Professional Digital Compositing: Essential Tools + Techniques

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Reviewing Lee Lanier‘s latest book, Professional Digital Compositing – Essential Tools and Techniques, Kirk Buckendorf eloquently states – and I couldn’t have put it better myself –

“While not as glorious as 3D animation or as artsy as digital design, digital compositing is the unsung hero of multiple industries. Without it the 3D animation would never make it to the screen and beautiful artwork would never come alive.”

While not a book for the neophite – because it does contain a lot of technical material – Lanier’s book is definitely readable and extremely informative covering all aspects of the oft neglected “soldier” of animation and film production. As you thumb through it reads like an all star cast of the best companies in our industry and the interviews, with some of the best compositors in the game, give us an on the ground view of those companies and a little taste for their working philosophy. Best of all there’s real intelligence to be had in the advice given and actual instruction as opposed to PR fluff. Each chapter has a “Tips and Tricks” section which is invaluable and the accompanying DVD allows you to drill down further and pick up even more usable info.

In an inspired flash of brilliance, Lanier posed most of the people he interviewed at their station (only a few stodgy companies submitted standard PR stills). I got a kick out of seeing everyone at their desk because you get an instant hit for the personality behind the work.

Above, seated at his desk, is Little Fluffy Clouds own Jerry van de Beek. Methinks this image speaks volumes :° )