The Multiplane Node

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Ah.. It's been a long week! Lots and lots of work in the pipe, and our Chevrolet commercial is almost done. We have a couple more weeks and two more spots to finish. It's definitely a different mindset. While this is my second commercial done here at Tippett, it's still extremely different than the Milka ones! Of course it would be, being that they are for different clients and comprise of different subject matter.

Now that Shake 4 is finally out there in the public and I'm on a new show, the small crew on the commercial decided to switch over and do everything in this upgraded package. Among one of the neat upgrades is the multiplane node, which, when I first started using it, felt more of a gimmick than actually something I would use in production.

After a couple days just exporting cameras and playing around with the tool, it does seem robust enough to work with in a professional environment. Some problems which hopefully can be addressed were so glaringly obvious. Of course this is the first iteration of something like this, so I hope they will be fixed in the future! Some things which I would like to have would be; intersecting image planes, camera depth based blur and defocus, geometry object import, basic lighting of geometry, extended and regular bicubics, image projection onto geometry, and easier controls while using the tool, or a map-able keyboard layout. And maybe some accurate lens distortion incorporated into it. Time will tell. Even with its extremely limited ability, the Multiplane node shows promise. I've been using it mainly for sky replacements on moving shots, and it seems to work well. There are some perspective problems (mainly because of the long, sweeping camera moves!), which can be fixed via bicubics, which is unfortunately not a feature in Shake. So instead the new Warper which premiered in Shake 3.5 gets used.

If you're using it, what do you think?

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