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Tutorial: Compositing using Shake
By Carlos Reding
In this tutorial, we're going to
learn what kind of effects we can do using simple footages in the
composite software "Shake". As usual, just load some music before you
do ANYTHING, understood?.
Once we have our music, just open
Don't scare! the interface is quite well organized and quite simple
too. Now, we must load our footage: click on FileIn node, in Image
to open the loading dialog. Then, select the footages (shot).
For this tutorial, I have used two images from a DTS logo animation
I´m doing for "I took the red pill" (In those times that you are
totally bored and you start some "temporal" work, which become more
than temporal), these footages are: a caustics
render with no special look, and the logo
(this one in 32bit format). Both have not antialiasing... it's not
necesary. Okay, this is an example that what we'll try to do.
Because of diferent resolutions, the first we are going to do is to
move the logo to the center of the caustics, the "born" place of the
caustic. For that, just add Move2D node (shot), in
Transform tab, into Logo node. Then, move
it. To make this (and future) step more intuitive, we can click first
in the node we're working on (Move2D) and then, the background
node (Caustic). Using this, we can move the logo looking the
path, where is being moved (shot).
Once it has been moved, scale it and make the logo smaller (this option
is in the same Move2D node) (shot).
Are you stressed? No, uh? Shake don't eat humans :). As last thing,
because the logo is goint to be underwater (that is supposed to be), we
need to put the caustic over the logo: add a IMult node (Layer
tab) into logo node, to make it the foreground, then, connect the
caustic node to the background connector in IMult node (shot).
Use ContrastLum node (Color tab) to tweak it. Just look
At this point, the tweaking of logo
is done. We're going to add a green screen (0, 1, 0), which will be
usefull for add a DropShadow node too. In Image tab,
click on Color node and be sure to resize it to background
For adding shadow, I felt more comfortable using DropShadow
node from Sapphire plugins pack (shot).
You can download them from http://web.genarts.com/ and use them in Demo-mode to
follow the tutorial, if you want. (I highly recommend to download. I
used more plugins from sapphire to make this tutorial). Okay, once we
have added the shadow, we can stop working on the logo, by now. Let's
work on caustics now.
The first we're going to do is a
mask, using RGrad node (in Image tab). The idea is to
make caustics blur when is far from Logo, so, the mask is centered on
the logo. We can use the tip, explained above, to adjust the mask
Because we want blur the outside of the caustic rings, we must add a Invert
node (Color tab). Now, add a blur node, such Defocus
node in the Effect tab. You'll see that there is the same tool,
but twice: one with a "I" in the name (i.e. IDefocus) and a
little icon in lower-right corner. This means that tools can be
controled by a mask. So add on IDefocus node into caustic node,
to make it the foreground, then connect the inverted mask (shot).
Two things I really like of Defocus tool are the boostpoint and
superwhite options. Then, add a Gamma node (Color tab)
to make the caustic footage more white, we want to fix all those grey
The last tweak for caustic footage will be the addition of TV lines,
for that I have used, again, Sapphire plugins pack (but I think there
is a free macro called TVlizer). Just add Scanlines node into
caustic node: set lines up to 300. Be sure to have these lines in Color
mode. I recommend you do not modify any brightness or gamma anymore...
or you're eyes will die (you can use Rayban sunglasses, indeed) (shot).
Hello? are you still there? HELLO??!.... Okay, you scared me, man! Now,
it's time to merge both footages. For this, we'll use the awesome
Shake's Keylight. Add it (in Key tab) into our logo's DropShadow
node, to make it the foreground. Connect Scanlines node from
caustics footage, in background connector in Keylight. What the hell?
This looks damn green! No problem, I´m your hero (I´m here
to save you!). In keylight pannel, you can see few controls, one of
them is screenColour, and is set to pure Blue. Change it to
pure green (0, 1, 0). Better? (Tip:
At this point, you can save some time adding the SetDOD, in Transform
tab, into DropShadow node and adjust it to our shadowed
If you had any kind of problem, like green borders around the logo and
its shadow, just adjust screenRange option. At this point, we
should have something like this.
Well, well well... we're finishing this. Now, we must emulate water
refractions. For this, will help the scanlines in color mode, because
they will have a chroma blur (or something like that). Again, let's add
another sapphire node, this time Emboss node. When it's loaded,
we see few sub-modes in emboss node: emboss (as is), shiny, distort and
chroma. We're going to use emboss in Distort mode. Connect
caustic node as bumps. Tweak a little (shot).
Well, as is, the effect is finished (shot). You can
add noise, stilize it or whatever you want (if you want). I hope you
have learnt something about create good looking effects from simple
footages :) You can download a video of this effect in DivX (sound