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Composition Using The Canvas Node (Tutorial)


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#1 Music3000

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:20 PM

Here is a short tutorial covering a few of the options you have available to composite images and textures or any other inputs with the canvas node. It will cover setting up the layers, blend modes, gradient blending and masking with vector shapes. So hopefully it should give you the basic idea of how to do compositing with this node.

1 - Start a new project

2 - From the right side in you library expand the Presets folder and find a texture you like from one of the folders. Then left click, hold the button and drag it over to the Empty slot and release the button to add the chosen texture in to the project.



3 - For this tutorial i have selected Box & Crate > Embossed Cardboard and i then have then left clicked on the Weather Lab to select it and then right clicked and from the drop down list selected Group Branch. What this does is put that node and everything above it (Branch) into a group/container which just helps makes the structure much simpler to work with. You can optionally name it also with the groups Properties, i named it Texture 01.



4 - With Texture 01 selected i right click on it and select Insert Below > Advanced > Canvas which adds a Canvas node under the current one. The canvas will show as transparent because there is nothing in it just yet but we will set this up later.



5 - With the canvas node selected from the Properties i set the Inputs amount to 3 so i can send in 3 textures. Now i repeat steps 2 and 3 with some new textures (Rough Cardboard and Wood Crate) and also name them.



6 - Above the canvas will be a tab that says 'Edit' so i click this to go into the Canvas. I want to fill the whole area with a background so first i click the shape tab and make sure rectangle is selected as i want to fill the whole area.



Now i just draw a square type shape on the canvas.



The shape i just added does not fill the whole area just yet so to change this i click Transform.



Then i set the positions both to 50.00 and both width and height to 100.00 and leave all other values at 0.00 and this now fills the whole area.



(See next post for step 7)

Edited by Music3000, 20 March 2010 - 02:53 PM.


#2 Music3000

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:25 PM

7 - I still see a solid color at this point but now want to use one of the inputs i sent in to the node earlier on so i click the style icon.



Now i click the Edit button which brings up the Edit Style dialog with various presets. Right now i don't want to use a preset though so at the top i click on the EditLayer tab.



If you look over to the right side you can see the shape is currently being filled with a solid color but as i don't want this i click on the dropdown list and select Fill Input Texture.



I see a pattern but that is just for when designing styles and it's now using the input so i click the ok button to apply the new style to the shape.



8 - There is now a texture visible but i want to composite others also but right now there is just one layer and shape so i click the new layer icon over on the right to add a new layer.



Next with the new layer selected i add in another rectangle and add another Fill Input Texture style like before. It will show exactly the same as the last time and is still using the first texture so now from the main Style options i set the Input texture value to 2 and now everything is filled with the second input.





(See next post for step 9)

#3 Music3000

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:32 PM

9 - I want to mix both Texture 01 and 02 together so to do this i make sure layer 2 is selected and go back into the Edit Style dialog and also click on the EditLayer tab again. Now since Texture 02 is added already i just want to change the blending of this layer so from the lower Blend options i set the mode to Color and lower the Opacity to a 95.00 value and click ok.



For my textures this changed the green more brown with the color giving Texture 01 a similar color to 02 yet keeping the light and texture still. Note that for compositing this is the main thing you will want to be editing and the dropdown menu choices should be similar to how many popular image editing apps when working with layers.



10 - Since i originally added 3 inputs for the last layer i will do something slightly different. I add a new layer and rectangle, size it and fill with input texture and then on the Style Options set it to use input 3.





I go back into the Edit Style dialog and also click on the EditLayer tab again. What i want to do this time is use the new Texture 03 but blend to the other 2 also with a gradient. To do this first i go to the Area options and set the Use Gradient mode to yes, then set the type to Linear and the gradient angle to a 90.00 value and click ok.



This has now made a fade and it's working but the cardboard textures (01 and 02) are not as noticable and i want the fade to be slightly different.



To correct this i go back into the Edit Style dialog and also click on the EditLayer tab now in the same area i used before i click the Remap Gradient Edit button.



This brings up the Edit Curve dialog and i see various presets i could use but i just need a basic Ramp this click so i select Ramp > Ramp and after click the Edit Layer tab.



Theres a load of options but since i just want the lower part of the gradient to show more i just set the Initial Delay to a value of 40.00 and click ok to apply the change to the curve and then i click ok on the main part to set the change to the style. Now the fade is much more visible and i can see both the cardboard and Wood Crate textures with a nice gradient fade/blend effect.



(See next post for more)

Edited by Music3000, 20 March 2010 - 02:57 PM.


#4 Music3000

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:37 PM

Result of step 10 -



11 - Optionally from the main rectangles you can also cut out extra areas etc and to make a cut out. This will work with any layers for this tutorial i will cut from the second layer though which changed the color before to reveal the original green color again. To do this i click the Shape icon and select the Ellipse.



Right now for me the rectangle is showing it's resize options so if i went to draw the ellipse it would move it so to de-select i simply click once outside of it's area to de-select it. With the rectangle de-selected i now draw a ellipse.



When i look over to the right i see it's added it to the top layer but i want it on the second so i drag it down to the second layer but above the rectangle.



At the moment it's not doing anything so from the Combine dropdown i now select Cut and after i can now see a green circle revealing the first textures green color again.



Final result -



This concludes this short tutorial covering a few ways to do basic compositing in the canvas node and i hope you have learned something from this tutorial. It allows for up to 20 input textures and you could also even send a already composited set of inputs as a single input into another canvases input so you could do far more complex things still. Since the canvas allows a load of different blend modes, vector shapes and lots of other great options there is a lot of possibility's with what you can do in this node so be sure to try some of the other options out also. Thanks for reading :)

#5 MonsterMind

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 03:30 PM

Thanks for the tutorial. It is helpful. :) :) :)

Of course Canvas has many more things to be discovered than it is a very powerful node. Every day I discover a new way of doing things within the Canvas node.

Edited by MonsterMind, 20 March 2010 - 03:38 PM.

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#6 Funkdude

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:59 AM

Great work! i never knew the canvas could handle multiple inputs :)
:) :) :)

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#7 Raivann

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:01 AM

Great work! i never knew the canvas could handle multiple inputs :D
:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:



Me either! Thank you so much for that - it will be very, very useful to me :) :) :faint: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Now, how do I go about printing it all out - lol. Joking!

#8 Raivann

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for the tutorial. It is helpful. :) :) :faint:

Of course Canvas has many more things to be discovered than it is a very powerful node. Every day I discover a new way of doing things within the Canvas node.



I'll be very interested to see, if you decide to use this technique, what wonderful stuff you'll treat us to next :notworthy:

#9 MonsterMind

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:23 AM

Great work! i never knew the canvas could handle multiple inputs :notworthy:
:) :) :faint:


You can also specify where each input should be used.
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#10 Allen 1

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 12:56 PM

Nifty, i will have to PDF this.

#11 Music3000

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:15 PM

Thanks everyone it's good to know you found this useful :)

#12 WillBellJr

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:32 PM

Now that's what's up! :)

Ima have to PDF this also - I was hoping there was multiple inputs (after being told there was one) but didn't look further since my experiment flopped when the isolated selection I was working on did mirror the way I wanted...


I'm going to come back to this in about an hour and dig into it!

Thanks a lot, Music3000!


You got a Paypal acct? I can throw you a coupla bux for your time and effort... :)

-Will

#13 Stem

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:29 PM

Hi Will,

I was hoping there was multiple inputs (after being told there was one) but didn't look further since my experiment flopped when the isolated selection I was working on did mirror the way I wanted...


Yes, I did state multiple inputs could be made.
As for making a mirror (of a shape/texture) in the "Canvas" node, then there is a need to not only mirror the shape, but also mirror the texture before input.

A quick example (maybe another way also?)

Input the texture into 2 inputs and mirror one (I used free transform):-

02.png

Then in the "Canvas" I created a shape on one layer and applied the first input texture. I then copied that shape over to a new layer, used mirror, then moved into correct position and applied the 2nd input texture.

03.png

#14 Music3000

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:00 AM

Thanks, no need for donations but thanks for the offer :)

#15 MonsterMind

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:27 AM

Hi Will,



Yes, I did state multiple inputs could be made.
As for making a mirror (of a shape/texture) in the "Canvas" node, then there is a need to not only mirror the shape, but also mirror the texture before input.

A quick example (maybe another way also?)

Input the texture into 2 inputs and mirror one (I used free transform):-

02.png

Then in the "Canvas" I created a shape on one layer and applied the first input texture. I then copied that shape over to a new layer, used mirror, then moved into correct position and applied the 2nd input texture.

03.png


Nice trick. I never thought to use Canvas in this way. :)
I only used the symmetry utility of the Canvas node to mirror designs.

Edited by MonsterMind, 22 March 2010 - 05:30 AM.

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