The vast majority of contemporary visual effects are composites. What this implies is that any given shot will consist of two or more separate elements that have to match one another in terms of camera movement (real and virtual), point of view, lighting, color, and all other visual characteristics so that the finished shot looks like everything was photographed together.

If the shot is all CG, no problem: The computer will remember all relevant data. However, the majority of visual effects shots involve one or more live-action elements, and CG elements will have to be matched to the live action in postproduction. To make that process as smooth as possible, we must gather a variety of references about a particular set or ...

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