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Compositing Visual Effects

Book Description

Put the essential concepts and techniques of digital compositing to work for you without the need of a single mathematical equation. Compositing Visual Effects is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of film shots, figures, illustrations and diagrams to help the visual reader gain a valuable vocabulary and understanding of the full range of visual effects, in which digital compositing plays a key role.

Beginning with an inspirational tour of the scope and magnitude of digital compositing you get a solid overview of the kinds of digital effects routinely executed today. See how CGI (Computer Generated Image) is composited with live action, how set extensions are done, and what a match-move shot is. Following that, you learn each of the key applications of digital compositing, which include bluescreen compositing, bullet time shots, motion tracking, and rotoscoping, and you get a primer on digital images, key concepts, and terms used in the compositing process. The subsequent chapters dig down into each of the major digital compositing applications, introducing the fundamental concepts and processes behind them. This includes the many ways to composite CGI, bluescreen compositing, animation, creating masks, working with digital keyers, and many more; but most importantly, the art of digital compositing-making your shots look not just photorealistic, but cool.

Learn what is easy and hard, possible and impossible, and what to expect when working on a job that entails digital compositing. There are tips on when not to use the new low-end DV video cameras and tips for the client, such as guidelines on how to shoot a quality bluescreen or greenscreen to get the best results at compositing time. All the while, special attention is paid to defining new terminology and telling a clear story from the ground up, with the only requirement being that you have read the previous chapters.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Chapter 1 Visual Effects Today
    1. 1.1 Digital Compositing with CGI
      1. 1.1.1 CGI Compositing
      2. 1.1.2 Set Extension
      3. 1.1.3 Match Move
    2. 1.2 Compositing Visual Effects
      1. 1.2.1 Bluescreen Compositing
      2. 1.2.2 Motion Tracking
      3. 1.2.3 Warping and Morphing
      4. 1.2.4 Bullet Time Shots
      5. 1.2.5 Crowd Duplication
      6. 1.2.6 Atmospherics
      7. 1.2.7 Rotoscoping
      8. 1.2.8 Wire Removal
      9. 1.2.9 Scene Salvage
    3. 1.3 Compositing Programs
      1. 1.3.1 Node-Based Compositors
      2. 1.3.2 Layer-Based Compositors
  9. Chapter 2 Digital Images
    1. 2.1 Structure of Digital Images
      1. 2.1.1 The Pixel
      2. 2.1.2 Grayscale Images
      3. 2.1.3 Color Images
      4. 2.1.4 Four-Channel Images
    2. 2.2 Attributes of Digital Images
      1. 2.2.1 Digitizing Images
      2. 2.2.2 Image Resolution
      3. 2.2.3 Image Aspect Ratio
      4. 2.2.4 Pixel Aspect Ratio
      5. 2.2.5 Display Aspect Ratio
      6. 2.2.6 Bit Depth
      7. 2.2.7 Floating-Point
      8. 2.2.8 Multiplying Images
    3. 2.3 Image File Formats
      1. 2.3.1 Photographic Images vs. Graphics
      2. 2.3.2 Indexed Color Images (CLUT)
      3. 2.3.3 Compression
      4. 2.3.4 EXR
      5. 2.3.5 File Formats
    4. 2.4 Dots Per Inch (DPI)
  10. Chapter 3 Compositing CGI
    1. 3.1 The CGI Composite
      1. 3.1.1 Scaling the Background
      2. 3.1.2 Semi-Transparent Pixels
      3. 3.1.3 Summing the Layers
    2. 3.2 Multipass Compositing
      1. 3.2.1 Diffuse and Specular Passes
      2. 3.2.2 Occlusion and Shadow Passes
      3. 3.2.3 Reflection Pass
      4. 3.2.4 Creative Control.
    3. 3.3 Depth Compositing
    4. 3.4 Multiplane Compositing
    5. 3.5 Sims
    6. 3.6 Particle Systems
    7. 3.7 Working with Premultiplied CGI
      1. 3.7.1 Color Correcting
      2. 3.7.2 Transformations and Filters
      3. 3.7.3 The Common Mistake
  11. Chapter 4 Bluescreen Compositing.
    1. 4.1 The Bluescreen Composite
      1. 4.1.1 Pulling the Matte
      2. 4.1.2 The Basic Composite
    2. 4.2 About Keyers
      1. 4.2.1 How Keyers Work
      2. 4.2.2 Despill
      3. 4.2.3 Color Correction
      4. 4.2.4 Scaling the Foreground and Background
      5. 4.2.5 Sum the Layers
      6. 4.2.6 The Final Composite
    3. 4.3 Helping the Keyer
      1. 4.3.1 Garbage Mattes
      2. 4.3.2 Procedural Garbage Mattes
      3. 4.3.3 Holdout Mattes
      4. 4.3.4 Degrain
    4. 4.4 Compositing Outside the Keyer
      1. 4.4.1 Merging Multiple Mattes
      2. 4.4.2 Performing the Despill
      3. 4.4.3 Color Correcting
      4. 4.4.4 The Composite
    5. 4.5 Shooting Bluescreens (and Greenscreens)
      1. 4.5.1 Lighting the Backing
      2. 4.5.2 Lighting the Talent
      3. 4.5.3 The Backing Material
      4. 4.5.4 Bluescreen vs. Greenscreen
      5. 4.5.5 Bluescreen Floors
      6. 4.5.6 Film Issues
      7. 4.5.7 Video Issues.
      8. 4.5.8 Photography Tips
  12. Chapter 5 Creating Masks
    1. 5.1 Key, Matte, Alpha, and Mask
    2. 5.2 Creating a Luma-Key
    3. 5.3 Creating a Chroma-Key
    4. 5.4 Creating a Mask
      1. 5.4.1 The Difference Mask.
      2. 5.4.2 The Color Difference Mask
      3. 5.4.3 Geometric Primitives.
      4. 5.4.4 Drawing Shapes
      5. 5.4.5 Painting a Mask
      6. 5.4.6 Combo Masks
  13. Chapter 6 Rotoscoping
    1. 6.1 About Rotoscoping
    2. 6.2 Splines
    3. 6.3 Articulated Rotos
    4. 6.4 Interpolation
    5. 6.5 Keyframes
      1. 6.5.1 On 2's
      2. 6.5.2 Bifurcation
      3. 6.5.3 Extremes
      4. 6.5.4 Final Inspection
    6. 6.6 Motion Blur
    7. 6.7 Semi-Transparency
  14. Chapter 7 Image Blending
    1. 7.1 The Mix Operation
    2. 7.2 The Multiply Operation
    3. 7.3 The Screen Operation
    4. 7.4 The Maximum Operation
    5. 7.5 The Minimum Operation
    6. 7.6 The Add Operation
    7. 7.7 The Subtract Operation
    8. 7.8 No-Change Summary Table
    9. 7.9 Adobe Photoshop Blending Modes
    10. 7.10 Speed Changes
      1. 7.10.1 Skip Print/Frame Duplication
      2. 7.10.2 Frame Averaging
      3. 7.10.3 Optical Flow
  15. Chapter 8 Animation
    1. 8.1 Transforms and Pixels
    2. 8.2 Filters
    3. 8.3 Pivot Points
    4. 8.4 Transformation Order
    5. 8.5 Keyframe Animation
    6. 8.6 Motion Blur
    7. 8.7 Motion Tracking
    8. 8.8 Stabilizing a Shot
    9. 8.9 Match Move
    10. 8.10 The Wonder of Warps.
      1. 8.10.1 Mesh Warps
      2. 8.10.2 Spline Warps
      3. 8.10.3 Procedural Warps
    11. 8.11 The Magic of Morphs
  16. Chapter 9 The Art of Compositing
    1. 9.1 Color Correcting
      1. 9.1.1 The Black and White Points
      2. 9.1.2 Gamma
      3. 9.1.3 Color
      4. 9.1.4 Color Adjustments
      5. 9.1.5 Pre-Balancing the Color Channels
      6. 9.1.6 Gamma Slamming
    2. 9.2 Matching Layer Attributes
      1. 9.2.1 Grain Structure
      2. 9.2.2 Depth of Field
      3. 9.2.3 Shadows
      4. 9.2.4 Lens Distortion
    3. 9.3 Sweetening the Composite
      1. 9.3.1 Light Wrap
      2. 9.3.2 Edge Blend
      3. 9.3.3 Layer Integration
      4. 9.3.4 Artistic Embellishment
    4. 9.4 A Checklist
      1. 9.4.1 Color Correction
      2. 9.4.2 Lighting
      3. 9.4.3 Layer Attributes
  17. Chapter 10 Scene Salvage
    1. 10.1 Dust Busting
    2. 10.2 Wire Removal
    3. 10.3 Rig Removal
    4. 10.4 Hair Removal
    5. 10.5 Scratch Removal
    6. 10.6 Light Leaks
    7. 10.7 Deflicker
  18. Chapter 11 Working with Video
    1. 11.1 SDTV (Standard Definition Television)
      1. 11.1.1 Coping with Interlaced Video
      2. 11.1.2 Coping with Non-Square Pixels
      3. 11.1.3 Coping with Color Sub-Sampling
      4. 11.1.4 Coping with Edge Enhancement
      5. 11.1.5 Coping with Frame Rates
      6. 11.1.6 Coping with Timecode
    2. 11.2 HDTV (High Definition Television)
      1. 11.2.1 Image Size
      2. 11.2.2 Scan Modes
      3. 11.2.3 Frame Rates
      4. 11.2.4 Nomenclature
      5. 11.2.5 The 24P Master
    3. 11.3 Title Safe.
    4. 11.4 3:2 Pull-Down
    5. 11.5 3:2 Pull-Up
    6. 11.6 DV Compression Artifacts
  19. Chapter 12 Working with Film
    1. 12.1 Capture vs. Display Formats
    2. 12.2 Academy and Full Aperture
    3. 12.3 Projection Formats
      1. 12.3.1 2.35
      2. 12.3.2 1.85
      3. 12.3.3 1.66
    4. 12.4 Cinemascope
    5. 12.5 VistaVision
    6. 12.6 3-Perf Film
    7. 12.7 70 mm Film
    8. 12.8 Super 16 Film
    9. 12.9 Fitting Film into Video
      1. 12.9.1 Letterbox
      2. 12.9.2 Pan and Scan
      3. 12.9.3 HTDV
      4. 12.9.4 Title Safe
      5. 12.10 Digitizing Film
    10. 12.11 Log Film Data
    11. 12.12 Recording Film
    12. 12.13 The Digital Intermediate Process
      1. 12.13.1 Editing the Film
      2. 12.13.2 Color Correcting
      3. 12.13.3 The Print Master
      4. 12.13.4 How DI Works
      5. 12.13.5 DI and You
  20. Glossary
  21. Index