The most notable out of those are the new compositor tools: Output Helpers and Quick Cache.
With the help of Output Helpers, you can easily generate names of file output layers or replace it with input image file.
In this example, you can see a rendered scene with all compositing already done, however, the Render Layers were not saved on disk. That's not too bad because with Output Helpers these layers can be exported without re-rendering the whole scene.
Copy names to the file output in one of two ways. Either connect nodes to copy only names of corresponding links or select unconnected nodes to make links automatically.
Next, convert the file output to the image node. Note that the output node has to be explicitly set as a multilayer EXR.
This operation is not destructive, you can easily fall back to the original state.
Back and forth, even adding reroute nodes does not change the situation.
Do not alter the file node at any moment, because this node, its links and names function as a database to restore the original scheme.
Let's move to the Quick Cache
Here, I have a slow denoising node whose output can be baked. In a situation like this, you can select it and click the Quick Cache Node button to insert an empty cache. Set node's file format or leave the default EXR. Click Bake Quick Cache to finalize.
It is also possible to bake the whole animation to the cache. Though Quick Cache won't let you look at your animation in real-time, you can use it with other popular add-ons capable of caching compositor output to sequencer strips for even faster workflow.
The Compositor already works faster but I want to cache the result and add a final touch to it.
Quick Cache can significantly speed up your compositing workflow.
Cache nodes can be muted or deleted like any other nodes. By default, the cache will be disabled during rendering to spare you problems with wrongly cached frame ranges etc., however, you can leave cache always on if you know what you are doing.
Last but not least is the new Picker Parenting Panel Here is the scene you can recall from previous Toolty clip. What's changed is the new parenting panel with the list of all dynamic parents. Mute particular constraints, delete them or bake them to keyframes. Look at the indicator to see what state a constraint is currently in. Blank dot means that influence is 0, full dot means 1, yellow diamond is a keyframe at 1 and blue means keyframe at 0.
Use the snap to keyframe buttons to go to either to the beginning of the parenting or the ending.
Click object names to select them in the scene.
Set scope to Active to show only dynamic parents of the selected bone or object. The Selected option shows parents of the selected object and all of its bones, the All option lists every constraint in the scene.
As a bonus, I will show you a use case where a new layer is added to the existing image.
Create new file output or copy the existing one.
Connect the old image node with new file output. Note to keep correct order of selected nodes. Names will be copied from the oldest to the newest. Keep in mind that existing names shall not be changed, which can happen in case of name clashes.
Unmute the file output and run compositing nodes again to overwrite the image. All that is left is to refresh the image source.
Unused layers also can be deleted using this technique.
Toolty is a tool collection aimed at improving productivity. Covered areas include compositor, dynamic parenting, custom property keyframing, rigidbody kinematic and visibility keyframing.
First tool we called Picker lets you easily create Child Of constraints lifting from you all heavy work while animating characters grabbing objects. Picker can manage switching parents (passing item from object to object) and is capable of grabbing item that has an active rigid body simulation.
Rigid Body Helpers are designed to manage large number of simulated rigid body objects (like shards) with as little clicks as possible. Only one click is needed to switch shards from animated state to simulated and vice versa. The same goes to visibility settings.
Another tool that you might find incredibly usefull in some situations is Keyframe Custom Property feature. Sometimes you might want to keyframe some property that is not easily accessible. This problem rises even bigger if you want to repeat the process for a large number of objects. Keyframe Custom Property comes to the rescue giving you ability to insert keyframes via specified Python data-path. Unmatched objects can be automatically handled and listed in comprehensive debug report.
Another group of tools that can change your compositing workflow forever are Compositor Helpers. Sometimes you would like to run compositing nodes to save file outputs but doing this without re-rendering the scene is cumbersome. That's not a problem anymore - use our Run Compositing Nodes operator! Let's take it a step further - what if you want to replace multilayer EXR file output with image node input and reconnect all the links. Done! Use File Output >> Image operator. What about just generating names in File Output? Of course we prepared Names from Links operator for cases like that. That's not all - with Quick Cache you can insert easy to use cache node that will tremendously speed up compositor refresh rate.
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