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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.
Another thing you can do within a composite is to add special effects. Now these are things like Blurs and Film Grain and other effects that can actually make one piece of footage look more like another so that it looks like it's more of a seamless composite. Now with this robot, we've got him actually, he still looks a little bit clean against this backing plate. This shadow, for example, doesn't look like that shadow under the motorcycle. And he looks a little bit sharp compared to the rest of the scene. So let's go ahead and add in a few extra things to correct that.
So the first thing I am going to do is play with this shadow. Now if I go to my Pick List, you'll see, under Compositing, I've got a number of different ones here. And that one I really want to play with is called Blur. So I can either bring it in here or let's just our standard trick here. I am going to highlight this line, coming out of the shadow, right-click over it, Add from Pick. I am going to go down to, under Compositing, this one called Blur. Now what Blur does is basically blur it.
So, we can click on the controls for this, and we have two types of blur. This Blur node can actually do multiple times of Blur. Now in something like After Effects, you would have a separate one for Gaussian Blur, a separate one for Radio Blur. This one does it all in one node. Now actually, what we want is just a basic blur. We don't need to do a zoom, spin or focus. So, I am actually going to blur out that shadow. You can see how actually I am actually blurring it to make it look a little bit more like that motorcycle. That looks pretty good, maybe a little less, and that makes it look pretty good.
Now actually, this might be a little bit dark, so I am going to go over to that Blend & Comp node and just play a little bit with the Opacity of that as well. So there, now, I have a shadow that looks more close to what we have under the motorcycle. Now remember, this motorcycle is above a dark surface and this is above a light surface. So, you have to take that into account. And once I have that, again, I can just scrub and you can see how that all works together. Now one of the things we are doing is we are actually just making these effects happen throughout the entire composition.
You can animate parameters and we'll get to those a little bit later. Now let's go ahead to another type of effect and that's called Film Grain, which is something that you really want to do, particularly when you are compositing to other types of footage and again, that's under the Compositing menu and it's called Add Grain. So when I have that, let's make sure I highlight this and you could see it's basically the type of grain and the Size. So, if we want, we can have Red, Green or Blue. Actually, I am going to link those that they are all the same and so we're going to have the amount of grain.
And you could see if I turn that way up, you can see how grainy he gets, but we really don't want that. We want just a slight amount of grain, because the footage itself is a little bit noisy. It wasn't perfectly done. So actually, I'm going to turn this up and then get the size of the grain to where I want and again, I want to link these. Sometimes you might not want to, so I am actually going to make the grain a little bit smaller and then turn down the volume here. Now we also have Curves here, as to how you want the grain to be applied and we can also play with those as well.
So we have one for Red, Green and Blue so you can actually have your grain be a little bit more dark or light, just depending upon how you want it. So, these are actually more of a midtone grain versus the high-frequency or low-frequency grain. So let's go ahead and turn that down just a little bit and there we go. So now I have some effects. I've got my shadow blurred out a little bit. I have got a little bit of film grain on my robot. See how very simply you can add effects into a network.
So what we have here is we have grain is coming at this point is after the color correction and we've got our Blur coming before we Blend & Comp that whole thing together. And now what we have here is we've got a fairly sophisticated network. We've got a lot of nodes and they all just kind of wind together into again, this final output. So, those are some of the basics of adding effects. Now when you add effects, you want to make sure that you are reasonably subtle with them, particularly if you are trying to duplicate live action.
Now you can also use special effects to create wild, crazy graphic designs, but in this sort of application, you want to make sure that you're subtle and that everything matches.
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