0 "Last:" information
- In the Scene-Render buttons, set your Frames/Second to 1 (format panel) and choose an .avi or .mov format. This will generate a video that shows each image for 1 second.
- Alternatively, you can use the Speed control effect on the strip to slow it down even more.
- If you want the slides to play longer than that, or want them to cross over, you may press Y to separate the image strip into individual image sequences; a popup dialog will ask you how many frames to make each image (at 25 fps, enter 125 for a five second showing of each image, for example). You can then arrange and re-arrange the individual slides however you want.
- Enter your output filename (output panel), enable Do Sequence, and click Anim.
I'd really like to make it more complicated than that, but sorry, it is that easy. Your resulting video will play your pictures, one every second.
Converting a Frame Sequence to a Movie Clip
Suppose you have (wisely) rendered your animation to a frame set sequence, such as a sequence of PNG or EXR formatted image files. The files are named MyAnim-0001.exr through MyAnim-0030.exr. In your working VSE, choose Add->Sequence. Your VSE pane changes to a file browser window. Use that window to navigate to the directory where your images are stored, RMB click and drag over all 30 filenames. If you miss one, you can just RMB click it and the one previously selected will remain selected. Upon clicking "Select Images" your screen will return to being a VSE, and you mouse will have a purple horizontal strip attached to it. The strip represents your image sequence, and has a number in front of it (the start frame) and a number behind (the last frame). Move your mouse to position the strip so that it has a start frame of 1, and LMB click to drop it. Refer to the reference manual for more possible mouse and hotkey actions on the strip.
In the Timeline header, set the End: frame to be the last frame of the strip. Click the VCR-like play button to see the animation preview in the VSE Preview window pane. It will repeat forever, so click the pause button when you've seen it enough times (Play turns into the Pause button, so you don't even have to move your mouse.)
In the Buttons window, Scene (F10) buttons, Render buttons, set (going left to right):
- In the Output panel, set the output render directory to the directory and name you want for your avi movie
- In the Anim panel, click the "Do Sequence" button.
- Lastly, in the Format panel, select AVI Codec and [Manual/xx|choose your codec].
Cross your fingers and click Anim. A popup Render window will show each frame of your movie, pretty quickly, and Blender will create the file named in your Output Render field with the .avi extension. You can now play the video in your favorite media player.
This simple example shows you how one screen layout has all windows needed in your workspace, and how they work together to get the job done.
Splicing and Transitions
Splicing is making something by taping together parts that have sliced. In video, there are many ways to join up parts or transition from one to the other. Almost all of these techniques originated with physical film or inventive darkroom techniques, so as you read them, try to imagine how you might do these with physical film.
A cut splice is simply the two pieces of film strips taped finish-to-start.
Making the two strips transition from one the other is accomplished by overlaying the srips and adding a Cross or Gamma Cross or Wipe effect.
Fading in or out is crossing a color generator effects strip (set the color in its properties panel) with the video strip. Usually you fade to or from black.
Note that the Alpha effects do not work with the color generators; you can only Cross with them.