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Video Training Review: Video2Brain: Fundamentals of Compositing Tracking And Roto Techniques With After Effects By Jeff Foster

Fundamentals Of Compositing Tracking And Roto Techniques With After Effects is a video workshop presented by Jeff Foster – award winning video producer, compositor, visual effects artist, and author of The Green Screen Handbook in which he guides you through the basics of green screen compositing and setting up a streamlined roto workflow with After Effects and a Wacom tablet.

The goal of this training is to provide you with real-world techniques for getting the best mattes and keys from your green screen shots, how to stabilize your tracking footage, how to use the Roto Brush feature to create quick and accurate mattes of anything that moves in the frame, and to provide you with the tools and techniques to create much more believable composites.

Fundamentals Of Compositing Tracking And Roto Techniques With After Effects is presented in high definition video and breaks out into six chapters and 17 videos that runs 1 hr and 25 minutes in length. Included as well is all of the footage and assets that are used in the training for you to work with on your own.

Fundamentals Of Compositing Tracking And Roto Techniques With After Effects

Chapter 1, “Setting Up a Wacom Tablet for Editing,” begins by showing you how to set up a Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet and a Wacom Citiq display (two separate videos) for effectively working in After Effects. The real goal here is to minimize the use of the keyboard when you are working on your projects and streamline your workflow.

Chapter 2, “Getting a Great Matte from Green Screen Shots,” now looks at some best practices in software keying. This lesson begins with a properly lit green screen and properly lit subjects. It then goes on to show you how to perform masking and how to work with the foreground and background videos to make them blend for the best look.

Next you move on to how to color balance your foreground and backgrounds properly by toning so that all of the footage looks like everything was shot with one camera. You will also see how to add some blur to simulate a rack focus or pull focus blur in your shots. Finally you will see how you can work with poorly lit green screen footage.

Fundamentals Of Compositing Tracking And Roto Techniques With After Effects

Chapter 3, “Roto-Masking in After Effects,” begins with an explanation of what roto is – any process that requires frame-by-frame work or when you have to track something that needs to be changed over time. This can be masking, painting, cloning, as well as other things. In this lesson, you will learn about one of the most common uses of roto – masking something or someone in the footage.

Then you will see how “Tweening” – After Effects is able to make adjustments between keyframes, can make for a smoother masking effect. He will show you how to mask the tire of a car driving on a road. You will mask at separate keyframes and then use the tweening to fill in the gaps. You will also see how to plan out your masking needs before you start the masking to make sure the process progresses smoothly.

Chapter 4, “Stabilizing and Tracking Footage,” then looks at one of the newest features in Adobe After Effects – the Warp Stabilizer. This feature gives you the ability to take hand-held footage and use it to stabilize the shot and remove unwanted motion without adding unwanted artifacts. You will learn how to set everything up with the optimal settings to get the best results.

Fundamentals Of Compositing Tracking And Roto Techniques With After Effects

From there, you will learn about the built-in tracker in After Effects and how you can use it to replace the destination stop (sign on the front) of a moving train with a logo and have it track properly through the scene. Finally you will take a look at match-moving – making something move in sequence with other objects and making it believable. This takes a lot of patience and time and in this section you will see how to take a 3D image and make it track along with a train.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.