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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 once you have your basic composition set up, you can start adding in color correction, effects and all sorts of other techniques to make your project really pop. Let's go ahead and start off with some color correction, and I'll show you how to add in those nodes and work with them. Now, we have four basic color correction effects in Toxik. Now if I click over here to my Pick List, you can see, under color correction, we have one called CC Basics, one called Photo Lab, another one called CC Histo and that's for histograms.
That's almost like a Levels type of thing and then we also have Color Curves. Now I am just going to deal with the first one, which is CC Basics, which is probably the most common one that you'll use. Now in order to bring this in, all I have to just left-click and drag this on. And then I can basically connect this into the network by disconnecting this one and then wiring it through. But let me show you an easier way of doing that. I am going to go ahead and highlight this and delete it. Now if I position my cursor over the wire right-click, Add from Pick List, and then all I have to do is find the one that says CC Basics, or if I go under color correction I can do it there, but let's go ahead and do it here.
And if that one is highlighted, it will automatically wire it in. It makes it a lot easier, and this will actually make things go a lot faster for you. So now, I have the Robot wired through some color correction before it actually blends in with the shadow. And after I go over here, I can actually do my color correction. Now if I want to see what the final output is, so I can color correct him against the background, I have to right- click in this window and I want to view Composition Output rather than Tool Output, right here under Display.
So, that displays the final output of what I'm working with. So that way, when I do my Color Correction, I can see him against the background, to make sure that I'm getting the proper color. Now this is actually a fairly simple color correction. We have our Hue, Saturation, Contrast. We can also have a Gain, just an overall Gain. We can also just pick on this color wheel. Probably the easiest thing to do is just drag on this color wheel and you can see how we can tint it to whatever color we want. If I want to make him more blue, I can do that.
If I want to make him more red, I can click it over here. We can also work with Color Temperature. So, I can actually gain up my temperature to make them a little bit more saturated. But actually, if I look at this background this background, this background isn't so saturated. So, I might actually want to desaturate him a little bit. I can also play with things like Gamma. So, if I want to change my Gamma I can do it this way. And if I go over here to Ranges, I can actually make this affect the entire image, just Shadows, just Midtones or Highlights.
So, you really do have a lot of control, even with this basic color control. Now the next one I want to show you is called Photo Lab. So, we are going to go ahead and drag this over. Go over the line, highlight it, right- click and under Pick List, I am actually going to go down to color correction here, and find Photo Lab and wire that one in. So now, I have my Photo Lab on my backing plate. So I've got my backing plate wired through Photo Lab into Blend & Comp.
If I double-click on that, you can going to actually go into Photo Lab here, and you could see this is actually a very different way of working with color correction. It's really just a bunch of color wheels for Exposure, Contrast and another thing called Pivot and Lift. For example, if, with this, if I want to change my Exposure, I can change it and tint it. So for example, this plate is a little bit dark - I am going to hit Reset here - and if I just bring it up, you can see I'm actually exposing it a little bit. I can also make it more or less contrast-y.
So if I make a little less contrast-y, you can see I can actually pump up my gain a little bit more, so I have a little bit more detail in these shadow areas, so it doesn't look so harsh in the foreground. It's a little bit more balanced. Now this shot was shot first thing in the morning and this whole area was in shadow, while the city was actually lit up fairly brightly and so this was actually a little bit darker in the foreground than I had wanted. Now we can also do it with what's called Pivot. You see what that does. Again, that's a little bit, kind of like a brightness control and then another one called Lift, which is actually kind of more or like an extreme contrast control.
Now I am going to hit Reset on that one. So you can see now, I have actually got some pretty decent control over my color and I can actually darken this a little bit to make my robot pop. So I am actually going to go back to my CC Basics and gain up my robot just a little bit, to make him kind of pop in the background. Now you can see I have got some much better color and now I have got a little bit more of a unified robot in the background. Now one of the things about compositing is it's really about matching your elements to your background and making sure that they meld together, and so color correction is a really big part of that.
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