Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:27 am

Hey everybody, newbie here.
I'm creating a proof-of-concept project which visualizes MIDI data from an orchestral performance (it's virtually identical to the MIDIexample sample project but scaled-up enormously)

My setup relies on representing notes with trails coming off a small image. The issue is that even with the max strength setting and no blur, the trails beomce blurred very quickly. Is there anyway I can avoid this? Somebody asked this question back in 2016 but that's quite far back and to be honest the thread wasn't too useful.

Another related question: Is there are way to simulate trials without actually using the trails module? It might sound silly but I suspect if this is possible, it would solve my issues. Any help at all is greatly appreciated.

I've attached a screenshot of my setup and the rendered result. The blurring issue is clearly less during live playback even if the overall quality is much worse. I also got a pretty pathetic CPU and GPU (intel i5 + integrated GPU) if that means anything.

SetUp.JPG
SetUp.JPG (153.14 KiB) Viewed 1147 times
bwasoum
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:36 am

Maybe back off of max in .01 or .02 increments? Blur just helps avoid it looking like a delay where you just have copies of the effect. You might also try using it in conjunction with the motion blur module...
Valis
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:25 pm

If the Speed is greater than 0, you will get some blur in the direction of the trails, even if the Blur option isn't checked. This is because the trails aren't moving at perfect pixel increments.

The only way to get no blur at all is to set the Speed to 0.
Eric
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:16 am

Valis wrote:Maybe back off of max in .01 or .02 increments? Blur just helps avoid it looking like a delay where you just have copies of the effect. You might also try using it in conjunction with the motion blur module...


I gave this a shot and sadly, no luck.
Motion blur was a really interesting idea but motion blur can't create a moving trail on a stationary object (which is what I'm doing). Thanks for the help though, I wouldn't have thought of that.

Eric wrote:If the Speed is greater than 0, you will get some blur in the direction of the trails, even if the Blur option isn't checked. This is because the trails aren't moving at perfect pixel increments.

The only way to get no blur at all is to set the Speed to 0.


Thanks for the clarification, Eric. I was So confused as to why the trails module would be configured this way but based off what you're telling me, it's just a quirk of the programming and there's no way around it.

At this point I think I'll just embrace to trippiness of the blurred effect and find a way to make it work :)
bwasoum
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Thu Jul 01, 2021 1:30 pm

This is just a simulation using random values to represent midi. There is a little blurring at the edges but not much - looks like motion blur.

Trails: [Strength: 1.0] [Blur: Off] [Speed: 2.0] [Z/X: Off]

[media]


I also tried it by moving the polygon and having Trails Speed: 0. This was a slightly different effect but still have respectably sharp edges for me.
Sadler
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:22 pm

Further to Sadler's post, you could try following the Trails module with LumaKey: [Strength: 0.15] [Falloff: 1.0] to sharpen up the remaining blur.
Terry Payman
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:57 am

Sadler wrote:This is just a simulation using random values to represent midi. There is a little blurring at the edges but not much - looks like motion blur.

Trails: [Strength: 1.0] [Blur: Off] [Speed: 2.0] [Z/X: Off]

I also tried it by moving the polygon and having Trails Speed: 0. This was a slightly different effect but still have respectably sharp edges for me.

Hi Sadler, I've tried to duplicate this scene, but failed to effectively duplicate polygons.
Here is what I have done far (it actually triggers again after first object has passed 0 on X-Axis).
Could you share any information please?
Thanks.
Attachments
Trials-Duplicate-Objects-1.png
Trials-Duplicate-Objects-1.png (78.54 KiB) Viewed 1110 times
d.a.v.i.d
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:18 am

Here's the scene:

clean-trails-comp.jpg
clean-trails-comp.jpg (49.97 KiB) Viewed 1108 times

Yours seems pretty close though I'm not really sure what your Apply Alpha is trying to achieve. I would have thought you'd want to translate in Y using the midi note? I used Transparency to turn the square on and off though actually it is not necessary when the line goes up and down - that just makes them shorter and regular.
Sadler
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:55 am

Thanks Sadler, that's a help.

The "Apply Alpha" was a way to hide object when midi note is not being pressed, but thanks to your example I can see Transparency is the way forward. (This method actually completely hides Blurs ftr.)

Yes, using midi note to control Y-Axis is natural.

Thanks again. :)
d.a.v.i.d
 
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Re: Is there away to create non-blurry trails?

Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:26 pm

Update for anybody still here:

Using your helpful advice and lots of trial and error, I found a setup that yields trails with negligible blur (see the frame below).

Stuff that helped:
    - Using polygons instead of images; images seem to yield more unstable trails
    - Keeping the trail speed as low as possible. Requires some cleaning up of the MIDI data to avoid overlapping notes
    - Use as few scale modules as possible and ensure they come first in the chain of modules. To that end, hiding the trail object using a transparency module instead of a scale module made a BIG difference.

If pixel-perfect trails are ever added, I'll be overjoyed but this is still pretty impressive for now.
Attachments
Example.JPG
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bwasoum
 
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