The purpose of this Block is to give students a solid understanding of visual effects production for film and television. Students who complete this term will have an understanding of film effects history, node and layer based compositing, rotoscoping, greenscreen keying, color grading, 2D/3D tracking, crowd replication, matte painting, set extensions, particle simulations, fluid dynamics, and stereoscopic conversion techniques. This course provides 300 clock hours of live lecture and instructor moderated lab time.
DAVE 201 – Fundamentals of Computer Animation
Foundations of Visual Effects
The first section of Block 03 condenses the key principles of filmmaking and visual effects into an intensive week-long lecture series. Students will learn the basics of lighting, camera lenses, camera composition, and camera movement. Analog and digital filmmaking will be explored along with an introduction to optical and digital visual effects.
Texturing for Visual Effects
This section covers comprehensive photo-realistic texturing using Adobe Photoshop. Students will explore advanced channel operations, procedural extractions and the techniques needed to achieve believable textures for your 3D objects.
Fundamentals of Digital Compositing
Compositing is the heart of all visual effects. It is the art of combining a myriad of elements into a single complex image. This section provides a comprehensive look at both nodal based and layer based compositing applications. Using The Foundry’s Nuke and Adobe’s After Effects. Compositing topics such as keying, rotoscoping, 2D tracking, image stabilization and color correction will be covered in detail.
Integrating 3D objects into real-world footage can be tricky. In order to achieve success, you must match your 3D camera’s movement and settings to that of its real-world counterpart. In this section, students will learn the fundamental principles of 3D tracking, stabilization and matchmoving in order to reconstruct real-world camera data within a virtual environment. Using the Pixel Farm’s PF Track software, students will learn the principles of successful 3D tracking and matchmoving, including automatic tracking, hand tracking and matchimation.
Advanced Visual Effects Techniques
In this section, students will build upon the compositing skills they’ve learned to create movie magic. Crowd replication, digital de-aging, 2D particle systems, 3D fluid dynamics, and advanced digital destruction techniques are all covered in detail.
Fundamentals of Matte Painting
Matte paintings allow filmmakers to create expansive environments and locations without investing the time to build physical models or sets. In this section, students will learn the secrets of digital matte painting and set extensions used by professionals for film and game cinematics.
Lighting for Visual Effects
Lighting is often the key to photorealism. In this section, students will learn how real-world movie lighting techniques can be applied in the computer to create photoreal images.
Introduction to Stereoscopic Conversion
Ever since Avatar, the demand for stereoscopic 3D (S3D) content has grown tremendously. In this section, students will learn the tricks used by Hollywood’s top stereoscopic conversion companies to convert 2D films into 3D movies.
Principles of Motion Graphics
A staple in most television commercial production is motion graphics. Motion graphics allows you to take your 2D elements and animate them in both 2D and 3D space to create compelling visuals. In this section, students will learn to create 2D and 3D head’s up displays (HUDs), logo animation techniques, and title sequence animations.
Demo Reel Creation
In this section, students will apply their knowledge of visual effects to the creation of a new demo reel. Lab time will be provided for them to enhance their reel and website to create a professional presentation. The delivery of a completed demo reel is required in order to complete the Block.
There are several objectives for this course. You will develop proficiencies in:
Week 01: Fundamental Principles of Filmmaking, Practical Lighting, Analog and Digital Film Formats
Week 02: Photoshop Image Manipulation, Color Channels, and 3D Texturing
Week 03: Introduction to Nuke, Rotoscoping, Keying, 2D Tracking, and Color Grading
Week 04: Introduction to After Effects, Introduction to Mocha, 2D Tracking, 2.5D Camera Motion
Week 05: Introduction to PF Track, 2D and 3D Auto Tracking, Hand Tracking and Wire Rig Removal
Week 06: 2.5D Crowd Replication, Atmospheric Effects, Digital Makeup, Digital De-Aging
Week 07: 2D and 3D Particle Systems, Introduction to Fluid Dynamics, Digital Destruction Techniques
Week 08: Matte Paiting, Set Extension and Camera Projections
Week 09: Multi-Pass Rendering, Global Illumination and High Dynamic Range Imagery
Week 10: Introduction to Stereoscopic Conversion, 2D to 3D Conversion Techniques
Week 11: Introduction to Motion Graphics, Logo Animations and Title Sequences
Week 12: Demo Reel