View Full Version : Compositing?

04-02-2008, 06:39 PM
Hey I am kinda new to lightwave and was wondering how to animations and objects from lightwave with real film stuff. I know u can just put the film as a background and put the animation over it but i want it to look like it is actually there in the scene interacting with the real people and stuff. Can anyone help???

04-02-2008, 08:45 PM

Compositing is a complete art and skill base in itself covering many techniques meaning that for some one to teach you in the forum would take a long long time. Lightwave itself is capable of basic compositing. But what you are talking about goes further than what Lightwave is capable of.

I would seriously recommend you read the following books:

Digital Compositing for Film and Video, Second Edition by Steve Wright

The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, Second Edition: Techniques for Visual Effects, Animation and Motion Graphics (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) by Ron Brinkmann

I'm sure the guys on here will have a lot of tips and help for you.

Do you have a particular package in mind to use for compositing, or will you be looking at purchasing a package to use?

jin choung
04-02-2008, 09:55 PM

your question is a bit more than a forum post can explain. do a search on vfx compositing, green/blue/red screen, camera tracking, lens aberrations.

best we can do is point you at search terms.


04-02-2008, 10:57 PM
Also, you have to make sure the lighting in your cg scene matches or at least approximates the footage you're trying to combine it with.

04-02-2008, 11:44 PM
Ya I understand film stuff I have made alot of movies and stuff and have used blue screens etc. I just wasint sure if lightwave alone could actually composite characters into a real film scene.

jin choung
04-02-2008, 11:59 PM
you COULD but you wouldn't want to. neither would you want to in maya.

lightwave generates cg like maya, xsi etc.

a compositing app like after effects or combustion or shake... that's the thing that actually puts it together.

what kind of experience DO you have? your questions are extremely broad and doesn't really reflect someone who DOES have a lot experience. not questioning your word, just trying to understand the discrepancy.


04-03-2008, 12:07 AM
No the fact is I just don't have experience with lightwave and the reason I was being broad is because thats what I wanted to know was just a broad fairly easily answered question which you did answer in the post before this just the fact that for compositing a character into real film lightwave does not do so well and after effects or one of those would be better so thank you.

jin choung
04-03-2008, 12:12 AM

lw, maya, max, xsi - these are 3d computer graphics programs for generating 3d elements.

after effects, combustion, fusion, shake - these are COMPOSITING APPS. a COMPLETELY different category of software.


04-03-2008, 04:33 AM
It can get a bit confusing sometimes because XSI essentials actually has a pretty good compositor from it's parent company, Avid, built in. I don't know that it has particles and all, but it appears to be fairly decent altogether. Plus Jin,here, has been telling us that Blender even has a decent compositor built in too...and it's free.

Don't want to steer you away from LW, but those are some alternatives.

04-03-2008, 03:00 PM
I'd say most 3D software will do what you want, but it's up to your skill to really get the image to match correctly.

Plus, a well-trained compositor can also take a crap 3D image and "mostly" blend it to look a part of the final comp.

To get 3D to blend perfectly with real footage, it's a mastery of skills in lighting, coloring, match-moving, and rotoscoping. And mind control.

04-05-2008, 09:25 PM
Defenitly. I wouldn't want to comp an animation over background footage INSIDE a 3D program. Getting your animation matching the background plate would be a nightmare. Better to render it out in passes and comp it over the background in a comp program, gives you infinatly more control over it.

Oh, and if you are going to look for a comp program, take a real one and not an integrated one. The integrated ones are quite limited compared to a full composit program.

04-09-2008, 09:08 AM
Thanks Guys!!