Hello and welcome to our website www.opencompositing.org. This site is about compositing tools suitable for performing photo-realistic compositing in film and video digital effects. While it is important to have a fairly decent eye and artist prowess when it comes to photo-realism, it is also important to have the right tools to complete the job. Knowing what you want the image to look like and getting there are two completely different things. Moreover, while it has been our experience that software manuals are great at explaining the functionality of each tool, they tend to shy away from the workflow you need to really transform an image into something that will appear as real.

Throughout the topics covered on this website, we will focus on two aspects. The first will help to impart an understanding of how things work. Whenever possible, we will try to explain the first-principals associated with a particular video or compositing technique. This way, you can rapidly think through any problem solving task needed during the post production process. In particular, you will be much more effective if you really understand the elements that ruin your attempts to make an image truly appear as realistic.

The second focus is on the actual production techniques such as dealing with depth of field, matting, compositing, resolution, color space, keyframing, etc. Some of the programs available today, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema4D provide excellent tools for photo-realistic image and video development. Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) provides the majority of visual image effects today. If you want to be successful in compositing with 3D animations and CGI, it is well worth your time to learn these new techniques, such as multiple light sources/passes, 3D object modeling, digital compositing and much more. Whenever possible we will try to provide step-by-step workflows to guide you through some of the specific examples we have chosen.

As you know, however, software changes rapidly these days and it is likely that some of our tutorials and tips may be out-of-date. Please join our community and let us know about what is working or what needs to be refreshed and updated. While many of the topics covered in these website pages will apply to everything from simple static photo realistic image production up through feature film editing, you will notice we tend to focus on the independent filmmaker. Hence the reason we’ve named the site “Open Compositing” and want to maintain a similar paradigm commonly found in the open source software development arenas.

We love to help out new and under-funded aspiring filmmakers and want to wish you the best of luck in your ventures. Please let us know how we can improve our site to fit your ever changing needs.

-David Larrabee


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