Blender Video Editor Tips

Something about me. I keep notes for myself. Lots of notes. There is a lot to learn in life and when learning a lot of different 3D applications, there is also a lot to forget. Just taking a few months off from working in a piece of software can leave me feeling like a newbie all over again and in need of a refresher course. For all my software I create a question and answer document. In it, I enter any question that I have and then when I find the answer, I write down well written instructions as if I were teaching someone else how to do it. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a question and have the answer written down. Today I am sharing a bit from my Blender Q & A document that is actually large enough now that I may just publish it into a book.

Today I set out to figure out how to make a series of images into a movie, a movie into a series of images and how to crossfade two images and render out the images so I can make animated textures. After searching for several hours today for applications to do these three specific things, and finding software solutions that were either underwhelming, too expensive or free but  loaded with malware, I figured out how to do everything that I need with spectacular quality and for free in Blender. I may post video tutorials on these tips, but for now enjoy them in written form.

Q. How do I make a series of images into a movie?

A. First, go to Video Editing Layout or just open a new scene and change the 3D View to the Video Sequencing Editor. Next, select Add (or even easier, just press Shift+A) Select Image as the type to add and find your images. Note: Since you can’t Shift Select the first and the last item in the list, in order to select everything, you can use the Box Select Tool (B) to select your images from a list. After you have selected your images, but before you press the “Add Image Strip” button on the top right, scroll down to the very bottom of the pane on the left and find the Add Image Strip options. Make any necessary adjustments, such as changing Start Frame to 0 and setting your End Frame to 20 or whatever the case may be, and then go ahead and press Add Image Strip.

In the Timeline, make sure to add the same data that you did on import. In this case, 0 was the start and 20 is the end. If you don’t set this up properly you will miss a start frame or end up rendering a bunch of extra black frames, or both.

Next, Go to the Render Tab>Post Processing and make sure that Sequencer is checked so that Blender can render out any images that are in the Video Sequence Editor.

In Render Tab>Output, select the video output that you want instead of “PNG”, adjust compression or codecs if applicable and then choose where you want the output to be stored. Finally, in Render Tab>Render select Animation. That is it. Your video will be rendered.

Q. How do I convert a movie into a series of images?

A. First, go to Video Editing Layout or just open a new scene and change the 3D View to the Video Sequencing Editor. Next, select Add (or even easier, just press Shift+A) and select Movie as the type to add and find your movie. After you have selected your movie, but before you press the “Add Movie Strip” button on the top right, scroll down to the very bottom of the pane on the left and find the Add Movie Strip options. Make any necessary adjustments, such as changing Start Frame to 0 if desired, and then go ahead and press Add Movie Strip.

If necessary, press G to grab or move the movie along the sequencer and make sure that the beginning starts right on the thin black line. Determine how many frames you have to render. You can find this in the Edit Strip info panel of the Video Sequencing Editor. Simply subtract the Length by the number listed in Start Frame 41-1 would be 40 or 40 – 0 would be 40. Also, make a mental note of your Original Dimensions for your movie listed here as well. Note: In the Video Editing layout you can press Alt+A to preview the images. Use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in.

Next, Go to the Render Tab>Dimensions>Resolution and enter the size of your movie and choose 100%. In Frame Range>End Frame, enter the total amount of frames for your video that you want converted to image files. In Render Tab>Output, choose where you want the output to be stored and make a name for the files (numbers will be automatically added). Finally, in Render Tab>Render select Animation. That is it. Your images will be rendered.

Q. How do I take two images and cross fade them together and then export the “animation” as sequential images?

A. First, go to Video Editing Layout. Next, select Add and select Image as the type to add and find your image. In like manner, add your second image. Make sure they both start at the same time. Select both images by selecting in order the first image with RMB and then Shift selecting the second image with RMB and then click Add>Effect Strip>Gamma Cross and then play your image. If the fade happens in the reverse order from what you want then select the Gamma Cross effect and press X to delete it and then re-select the images in the proper order and add Gamma Cross again.

Next, Go to the Render Tab>Dimensions>Resolution and enter the size of your movie and choose 100%. In Frame Range>End Frame, enter the total amount of frames for your video that you want converted to image files. In Render Tab>Output, choose where you want the output to be stored and make a name for the files (numbers will be automatically added). Finally, in Render Tab>Render select Animation. That is it. Your images will be rendered.

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