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Blender for Visual Effects

Book Description

Bringing concrete examples from industry to light, this book explains how to use Blender to create visual effects for video/film production. It supplies readers with a practical way to learn how to use Blender’s tools across a wide range of scenarios in video/film production, including setting up cameras on a stage, lighting, and other production processes.

Maintaining a focus on composition, the book not only explains how to use the most common tools, such as tracking, rendering, and compositing, but also explains how to deal with software limitations and sort out problems.

Since the best way to learn something is with a practical example, this book follows one of the author’s own projects, starting with how to prepare the elements that will be needed later on. The example illustrates how to use Blender tools and features for scene tracking, setup, rendering, masking, and other post-production functions—from start to finish in a professional workflow.

The book examines all the compositing nodes that can be used in Blender. It details time-saving tips, features such as the motion tracker, and rendering techniques so readers will have enough information to accomplish the most common tasks encountered in the creation of a professional visual effects composition.

By following the example project presented in the book, you will gain the practical understanding required to use Blender’s tools in the most common scenarios in video/film production. You will also gain industry insights into the limitations of the software and how to sort out the problematic scenarios that may come up through the various stages of your project.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Biography
  3. Chapter 1 - Problem Definition
    1. Introduction
    2. Approaching the Task
    3. Additional Materials
    4. Summary
  4. Chapter 2 - Preparation
    1. Getting Ready
    2. Setting up Blender
    3. Shooting
    4. Calibration
    5. Summary
  5. Chapter 3 - Tracking
    1. Basics of Tracking
    2. Preparing the Footage
    3. Working with the Tracker
    4. Calibration inside Blender
    5. Placing the Marks
    6. Solving the Tracking
    7. Applying the Solved Camera
    8. Plane Track
    9. Summary
  6. Chapte 4 - Scene Setup
    1. World Creation
    2. Setting up Elements
    3. Lighting
    4. Summary
  7. Chapter 5 - Rendering
    1. Internal Render vs. Cycles Render
      1. Internal Render Pros and Cons
      2. Cycles Render Pros and Cons
    2. Rendering with Layers
    3. Understanding the Render Passes
      1. Combined (RGBA)
      2. Depth (Z)
      3. Ambient Occlusion (AO)
      4. Shadow
      5. Vector
      6. Normal
      7. Object Index
      8. Material Index
      9. UV
    4. Formats
      1. Basic Channel Format
      2. Multichannel Format
    5. Render Settings
      1. Render Device
      2. Dimensions
      3. Sampling
      4. Light Paths
      5. Film
    6. Overscan
    7. Summary
  8. Chapter 6 - Masking
    1. Starting to Mask
    2. Clean Plate Preview
    3. Refining the Mask
    4. Tracking the Mask
    5. Frame-by-Frame Painting
    6. Summary
  9. Chapter 7 - Compositing
    1. First Steps
    2. Nodes Overview
      1. Inputs
        1. Render Layers
        2. Image
        3. Texture
        4. Value
        5. RGB
        6. Time
        7. Movie Clip
        8. Bokeh Image
        9. Mask
        10. Track Position
      2. Outputs
        1. Composite
        2. Viewer
        3. Split Viewer
        4. File Output
        5. Levels
      3. Layout
        1. Frame
        2. Reroute
        3. Switch
      4. Group
      5. Distort
        1. Translate
        2. Rotate
        3. Scale
        4. Flip
        5. Crop
        6. Transform
        7. Displace
        8. Lens Distortion
        9. Map UV
        10. Stabilize 2D
        11. Movie Distortion
        12. Plane Track Deform
        13. Corner Pin
      6. Matte
        1. Difference Key
        2. Color Spill
        3. Distance Key, Chroma Key, Color Key, and Channel Key
        4. Keying
        5. Luminance Key
        6. Double Edge Mask
        7. Keying Screen
        8. Box Mask and Ellipse Mask
      7. Converter
        1. Combine and Separate (RGBA, HSVA, YUVA, YCbCr)
        2. Alpha Convert
        3. Math
        4. ID Mask
        5. Set Alpha
        6. RGB to BW
        7. ColorRamp
      8. Filter
        1. Filter
        2. Blur
        3. Directional Blur
        4. Bilateral Blur
        5. Vector Blur
        6. Dilate/Erode
        7. Inpaint
        8. Despeckle
        9. Defocus
        10. Glare
        11. Bokeh Blur
        12. Pixelate
        13. Sun Beams
      9. Vector
        1. Normal
        2. Vector Curves
        3. Normalize
        4. Map Value
        5. Map Range
      10. Color
        1. RGB Curves
        2. Mix
        3. Hue Saturation Value
        4. Bright/Contrast
        5. Gamma
        6. Invert
        7. AlphaOver
        8. Z Combine
        9. Color Balance
        10. Hue Correct
        11. Tonemap
        12. Color Correction
    3. Compositing the Scene
    4. Film Grain
      1. Fake Grain
      2. Real Grain
    5. Vignetting
    6. Preview
    7. Rendering Limitations
      1. Depth Pass
      2. ID Passes
    8. Final Notes
    9. Summary