Silhouette No video support? Why?

I don’t know that much about roto apart from cutting out characters and stuff in After affect. Maybe someone can explain to me why there’s no video support? Doesn’t make any sense. I’m supposed to break a video into frames to able to do anything? and then put it back together? Wow

Silhouette has been used on feature films for many years where the workflow is almost always based on sequential files. Since the acquisition by Boris FX it has become apparent that new users want to work on video sources without conversion. The team has video support on the roadmap, but for the time being, you do need to convert your video source to sequential files.

Ok but why? There’s no sense to do so. How would that benefit? Why are they doing this? Hmmmm I guess you have to paint on a picture file to make that possible but still why can;t the conversation happen automatically in the background.

What’s the go to conversion tool?

As Ross explained, Silhouette catered to a feature film visual effects workflow where sequential files were preferred. We plan on implementing GStreamer, which is what Mocha Pro uses, to load and save movie files. I can’t give you an exact date for this, but it is planned for the next major release.

As far as file conversion is concerned, After Effects or most editing applications can export sequential files.

I get that. I jsut don’t understand why this would be preferred in the first place. That’s kind weird.

Major Release? like 2021 Version? So it’s within a year?

Is there a borisfx tutorial on how to create and import a sequence into silhouette? Cos I’m a total noob at this

The basic principle of using sequential files (like TIFF or EXR) in a VFX workflow comes from the fact that it offers greater flexibility and in case you export / render a scene, even if the application crashes, let’ s say on 99% you can still recover that 99% and then re-render only that 1%. That would save you huge amount of time especially when you work on tight deadlines and each frame takes hours to render. On the other hand, if you are working with a video (like a .Mov or a .MP4) if your export crashes on 99%, you would have to re export the whole video from the beginning as the incompleted file would be corrupted.

Adobe After Effects can export sequential frames.

Well if the so called industry weren’t so stubborn about using the MKV container cos of some idiotic reasons there would no corruption to speak of.

I was asking about importing. I got to file> import and it imports one frame not the whole sequence. I need a tutorial.

I’d say the most important reason is most VFX facilities are working on very fast networks where the media is not stored locally. Efficient random access to arbitrary frames is paramount.

As Stelios points out flexibility is key. Specialized formats like EXR also support stereo views, arbitrary channels including floating point RGB, multiple alpha channels, depth maps, ST maps, normal maps, deep pixels, etc all within a single file. These are often generated on render farms with hundreds (or thousands) of machines, in no particular order, without lossless compression. These frames of data can be 100MB or more each.

2 Likes

An example of when working with frames might be better is long form work: if I need to retouch a few frames, I can drop it into the image sequence without having to re render the whole sequence. In a two hour program, to re export- re render a movie file because of a few retouch frames would not be efficient.

1 Like

You would select all items in the sequence when in the Import dialog. Silhouette will auto-detect the image sequence. If you want a fast means of converting from quicktimes to image sequences, you would need something like oiiotool (open source but requires from command line know-how)

The Silhouette user guide provides documentation and tutorials for importing files.

From the user guide:

  • Select the first frame in a clip: Imports the entire clip
  • Select a range of frames: Imports the selected range of frames
  • Select any single frame other than the first frame: Imports only that frame

You have a video you retouch a few frames and re render.
You have an image sequence and you retouch a few frames. You would still need to re render the whole thing to make the final release. So this changes ZERO. LOL And in this case you need to break any give footage you have, especially it’s a long project, into a frame sequence wasting lots of time.

Mate you just played yourself. hahahaha There’s zero benefit in image sequences. It’s an outdated legacy framework that has no more benefits. The tech has moved forward

Hmmmm I import the very first frame and That’s all I got in the source window. Am I supposed to see other frame in that window? I must be doing something assbackwards. hahaha

I’m a little perplexed - the use case of image sequences is less performance oriented and primarily geared toward visual fidelity and proper VFX color pipelines. Image formats like EXR, DPX, TIFF, etc. support a much wider set of colors and can assure lossless conversion between them while quicktimes almost certainly do not.

The vast majority of quicktime formats are 8bpc (bits-per-channel) which has a pitiful 255 possible options for each channel. Meanwhile formats like EXR are commonly stored at 16bpc and 32bpc which brings each channel up to 4,294,967,296 possible values. That’s why the industry is fixed on them. You want to maintain the best possible quality of color from camera to the big screen.

There are very few 16 and probably no 32 bit-per-channel quicktime formats that would maintain all of the benefits of file-per-frame sequences. At least none that have been adopted by the industry in a meaningful way.

As for selecting your frames, you’ll want to make sure the images are named in a way silho can understand:

|   name   | frame | extention |
my_filename.0000123.exr
my_filename.0000124.exr
- ...
1 Like

As for selecting your frames, you’ll want to make sure the images are named in a way silho can understand:

Oh come on! Really? Why do they make things complicated for no need? Why can’t I just select them in the right order and import?!!!

I’m a little perplexed

You and me both buddy. Quicktime though? Who uses quicktime nowadays?!
16 million colours is pitiful? haha Ah ok
Again at the end of the day it all will be converted into a video file with those pitiful 8 bits. Why? Cos like you said none with more bits have been adopted by the industry.

You have an image sequence and you retouch a few frames. You would still need to re render the whole thing to make the final release.

You’re comparing apples and oranges here. Someone doing a bit of retouching to a few frames isn’t, at that same point in time, rendering the final release. And you definitely don’t want to have any potential for side effects on frames other than the ones that individual is working on; similarly, if you’ve got a bunch of staff working on different frames in the same sequence at the same time, file locking, change control &c. is a lot more complicated if they’re all working in the same file.

Again at the end of the day it all will be converted into a video file with those pitiful 8 bits

Cutting down to 8-bit color at the end of the pipeline means you don’t lose extra detail before that point, and so have more room to do color grading or other rework without loss of quality.


To be clear – I’m annoyed about this limitation myself, but that’s because I’m a one-person shop right now. Being annoyed about it doesn’t prevent me from understanding how the design would have come about, or how larger customers wouldn’t see it as a problem.

Sure sure big productions and all that. But FFS it’s a program that works with VIDEO and doesn’t support a single video format!! WTF! Considering what one man can do with such a great programme it’s also especially strange.
Oh Well Marco said they would ship video support with the next major. We have to wait for it.

If I convert my videos into a series of stills, edit them in Silhouette and then convert them back to video, how do I make sure the audio is still synced correctly? Is there a work flow to keep audio synced with the videos that I am creating?

Silhouette does not have audio support. You would need to use another program like After Effects, Premiere Pro, Avid, Resolve, etc. for this. The next version of Silhouette will support rendering out movie files.