Create a stage pre-visualization

How to display your stage simulation through an Output and export it as a video

Objective: You already have a Stage 3D modeling of the real-world video setup Read More simulation created in Smode and now we are going to make it prettier through a Processor This section describes how to configure Smode processors in order to configure your output(s) and also make some nice and smooth stage pre-visualisations Read More to display it through an output or / and export it as a video.
This topic is already a part of the " Create a full multi LED pipeline from scratch Send content into multiple led screens Read More " tutorial.

Basic canvas : Create a Processor and import pipeline Layers

To create a pre-visualisation we are going to create a new Processor This section describes how to configure Smode processors in order to configure your output(s) and also make some nice and smooth stage pre-visualisations Read More in HD that we'll call "Previsualization".


If you already made 3D stage simulation, then you can get it back inside the processors as a Pipeline Layer Use pipeline steps to inject them inside a Processor Read More and create a Camera A camera filming 3D content Read More :


From now on, you have every compositing tools available to make this stage pre-visualization look prettier. You can also import some 3D File External referenced 3D file (.fbx, .obj or .blend) Read More to add details (such as stage / scene / singers etc.)
You just have to connect this previz processor to any output to have a stage pre-vizualisation for client demonstrations or simply for working and creating content.


Note that if you have not created a Stage simulation, then 2D pipeline layers, such as content maps can still be exploited as or in 3D objects inside a processor.
To do that just import a 3D file or create a Smode primitive mesh and you can then use any content map as texture, or simply put the content map Parent Input layer Use the video/image used as Input of it's parent modifier Read More 2D Renderer Allow to actually display a 2D Layer Read More in 3D Renderer for 2D Layers Special renderer to display a 2D Layer in 3D easily Read More mode.

Add beauty elements and do some compositing

To make it short, compositing inside a Processor This section describes how to configure Smode processors in order to configure your output(s) and also make some nice and smooth stage pre-visualisations Read More is actually the same as in any other composition and the same rules apply.
Inside the example projects, you can search for "previz" video processors inside the Pipeline Define how video content is processed in a project Read More and see how they are made inside their Element Tree The hierarchical view of documents in Smode Read More
If you open the "All kind of Leds" example project, then you see that the only things that differ from a regular composition is that we used Pipeline Layer Use pipeline steps to inject them inside a Processor Read More , in this case, the stage.


I then invite you to check the Smode introductory tutorials to learn the content creation mechanisms here : https://smode.fr/support-resources/ When importing 3D objects to make a beauty shot of your stage, remember to check the 3D File External referenced 3D file (.fbx, .obj or .blend) Read More section of the documentation for clean imports.
Remember just theses simple rules:
- Apply all your transformations before importing in Smode (Ctrl+A-> Apply all transformations on Blender, Freeze transform on maya)
- Smode can take a lot of polygons but few objects.
- Combine your 3D object to have as less meshes possibles inside your file. (After selecting many objects, do a Ctrl+J on Blender, or a "Mesh>Combine" on Maya.
I usually separate my objects by materials, as it is easier then to manipulate them inside of Smode.

Add a traveling camera

For this example, we will use the "All kind of Leds" project example:


And go inside the Processor This section describes how to configure Smode processors in order to configure your output(s) and also make some nice and smooth stage pre-visualisations Read More , to do that, just select the "Previsualisation" processor inside the Pipeline Define how video content is processed in a project Read More (green circle), and the Element Tree The hierarchical view of documents in Smode Read More as well as the Viewport Where you see what is happening in Smode. You can do without it but what would be the point? Read More will automatically update. In case it does not, you can still select them as show on the red circles. Here we will go in 3D mode (Left red circle):


Now let's create a camera inside of the processor with "right click -> Camera".
To animate the camera we have two choices, either animate it through the Expose Parameters as percentage methodology. Or simply animate it through a main Timeline Timelines specificity is to play, cut and edit video layers easily, and to animate layers and their parameters Read More .
I will here use the Expose parameter methodology as it will be easier then to learn the camera animations on a midi console.
First expose one of your camera parameter as percentage and then connect any other parameters to the same function. Here I called it "Cam Anim":


You now have access to all the parameters you connected to the "Cam Anim" exposed parameter inside the Function Editor The editor allowing you to manipulate every Function inside of Smode Read More :


From there, you can animate any of theses parameters. Put the auto-key mode on on each track to simplify the process.
Once it's done you can then learn the "Cam Anim" function to a fader. As now the camera animation is a parameter determined by a 0-100% range value, it is seen in Smode as any other parameter so you can now also create function cues over it, for instance to assign camera positions determined by different % to different buttons on a midi controller.
If you want to export a video with the camera animation playing you can either create a Timeline Cue and animate your camera inside of this timeline:


Else just create a Function Cue An animation bloc defined by a Function Read More on the percentage of the "Cam Anim" function and set it up as "restart with activation". In this example is set the function cue to play my whole Camera animation in 30sec:

Export a video from a processor

Now to export a video of the processor, right clik on the project tab and select "export video":


Now inside the video export window you can choose which target you want to export. Both Content Map This section describes how to set up your content maps and use Content Area Read More and Processor This section describes how to configure Smode processors in order to configure your output(s) and also make some nice and smooth stage pre-visualisations Read More can be exported as video.
Here just choose to export the "Previz" video processor (as it is how we called the processor in which we made our previz) and export:


For further details of the video export, please refer to the " Export a Video Video Export specifications and system Read More " topic.

Here is a little video showing how to create a stage pre-visualisation from scratch from one of the example projects.
Do not forget Ctrl+D and Ctrl+Drag to duplicate a layer, Ctrl+Shift+A to add a renderer (and expose it to move it as you'll see from 13:55 on this video).

Here is an example of a stage previsualisation made for a project with Smode:

See Also: