Image sequences and DJV Imaging
Its only quite recently that I had the revelation of being able to view image sequences without the use of Adobe software. fCheck that comes with Maya can do this, but a much better program for this is DJV Imaging.
The basic function of these are to load the image sequence into the computers memory for playback, so the amount of frames you can watch is dependent on the amount of RAM in your computer. But even if you haven’t got a lot of RAM, DJV Imaging can still be extremely useful. Currently I use it all the time to preview renders. Not only can you see whether your renders have come out good, but you can also find out what frames are missing. Though for checking missing frame there is a another great utility; FrameChecker.
The user friendliness of DJV Imaging is great, with simple drag’n’drop for loading files and image sequences. Another awesome feature of DJV Imaging is that you can save out an image sequence to a Quicktime video file. It took me quite a while to figure out how to it, but it turns out this feature is only in the 32-bit version which makes a lot of sense since Quicktime is only in 32-bit (doh). Again it is super simple to use, just load in an image sequence and go to File>Save and remember the “.mov” file extension. I did do some tests on which codec was the best one, can the default JPEG on normal quality is the best. Though you do get large-ish files, but used with Handbrake gives you nice small files with good quality, perfect for deliveries or approvals.
I have both 32-bit and 64-bit installed. I use the 32-bit version for saving out Quicktime files, and the 64-bit version for viewing. Since 64-bit can handle more RAM you can view longer sequences. Other features of DJV Imaging include; zoom/pan,histogram,color correction amongst other things. I would suggest going through the preferences when you get comfortable with DJV Imaging so you can customize it to your needs.
DJV Imaging also comes with command line utility. Currently I haven’t had much use for it, but I can definitely see the possibilities with it when setting up a pipeline. Something like automatically generate a video file for preview when a render is done would be nice… possibly something for a future post.
Lastly the absolute favorite part of these awesome programs is that they come at a very reasonable price range: FREE!