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Digital Compositing for Film and Video (Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation) [Paperback]

Steve Wright
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Digital Compositing for Film and Video Digital Compositing for Film and Video 4.8 out of 5 stars (29)
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Book Description

May 2, 2006 024080760X 978-0240807607 2
Digital Compositing for Film and Video is a hands-on, how-to guide that addresses the problems and difficult choices faced by the professional compositor in real-life situations. This book presents you with tips, tricks and techniques for dealing with the badly shot elements, color artifacts, and mismatched lighting that bedevil compositors. Included in this book is: in-depth, practical methods for bluescreen matte extraction, despill operations, compositing operations, and color correction-the "meat and potatoes" of all digital effects. Written in a completely software independent style, it is totally applicable to any brand of compositing software.

The second edition contains many important additions:
* printed in full color with over 400 color photos and illustrations
* companion DVD with 3.7 gigabytes of test images, including hard to get HiDef video and feature film scans
* new section on working with HiDef video
* new section on digital intermediate, the feature film finishing process of today
* more Adobe Photoshop blending modes and procedures
* new material that reveals the add-mix composite, light wrap, slot gags, and how to defeat banding problems

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Editorial Reviews


"From start to finish, Digital Compositing for Film and Video gives you the much needed knowledge to be competitive in the business...If it's a process involved in compositing it is in this masterpiece of a book." - Filmmaking Central

"In Digital Compositing for Film and Video, his 400-page-plus bible for all things compositing, Wright painstakingly describes every step of pulling mattes, tracking pixels, correcting green-screen pill, working with film and video-you name it." -Ben Rock, Back Stage, Sept. 2006

"Anyone whose business it is to know how to do compositing, motion graphics, green - or blue-screen work, or even high-end titles must have this book in his or her collection."-Ben Rock, Back Stage, Sept. 2006

"Whilst some areas are specifically aimed at specialist compositors, it is nonetheless a very good book to have many areas of technical knowledge explained in a colourful and practical way. A vital book in the current technological age we now live and work in." British Cinematographer, Sept. 06

Book Description

Focused, In-Depth Explanations of Professional Methods!

Product Details

  • Series: Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation
  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024080760X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240807607
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 7.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Resource December 4, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written and good reference for technique, however a key tool the author uses throughout the book is not common in all applications and does not take 3d color space into account. Also check out The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, more expensive but a bit clearer in it's approach.

Not for the beginner, but for anyone with basic compositing knowledge ready to move past pro-sumer applications.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for your VFX library January 5, 2007
If you're new to the effect industry or a seasoned pro this is still the bible for understanding what is happening under the hood of a compositing software. This is not software specific, but be it 'Shake' or 'an other' this will help you truly understand the what, when and why.

This book together with - Ron Brinkman's 'The Art and Science of Digital Compositing' - also available at Amazon, will hold you in good stead throughout your career.

It truly gives you the 'wow' factor.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Josef K
There are few books on the market concerning digital compositing. Fewer still are worth reading. This book is an exception. The author has clearly put a lot of thought into writing both this and the previous edition. It is not a book with step by step instructions for software, so you will be disappointed if that is what you are looking for. What the author does present are concepts which can be applied to any decent compositing application. This book is far more useful and insightful than anything else I have found in the marketplace. If you are looking to better understand this field from both an artistic and technical viewpoint, I highly recommend this book. What you learn here will be useful for many years to come, not just until the next version of your compositing package is released. If, however, you want a book to tell you what buttons to press in what order, you should probably look elsewhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide and not just for compositors July 8, 2007
By Mad Dog
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've ever been on set and heard the catchphrase "fix it in post" this book is for you.

Not only is the information detailed and thorough, but also extremely readable. Some ironic asides demonstrate Wright has the experience to back up his text. He covers all levels of compositing, from basic luminance keying to green-screen/blue-screen, to color corection and matching foreground and background elements, motion tracking, alpha-channels (to premultiply or not premultiply) and the differences between film and video.

The book is not software specific, and the enclosed exercises and demonstrations can be done on most software with compositing features -- including Photoshop!

Why four stars and not five? The extra money demanded for addional exercises seems to be an unfair gouge. But the book is definitely worth the cover price! Even if you have no immediate aspirations at all to composite something, you'll at least see just how tough it can be.

Producers, Directors and Camera departments (aspiring or experienced) can all learn something here -- and with any luck they'll learn it before they light their next green/blue screen.

Too bad the cover is so damn ugly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book December 14, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Even advanced compositors will glean juicy bits from Steve Wrights' effort. I've read all the standard texts and this one stands with the best. Clear, friendly prose makes this book a comfortable read; read it two or three times and you'll find that you get a little something out of it on each pass. Whether your work end up in print, video or film, this is a must-have book.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Need to pay extra for additional exercises June 29, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Buyer beware. After paying for this book, the DVD-rom will prompt you to pay another US$30 for 80 additional exercises. That's a hidden expense which is not mentioned in the product description. This is wrong. I suppose for a book which is not intended for the beginner, the author assumes that you have the extra cash to spend on the additional exercises.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compositors bible September 16, 2006
Digital Compositing for Film and Video 2nd Edition is an indispensable resource for me professionally. I find myself using the book over and over again for reference when working on projects. With the new full color layout, comprehension of the materials has never been easier. Also new in the 2nd edition are some amazing tutorials for new users and seasoned professionals alike. They include professionally shot high definition and film footage, something that is generally very hard for new users to get their hand on. The tutorials work hand in hand with the book making it very easy for anyone to get a deep hands on understanding of the material. This is the must have book for anyone thinking about doing compositing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful Update from First Edition June 13, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the second edition to be a worthy upgrade from the already very good first edition.

For those looking for an image slice tool as used throughout the book, if you use Adobe After Effects you can get the image slice tool as part of the Test Gear plug-in for After Effects.

(Disclosure: I helped create the Test Gear product. But the image slice tool *is* a very useful tool and it's otherwise not commonly available, despite it featuring prominently in this book.)
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