compositing

Compositing - Beauty Fix Tutorial

Compositing - Beauty Fix Tutorial

"Go to a film studio", "Go do compositing", "You'll learn so much" was what one of the mentors while I was an apprentice at Disney told me one night. While I agreed since I have seen some of the amazing things that live action compositors do with all their tricks and hacks but oof, live action sounds like a lot of roto and rotopaint.

I somehow did end up as a compositor for live action at Ingenuity Studios, and my previous experience was a semester of Intro to Nuke class in school. It was quite stressful since I was unsure if my work was good enough quality and working in primarily episodic TV meant that it was a far faster pace than feature film. I did learn a lot though such as how to stabilize my shot first before doing rotos and rotopaints and then matchmoving it back, 3d tracking, split screens, fluid morphs, etc. One very scary thing that I learned was how to do beauty fixes since this means not only can I use Photoshop to touch up photos but now I can also touch up videos, too! Never tell your friends and family!

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Quick and Basic Lighting & Rendering

Here is a super fast way for animators to texture, light, and render shots to spruce up pieces to have a finished quality for reels. What’s great about this method is that it can be as simple as you want or as complex as you want; like baking a cake you can have plain yellow cake made from a mix out of the box or you can continue to add sprinkles, frosting, and rum to it.

In this tutorial I will be using Mental Ray and in Maya 2014 but it can be done with any render engine and across different platforms as long as you render out the necessary layers of at least the diffuse (color) and occlusion.

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Unpremultiplying and Premultiplying

When compositing for CG you will get various passes that you will have to rebuild back together and then add some things such as color corrections. That is where the issue comes in. Color correcting after premultiplying your rgba layer can change the color of your RGB falloff, and it will no longer match the falloff of your alpha, which means you may get some undesirable edges in your comp. The Premult node does not effect your alpha channel so what you would want to do is first use the Unpremult node on any of your passes that has an alpha channel, do all your color corrections, and then premult.