6th Sep 2021 | Open Movies | Sprite Fright
In this article, you will learn how the contact sheet add-on works and why it was developed.
The concept of contact sheets or contact prints has existed for some time; in fact, their origins lie in analog photography and film. They are sheets filled with thumbnail photos from the shoot. These photos are assembled in a grid and give you a great continuous overview of your film. Contact sheets are also useful for letting your client chose a specific image while comparing all your images in one glance.
You're probably already thinking, "Hey, this would be useful in Blender!" Happily, we got you covered.
For Sprite Fright I developed a little Blender add-on that can create a contact sheet from Sequence Editor strips. The add-on helps various departments, but especially those in lighting as it gives a quick overview of the whole sequence. That way, they can validate whether the shots in a sequence look consistent and the overall effect is harmonious.
The add-on creates a separate scene and makes use of Blender's proxy system to enable faster display. It uses nested Metastrips to stack all sequences on top of each other, to work around the limitation of 32 channels in the Sequence Editor. The great thing is, that it also works with videos. I can very much recommend rendering a contact sheet consisting of many little videos; it's fascinating!
There are a couple of parameters exposed to adjust the contact sheet. You can specify the resolution, override the number of rows and in the add-on preferences, you even have a scaling factor that controls how much space there is between the individual images.
The add-on is part of the Blender Studio Tools repository, which you can find here.