[digital] Visual Effects and Compositing

Book description

In this latest book in the critically-acclaimed [digital] series from New Riders you’ll learn all of the techniques and skills that will take you from beginner to visual effects (VFX) professional in just one book. Seasoned visual effects producer Jon Gress has refined the teaching of the skills and techniques presented in this book for over a decade to distill them down to the most effective methodology, delivered in a way that’s both fun and easy to understand while being state-of-the-art for industry professionals. You’ll start with a solid understanding of the basics of visual effects and compositing, the fundamentals of bluescreen  and greenscreen keying, 3D texturing, cloning, wire & rig removal, rotoscoping, 2D and 3D motion tracking, and matchmoving. And then experiment with a wide range of 2D, 2.5D & 3D visual effects, including 3D CGI, crowd replication, face replacements, faking shadows, reflections and Z depth, atmospheric, smoke, cloud & heat FX, sky replacements, day-for-night and digital 3D HUD FX. Building on this strong foundation of compositing and visual effects, you’ll be prepared for the advanced section of the book which teach skills, such as 2D, 2.5D & 3D digital matte painting and projections, film colorization, particle systems, fluid and rigid body dynamics, full digital environments, digital destruction, advanced lighting and rendering techniques, stereoscopic 3D, 2D to 3D conversions, and expert 3D and Photoshop extraction and modeling techniques that can only be described as magic! Throughout the lessons, you’ll glean insider advice on cutting edge methods that even experienced professionals will find amazing. You’ll learn everything you need to know to begin working in the world of visual effects as an industry professional.
• All the info you need to go from beginner to professional in one book
• Easily accessible teaching style from an instructor who has helped launch the careers of some of the best-known Hollywood visual effects specialists
• Includes companion graphics files and videos to follow along with the lessons

Table of contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
    1. My Promise to You
    2. What to Expect from This Book
    3. Special Features of This Book
    4. How to Use This Book
  8. Part One: Concepts of Visual Effects and Compositing
    1. Chapter One. Film and Video Primer Boot Camp for VFX
      1. Intro to the Motion Picture/VFX Pipeline
        1. What Are Moviemaking and VFX?
        2. Principles of Motion Pictures and VFX: Film School Crash Course
      2. The Origins of Visual Effects
        1. Thomas Edison and Alfred Clark: Stop Motion
        2. Georges Méliès
        3. Oscar G. Rejlander
      3. In the Beginning: In-Camera Effects
        1. Single-Pass In-Camera Techniques
        2. Matting for Multiple Exposure
        3. Traditional Animation
      4. VFX Cues
        1. Camera
        2. Lights
        3. Depth and Atmospherics: Identifying Depth and Atmospheric Attributes
        4. Media: Identifying Film/Video Stock (Grain/Noise) Attributes
      5. Tech and the Digital Realm: The Binary World and Digital Formats
        1. Data Transfer, Color Depth, and Compression
        2. Formats
        3. Resolution and Aspect Ratio Comparisons
        4. The Human Eye vs. Film and Video
        5. Shooting Speeds
        6. Format Comparisons and “What Is Film Look?”
      6. VFX Concepts
        1. Thinking in Layers
        2. Complex and Multisource Operators (Blend/Transfer Modes)
        3. Extractions
    2. Chapter Two. Introduction to VFX: Advanced Photoshop for 3D, VFX, and Digital Compositing
      1. Photoshop Selection Methods
        1. Simple Selections
        2. Alpha Channels
        3. Advanced Selections
        4. Levels Adjustment
        5. Channel Ops
      2. Application of Selection Methods: Grunge and Grime Maps
        1. Procedural Extraction of Grunge and Grime Maps
        2. The Five Magical Uses of Grunge and Grime Maps
      3. Other Matched Texture/Layer/Element Sets
      4. Cloning
        1. Basic Cloning Techniques, Tips, Tricks, and Strategies
      5. 2D Visual Effects
        1. Paint: Wire and Rig Removal
        2. Matte and Roto
      6. Compositing
        1. Compositing Applications
        2. Layer-based Compositors
        3. Nodal-based Compositors
        4. Keyer Types and Concepts
    3. Chapter Three. Rotoscoping, Motion Tracking, and 2D Matchmoving
      1. Introducing Roto
        1. Rotoscoping Mattes
        2. Roto Basics: Types of Rotosplines
        3. The Golden Rules of Roto
        4. Isolated Roto for Keying
        5. Roto Applications
      2. 2D Motion Tracking
        1. Anatomy of a Motion Tracker
        2. Types of 2D Motion Tracking
        3. The Golden Rules of Motion Tracking
        4. Comparing Good and Bad Tracking Targets
        5. 2D Motion Tracking Applications
        6. Tracker Assisted Roto
      3. 2D Matchmoving
        1. Stabilization
        2. Destabilization
        3. Advanced 2D Tracking Strategies
        4. Hand 2D Matchmoving
    4. Chapter Four. 3D for VFX
      1. How 3D CGI Is Created
      2. 3D Applications
        1. Maya
        2. 3ds Max
        3. LightWave 3D
        4. Cinema 4D
        5. Modo
        6. Blender
      3. 3D Motion Tracking
        1. 3D Motion Tracking Application Technique
        2. 3D Motion Tracking Applications
      4. 3D Matchmoving
        1. Advanced 3D Tracking Strategies
  9. Part Two: Visual Effects Techniques
    1. Chapter Five. VFX Techniques I: Basic Integration VFX
      1. CG/VFX Lighting and Integration
      2. Method and Technique for VFX Element Lighting
      3. 2D Motion Tracking and CG Integration
        1. Step 1: Analyze the Shot, Elements, and VFX to Be Created
        2. Step 2: Light the Live Action Bluescreen/Greenscreen or 3D CG Element to Be Integrated
        3. Step 3: Track the Live Action Background Plate
        4. Step 4: Composite and Matchmove Foreground Element over Live Action Background
        5. Step 5: Fine-tune Color Correct (CC) and Finish Composite Adding Grading, Grain, Atmospherics, Artifacts, and More
      4. Roto VFX: Energy Weapons and Effects
        1. Components of an Energy Weapon or Effect
        2. Tips and Tricks for Energy VFX
      5. Basic 2.5D VFX
        1. Basic 2.5D VFX
        2. 2.5D Fake Shadows and Reflections
    2. Chapter Six. VFX Techniques II: Advanced Integration and Card Trick VFX
      1. Fine-Tuning Integration: Film Grain/Video Noise Matching and Light Wraps
        1. Matching Film Grain and Video Noise
        2. Creating Procedural Light Wraps
      2. 2D and 2.5D Crowd Replication
      3. 2D Face Replacement
      4. Card Tricks: Outside-the-Box Strategies
        1. The Grid
        2. House of Cards
        3. For the Birds
    3. Chapter Seven. VFX Techniques III: 3D VFX
      1. 3D Tracking and Matchmoving CG
        1. 3D Tracking
        2. 3D Matchmoving CG
      2. Hand 3D Tracking: Matchimation
      3. 3D Object Tracking and Replacement
    4. Chapter Eight. VFX Techniques IV: 2.5D VFX
      1. 2.5D Atmosphere FX
      2. 2.5D Smoke: Cloud FX
      3. Faking Z-Depth and Ambient Occlusion
        1. Fake Ambient Occlusion (AO)
        2. Fake Z-Depth
      4. Displacement FX: Water, Heat, Cloak
    5. Chapter Nine. VFX Techniques V: Bread and Butter VFX
      1. Sky Replacements
        1. Reverse Sky Replacement Method
        2. Extraction Sky Replacement Method
      2. Day for Night and Summer for Winter
        1. Day for Night
        2. Summer for Winter
      3. Digital 3D HUD Creation
      4. Wire and Rig Removal
      5. Time Ramping
      6. Multi-pass Rendering and Compositing
  10. Part Three: Advanced Visual Effects Techniques
    1. Chapter Ten. Advanced VFX Techniques I: Digital Matte Painting and Environment VFX
      1. 2.5D Compositing
      2. Digital Matte Painting and Set Extensions: 2D, 3D, and 2.5D
      3. Advanced 2.5D Camera Movement
      4. Complex 2.5D Digital Matte Paintings and Camera Projections
        1. Complex 2.5D Digital Matte Paintings
        2. Camera Projections
      5. Digital Environment Applications
        1. Vue
        2. Terragen
        3. World Machine
        4. Virtual Sets
      6. Virtual Studio
    2. Chapter Eleven. Advanced VFX Techniques II: Beauty and Restoration VFX
      1. Film Colorization
      2. Digital Beauty
        1. Digital Makeup and Tattoos
        2. Digital De-Aging
      3. Advanced Lighting and Rendering
        1. Global Illumination, Radiosity, and Image-Based Lighting
        2. High Dynamic Range Images and Light Probes
        3. Baked sIBL and Spinning Light Rig Solutions
        4. Studio No Lighting Radiosity Lighting
    3. Chapter Twelve. Advanced VFX Techniques III: Particle Systems, Dynamics, and Simulation VFX
      1. Introducing Particle Systems
        1. Null Objects
        2. The Components of a Particle System
        3. Particle System Rendering: Partigons and Non-Rendering Nulls
        4. Voxels and Voxel-Based Particle System Rendering
        5. Sprite-Based Particle System Rendering
        6. Linked 3D Geometry-Based Particle Systems
      2. Introducing Dynamics
        1. Rigid Body Dynamics
        2. Bullet Dynamics
        3. Soft Body Dynamics
      3. Specialized Fluid Simulation and Dynamics Applications and Plugins
        1. RealFlow
        2. TurbulenceFD
        3. Other Fluid Dynamics Applications
    4. Chapter Thirteen. Advanced VFX Techniques IV: Particle, Crowd, and Destruction VFX
      1. 2.5D vs. 3D Particle-Based Crowd Replications
        1. 2.5D Crowd Replication
        2. 3D Particle-Based Crowd Replication
      2. 3D Particle-Based Debris Systems
      3. Digital Destruction
        1. Putting It All Together (or Blowing It All Apart)
        2. 3D Model Substructures
        3. Hull Burn and Dematerializing VFX
        4. Muzzle Flashes and Fake Interactive Lighting
        5. Bullet Hits
    5. Chapter Fourteen. Stereoscopic 3D and 2D to 3D Conversion VFX
      1. Guerrilla/Hacker-Style DIY 3D Glasses
      2. History, Background, and Core Concepts
      3. Creating Stereoscopic 3D
        1. Stereoscopic Cameras and Camera Rigs
        2. Creation of Stereoscopic 3D
        3. 3D Animation
        4. Creating Color Anaglyph Stereoscopic 3D
        5. Creating Black and White Anaglyph Stereoscopic 3D
        6. Channel Shift and 2D Layer Extraction Offset
        7. 2.5D Layer Offset
        8. Photoshop 3D Tools
        9. Pulfrich Effect
      4. 2D to 3D Stereoscopic Conversions
        1. Methods of 2D-to-3D Stereoscopic Conversions
        2. Technology and Implementation
    6. Chapter Fifteen. Advanced VFX Techniques VI: Cutting-Edge 3D VFX
      1. Advanced 3D and Photoshop Magic
        1. Vanishing Point Photogrammetry
        2. 3D Extractions
        3. 3D Re-Lighting
      2. Displacement Modeling
        1. Procedural Futuristic or Space Complex Design
        2. Creating Complex Terrains Using DEM and SRTM Data
        3. Quick and Dirty Procedural City Extractions Using Displacements
      3. New Technologies
        1. Ricoh Theta
        2. Reallusion iClone, 3DXchange, and Mocap Plugin
        3. 123D Catch
        4. X-cam and Paracosm
      4. A Final Note to You
  11. Appendix: The VFX Compositor’s Checklist and Other Resources
    1. The VFX Compositor’s Checklist
    2. Key Phrases to Live By as a VFX Artist
    3. VFX Artist Quick Reference Lists
      1. VFX Lighting Cues
      2. Finished Lighting
      3. VFX Camera Cues
      4. Finished Camera Lens Matching
      5. Comparison of Theatrical Screen Sizes
      6. Common Screen Aspect Ratios
      7. 3D Object Inspection
      8. Photography for 3D Textures
      9. On-Set VFX Camera Data and Scene Reference
      10. Color Terminology
      11. Matte Painting Tips
      12. VFX Shot Framing
      13. Important Movies in the History of VFX (in Chronological Order)
      14. “Laws” Pertinent to the VFX Artist
      15. VFX Truism
    4. Starting Your VFX Career
      1. Top Visual Effects Job Titles
      2. 14 Market Categories for VFX Jobs
      3. Your Demo Reel
      4. 19 Tips for Show Reel Success
      5. Landing a Job in VFX in 15 Steps
      6. Media Kit (for Promoting Yourself)
      7. Avoid Wasting Your Time Doing Unnecessary Proposals
      8. Planning Phone Negotiations
      9. Effective Goal Setting
      10. 15 Rules for Success
  12. Index
  13. Image Credits

Product information

  • Title: [digital] Visual Effects and Compositing
  • Author(s): Jon Gress
  • Release date: October 2014
  • Publisher(s): New Riders
  • ISBN: 9780133812664