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Advanced Visual Effects Compositing

Book Description

In Advanced Visual Effects Compositing: Techniques for Working with Problematic Footage, learn to tackle difficult visual effect composites in layer-based and node-based compositing programs.

In this book, industry veteran and compositing expert Lee Lanier offers tips, tricks, techniques, and workflows for difficult visual effects shots, including poorly shot green screen, moving shots with no visible motion tracking marks, shots requiring three-dimensional (3D) elements that lack 3D renders, poor-quality stock footage, and incorrectly lit shots. Lanier details the common problems of visual effects shots and offers practical solutions using examples from Adobe After Effects and Blackmagic Design Fusion. An accompanying eResource (www.routledge.com/9781138668348) features video image sequences, 3D renders, and other tutorial materials, allowing you to practice the discussed techniques.

The visual effects challenges covered in this book include:

  • Chroma keying
  • Motion tracking
  • Relighting in the composite
  • Repairing plates
  • Replicating damage
  • Adding depth with 2.5D
  • Working with stock footage

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Chapter 1: Keying Difficult Green Screen
    1. Chroma Keying Overview
      1. Sidebar: The State of Chroma Keying
    2. Green Screen Problems and Solutions
    3. Keying Challenge A
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Challenge A
        1. Applying the Initial Key
        2. Keying on Different Layers
      2. Node-Based Solution for Challenge A
        1. Applying the Initial Key
        2. Keying Different Branches
      3. Sidebar: Hybrid Rendering
    4. Keying Challenge B
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Challenge B
        1. Creating a Luma Key
      2. Node-Based Solution for Challenge B
        1. Creating a Luma Key
    5. Final Chroma Keying Thoughts
  8. Chapter 2: Motion Tracking Elusive Patterns
    1. Motion Tracking Overview
    2. Motion Tracking Problems and Solutions
    3. Tracking Challenge A
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Challenge A
        1. Transform Tracking
        2. Applying the Tracking Data
        3. Separating Foreground Objects with a Luma Mask
      2. Node-Based Solution for Challenge A
        1. Transform Tracking
        2. Applying the Tracking Data
        3. Separating Foreground Objects with a Luma Mask
    4. Tracking Challenge B
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Challenge B
        1. 3D Camera Tracking
        2. Applying 3D Tracking Data
      2. Sidebar: 3D Camera Tracking in Fusion
    5. Final Motion Tracking Thoughts
  9. Chapter 3: Relighting in the Composite
    1. Color Grading and Relighting Overview
    2. Lighting Problems and Solutions
    3. Relighting Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Relighting Challenge
      2. Node-Based Solution for Relighting Challenge
    4. Final Relighting Thoughts
  10. Chapter 4: Fixing and Repairing Plates
    1. Plate Repair and Paint Fix Overview
    2. Paint Fix and Plate Repair Problems and Solutions
    3. Paint Fix Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Paint Fix Challenge
      2. Node-Based Solution for Paint Fix Challenge
    4. Plate Repair Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Plate Repair Challenge
      2. Node-Based Solution for Plate Repair Challenge
    5. Final Fixing and Repairing Thoughts
  11. Chapter 5: Replicating Artifacts
    1. Film and Video Artifact Overview
    2. Artifact Problems and Solutions
    3. Film Artifact Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Film Artifact Challenge
        1. Adding Judder, Dust, Dirt, and Grain
        2. Interlacing
        3. Adding Film Weave and Lone Hairs and Scratches
        4. Color Fading
      2. Node-Based Solution for Film Artifact Challenge
        1. Interlacing
        2. Adding Dust, Dirt, Grain, and Weaving
        3. Adding Lone Hairs and Scratches
        4. Color Fading
    4. Final Artifact Replication Thoughts
  12. Chapter 6: Adding Depth to Flat Scenes
    1. 2D, 2.5D, and 3D Overview
    2. Depth Solutions
    3. Depth Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Depth Challenge
        1. Preparing Cards
        2. Working in the 3D Environment
      2. Node-Based Solution for Depth Challenge
    4. Final Depth Thoughts
  13. Chapter 7: Using Imperfect FX Elements
    1. FX Elements Overview
    2. FX Element Problems and Solutions
    3. Stock FX Element Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for FX Element Challenge
      2. Node-Based Solution for FX Element Challenge
        1. Keying and Merging the Smoke
        2. Rendering and Combining Smoke Iterations
    4. Particle FX Challenge
      1. Layer-Based Solution for Particle FX Challenge
      2. Node-Based Solution for Particle FX Challenge
    5. Final FX Element Thoughts
  14. Chapter 8: Tackling a Complex VFX Shot
    1. Creating the Cover Image
      1. Reviewing the Project Assets
      2. Preparing the Background
        1. Stabilizing the Plate
        2. Extending the Background
      3. Adding the Helicopters
        1. Stabilizing the Plates
        2. Keying the Helicopters
        3. Integrating the Plates
      4. Adding the Lizard
        1. Stabilizing the Plate
        2. Keying the Lizard
        3. Integrating the Lizard
        4. Restoring the Foreground
      5. Adding Destruction
        1. Integrating a Matte Painting
        2. Adding an Explosion
      6. Taking the Final Steps
        1. Stopping the Cars
        2. Limiting the Reflection
        3. Adding a Camera Move and TV Graphic
      7. Additional Improvements
      8. A Node-Based Workflow
    2. Book Wrap-Up
  15. Appendix A: Introduction to After Effects and Fusion
    1. Fusion and After Effects Overview
    2. Working in After Effects
      1. Exploring Frames, Panels, Tabs, and Views
      2. Creating and Saving a Project
      3. Using Compositions
      4. Importing Footage
      5. Adding Layers and Effects
      6. Playing Back
    3. Working in Fusion
      1. Exploring Panels, Tabs, and Views
        1. Navigating within Views
        2. Using the Menus
      2. Setting up a Project
        1. Choosing Critical Project Settings
      3. Creating Tool Networks
        1. Connecting Tools
        2. Rearranging and Disabling Tools
        3. Importing Footage
      4. Sidebar: Reloading Missing Footage
      5. Sidebar: Reconnecting Left and Right Display Views
      6. Playing Back
        1. Rendering a Preview
        2. Setting Time Ranges
        3. Setting Playback Quality
  16. Appendix B: Source File Information
  17. Index