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Compositing Visual Effects, 2nd Edition

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 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. The subsequent chapters dig down into each of the major digital compositing applications, introducing the fundamental concepts, and processes behind them.

Learn what is easy and hard, possible and impossible, and what to expect when working on a job that entails digital compositing. New to this edition are 4 new chapters on:
* 3D compositing, with lessons on what camera tracking is, how it is used to put CGI into a live-action plate, as well as live action into a 3D scene.
* Stereo compositing, with descriptions of key stereoscopic terms and concepts, lessons on compositing shots that were filmed in stereo (both bluescreen and CGI), as well as the stereo conversion process when a flat 2D movie is converted to a stereo 3D movie
* RED and Digital Capture with Log Images, including log image formats. This is a very hot topic these days. Colleges hang around video because it is cheaper. Film is still big in the real world of production.
* Tracking an entire project from start to finish
This is in addition to robust updates on topics such as:
* planar tracking, Z compositing, working with Anamorphic HD formats, mocap, and more

This edition also includes a companion website with images from the book for you to work with in your own compositing exercises.

  • An accessible introduction to a complex subject for novice and aspiring compositors, from experienced author and compositing whose compositing credits include Night at the Museum 2, Shutter Island, Solaris, Traffic, and more
  • Full color presentation illustrating the art and techniques of the practice, provides inspiration along with instruction
  • New to this edition is a companion website, new chapters on 3D compositing, stereo compositing, RED and digital capture with log images, and more will have you understanding the latest in compositing technology in no time

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. 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 3D Compositing
    4. 1.4 Stereo Compositing
    5. 1.5 Stereo Conversion
    6. 1.6 Compositing Programs
      1. 1.6.1 Node-based Compositors
      2. 1.6.2 Layer-based Compositors
  8. 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 DPI
  9. 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
    8. 3.8 3D Compositing
      1. 3.8.1 The 3D Compositing Environment
      2. 3.8.2 Placing 3D in Live Action
      3. 3.8.3 Placing Live Action in 3D
      4. 3.8.4 Set Extensions
      5. 3.8.5 Camera Tracking
      6. 3.8.6 Small 3D Tasks
      7. 3.8.7 Conclusion
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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 Planar Tracking
      1. 8.9.1 How Planar Tracking Works
      2. 8.9.2 What Planar Tracking is Used for
    10. 8.10 Match Move
    11. 8.11 The Wonder of Warps
      1. 8.11.1 Mesh Warps
      2. 8.11.2 Spline Warps
      3. 8.11.3 Procedural Warps
    12. 8.12 The Magic of Morphs
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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 Anamorphic HD
      6. 11.2.6 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
  18. 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 70mm 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
    10. 12.10 Digitizing Film
    11. 12.11 Log Film Data
    12. 12.12 Recording Film
    13. 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
  19. Chapter 13: Digital Capture
    1. 13.1 Introduction
    2. 13.2 Image Sensors
      1. 13.2.1 Bayer Array
      2. 13.2.2 CCD Arrays
    3. 13.3 HDR Images
      1. 13.3.1 LDR vs. HDR Images
      2. 13.3.2 HDR Images on LDR Displays
      3. 13.3.3 HDR Cinema Clips
      4. 13.3.4 HDR Still Pictures
    4. 13.4 Log Images
      1. 13.4.1 The Virtue of Log
      2. 13.4.2 What is Log?
      3. 13.4.3 Working with Log Images
  20. Chapter 14: Stereo Compositing
    1. 14.1 Introduction
    2. 14.2 Stereography
      1. 14.2.1 Stereo Cinematography
      2. 14.2.2 Viewing Stereo
      3. 14.2.3 Stereo Space
      4. 14.2.4 Convergence
    3. 14.3 Stereo Compositing
      1. 14.3.1 Prepping the Stereo Plates
      2. 14.3.2 Compositing Greenscreen Shots
      3. 14.3.3 Compositing CGI
    4. 14.4 Stereo Conversion
      1. 14.4.1 The Rubber Sheet Method
      2. 14.4.2 Separate Layers
      3. 14.4.3 The Semi-transparency Problem
      4. 14.4.4 Rotoscoping
      5. 14.4.5 Keying and Painting
      6. 14.4.6 Creating the Depth Map
      7. 14.4.7 Stereo Paint
      8. 14.4.8 Clean Plates
      9. 14.4.9 Depth Grading
  21. Chapter 15: Life of a VFX Shot
    1. 15.1 Introduction
    2. 15.2 Sylvia Binsfeld—Writer, Director, Producer
    3. 15.3 The Dorme Storyboard
    4. 15.4 Svetlana Cvetko—DP
    5. 15.5 Nicholas Barnes—3D Generalist
    6. 15.6 Steve Wright—Senior Compositor
    7. 15.7 Conclusion
  22. Glossary
  23. Index