Compositing 1

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Welcome to the world of VFX!


From fantastical worlds, superheroes & fully digital creatures to recreating old, historical cities, changing the season from autumn to spring or simply removing unwanted elements of the original footage.


The evolution of digital filmmaking has lead to an exponential increase of visual effects in recent films and you will be surprised by what's real and what's created by computers, a sharp eye for details and lots of hard work.

However, this module is Compositing 1, so we will introduce you to the basic techniques, skills & knowledge you will need to begin as a junior in today's industry. A sharp eye for details, technical understanding of images and video, and mastering your tools are the main ingredients for this course.


We will start with learning to make clean cut-outs, called masks, in Photoshop and then use those separated layers to create a 3D illusion, called the 2.5D parallax effect. It will give you an understanding of camera perspective and what limitations there are when applying the 2.5D technique in a composition.


Then we proceed with creating masks on moving footage. This is a core skill which is called rotoscoping (or just roto) in the industry and requires patience, an eye for detail and a few smart strategies when dealing with complex shapes that move


We'll also start looking into simple 2D tracking where we record the movement of a small part of the image across the frame and we will learn how we can use that to help us increase the efficiency of creating roto's.


With planar tracking we can track bigger surfaces in our footage and analyze the changing perspective of those during a shot. That will give us the ability to add elements or modify parts of the image within certain limitations. For example, we can do a screen replacement where we add an image to a TV in a moving camera shot.


The final task for this course is creating a matte painting on a live action shot. You will receive some video footage and then you will have to track the camera movement and remove and change a lot according to certain guidelines. For example you will have to remove the lighting poles, moving cars and other unwanted objects to clean up the image. Then make it look like a single car is heading towards an apocalyptic city in the distance.


Topics include:

  • masking & rotoscoping to cut out elements from footage
  • basic 2D tracking
  • planar tracking with Mocha
  • basic color correction tools
  • camera & perspective
  • matte painting techniques
  • creating set extensions


As a junior VFX student, you will have to adhere to strict standards and deadlines while delivering to a certain degree of quality in order to successfully advance to the next compositing course.


Technologies used: Adobe Suite, Mocha, Fusion