Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Visual effects and compositing, part of 3D and Animation Careers: First Steps.
- 3D and animation software is often used to create visual effects for film and broadcast. These effects can be subtle or a major part of the scene. Let's take a peek at how this is done. To start, live action footage is shot with an eye for the effect being created. 3D software can then use these images as backplates. Virtual cameras are adjusted to match the placement and focal length of the real world cameras. This makes the 3D object look like it is in the scene.
If the camera is moving, then match moving software may be required. This software matches the motion of the real world camera, either in 2D or 3D. This information is then used to create a matching camera in a 3D scene. Once cameras are matched, the 3D objects can be animated. To add even more realism, the lighting of the scene can also be matched. This 3D scene is then rendered out in one or more passes.
The process then moves to a compositing application such as After Effects or Nuke. The compositor layers multiple images together to create a composite. These layers can include 3D renders, live action, or green screen footage. The compositor adjusts the color, tone, and lighting of each layer to create a seamless image. The compositor can also add any number of additional effects to the scene. Once the images are complete, the composite is rendered to a final image, which is edited into the final film.
Visual effects in compositing are a key part of the modern filmmaking process. Mastering this process will make your own films even better.