Saturday, October 1, 2011


Trying out some new approaches with Studio Artist movie brushes for automatic photo collage generation.


John Patten said...

Liking the large frame collage images. When you create your video with over 16,000 frames, are you creating them manually? Are you using any tools to automate the process of acquiring the images for the videos?

John Dalton said...

I use Studio Artist to generate the large frame movies out of folders of images. It's probably one of the easiest things you can do in Studio Artist with a paint action sequence, and it's totally automatic. Here's a tip on how to make a movie brush to use for building photo mosaic or photo collage effects using Studio Artist.

The actual content of the folders of images themselves are put together manually. The graffiti imagery comes from a really large collection of digital photos of graffiti i have accumulated over the years, primarily taken in san francisco.
Things like news imagery come from the web via news articles. When every i read news articles on the web, i tend to be drag and dropping images of interest into a photo save folder on my mac, i've been doing that for over 10 years at this point.
I've also used google image search for some topical image collection.
I've also used the studio artist gallery show feature to automatically build collections of MSG based textural abstract images for use in building photo mosaics.

You really need to do a cleanup pass for any collection of raw images prior to using them for source material in photo mosaic or photo collage artwork for best results in your artwork. For things like graffiti, i crop the shot to make the textural nature of the imagery more flat. I want the image to look like a texture, not a picture of a place. For news imagery, you might need to remove a frame or corner text tag. Also, i usually use the Studio Artist image compressor to adaptively optimize the individual image's contrast.

The important thing when working with large frame movie files for movie brushes is that you have to use Disk Draw for the MB Load Status control in the Brush Source control panel of the paint synthesizer.

PreLoad (the other MB Load Status option) tries to load the entire movie into memory, and will run out of memory for large movie files since each individual movie frame is loaded as an un-compressed image.

There's also a bug we found in 4.04, where if a paint preset is setup to use Disk Draw for MB Load Status, if the MB Load Status control is set to PreLoad when the preset is opened, then it will initially revert to using PreLoad when the preset is imported. So you manually need to make sure the MB Load Status is set to Disk Draw before opening a movie brush preset that references a large frame size movie brush, or before running the File : paint synthesizer : new movie brush menu command to import your own custom movie brush.

I fixed that issue in our Studio Artist development code, and have been adding some other features to make working with large frame size movie brushes easier. And also adding additional automatic photo mosaic and photo collage features for making this kind of technique easier to work with. Our hope is to offer these new features to customers soon as a part of a Studio Artist pro release so they can get to use them sooner (rather than waiting for a major version 5 release cycle to finish, which will not be for awhile).