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Über dieses Buch

This book is a comprehensive, introductory title covering concepts central to Visual Special Effects using the free Black Magic Design Fusion 8.0 software package. The book also provides foundational background information regarding concepts central to digital image compositing, digital video editing, digital illustration, digital painting, 3D, and digital audio in the first six chapters on new media theory, concepts and terminology. This book builds on the foundational concepts of digital image compositing, digital audio, digital video, digital illustration and digital painting.

VFX Fundamentals will introduce more advanced VFX concepts and pipelines as the chapters progress, covering topics such as Flow Node Compositing, Timeline Animation, Animated PolyLine Masking, Bluescreen and Greenscreen Matte Pulling (generation), using Primatte and Fusion 8 Ultra Keyer, motion tracking, 3D rendering and compositing, auxiliary channels, and particle systems and particle physics dynamics, among other topics.

What you'll learnThe New Media Components (raster, vector, audio, video, rendering) needed for VFX

The Concepts behind the Digital Visual Special Effects (VFX) Content Production Workflow

How to Install and Utilize Black Magic Design Fusion 8 and it’s Visual Programming Language

Concepts behind Resolution, Aspect Ratio, Bit-Rate, Color Depth, Layers, Alpha, and Masking

2D VFX Concepts such as Animated Masking, Matte Pulling (Primatte V) and Motion Tracking

3D VFX Concepts such as 3D Geometry, Materials, Lighting, Animation and Auxiliary Channels

Advanced VFX Concepts such as Particle Systems Animation using Real-World Physics (Forces)

Who this book is for

SFX artists, VFX artists, video editors, website developers, filmmakers, 2D and 3D animators, digital signage producers, e-learning content creators, game developers, multimedia producers.



Chapter 1. Visual Effects: Set Up Your VFX Content Development Workstation

In this first chapter, let's put together your foundation for a highly professional visual effects (VFX) content development workstation. This is an important fusion of hardware and professional software, allowing you to reach your goal of doing interactive multimedia production VFX development. Let's spend a chapter considering your new media hardware needs and the software infrastructure that you will want to put together to create a professional, well-rounded visual effects software development workstation. This will put a bunch of arrows in your multimedia software development quiver right off the bat. You will then have everything you need to develop new media content for use in your visual effects pipeline throughout this book, no matter what type of VFX applications you decide you want to develop for your VFX clients!

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 2. The Foundation of Raster for VFX: Pixels, Color, and Alpha

Now that you have some VFX and new media content production software installed, covering areas like digital illustration, digital audio editing, digital imaging, digital video editing, and visual effects (VFX), it is time to get into all of the underlying concepts, like raster, motion, vector, and audio, that span these multimedia genres and come together as one inside of your VFX software package—in our case, Fusion 8.0. The concepts covered over the next few chapters will provide an overview of what is contained within your visual effects assets, projects, and effects-processing pipeline.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 3. The Foundation of Motion for VFX: Frames and Codecs

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terms, and principles of digital image new media content, it is time to get into moving imagery, since motion is a major part of VFX project design. The digital video new media asset type has its own concepts, terms, and principles, and therefore I'm going to take a chapter to show how 2D raster images become 4D digital video assets. We will be looking at the concepts behind analog video (or film) and how it is digitized into digital video using popular "codecs," or COmpressor-DECompressor algorithms, via digital video encoding software and plug-ins.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 4. The Foundation of Audio for VFX: MIDI, Wave, and Sample

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terms, and principles of digital video new media content, the next logical topic would be digital audio new media content, since digital video media contains a digital audio component inside of its media container. This includes tracks for stereo music and mono tracks for vocal performances and sound effects. Audio can also be included in VFX projects in its own media containers, which we will be covering in this chapter as well. We will be looking at the concepts behind analog audio and how it is digitized into digital audio, as many of these analog and digital waveform concepts will apply across both mediums.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 5. The Foundation of 2D Vector for VFX: Point, Path, and SVG

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terminology, principles, and methods of data footprint optimization for your digital imagery, digital audio, and digital video new media content, it's time to get into 2D and 3D vector new media in this and the following chapter. Fusion supports one open source 2D vector format called SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphics, so that will make things easy. We can focus on SVG concepts and terminology in this chapter, as both GIMP and Inkscape support SVG. Then, in the next chapter, we can take 2D vector imagery into the third dimension with 3D vector imagery.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 6. The Foundation of 3D Vector for VFX: Models and OpenGL

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terminology, principles, and methods of data footprint optimization for 2D digital imagery, digital audio, digital video, and vector digital illustration new media content for VFX project pipelines, it is time to get into the more complicated area of 3D new media assets that can be used with Fusion's advanced 3D feature set.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 7. Professional VFX Software: Blackmagic Design Fusion

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terms, and principles of new-media content design and assets, it is time to get an overview of what a leading, free VFX software package can do for your VFX content production business. We'll be looking at features of and the user interface for Fusion within this chapter so as to get a high-level overview of the core areas we will be looking at in the remaining chapters of this book.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 8. VFX Pipeline Composition: Using the Flow Node Editor

Now that we have gotten an overview of Fusion, it is time to get into the nuts and bolts of what makes it one of the leading VFX tools available today.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 9. VFX Pipeline Animation: Using the Timeline Editor

Now that you have a basic understanding of the flow node editor, which we will also be using in this chapter so you get some practice, let's switch gears from 2D compositing space to the 4D time dimension.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 10. VFX Pipeline Motion Control: Using the Spline Editor

Now that you have an understanding of the Fusion flow node and timeline editors and how they work together in a VFX workflow, it is time to get into how you fine-tune.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 11. VFX Pipeline Pixel Isolation: Animated Polyline Masking

Now that we have covered the three major VFX editing areas in Fusion 8—Flow, timeline, and spline—it’s time to get into more advanced concepts. when we discussed using alpha channels to define transparency, which isolates the pixels that you wish to composite, blend, or process algorithmically—or all of the above, in some instances.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 12. VFX Pipeline Automated Masking: Matte Generators

Bluescreen keying, and more recently greenscreen keying, has become a mainstream compositing approach for working with both VFX and 3D software packages. This is because it automates the often tedious masking process, although it requires that you shoot in front of special blue or green cloth, paint, or sets.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 13. VFX Pipeline Pixel Tracking: Using Motion Tracking

Now that you have covered the advanced concepts of animated mask creation and bluescreen and greenscreen keying, let’s cover another advanced concept and technique called motion tracking. Since visual effects are often applied to video footage, this is a common feature in VFX software packages, and one that you will need to comprehend.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 14. VFX Pipeline 3D Production: Compositing 3D Assets

In this chapter, we will look at how Fusion differentiates 2D and 3D, how it bridges them together seamlessly, and how to add new 3D elements into your VFX project pipeline. With this knowledge we will be able to incorporate 3D elements and assets for the rest of the book (advanced topics).

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 15. VFX Pipeline 3D Rendering: Shader, Material, and Texture

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terms, and principles of the Fusion 3D compositing engine, it is time to get into some more advanced 3D concepts such as surfacing, environmental effects, shaders, materials, textures, and mapping, among other things.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 16. VFX Pipeline 3D Modeling: 3D Text-Title Creation

We will look at how to create cinema-quality 3D text and how to apply advanced effects to your 3D titling pipeline.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 17. VFX Pipeline 3D Animation: 3D Text-Titling Modifiers

Now that you have seen how to model 3D titling assets using the Fusion 8 text 3D node tool, the logical next step is to see how to use Fusion to create 3D titling animation sequences, as you will likely be asked to do this by a client at some point in time.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 18. Advanced VFX Pipeline Effects: 3D Particle Systems

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental Fusion 8 VFX 2D and 3D features, it is time to get into some more advanced 3D effects topics before I end the book with a chapter discussing how your VFX content can be published across popular devices. Some of the most powerful tools in both 2D and 3D VFX are particle systems, which allow you to control thousands of individual objects acting in concert together to create special effects.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 19. Advanced VFX Pipeline Physics: 3D Particle Physics

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts, terms, and principles of particle systems, let’s take a look at some of the advanced physical system tools that come with Fusion to take your particle-system simulations to the next level.

Wallace Jackson

Chapter 20. Advanced Interactive VFX: i3D Content Publishing

I am going to organize this chapter based upon consumer electronics hardware device genres.

Wallace Jackson


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