Compositing is Matching- Series 1

Compositing is matching

In the example shown it is easy to say that compositing is just compositing, when in fact is incorporates a whole load of different things.

Looking at the example given you can see the difference in the skateboards in this simple A to B composite. Compositing involves thinking of the following factors; lighting, colours and shadows. It also involves using additional things to give the realistic feel to the piece. The ideal is the be told you have a good eye- a skill that can be developed!

Toggle and Float Panels to Optimize Your Work Space

The info tab on the RHS gives the values of the RGBA that are underneath the curser at the time. However, this is pretty useless in 16 BIT colour- not exactly useful especially when reading the inbetween values.

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It was advised that these values should be be something worth being scared of- instead you can use these to aid the compositing process. In this case- the information is used in a percentage or decimal format. The tutorial chose decimal. This reflects the computer and how it mathematically models colour. This is advantageous as it gives easier to read colour values and you can also look at their proportions. A grey colour will have Red, Green and Blue values which are pretty close together. Red for example- you can see exactly how red is really it. The R value being around 15.8, 5 times the amount of Blue and Green levels.

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I can’t believe I get to actually say this- but as the tutorial said- WAIT THERE’S MORE! Using decimals also allows the levels graph under Effect controls to be in decimal values too. This shows that choosing the settings in the info panel reflects the value type throughout the whole application.

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A final tip for the info panel was to go to settings- preferences and check the show rendering progress in info panel and flow chart. This displays what is actually going on in the programme as it works- in case an action is taking a long time and AE is lagging.

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Matching Colour in Black and White

Starting to look at how to composite the images/ footage together seamlessly- it talks about working with levels on individual colour channels.

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Setting the levels in the effect controls to RBG and the overall to green- it’s a case of working with the output whites and input blacks to create a good match between both. This is continued for the Red and Blue levels in the Comp View.

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Using the Histogram

Referred to as the most useful graph in After Effects. You can even out the black and white values- creating higher levels of contrast in an image/ footage. The effect shown in a histogram can be created by adding another levels tab. Renaming it to Histogram helps distinguish between the two.

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In the graph each colour level has a one pixel wide bar, at the beginning of our graph there is a large spike, as it combines all the input blacks into one. This is known as Crushing the Blacks. Clipping the whites (top of the top histogram) has the same effects on the histogram- bringing them closer, making a taller point on the graph. Concluding- one of the most important uses of the histogram is adjusting the contrasts as shown.

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One of the things to look out for when doing extreme contrasts is called Quantization. This is shown in the histogram as gaps between the bars. This can cause a thing known as banding.

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