Now Teaching New Courses

Vfx202 : Visual Effects Foundation II

VFX 202 : Visual Effects Foundations II

This course continues from VFX201, building on the concepts learnt and look at how the simple operations and theories shown in the first course can be weaved into more complex tools and techniques.

A typical day for a Nuke artist might involve tasks like Track, Keying, Matching Grain and even projecting Images to aid in a cleaning up a plate. VFX202 will attempt to shed more light on how these process work and how more complex operations are woven together to make the scripts that you rely on to create Visual Effects.

Additionally we will take a look at some very simple and versatile mathematical concepts that drive most of the expressions that you will ever need to write, along with some very useful practical examples.

Finally we will delve into the world of 3d, looking at how even the most advanced tools and concepts in 3d like, Rendering, Rigging, simulation and more can be understood in very simple terms so that people with a limited knowledge of 3d can work hand in hand with 3d artists of all specializations.

For this course material will be demonstrated in primarily in Nuke and Maya, although all techniques can be translated to any application.

Class 01 : Data Passes and Image Maps.

What all those funky Maps and additional passes do. Normal, Point Position, Depth, ID and more. Understanding Displacement and vector based transforms.

Class 02: Data Passes and Image Maps (Continued)

Using complex tools to get the most out of those additional passes.  How to use them all and how to make sense of those colours.

Class 03: Expressions made easy:

What I never learnt in Math class but wished I had. How expressions are simple ways of making a computer your bitch !

Class 04 : Simple Expressions Complex tasks

Four Core Mathematical concepts that will make you a master at expressions. Average, Negate, Normalise, Equalise. Unlimited possibilities

Class 05: Keying Made Easy

The magic of a keyer striped bare. How to make your own keyers and how to get under the hood of greenscreen extractions. Learning what to do when a keyer fails.

Class 06: Keying In Depth

Beyond matte extraction. Spill, fringing edges and alternatives to the Pre-multiplied keyer !

Class 07: Make it Stick

Tracking and everything you should know about make them fail. The differences in between pattern based, planar and optical flow based trackers and how to choose. A look at the new tacking technology in Nuke 7.

Class 08: Noise and Grain

Understanding grain and why it occurs. Creating a custom grain node and how to emulate the look of grain on a non-photographic image.

Class 09: Focus and Blur

Optics are a crucial part of every VFX shot. How to understand the effect of shooting an image and how to use  Nuke to create believable optical effects using Nuke 7’s zDefocus node.

Class 10: Something Awesome

Emerging technology and what is hot right now. Stay tuned for new developments as material for this class will de-mystify some of the more interesting VFX tools that are being discussed.

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Current Activities

I am currently teaching a class at FXPHD called VFX201: VFX Foundations.

Topics include :

  • Class 1: Understanding how we see : the problem – why we need colour theory and the limits of human vision, display systems and how your application lies to you and luminance, chrominance and why you suck at seeing both!
  • Class 2: Modern models of colour : the solution – defining, encoding and recording color, display systems and how they can lie to you plus file formats and the ins and outs of managed colour pipelines
  • Class 3: Jargon busting : who is marcie? and why do we care – density, log and linear colour in practice and converting colour from storage to a usable medium for manipulation.
  • Class 4: Out of the dark ages : It’s all about light. The notion of a photometric linear image, beyond black and white and Dmin and why Josh Pines was right!
  • Class 5: Now you get it, its time to move it. logical colour manipulations, dangerous manipulations and defining the mathematics of colour correction
  • Class 6: Those that don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it. The history of image composition, understanding why addition and multiplication rule your daily life and remove the word layering from your vocabulary
  • Class 7: How to put “A” over “B” – the one basic presupposition for all modern compositing applications and why most people working in VFX today don’t understand it. What the word presupposition means!
  • Class 8: What if I told you there is no blur? The matrix explained! Kernels, convolution and why you will never pay for a plug-in filter again.
  • Class 9: Popular tools and techniques broken down to an atomic level. Keyer, filter or colour correct its all much simpler than you thought! Everything is just a colour operation and why I spent so long earlier on teaching you about colour.
  • Class 10: The Matrix reloaded! All this time you thought you were moving images… you aren’t. Affine, perspective and displacement. Understanding vectors and per pixel manipulation.
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