Visual Effects for Film

VFX is a tool for your story telling~

What VFX can do?-Part 4: compositing

Most people think that vfx is the same as 3D animation. But the truth is compositing, which is in the 2D department, is the most common vfx. This technique is applied in almost every film. If the shot has 3D objects, compositing is the last step to put all the elements together. In many cases, compositors have to key all the green/blue screen, sometimes do the tracking, get all the different 3D elements from other team members, put those together and do all the necessary fixing and adjustments. This article will discuss what compositing can do.


1. Wire/Clean Up:
If you need your actor flying, doing some dangerous action, or standing up high somewhere, for safety reasons, it’s better to hang the actor on a wire to prevent any major injuries. Now you’ll need a compositor to help you remove the wires so your audience won’t see it. Also a lot of the time, there are some flaws in your footage that you didn’t notice. Such as stains, undesirable reflections and random things like lighting gear and set equipment that often get in the shot and need to be removed.

2. Color correcting/ lighting adjustment:
The most common is turning day to night. Shooting in night time or low light is not easy and hard to control. The solution is film it in the day time and then color correct it to night time color and lighting.

3. Adding Elements:
We often adding something that wasn’t there when you are shooting such as snow, rain, debris, smoke, fog, flashing lights, blood, lens-flare, ext.. If your story needs a snowy day, instead of waiting for it to snow and trying to shoot in a low visibility situation, adding snow later in post production will save you lots of trouble. Or if your character needs to shoot somebody with a gun in the head, you will need a vfx team to add muzzle flashes and blood spraying.

4. And a whole lot more:
You might want to de-focus the background or other characters in your shot or make something stand out better. This is also common for compositing. Or your actor blinks his eyes when he shouldn’t and you didn’t notice, or there is some prop broken. All these little issues you might not notice when on set but stand out later.

These are just some examples of what compositing can do. There are a lot more and we’ll discuss them later in other articles.

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