A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(2)

A-Guide-to-the-Career-Growth-of-VFX-Compositors-1

You must have learned about What is compositing, Six basic skills of compositors, Standards for cinema-level film compositing requirements from The Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1). Now, your TPN_Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, will still lead you deep into the career of VFX Compositor.

Part 4 Workflow specification of compositors

Because the workflow of each company is different, and even the operations of everyone in the same company will be various, it is difficult to have a unified workflow. I am here to share the basic process of a compositor making a shot from beginning to end.

The first step is whether to perform color conversion after the material comes in? How to deal with the conversion? It is usually set by the compositing director.

The second step is to create a variable speed and camera redefinition repo, which is specifically compared with the editing sample, and we make the same settings as theirs. If there is a green screen, and then there are tracking points on the green screen, the tracking points need to be erased. If there is no green screen and need to add something, it needs to do keying and Roto. And sometimes it even needs to quickly do some 30%, 50%, or 80% keying to prepare for the back.

The third step is to do the creation of 2D elements or increase the environment, characters, props and other elements output by the 3D department. According to the six basic skills mentioned above, making the first version, and then the director and client will give feedback after checking. Then compositors modify the project according to the feedback.

After completing the detailed processing and final inspection afterward,if there is no problem, it will be converted back to customer needs and the delivery documents are sent to the customer. The technical inspection above refers to verifying according to the standards of the cinema-level movies mentioned before.

Part 5 The five stages of the compositor's career

I roughly divide the career of a compositor into 5 stages, including junior compositor, senior compositor, compositing team leader, compositing supervisor, compositing director.

The work done by compositors is more art-oriented. And in the process of accumulating technical capabilities, they will continue to improve their artistic capabilities without worrying about losing their jobs.

For junior compositor, it is not easy to define by seniority. It’s more about ideas and how it realizes? It is recommended that those newcomers could explore the six basic skills, learn online, and practice at work.

When it comes to the senior level, more work is focusing on judgment on whether it is possible to independently complete a shot and where to do compositing. The senior compositing should be able to find these problems and have the team leader or supervisor to communicate.

The next stage is the compositing team leader. Some people will be confused that what is the difference between leader and supervisor? Like Base, there are many employees, and each project may have 5 to more than a dozen compositors, and even more, there will be team leaders and deputy team leaders. For small studios, the team leader may be the supervisor. The team leader serves the supervisor, the director and artists. At the same time, it needs to has a good sense of teamwork and serve the project well in the management of small teams.

At the supervisor level, the responsibilities are more about the management of the artists, finding more suitable artists for the department to become senior artists or project leaders. At the same time, we must continue to add new skills training for the team; of course, there are staff who are inappropriate, the supervisor should find out the reason and see if they can continue to grow together. If so, how to continue, etc.

The fifth step is to become the compositing director. At this stage, The focus will put more on the process of the project, etc.. The director will develop corresponding plans for different projects, including pre-stage, post-stage, setting and feedback of the 2D process effect, as well as auxiliary visual aids in departmental projects.

Many people will ask if it is possible to change directly from team leader to director? If you are a team leader, you can actually do the job of a supervisor. If not, I personally feel that there is a missing piece. Because the head of the compositing is basically in the group, but the director of the compositing needs to deal with the leaders of other departments.

What is the difference between these 5 positions in the actual process of doing the scenes? For example, both junior compositors and senior compositors can make a good shot, but the number of feedbacks received, versions, completion time, details, ideas are all different.

However, as a team leader, it needs to consider whether the entire plan is feasible and whether the entire color is unified. It’s also important to communicate well with each artist or do an effect test. After becoming a supervisor, it is necessary to consider whether the whole scheme is efficient? If as a director, it needs to be connected with the customer, decide whether to use 3D or 2D, control the quality of the project, and consider whether the cost is feasible. In short, the more you go up, the wider the scope of management and the greater the responsibility.

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A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1)
A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1)
As the leading cloud rendering services provider in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm has an outstanding team with over 20 years’ experience in the CG industry. Team members are from Disney, Lucasfilm, Dreamworks, Sony, etc. With professional services and industry-leading innovations, they serve leading VFX companies and animation studios from over 50 countries and regions, including two Oscar winners. In this artichle, we will share a guide to the career growth of VFX Compositors from Zhiyong Zhang, Compositing Technical Director in Base FX(Base Media is the leading visual effects and animation studio in Asia). Part 1 Introduction What is compositing? There are many different explanations about compositing on the Internet. Since it's difficult to explain, I would analyze compositing from some shots. Like the scene in "Monster Hunt", the foreground is made with a 3D model, and the background is made with a combination of the original paintings and pictures. That is to do some MP, color adjustments, elements setting and real shot adding. Finally, all the pictures are going to be integrated, which is a compositing process. The professional value of composting Compositing is the last part of the visual effects in the later period. You need to blend and match three-dimensional things with the real shot through compositing techniques and methods. Through techniques and methods, add some 2D or 2.5D elements to make the picture more interesting. Compositing is making the projects that the entire visual effects team makes. Hence, compositors are responsible for the entire team, striving to adjust the project to the final optimal effect. This is the professional value of compositing. The artistic charm of composting For me, every adjustment on color, virtual focus, interactive light and others will make the scene more realistic or better-looking. Every step of the operation will improve the scene, bringing the compositors hope and happiness. It is awesome to do better in the time allowed and finally show something beautiful. This is the artistic charm of composting. Part 2 Six basic skills of compositors The first basic skill is erasing. Many scenes have tracking points when shooting on the green screen, or there are some things that can’t be removed from the scene. We need to do erasing, which is very basic but important. The second skill is rotoing and chroma key. The chroma key is to keying the green screen. There is also a key called no green screen keying, which is the rotoing. The third skill is to match colors. Adding an element to the real shot to change the color of the material is actually matching the material, not creation. The fourth skill is to match the virtual focus or depth of field. The material itself will actually have virtual focus, so the compositor needs to also be good at photography, otherwise, it may become a bottleneck for the compositor. The ideas of the director and the main photographer will be presented in the scenes. We use compositing to re-express what they want to express in CG. We are doing matching rather than recreating. The fifth skill is tracking. Most compositors do 2D trackings, such as billboards or on-screen patches. And sometimes they also do 3d tracking. The last one is the matching noise. For some demanding projects, it is necessary to switch between red, green, and blue screen, or even zoom in to the local area for comparison. It also depends on the broadcast platform. Generally, if it is broadcasting on a TV platform, the noise is not easy to see the noise. If in the cinema, as long as the brightness of the cinema is large enough, the noise of some scenes can be easily seen. The noise matching can make the picture more realistic. Part 3 Standards for cinema-level film compositing requirements The standards here are not officially stipulated standards but are just some common standards that I personally summarize based on experience. I divided the cinema standards for film compositing into two types: technical requirements and artistic requirements. Technical Requirements First of all, it depends on whether the color of the original material is changed. If you are not careful or have moved other parts of the screen including the color of the material for other reasons, it may cause customer dissatisfaction. Secondly, whether the maximum and minimum values of the screen are consistent with the material or not. Of course, the maximum and minimum values are not for a certain scene, but for all the materials of a project. Thirdly, whether the metadata is correct or not. If the editing requires metadata to be accurately restored, it needs to be correctly restored to the material. Generally, at the beginning of the project, it needs to agree with the previous DI or editing on how to set back. Fourthly, whether the shifting is stuck will also be a technical requirement. The shifting should be discussed with the editor. If the editing does not require any shifting, even if it seems to be stuck, it may be a fast switch of the front and rear scenes. This is one kind of editing methods. if you do something to make it smoother, re-reverting to the clip may cause problems. The last is whether there is any obvious flaw in the picture. The so-called flaw is whether there is a black border on the edge of the picture and whether the edge of the real shot is stretched. Artistic requirements The artistic requirements will be significantly different from the previous technical requirements. We will check whether the details of the keying edges are enough to maintain the authenticity of the picture. In the normal budget, the details of the edges can be kept authentic. If the edges look fake, it may make the whole picture fall short. Whether the bright and dark parts of the screen is matching with the material within the acceptable range? The dark and bright parts here refer more to brightening everything in the viewing facility, to see if the added thing is the same color as the real shot and whether the degree of the color cast is the same. Without considering the budget, as a compositor, the only requirement is to do something better, so try to match it. Then, whether the compositing elements, the virtual focus of the background and the depth of field match the real shot. The depth of field of the real shot sometimes will be very shallow, sometimes it will be very deep. Generally, there will be a range, this range is taken by the lens and the camera. We can add an element in it, and change the depth accordingly. In addition, we must also consider whether the simulation of the lens effect meets the real shooting standard. With a normal lens, the virtual focus is 1:1, and with an anamorphic lens, the virtual focus is vertical, similar to 2:1 circular virtual focus. While doing compositing, it needs to pay special attention to matching. The next thing to consider is whether the addition of smoke, flame and other atmospheres is truly fused. The light and shadow, the virtual focus and the sharpness are matched with the whole, and the things that really melt into it are realistic. The last thing is to consider the interactive effects, the corresponding interaction between the real shot material and the CG elements. When we do the compositing, in addition to shadows, there are some light interactions, we should consider whether to add them. In the process of compositing, we need to give ourselves the opportunity to exercise and do more fine, otherwise, we can't make progress. In fact, the audience is very smart now, watching a lot of blockbuster movies. Therefore, we should try our best to be realistic in the time cost of cinema-level movies. If the audience feels satisfied in the cinema, it will be successful.
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2020-07-03
First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects,But, Where Is Its VFX? (2)
First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects,But, Where Is Its VFX? (2)
Undertaking ‘First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects, But, Where Is Its VFX? (1)’, many people may wonder why the wonderful travel outside the earth is so realistic. First Man DFX supervisor Tristan Myles said in an interview that director Damien is trying to balance the visual effects of each shot to avoid the appearance of a particular lens, or let the audience find it to be a CG lens at a glance. In order to let the audience immersively feel the width of the moon, landing on the moon, the surface effect seen at the moment of opening the hatch, all shot from top to bottom. The lunar area was shot in a quarry on the outskirts of Atlanta, especially like the "moon" surface. There are all kinds of rocks around, as well as craters. After shooting, you can remove some dust through the digital effects link, which will be more like the environment of the moon. CG production team has a major mission The CG team produced a model of the aircraft for the film. For some wide-angle lenses, the team needed to design 3D assets that fill the lens content; the medium and close-up lenses used miniature models and full-size models. The post-effects team also needs to fill the lens with some CG content. One of the most important assets is the Genie target aircraft, which is orbiting the earth along the orbit and docking with the ATV. At the shooting scene, there is a model of the mating vertebral body. This model can't be controlled by the device. Only the manual position can be used to match the shooting needs. After the team gets the footage, it is projected onto the CG model to restore the real effect as much as possible. Many people will ask what the moon is made according to? Good question. In fact, NASA has a lunar orbit survey orbiter in reality. It can be simply understood as an aircraft that orbits a sphere along an orbit. It is used to detect and scan the surface of the moon and collect data. The special effects production team was fortunate enough to get these detailed data, based on which the real effect of the lunar surface was produced. Three little stories to understand before watching The film's story comes from James Hanson's non-fiction book, The First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong, which was first published in 2005. It is Armstrong's only official biography. This book tells the story of Armstrong's participation in the space program and shares the details of his personal life. The scriptwriter Josh Singer spent four years researching the script, and spent several months talking to former astronauts and NASA stakeholders, as well as communicating and understanding with Armstrong's family. Singer believes that "objectively and truthfully presenting facts is a huge responsibility." Ryan Gosling is the director's first choice. Although the two had worked together before, the first time they met was for First Man, far ahead of La La Land. In the director's mind, Ryan Gosling is the only actor who can do this role. Finally, let's take a look at some of the footage. This year's Oscar has no host, and it is also a peculiar way of organizing. The awarding process has also been simplified. Although it is not possible to win an award for each selected work, it can be nominated and is also recognized, congratulations to all the winner in the 91st Oscar Academy Awards.
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How To Train Your Dragon, Let’s Say Goodbye To It With Smile
How To Train Your Dragon, Let’s Say Goodbye To It With Smile
How To Train Your Dragon: After the Hidden World was released in North America, the rotten tomato freshness started at 100%, and it still maintains 92% freshness and has an amazing reputation. It received 98% of the high scores on the famous movie review website Rotten Tomatoes based on 205 professional reviews, and scored 7.9 out of 10 points. At the box office, it won the best start of the series with a score of 55.52 million yuan in 3 days, and successfully broke the record of the first weekend box office of the North American cinema this year. Let me describe the mood after watching the movie, it can only be a tear in laughter. Like the sad and full of hope in the movie, it not only makes Hiccup growth up, also teaches the audience to bravely break the fear of the unknown. As a person who looks at the How To Train Your Dragon series, I feel empathy for all joy and sadness. Ten years ago, the first time the first series of the series landed on the theater, it was amazing for thousands of viewers. The Hiccup and Toothless stare at each other, and the carefully touched stills have become countless fans who don't become desktop wallpapers all the year round. For many audiences, the film represents love and courage. In my opinion, How To Train Your Dragon can become a unique animation series, but also it creates a world of crisis and fun, with a thought-provoking world view. In other animated works, heroes and villains are usually distinct and can distinguish between justice and evil at a glance. Human beings often represent upright justice, so the "braves" will be born; while the dragons symbolize destruction and disaster, often defined as "dragons" and will be expelled. In the world of How To Train Your Dragon, the dragon looks fierce and fierce. In fact, it is pure and loyal. On the contrary, it is human beings. It has an indomitable, brave and good-war side, as well as a temperamental and difficult-to-communicate side. The Vikings were enemies with the dragon for generations and were proud of the pursuit of the dragon. No one knows why, no one wants to find out whether a dragon is good or bad, only knowing to do it according to "tradition". It is in this sharp opposition that a miracle happened. The legendary Loser Hiccup met a wounded dragon. He did not hesitate to destroy the tribal tradition of the dragons for many years, chose to help it, and even tamed it. One person and one dragon establish a friendship that spans the race. Hiccup also gave the dragon a lovely name, "Toothless" At the same time, he also realized that the dragons in the world are not all evil. There is no need for humans and dragons to fight for you. Is it possible to create a world where people and dragons coexist in harmony and understand each other? And what is the relationship between man and dragon? This issue runs through the beginning of the How To Train Your Dragon series and leaves a lot of places for the audience to think about and to relish. If the first two parts, Hiccup and Toothless are from "taming" to "comrades", then the story of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World makes me completely forget the word "taming". The film is overflowing with the warmth of companionship and the courage to grow. Hiccup, who was weak in the past, has become the chief of the tribe. He led the people to govern the "Berk Island", the hometown of the ancestors of the past dynasties, and lived a life far from the world. Moreover, not only is Hiccup growing alone, but Toothless's growth is also significant. It is no longer an existence that is considered a pet, but an independent individual that is trustworthy and worthy of dependence. Its friendship with Hiccup is based on equality between the two sides. At the same time, the tribe and the dragon also turned the enemy into a friend and lived in harmony. They will travel around the world to save the dragons captured by humans. The film presents an equal and friendly atmosphere between the person and the dragon, which makes it difficult for the dragon to change from a spoiled or mysterious label to a living "person". Berk Island became a utopia in which the dragons live, but hidden threats are everywhere, on the one hand, humans outside the island are still hostile and fearful of the dragons; on the other hand, Berk Island's target is too big, there are too many dragons on the island, and they have long been eyeing the Dragon Knights. There is no shortage of cool professional and unscrupulous guys in the Dragon Slayer, which is likely to pose a huge threat. Nowadays, the island is not safe outside the island. If you want to keep thousands of dragons, you can only find a refuge where the map is not marked. Hidden World. This place only exists in myths and legends. It is said to be at the end of the world and is also the place where the dragons originated. Once you find Hidden World, the dragon on Berk Island will be properly placed. However, the beauty of Hidden World also means that the returning dragon will not return to the human world. Have Hiccup and Toothless, who have been with each other for many years, finally have to leave each other? The story is set to this, the world view is shining again - It can be said that the most touching part of the whole series is to accept, is to explore a theme of "crushing prejudice, tearing off labels". How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World re-emphasizes the theme. In the film, all the dragons were born in "Hidden World". From the source, they are not our world, but the "guests" from afar. They are actually full of personality, master very complex language, and have emotions of emotions, anger and sadness... People in Berk Island know that they are not terrible and can live together in peace. For humans outside the island, these natures are irrelevant; many people refuse to communicate with this mysterious creature, simply rudely classifying them as "heterogeneous" and classifying them as "aggressors." From this point of view, isn ’ t the way in which human beings treat the dragons in the movie is the epitome of the attitudes of the masses in the real society that treat marginal groups, special groups, and dissidents? Color discrimination, geographical discrimination, gender discrimination, and prejudice caused by the gap between the rich and the poor, different living habits, and different occupations. Behind all discrimination and prejudice, there is arrogance hidden. These prejudices will not only escalate the conflict, but also make it more horrible. In the movie, the humans regard the dragons as deadly enemies and consider them to be evil and devastating. The concept of "the evil dragon must be removed" has been passed down through generations and rooted in the hearts of the people. Fortunately, Hiccup appeared to break the deadlock between man and dragon. But why is Hiccup? The reason is not complicated - Because Hiccup is also a "heterogeneous" in the eyes of the people. He is the son of the most brave patriarch of the Vikings, but he is physically weak and slow. Everyone thinks that he is a waste, has no value, and even he himself is so sure. Because the body will pass the pain that is not accepted by everyone and cannot be self-identified, the kind Hiccup will try to accept Toothless who has been hurt by the world as a "dragon". They are also weak and helpless. In this world full of dragons and violent brave, it is difficult to support. Being able to be a partner, perhaps seeing his own shadow in the other side. On the other hand, the tribes who have always advocated the use of force and physical strength, witnessed the talent of Hiccup's taming dragon, and his ability to strategize, also showed a convincing acceptance. Even after Hiccup was still not strong enough, even after lo sing a leg in the war, the tribe no longer made fun of him with physical defects. The Berk Island people are actually growing up and learning to communicate with people who are not similar to themselves. In most cases, communication and acceptance are not easy, and even cost a lot – Hiccup's partner with Toothless means that he is likely to be an enemy of the tribe, even with all mankind; Berk Island is the world's dragon, and it may be regarded as a "devil's lair" by the world. The people will be treated as evil devils. Fortunately, the film always has a goodwill. It allows each person to be willing to let go of their arrogant, understanding other people's roles, and ultimately achieve self-worth, but also tell the audience: Follow the sound of inner integrity and listen to the voices of all kinds of individuals in the world. They are not terrible, maybe they are so cute. The ending of the How To Train Your Dragon novel is that all dragons return to Hidden World and completely disappear from the world. However, after being adapted into a movie, the masters gently presented the audience with a blank of fairy tale. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World continues the past style, with many relaxed and humorous plots and brain-opening scenes, but my favorite is also the most impressive, always the details of getting along with the dragon. Hiccup teaches the soothing bridge of the Toothless sister, the brave gesture of Hiccup and Toothless, and the last hug of Hiccup and Toothless... I remember that when they first met, Hiccup tried to touch Toothless, but he didn't even have the courage to look at it. Nowadays, they all grow up, learn to accept, and understand: our hands, in addition to work, battle, and one of the greatest functions - hug, isn't it? Go hug the one you love, what you feel is the temperature of this How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
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2019-03-06
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