Sunday, 24 June 2018


"Digital Compositing for Film and Video"
Focal Press ISBN #0-240-80351-5

Digital Compositing for Film and Video, 2nd Edition, Focal Press ISBN #0-240-80351-5During all my years in digital effects I have always been intrigued by the technology and math "behind the curtain." When Focal Press asked me to write a book on digital compositing I was excited to get a chance to share not just production techniques but a fundamental understanding of the science behind the art. My thesis throughout the book is that to be a truly good compositor you must actually understand the principles behind what you are doing - art is not enough.

While the book does contain some theory and a bit of gentle math, the truly math-averse can skip over the equations with minimal harm to their career. The book is mainly written as a hands-on guide for the digital artist sitting in front of a monitor with an ugly bluescreen to composite. Practical tips and useful techniques are the main features. Another important feature is that all of the techniques described are "software independent" - they are general principles that can be done in any software package. They even work in Adobe Photoshop.

I was very pleased that the book has received rave reviews and has sold beyond the publisher's expectations. In fact, it was so well received that it has even been translated into Spanish with the title of "efectos digitales en Cine y Video." The ISBN number for the Spanish version of the 1st edition is ISBN: 84-932844-4-0.

The second edition is now available and is printed in full COLOR. New topics include add-mix compositing, light wrap, HiDef video, the Digital Intermediate process for film finishing, plus exotic photoshop blending modes. The book comes with a DVD chock full of practice and training images from the book, plus bonus material containing full resolution 2k feature film greenscreen scans as well as full resolution HiDef video greenscreens.

As a special optional feature to go along with the second edition of the book, I have prepared a set of 80 production exercises that offer step-by-step procedures for the many techniques described in the book. Click here or on the Products button on the navigation bar at left to learn more about these terrific exercises.

"There are few books on the market concerning digital compositing. Fewer still are worth reading. This book is an exception. The author has clearly put a lot of thought into writing both this and the previous edition. It is not a book with step by step instructions for software, so you will be disappointed if that is what you are looking for. What the author does present are concepts which can be applied to any decent compositing application. This book is far more useful and insightful than anything else I have found in the marketplace. If you are looking to better understand this field from both an artistic and technical viewpoint, I highly recommend this book. What you learn here will be useful for many years to come, not just until the next version of your compositing package is released."

Josef K
VFX Artist
Chicago, USA


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