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One of the most powerful 3D applications on the market, Maya 2010, now includes three complimentary bundled applications: MatchMover, powerful camera matching software; Toxik, a node-based compositor; and Backburner, a network rendering manager for Maya, 3ds Max, and Toxik. In Maya 2010: Getting Started with MatchMover, Toxik, and Backburner, instructor George Maestri demonstrates how to use these applications with Maya's existing powerful feature set to create engaging 3D animations. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now the real goal of any compositor is to composite together multiple footage. So let's go ahead and do that. In order to do that, we need to import some more footage. So I am going to go to File > Import and I am going to go back to my Chapter 04 folder, and we have two additional folders here. One is called Robot and one is called Shadow. So let's go into Robot and there is file here called Robot_City_, Import and that's the one that we actually rendered out of Maya and then let's go to the Shadow director and we have another one. Unfortunately, it's called Robot_City_.
This is something that Maya does when it renders out in layers, so we kind of have to be able to work with files like that and this are actually both targa sequences. So, now that I have these, you can see that the first one is just the robot, animating in his inimitable way, and then we also have the shadow. So basically, we have the robot, the shadow and our backing plate. So, this is a very typical composite. So, the first thing I am going to do is go ahead and arrange these in the order that we want it to composite them. I want the robot on top, the shadow and then the backing plate.
Now this isn't important in terms of how Toxic works. It's just something that I like to do, so I understand the order of the composite. It's more of just an organizational thing. So, the first thing I want to do is just go ahead and create a composite between the shadow and the backing plate. Now I can do that by adding in a rendering note. So I can right-click here, Add from Pick List, or I can go here to what's called the Pick List and these are all of the effects and things that we can do. So we have one here for compositing called Blend & Comp.
Now typically, how I work is I just go ahead and right-click over this and the most recent one that you do will actually come up here, but if it's not there, just go Blend & Comp. Now if I click off of this, you can see that these tabs disappear. When I click back on it, you can see these appear. These three tabs are the controls for this particular node. Now what I want to do is actually create a comp between the shadow and the background. First thing I am going to do is I am going to take the output of the shadow and I am going to plug it into one of these slots.
Now notice we have four slots on the backside of this. Where output only had one, this one has four. So this first one, if you hover over there, it will say that's your mask. This is your Matte. This is the Back plate, and this is the Front plate. Well we want the shadow in front, so will put that in front and now we will need to connect this to the back. Now we can do that by disconnecting this. So I can actually disconnect this by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on that wire and then it disconnects it and it ask me to replug it in wherever else I want. So, Ctrl+Left Click disconnects it.
So when I click on this comp, you can see now I have got my shadow right here and then if I want, I can actually take the output of Blend & Comp, plug it into my output, and now I have the shadow. Now if I go to my Blend & Comp note, if I highlight this and go here, you can see I can actually change the gain. I can change my front gain, my back gain. I can do some color correction here. Now if I wanted to make that shadow a little bit lighter or darker, I can just go ahead and adjust it here. All I am doing this is left-clicking over this and dragging left and right. That's all I have do to adjust one of these.
I can also gain just a specific color and you have a color wheel where you can do that. You can also make the background disappear if you want, but we don't really want to do that and we also have our compositing method, which is do you want to composite it over, at top, inside, outside and so on? How do you want to blend it? Do you want to add, subtract? These are a lot like the Photoshop Blending modes, when you go in the layers in Photoshop. So you have your add, subtract, dark and multiply and then, of course, do you want it Superpose, Adjacent? Well, we usually leave this at None.
So now, we have a Shadow. Well we still need to composite the robot over the shadow. So, we need the robot on top of the shadow and both of those on top of this. So actually, I need to take this and do the exact same thing here. So, I will need to go ahead and do one more Blend & Comp. So I am right-clicking here, and just selecting Blend & Comp, and I am going to put the robot in front and then I need to disconnect this, so again, we are going to hit Ctrl, plug the shadow into the black, and you could see here now I have got the robot over the shadow and then take that output and plug it into the front of this one.
So now I have the robot composited with the shadow and the robot and the shadow composited with the background and that all goes to output. Now this is getting kind of messy here. So if I right-click over this, I can just say Layout All and then it will go ahead and clean that up for me. At this point, I can actually start playing with my composition. So, if I wanted to, for example, I could make my shadow a little bit lighter. I could change up whatever I want and now, I have got my final output.
Now this might not scrub as fast because we have a lot of targa files in here, which actually might slow it down if you don't have a fast hard disk. But you can basically get the hint here. Now we actually have the Robot successfully composited into the scene. Now this is just the basics of compositing. If all you knew was this, you could actually just composite together elements. But you can also take this further by adding effects and color correction and so on. But these are the basics of compositing in Toxic.
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