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Digital Compositing for Film and Video Paperback – May 3, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0240813097 ISBN-10: 024081309X Edition: 3rd
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Wright is a visual effects compositing veteran with 70 broadcast television commercials and over 60 feature films credits. He's developed video games at Atari, done 3D animations for Robert Abel and Associates, and was senior compositor and 2D technical director at Kodak's Cinesite. Steve is now a freelance, digital-compositing guru, who teaches, trains, writes, and develops on-line training programs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024081309X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240813097
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Lum VINE VOICE on January 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It took me a long time to review this book, primarily because the only topic I understood prior to reading the book was chroma-keying. The other topics were only buzzwords to me (including "digital compositing"!), or completely foreign. If you're a beginner, you will progress slowly. You will only be carried forward if you have a strong desire to understand digital compositing or if the subject is just very interesting to you. If you are an intermediate photo/video person, you will pick things up more quickly.

The book is well illustrated and the writing is clear. That's a good one-two combo that I "require" before I give a good rating to any non-fiction book. The book, if you stick with it, will give you a solid understanding of digital compositing. With that background, you can progress on your own through practice - or you can use your new base knowledge as a springboard to even more technical study in the subject.

Just be forewarned that if you are a beginner, the road will be rough, but satisfying if you stick to it. I cautiously recommend the book for beginners. For intermediates, this is a great book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Just a guy on January 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been editing videos for much longer than I care to admit. I even wrote software plugins used by video editors all over the world. So, naturally, I know something about digital editing and compositing. Or so I thought.

Reading this book has been a truly humbling experience, as it has shown me how little I know. And as I am reading through it, I keep discovering new ideas and new ways of doing things, and I just have to keep asking, "Why have I not thought of this?!"

Steve Wright sure knows what he is talking about. Well, many authors do. But many authors do not know how to explain what they know and just leave you scratching your head frustrated, wanting for more. Not so Steve Wright. He has an amazing ability of letting you, the reader, understand what to do and how to do it. The book even comes with a DVD which contains many of the pictures from the book, plus several videos showing what is hard to explain in words or just printed images. And it comes with numerous exercises to practice what you have learned.

But wait, there is more. This book does not rely on any specific editing software, let alone a specific operating system. It does not matter whether you are a Mac user or a Windows user or a Unix user. It does not matter whether you use Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas or any other video editing package. What he teaches you applies equally to all of them.

Last but not least, Steve Wright does not look down upon you. He does not think you are too dumb to delve into some mathematical formulae. But neither does he expect you to have an advanced (or any) degree in mathematics. Everything he says is clear to understand.

Whether you are just starting in editing and compositing or you are a seasoned pro, you need this book. Not on your shelf but in your hands. You will not set it down until you have finished reading it (well, except for trying it all out). And you will be referring to it for years to come.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mauricio Monroy on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
One of the best aspects of Mr. Wrights new 3rd edition is how perfectly up to date it is. Now, this is truly fantastic for beginners, but it is actually crucial for already experienced professionals who need to catch up with the latest trends in this line of work. It contains the latest areas of development in digital compositing; that being 3D, stereo and CGI compositing. It even has a new 3D section devoted to helping 2D compositors learn key concepts and terminology essential to working in 3D. Before this book came out this information could only be obtained by experiencing production in a visual effects studio or by reading industry related white papers. And the best part of it all is that it is presented, as everything else in this book, in perfectly clear terms and with exceptional examples. Thanks not only to the quality of the text but also to the inclusion of a DVD with tons of great audiovisual material.

Take away any pre-conceptions you might have about software preferences. The information contained in this book applies to every compositing package in the market today; that being either NUKE, Shake, Digital Fusion or After Effects.

I find it perfectly adequate to be writing this review as I am finishing working as a digital compositor on another Hollywood block buster. Where this book, just as his previous edition older brother, are standing proud right next to me; knowing that they saved me more than once by providing me the info and tools necessary to conquer yet another challenging shot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pete W on January 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish this book had been available when I was in college. To be honest, I'd passed it over several times when I was getting started, and in hindsight, I wish I'd picked it up sooner. As someone working in the field, this is one of the two books I recommend to everyone I know. I strongly believe every artist should have it as a desk reference, its that good. Whether you're a beginner at home or a professional in the filed, it doesn't matter, there's probably something in here you can use to improve or maintain your skill set. What makes this book so special is that it's not focused on one software and it's not a "canned" tutorial book. This is about the core-concepts used every day by professionals in visual effects. What you learn from it can be applied to any application, and that's what makes it so invaluable. Your "How to use Software X" book will be out of date by the next version, but this book will still be useful as you upgrade your software or move to another tool. Once you are comfortable with the ideas you can apply them on your own anywhere, and that's what counts!

Steve is one of the premiere trainers in the industry, he's able to communicate the subject matter in an engaging & practical manner. Depending on your skill level, some areas may require a few re-reads, but once you grasp the concepts you will quickly enhance your abilities. This edition is nicely updated with emerging technologies and techniques. Additionally, there are several online exercises that allow you to play around with the concepts presented.

I only have two criticisms for the Kindle edition. In some cases, I wish the reference images were larger or higher quality and that I could zoom in on them (on the iPad).
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