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 Masks and files 
bjornkn


Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 2
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I just got the plugin, and must say that I'm very impressed with the results.

I'm not so impressed with the choice to only allow uncompressed BMP for masks. It's a format I never use, and at least not in its uncompressed form. Although HDDs are cheap these days it still hurts to use several MBs for a simple mask for a single image.
It would be a great improvement if we could get PNG support.
Even better if we could also use another layer as a mask, or maybe a (alpha) channel in the same image?
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martinvicanek


Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Germany
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Bjorn,

thanks for your contribution. I am happy to hear that you like the results of DOF PRO.

I understand your comment on the BMP file format. You may have noticed that this point has been raised by others in this forum before. We are exploring other options, however I cannot commit a date when these will be available.

Your suggestion to embed the depth map in a separate layer or alpha channel is interesting. In fact this was the first thing we had in mind when we started developing DOF PRO, however it turned out that Photoshop would interpret the alpha channel as transparency, which is not very helpful. Besides, you would have to somehow create those extended image files in the first place, preferrably in Photoshop format. This is not something you could do outright from most applications. Therefore, we decided to go with BMP instead.

Finally, if disk space is a concern you could zip the uncompressed BMP files for archiving after you are done.

Keep posting!

Martin

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Martin Vicanek
DOF PRO Developer
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bjornkn


Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 2
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I understand that you have a reason for choosing BMP, but I still find it a bit strange that you chose such an old file format, which is very rarely in use nowadays that we have so many other lossless formats, like PNG, TGA, TIF etc, and even RLE encoded BMP, which make quite small files for such flat shaded areas which many (hand-made) DoF masks are.
Why don't you just let the user choose?
I don't understand that about alpha channel being interpreted as transparency? It does if you import a 32bit PNG, whch PS handles less than superb.. But if you add a mask to a new channel, or to a new layer, PS never treats it like an alpha channel unless you tell it to do so (by Ctrl-clicking it)?
I like the way the PS/CS2 lens blur filter works, where you can choose layers or channels to be used for depth mask, but I think the DoFPRO results are better looking.
The lens blur works much faster than DofPRO though.
Would it be possible to make DofPRO multi-threaded? I have a dual-core X2 CPU, and it would be nice to use both CPUs instead of having to wait for a long time.
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richardrosenman
Site Admin

Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 145
Location: Canada
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Hi bjornkn;

We are definitely looking into this. Although BMP is versatile and widely supported it does have it's drawbacks. I personally use TGA for all my production work so this is a format I am attempting to incorporate into DOF PRO. However, most of these formats come in many variations (ie. compressed, uncompressed, 8 bit, 16 bit, 24 bit, 32 bit, etc), which makes their integration rather tricky.

However, I don't think it will be long before DOF PRO supports more than just BMP.

I have several friends at various studios using it in their workflow. They've already developed a pipeline of their own. For instance, some will export the depth maps from Inferno as BMP's, run them through DOF PRO on a PC, and then send back the processed footage into Inferno.

We'll keep you posted in the annoucements section for upcoming updates, and we'll certainly put additional file support on the priority list. Wink

-Richard

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Richard Rosenman
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