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The Sequence Editor Resurrected – Nathan Lovato

We have a lot of people you’re crazy. The article sequence editor was meant or might have been removed in blender 2.8 C, but it made it thankfully, for better or for worse so in this presentation, we’re going to talk about that about the good side of the sequence editor the bad side.

If there are any the recent improvements that happened in the project, because it is an active development again, even if it’s a little slow we’re going to talk about the future of the sequencer or what it could be, at least and finally, we’ll talk about how you Can help it become bits or it’s meant to be I’m Nathan, I founded a small social company, called GD quest game design, quest we make tutorials with and for free software that we use exclusively.

Our mission is to bring people together to become game developers. Anyone has used the go to game engine here, yeah a few persons. Thank you. So we make tutorials, everything is free and the thing is so. You have a few tutorials like this one, a series: that’s meant to get. You started creating games in 2d. In this case, the three ones following this led me to become occasional contributor to blender, because we edit our our articles with the article sequencer all our tutorials, we created an add-on that is included in blender 2.

81 called power sequencer to help you create articles better. It helps to edit faster and, as a result, yet I’m now working on the sequencer itself, making small contributions to help push things forward. Now, if you’ve used the sequencer, you should know one thing: the sequence sucks the sequence, this sucks because it is slow. The cursor is always lagging behind. It’s also making the UI freeze as soon as you have a little too much to render the cuts in your footage can provoke Micro phrases as you are playing back, even if you are using proxies all things like these.

The effects are pretty demanding and, finally, the article rendering process is very long. The thing is as an editor, even if you’re doing a 3d movie or anything, you need the playback to be smooth so that you can get a sense of all the rhythm and feel that the spectator will have in the end. The VSC is sucking because it is old, looks like a very own program. The drawing you can see. I’m really talking about the sequence, editor area, not the rest of blender, because it got nice upgrades with 2.

80, but the visuals of the sequencer feel behind the rest of blender making it feel like it’s unfinished or lacks a bit of polish. The sequencer has clunky controls. You know these. The green and pink sequences you can see are effect sequences. There are an intuitive they get in the way they make it hard to use the sequencer that are confusing in general, also basic editing operations that are kind of standard.

In other article, editing programs don’t work exactly the same way in the sequencer and are inconsistent between tools making it harder to use than it could be the sequence that does not feel parts of blender. It really feels like its own program a bit separate from the rest. You can add a 3d free footage as a scene in the sequencer, but here you have an example of trying to grade a strip that you select using the compositing area and just noting have.

Instead, you have to use the same functionality, that’s duplicated in the sequencer and that’s specific to strips applying a curve. In this case, all your tools are really bad. Once that’s all the audio tools and the sequence editor, there is no way to preview your audio. There are no effects, the mixer and the crossfades, it’s just limited. You have to use something else to do audio editing. I lied because I think that the sequencer is amazing.

Kind of it has a lot of potential. First, it’s the most stable, free and open-source article editing tool that I’ve used and even commercial software tends to crash. I know if anyone has used Sony, Vegas or Premiere. I’ve had lots of issues with them. Can anyone relate yes, a few persons? Thank you. The sequencer has crashed on me once or twice with a reproduce, reproductive or bug, but overall I’ve had a great experience using it.

Another thing that’s really important is that can keep editing your projects during playback, so you can playback the article and move handles at the same time it just works. The sequencer is parts of blender. Okay. There are connections lacking between some areas, like the ability to use the node compositor to grade your shots, but it’s only one new area to learn, not an entire new program, so as a blender user, as someone working on a 3d or a 2d movie, this is Great because you can use the G shortcut to grab a strip to make it move, you can add 3d scenes as trips as well.

So there’s some consistency with the rest of blender and some connection with some other features in the program. It also benefits from blender, that is, the sequence area, is not a complete program, a complete projects for developers to make from scratch. Instead, every improvement to the animation tools, for example the improvements to the user interface and landed upon 80 or the new file browser.

That’s coming in the next version are all usable with the sequencer. It’s not something separate that would take extra maintenance, giving it a lot of potential. Once again, the sequencer is flexible. If you have a team, if you have a developer in-house, can use the Python programming language to add new features. You also have existing add-ons that you can use to add features like the ability to there.

We go transform strips directly from the preview, a feature that’s lacking, so you can change the opacity of your footage. You can change the position, the scale, the rotation, all sorts of things, then I should say that the sequencer is already part of the way there. Of course it needs improvements, but it already does a lot. It’s already there and it’s already used by animators by professionals, so it has hopefully its place in the program.

It’s been used for storyboarding and annotations by the animations articles by the blender animations to use. So hopefully the sequencer is here to stay, especially now that we have a maintainer for a very long time. That was the problem. There was no one willing to dive into that very old code and make it up to date, but we have someone, even though he’s working part-time at the moment, leading the work done by other contributors and helping it move forward.

Now the sequencer lacks one thing: it’s lacking a vision, it’s lacking some concept, some design goals and target users that are very specific and help funnel down the development. One problem that we have on the VSC blog on the online chat that you have people coming to request all kinds of features. That’s are specific to the needs of article ads. Work on movies on TV shows all those kinds of things and there’s not even there’s.

Not enough people to devote all that, but it would also not necessarily make sense as part of blender itself, because the sequencer is not a article editing suite Val, dedicated free software project like be a leave editor that definitely and specifically targets professional article editors. That’s very promising: there is KD in life for people, editing articles in general, so doing the same thing as part of blender would not necessarily be meaningful.

After all, it’s a digital content creation tool, the sequences really a sequence view. So right now, as I was saying, it feels like a program of its own, a little separate from the rest, but the graph editor, the file browser and other areas just interact with other parts of blender. You can use them in conjunction. The sequencer doesn’t always feel that way. If you see it as a way to view your blender projects as a set of sequences that you can move back and forward in time and edit, it would make a little more sense.

Like the NLA. Editor non-linear animation tools. It could be a tool for virtual filmmaking. You have the example of unity stools right now. We discussed that with some blender developers on the chart. Again, it’s nothing set in stone, of course, but it’s a possible direction formed at all like there is no tool in the free software world to allow you to just how could I say edit sequence, your movies, where you can preview work directly from the 3d scene, Jump around your shots by moving forward in the timeline, those kinds of things, and there are some game engines that are doing that right now.

The thing is blender 2.80 already has the Evo rendering engine that would be a perfect match for those needs. Now there are some improvements that are being made right now and that are coming in the next versions of blender. You have improvements to playback and rendering, let’s say in general, the pre H is the ability for the sequencer to cache and render the frames ahead of time. Just like you would see in something like after effects, for example, so that you can then get smooth playback.

So you edit two parts of your vo and the next frames, are already pre-rendered and you can work seamlessly. It works in the memory and on the disk, it’s already coming in the next version and will keep being improved moving forward. You have some tweaks being made to improve storyboarding with blender, so this is the hero movie. You can see that it’s using strips in the top right corner there’s a problem with the fact that you can’t jump from a scene strip in the sequencer.

So you can add some animation as a sequence in blender, but you can’t easily jump back and forth between the 2d view and the sequence strip. There are improvements coming to the user interface. There are features in blender that are really powerful in the sequencer. The thing is now more confusing than they could be and we have pizza fog, a contributor working with William who’s, working on UI and blender, and other contributors simplifying everything, making it clear what works.

When you know what options do so, every panel is being remade right now, one by one you’re going to have some improvements to editing you’re going to see the toolbar from the rest of blender appear with a bit of delay, but it’s coming making the tools much Easier to use much more discoverable, you also have a working progress patch to show thumbnails on the articles, that’s also happening and, in general, a variety of quality of life improvements.

Now, let’s talk about the future a possible future. Again, there is no clear roadmap at the moment, but we have improved user experience as a goal, making it much smoother using the sequencer for the first time for first-time users and for artists, modernizing the look, maybe a little bit moving the clunky FX modifiers to be Consistent with the rest of blender, making the experience smoother in general, one thing that Richard the maintainer wants to do is a sequencer timeline: API.

Okay, it’s getting a bit technical, but the idea is that, right now you can’t use footage with different frame rates in blender. You have all kinds of issues with that. The thing is: Pixar developed, open timeline, IO, a an interchange format, a data format that you can use to kind of standardize. How you handle footage the position on the bones, the length of the strips and those kinds of things.

This would bring quite a few advantages and improvements in the sequencer, for you, the user, being able to just put the footage in the sequencer and have it work. But it would also be much easier for developers to contribute. I mean I’m picking up see working on the sequencer is really hard. You would also have the ability to change the playback speed right now. We use a hack in advance to do that, but you might be able to play at 20 % faster 40 % faster, the kinds of things you see in general and article editing programs and that save you time editing articles the improvements coming to color management.

I should say fixes, I don’t have a great understanding of that to be honest, but I saw that some bug that would prevent you from using color management and the sequencer has been fixed recently and are people reporting issues that they have so hopefully this will get Better moving forward, another thing that the maintainer Richard wants is to make these features from a great add-on called the VSC transform part of the sequence itself.

I’ve heard that there was work being done on widgets to manipulate 2d images and we could bring that to the sequence editor as well, so that you could just move stuff select stuff from the article preview. Finally, there’s always the project to improve performances in the sequencer whence coming. I don’t know, but at least a fair part of the operations need to be modified to use all of your own computers power.

Here you have a article being rendered in the background. It’s using roughly two calls 30 % of the CPU power, it’s not using the graphics card and our improvements that can be made there. Finally, as I was saying, if the idea of pushing the sequence into the virtual filmmaking direction is taken by the team by the developers sequencing movies being able to preview, all the shots from the sequence using Eevee could be something for the future.

Now you can help with that, whether you are a developer or an experienced developer or not, because there is a lot of work to do. You can make a difference by helping with code. Of course, as Richard himself says, batches are always welcome. You can use see all now you can develop in Python. Python developers are welcome to add new features to refine some existing features that are made in Python.

We need help feedback from editors from people using the sequencer. We aren’t just a handful of people talking every day every week on bbse chat. If you are using it please come talk to us. Tell us what are the problems that you encounter so that we can improve these areas. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing how things are presented in the user interface. The feature might be there and you might just be missing it.

Finally, we need help with testing reporting bugs people are doing it, of course, but again, as the sequence is not the most use area in blender, I think it’s not getting as many bug reports and as many fixes as a result as it could. As I was saying, patches are welcome. You can get in touch with us on blender the chat / Channel / VSC. There is a article sequence, editor blog there. We have a list of easy tasks for people who want to get started.

There is Peter fog, tint Watson, you can message him on the board, he’s maintaining a document with things like these, so you can you don’t have to go through. You know just jump in the sequencer jump in the source code and all down people to help. You get started to guide you of the code, oh whatever, and I should add one last thing: it’s that the maintainer was busy so he’s a guy who has a full-time job he’s quitting now he might be working more on the sequencer at least he’s looking forward To doing some more if he can, but with that I want to say thank you for listening to my rent, one less thing, so you see the shameless plug on the screen right now.

If you want to get in touch, read tutorials, learn, game creation. We do a lot of free code and finally, I will be there for the duration of the event. So come talk to me anytime. Thank you once again, bye bye enjoy the conference.

Videos are truly an awesome way to get the point across. Any type of content from your business is important!


By Jimmy Dagger

Find out my interests on my awesome blog!

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