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The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, Second Edition: Techniques for Visual Effects, Animation and Motion Graphics (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) Paperback – June 4, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0123706386 ISBN-10: 0123706386 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics
  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2 edition (June 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123706386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123706386
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

*17 new case-studies provide in-depth looks at the compositing work done on films such as Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Golden Compass, The Incredibles, King Kong, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Sin City, Spider-Man 2, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith.

*The accompanying DVD-ROM features bonus resources, including example footage from hit films and projects that give readers hands-on experience with real industry materials.

*Includes new sections on 3D compositing, High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging, Rotoscoping, and much more!

About the Author

Ron M. Brinkmann has been working in the field of Computer Graphics for over a decade, involved with both hardware and software design, development and use. His primary field of expertise is in visual effects for feature films, and his personal feature-film credits include: Contact, The Ghost and the Darkness, James and the Giant Peach, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Speed, Hideaway, Tall Tale, Last Action Hero, and In the Line of Fire. He has had articles published in a number of magazines, and has lectured on the topics of digital compositing and visual effects in the U.S., Europe, Australia and China.

More About the Author

Occasional supervisor in the visual effects and animation world. One of the founding employees of Sony Pictures Imageworks. Part of the initial design and development team that produced the digital compositing application Shake (acquired by Apple in 2002). Continued as Shake Product Designer for a few years, until development on the product was ruthlessly terminated. Also was slightly involved with Apple's photo-management software Aperture. Slightly. Frequently speaks at seminars on the topics of visual effects, digital filmmaking and general technology. (Has spoken in England, Netherlands, Russia, China, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Japan and India... and several less-interesting locations). Regular guest/host on This Week in Photography podcast.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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There are great books that you know that worth their weight in gold and this is one of them.
Israel Diaz Torralba
For anyone who wants the clearest, most comprehensive reference on digital compositing, this book is a must.
virtualbri
This book is a bible for digital compositing that starts from the basics to advanced techniques used.
Tamim Naseer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Sean Devereaux on June 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started my career in visual effects around the same time the first edition was published and have referenced it constantly through out the 9+ years. I bought the 2nd edition for two reasons, my copy of the first edition was falling apart and nostalgia. I was not expecting much new information and was mostly just looking for an intact copy of the first edition with a few new tidbits here and there. I could not have been more wrong.

The second edition has so much NEW information in it was like reading a time capsule of the technological advances of the last ten years. There is not a topic or subject used in compositing that is not covered here. Only two books have sat on my desk my entire career, the first edition and the cinematographers manual. I have read many books available on visual effects, but none compare, honestly. The main reason for that is complete software independence, not partial, complete.

There is no other book that teaches you the raw knowledge you need to be an artist. Anyone can teach you how to push certain buttons of a specific app, this is the only book that clearly teaches you when to push them and why. Artists in today's marketplace need a deep core knowledge of what the software packages are doing so that they can easily switch to other packages. This is especially true in feature film compositing where the industry is at a point of impasse and there is no clear winner of the package wars, fingers crossed for NUKE ;). There is no standard tool anymore so the best way to stay employable is to know what this book teaches, the math, the science, the art.

This book is chock full of examples, color photos and production examples. Whether you've been at this for a while or are new to the art, own this book. Own it for years and years and years.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jason White on December 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was our assigned textbook for a course I took in digital effects. The author has created a book with techniques and info that are not likely to become dated anytime soon, which is a good thing, but to do this he had to completely avoid application specific information. So the book will work regardless of your preference of software, but this can be frustrating too. Many times I wanted him to confirm that the tool he was describing was 'just like the ______ tool in Photoshop.' Overall the book is solid, what it really is, is a book of compositing techniques that are universal. How and why to achieve certain things.
There are chapters on motion tracking, matte creation, formats & aspect ratios. Sections on lighting, shadows, atmosphere, curve editing. There's a interesting 'case studies' section in the back, which breaks down and explain certain composites from movies like Titanic, Star Trek, Independance Day, and a few others. Definately a worthwhile book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sean Devereaux on July 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been studying digital compositing for about five years, but due to the youth of this profession, gaining knowledge had to come from experience. This is the first book I have come across that defines digital compositing and explains it's vast tool set in one collective volume. Mr. Brinkman's book will soon be the desk reference for every seasoned artist and required reading for every student of visual effects.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sren Jacobsen on November 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this book is a very good overall explanation of digital compositing, it is packged with information.
but please note that this is not a tutorial/workbook type of book, if you are looking for exercises recreating special effects you need to look elsewhere, but on the other hand if you are looking for a thorough insight into what is 'really' going on (which can often be the difference when saving an effects) then this is for you, you will know about cineon, lin/log colourspace, pre/unpre-multiplied images etc.
great book!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ducatimark on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, Second Edition: Techniques for Visual Effects, Animation and Motion Graphics (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics)

I've been doing video and 3D work for the last couple of years without really knowing how or why I do many things. This book gives me the source knowledge of the nuts and bolts of composisting that don't come in the directions for compositing software. I would consider this required reading for anyone in the video or 3D world. Serves as a great reference book as well.

The book is full of excellent photos and examples, too. The writer does a great job of building the reader's knowledge from review of basic photography to hard core compositing techniques. This book will live close at hand for a long time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By j.egstad (egg@d2.com) on June 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Brinkmann has produced the most up-to-date resource on professional digital compositing. Any aspiring digital artist, or any digital artist wanting to improve their compositing knowledge, will find this book invaluable. Instead of focusing on specific software of hardware, Brinkmann details techniques and technology which can be applied to any mix of soft/hardware. As a professional digital artist I will gladly use this valuable reference.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rajneesh on July 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book front to back in 7 days. Not that I'm an avid reader or I can read 1000s of words a minute. The content is so exceptionally good that I just could not stop letting go off the book. I think I finally found something that can replace sex. There are many masters in compositing but very few are good teachers. Ron is one of those rare Zen master's who not only realized nirvana but can also teach the ways to achieve it. Try explaining light to a blind man and you will know how difficult it becomes with words.

The patience and accuracy with which Ron has laid out the nuts and bolts of the whole process of digital compositing is rare and for loss of a better word I will call it "Excellent". I also think that amazon should incorporate another rating system that calls "SuperHero stuff" or something. There are lots of books that say push this button and select that option and fall in love with the resulting image. But when the next version of the software is released those buttons are either gone or the options have been changed completely and what not.

Anyway, if you want to go underneath the hood, and I think you should, of any modern compositing software be it nuke or after effects or fusion or katana (i heard that nuke will incorporate some of katana into their software) please look no further. Real world compositing problems are not as simple as pushing this button or that. There will be no button in any software for that matter that says "Ladies! push this button if you have an uneven greenscreen with a flickering foreground element that is heavy in motion blur". Wallah, the problem is solved, your boss is ecstatic that you won an academy award for visual effects just because of that single lovable, darling, push me again and again - button.
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