Question about footage import

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Greenlaw
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Question about footage import

Post by Greenlaw » 18 Sep 2018, 21:05

I have a question about importing video footage with audio into TV Paint.

I'm helping my daughter set up scenes for her to animate for a school project. She created an animatic in a video editor and we exported all the scenes as individual video clips with audio, which I'm importing to TV Paint for her to use as reference footage. This all seems straightforward enough but I'm seeing some curious behavior. I don't think TV Paint is doing anything wrong...I'm just trying to understand what's happening.

When I import a video clip, TV Paint offers the option to import as a Layer or as a Clip.

When I choose Layer, the footage imports correctly except I do not get any audio even when the audio option is enabled. Is this is normal behavior?

When I choose Clip, the footage imports correctly and I also get an audio track. I'm guessing this is what I should be doing. However, when I close and re-open the project file, I see the audio in the timelinebut the video footage appears to be missing. All I see is a single blank frame. This happened for all the scenes I prepared.

On closer examination, I found there is a blank single frame clip under the Project tab plus the imported footage clip. If I delete the blank clip, the footage appears on the Clip timeline. I'm getting the blank frame was actually a separate project that was by default over-riding the project with the imported footage. So, I went into all of the project files, deleted the blank clip and the problem was solved.

Afterward, I did a few tests. When I import as Layer, I do not get that extra blank clip under the Project tab. The blank clip only appears when I import the reference footage as a Clip.

Is there a way to import footage as a clip without generating this blank clip that seems to block the footage I want to see on the Clip Timeline? I assume there is an option or preference somewhere to prevent this.

Thanks in advance for any helpful information! :)
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner, Little Green Dog
Digital Animator, DreamWorks Animation Television

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Greenlaw
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Re: Question about footage import

Post by Greenlaw » 18 Sep 2018, 21:28

A little more info. When I create the new project file, there is a blank layer already there of course. I'm guessing when I import the video footage, it's replacing this blank clip, at least on the Clip Timeline. Which may explain why I see two items on the timeline under the Project tab.

What I don't understand is, why does this unwanted blank clip over-ride the imported footage on the Clip Timeline after I close and re-open the file? Besides looking under the Project tab and deleting the blank clip before saving the file, is there a way to avoid this behavior?

Thanks for any helpful answer.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner, Little Green Dog
Digital Animator, DreamWorks Animation Television

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Clément
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Re: Question about footage import

Post by Clément » 19 Sep 2018, 13:38

What you are experiencing is actually normal behaviour.
The document hierachy for a tvpaint project goes like this:
Project > Clips > Layers > Frames
TVPaint always has at least 1 Project Opened
A Project always has at least 1 Clip
A Clip always has at least 1 Layer
A Layer always has at least 1 Frame

When creating a new project, you hence have one clip with one layer with one frame. The frame is blank.
Now when importing footage:
if you chose import as layer it will be put into a new layer in the current clip. Not sure why the audio isn't imported here, maybe it's a bug.
if you chose import as clip, it will be put into a new clip ( a new layer in a new clip to be precise ). The audio is imported properly here.

When importing as clip, the point is not to replace the current clip but to import a new one. It happens that the default clip in your blank project is empty and unwanted, but il could be valuable work, you don't want your work overriden or deleted just because you imported something else.
Now as why it's the one you see when closing and opening the project, i understand this can be scary as you can easily imagine the imported clip has disappeared: It's just that it is the first clip, so it's the one opened by default.

So in the end it is meant to be that way. One could argue it's a flaw in the design but there is no way to avoid this behaviour; if you want to get rid of the empty clip you have to do it explicitely because it could be important work.
Clement Berthaud, Software Developer, TVPaint Team

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Greenlaw
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Re: Question about footage import

Post by Greenlaw » 21 Sep 2018, 16:20

Thanks for the explanation! That was very helpful.

It did make more sense to me to use Import to Layer but because the audio didn't also get imported after enabling the option, I thought maybe I was importing the footage incorrectly. As you noted, perhaps this is a bug?
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner, Little Green Dog
Digital Animator, DreamWorks Animation Television

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