3.2 Using a Rutt/Etra style effect in Z Vector


Z Vector has an inbuilt pseudo 2D/3D conversion effect for good measure. It can be used for an interesting effect when mixing 2D video with a depth feed, or be used to just manipulate your existing 2D video. This feature in Z Vector creates a visual somewhat similar to the one found in the Rutt/Etra Video Synthesizer (co-invented by Steve Rutt and Bill Etra): an analog raster manipulation device for image processing and real-time animation.

While playing back a video or using a background image, bring the BG controller (found under Input -> Depth) down to about a value of 250 (this should effectively place a virtual background in front of your depth camera feed). After doing so, move the Z Convert (found under Controls -> Background) slider to the right. You should now see the geometry elements making up the 2D background plane being moved along their Z axis based on their intensity. Z Convert controls the scale, while Z Phase controls the phase.

Try animating the two controllers, playing around with different geometry settings and adding effects and/or filters for interesting results with this functionality. Finally bring back the BG controller (under Input -> Depth) while using an (auto)filtered input. This way you can effectively place a tracked form “in to” your newly created pseudo 3D world.

Continue to the next part in the tutorial series:

3.1 Using 2D images and video in Z Vector for texture
3.0 Basics: Texturing with images or video, distortion and background controls