Roger Wickes

Creative Software Solutions


On-Line Tutorials

I have written, recorded, produced and published over 3 hours of video tutorials on Compositing with Blender. These videos are a companion to the wiki book which I wrote for Blender.Org on Compositing, and while the Manual goes into each element individually, these videos show you how to put them together, explores some aspects in more depth, and gives you a hands-on walkthrough in using the tool to composite images, video and CG. Since it took so much effort, and because I have pledged to support the foundation financially, I am asking for a donation for each set that you order. These videos are broadcast through Vimeo on the Internet, and you can watch them whenever you want, or download them for off-line viewing. I have packged them into albums that you can order:
  • Introduction & Formats - what is compositing, a popular compositing rig, how the tools work together
  • Formats and Channels - all the different popular formats explained, compression, codecs, color correction, adjustment
  • Conversion and Distortion - making movies from images (and vice versa), bending, warping, upsampling
  • Special Effects - greenscreening, spinning, fake lighting, morphing (facelifits, nose jobs)
  • Masks and Matchmoving - making and using masks to extract portions of an image/video
Please register at my web store at rogerwickes.com, add them to your cart, and then check out via Paypal. My store will then allow you to download a copy of the videos in full resolution to your PC for off-line viewing, by visiting your "My Account" page. You can view them through the streaming service by just clicking on the product title. Thank you for your support!

Also check out my complete, 10-hour DVD, published by Lynda.com, that covers all the rest of Blender (modeling, animation, sequencing).

Topic: Introduction to Compositing

This 55-minute topic lays the groundwork and gets you started in Compositing with Blender and consists of the following 6 segments. The remaining videos in the Compositing series assumes you have watched these videos and set up Blender according to the instructions given.

Integrated Sequencing and Compositing (Overview) (4:37, 35MB)

·         What are the tools available inside Blender to do Compositing? What is that Do Sequence and Do Composite button? How do they tie together? How can I combine the render from multiple scenes in one picture?

Video Sequence Editor (14:48, 51MB)

·         What is video sequence editing, and what is this Sequence layout? How do these windows work and how do I use them to produce a video? What is a video strip and how do I move them around?

Creating a custom screen layout for node-based compositing (7:46, 15MB)

·         This video sets up a screen layout that you can save as your default that enables you to work with Nodes within Blender. This layout is required as it is used for the rest of the videos.

Node Editor Window controls and hotkeys (6:00, 17MB)

·         You work with nodes inside of a special window type, called the Node Editor Window. What is this window, and how do I move around in it? What if my node layout (my “noodle”) gets too big to fit? How should I arrange my nodes so that they are understandable and not so confusing?

What is a Noodle? Conceptual overview of node-based compositing (9:26, 60MB)

·         What is a Node? How do they connect and pass information from one to another? What do they do to an image? Uses a robotic assembly line analogy to convey the concept of a noodle.

General/common Node controls (13:38, 31MB)

·         What is a node? How do I add them, move them around, connect them? How can I re-size them, and what is that little ball up there in the corner? Some nodes have a graph – what is that and what does it do?

Please register at my web store at rogerwickes.com, add them to your cart, and then check out via Paypal. My store will then allow you to download a copy of the videos in full resolution to your PC for off-line viewing, by visiting your "My Account" page. You can view them through the streaming service by just clicking on the product title. Thank you for your support!

Topic: Formats and Channels

This 1 hour and 15 minute series of 8 videos covers the theory and use of all the different popular image formats, discussing compression, sizes in pixels, resolutions, and then launches into Blender, and shows you what the buttons are that control the aspects of setting your format and compressions, and then veers off into nodes and using the compositor to do color-correction and adjustment by working on the individual color channels. Blender supports many different channel definitions.

Format Theory (11:20)
  • This is a slide presentation and lecture on the different mediums for image presentation that are available, and then common formats (sizes and settings) used for each medium. I try to give you good advice on reasonable settings and commonly accepted sizes and framerates
Common Formats (18:37)
  • There's a saying that goes "the advantage to having multiple standards is that you can pick your own" is so very true in the world of graphics and broadcasting. In this tutorial, I attempt to guide you through the multitude of static and video formats, and how to generate them in Blender.
Format Buttons (4:50)
  • I cover the confusing array of buttons and controls in Blender that are used for the different functions. I talk about context and sub-context buttons, presets for TV broadcast (and the different standards for those) in HD or high-definition broadcast. I cover interlacing and fields settings.
Please register at my web store at rogerwickes.com, add them to your cart, and then check out via Paypal. My store will then allow you to download a copy of the videos in full resolution to your PC for off-line viewing, by visiting your "My Account" page. You can view them through the streaming service by just clicking on the product title. Thank you for your support!


Topic: Channels

RGB Channels (9:05)
  • What is an image, really? What are those pixels, and why do you need 24 bits for each one? In this I explain the basics of image channels, using the RGB curve to separate them and work on them.
YCbCr (High Def) Channels (8:53)
  • HiDef baby! It's all about BRILLIANCE! I use this node to Pop the Luminance and make it snappy. Also I give you tricks of the trade in blowing up digital images to HD while avoiding pixellation - the tent blur.
HSV Values (8:00)
  • In this segment, I construct a pass filter, commonly called a high-gain or band-pass filter. To do this, I use the HSV channels to identify what to do, the RGB curve to make an inversion mask, or negative, so that the image is added to itself, thus evening out the contrast and making a very flat image. This image can then be tiled and used as a seamless texture. I also discuss adjusting the final output for brightness and contrast, using the Blur node to smooth the contrast and make it change gradually across the image.
Using HSV Hues (8:35)
  • I speak about what Hue Saturation Value is, and how to use Blender and the HSV node to isolate a specific color or range of values from an image. I use clipping, vector handles to very precisely mask out and isolate specific colors. I then feed that filter to a mix node to re-color the image, replacing one color with another.As a practical example, I do a spectral analysis of a galaxy.
Color Correction & False Color (6:00)
  • In this video, I blab on about how to introduce false color into an image or video stream. I use a couple of tricks, like playing with the Red, Green or Blue channels, using the ColorRamp to change them. Make your Mom into a Smurf, or your Dad into a Barney. Or, just make a sunny day that much sunnier. Have fun!
Please register at my web store at rogerwickes.com, add them to your cart, and then check out via Paypal. My store will then allow you to download a copy of the videos in full resolution to your PC for off-line viewing, by visiting your "My Account" page. You can view them through the streaming service by just clicking on the product title. Thank you for your support!


Topic: Conversion and Distortion

Almost two hours of practical, hands-on advice on using Blender to re-size re-sample, change aspect ratios, stretch, and all the ways to squish and squash your video are presented in this series, both statically for an image, or for a video, or even to make an image into a video.

Flying Camera Rig (13:14)
  • Blender is really cool in that you can mix your modes of editing between projections of that video in 3D space, 2D-based compositing, and 2D-based mixing in the VSE, all at the same time. An uber-cool idea is to use your video to texture something - a plane, or a sphere commonly, and then film that texture using the camera (orthographic or lens-based) to get all sort of very cool distortion effects. I came up with this simple but versatile rig that I use in a lot of the remaining tutorials, so set one up for yourself!
Images into the Node Compositor (5:55)
  • In this short but important video, I talk about how to get video/images into the Node-based Compositor in Blender using the RenderLayer and the Image input nodes, both for images and video. I also discuss the similarities between the controls in the UV/Image Editor, the Node, and the Texture sources. In fact, it might even be same/similar when using a video as a background in 3D view.
  • Prerequisite: Flying Camera
Format Conversion (21:51)
  • Here I discuss how to examine an image for channel info, and the formats that Blender supports and how to save your different channels and render layers in the available formats. Starting simple, I discuss loading an image into the VSE and converting its format, both in size and in format (JPG->PNG) and space savings comparison. Also I discuss quality compression settings and the effect on disk space. I also talk a little about the Alpha and Z values, and what format supports which channels, and what buttons to click (RGBA) in Blender to be sure you save the channels you want, including the EXR format and the multilayer format, in the appropriate container. I also have to discuss Image or Frame Sequences versus Videos. whew!
  • Prerequisite: Format theory from Intro
Flying Video Conversion and Display (12:43)
  • Using the virtual darkroom analogy, I explain how to use the Flying Camera rig to crop/scale/distort video. Using a non-orthographic camera, we can scale rotate and zoom by keyframing the camera location. File navigation and relative file specs, types of files and multi-file (sequences), selection, and special video controls are discussed to offset, start, fields, and cycle the video. Also information about the video is shown in the console window by the codec.
  • Please watch Blender3D Tutorial - Convert: Flying Camera Rig first!
Pan and Zoom (10:25)
  • Using nodes, I show you how to pan (more the camera side to side) and zoom in/out on a portion of an image. In fact, you can make a web video out of a static HD image, as if you had a video camera while you were there!
Crop and Translate (9:54)
  • Cropping and translating images is a common workflow. I first use nodes and crop an image (same goes for a video) which is to only use a portion of an image, for example, taking a PC-sized portion of an HD image. I explain that the nodes do not scale and instead start at the middle of the pic. I compare this to the VSE Sequencer and how it works. Use this to re-size image resolutions. Also cover the Scale and Translate nodes in the Distort group.
Uniform Distortion (11:34)
  • In this tutorial, I teach you how to do perspective correction of image/video. We correct for lens distortion by altering the geometry. We correct for tesselation caused by UV texturing by simple subdivision. This technique was used in the movie "Stranger Than Fiction". We then fly (animate) the camera (orthographic scale or perspective location) to provide an interesting animation clip. We also discuss using Shape Keys to change the shape of the projection screen to animate distortions (dizzy, nervous breakdown, time warp).
Rotate and Spin (12:20)
  • How to spin images using Blender. First, we use the UV-Textured plane rig and physically rotate the mesh. Next we use Nodes, and then the Sequencer. We discuss Orthographic camera scaling, animation, and considerations about clipping.
Uniform Scaling (10:43)
  • In this tutorial I teach you how to use the Scale Node in the Blender Compositor to manipulate an image. We stretch it, spin/rotate, and have all sorts of fun. We do uniform linear distortion. I discuss the difference between resolution handling between the renderer and the node system. Hence we have the scale node to scale an input image at one resolution to match the render resolution. I discuss using Absolute scaling, and relative/percentage scaling, relative aspect ratios, including 16:9 and 4:3. Practical applications are to make people thinner on camera. Also I animate the scale to simulate the title or video segment zooming in using the Time node and clipping. Professional tips given for maximum effect.
Please register at my web store at rogerwickes.com, add them to your cart, and then check out via Paypal. My store will then allow you to download a copy of the videos in full resolution to your PC for off-line viewing, by visiting your "My Account" page. You can view them through the streaming service by just clicking on the product title. Thank you for your support!

Topic: Special Effects

Over an hour and a half of the most popular requests for how to do all those neat special effects in Blender

Localized Distortion (12:30)
  • Do localized image distortion just like Goo or other expensive SGI hardware today using Blender3D. The rig is a simple UV-textured plane filmed using an orthographic camera. We then subdivide the plane, add some curve guides, and use proportional editing to alter an image. Use this technique to plan/visualize rhinoplasty (nose job), face lifts, and all sorts of "beauty enhancements".
Fake Spot Lighting(9:33)
  • Instead of nodes, Blender allows you to spot light portions of an image. Using the flying camera rig, I show you how to light up portions of the projection screen to get really dramatic lighting. Turn a daytime shot into nightime, and light up the scene as if it was lit by the moon and streetlights. Make your model have green eyes, or turn them into Dracula. Whiten teeth, give em a sunburn, whatever. Add lights together, angle them to give different footprints, to build up a composite image in your virtual darkroom.
Difference Keying (9:45)
  • Use nodes to compute the difference between two images, usually a matte or background shot and then the same shot with actors in the set. This technique was used in the film "Death Becomes Her" starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. Use this technique to create ghosts, glass people, or, as I discuss in the wiki, to uncover watermarks and prove video ownership.
Fake Lighting via CGI (12:40)
  • In this Special Effects segment, I talk about how to make lights apparently appear and affect the coloration of an image, as a way of making an image happier or moodier, turning a bright day overcast, or even a daytime image into night and adding streetlights.
GreenScreen using Key Nodes (14:03)
  • Blender has many ways to handle green/blue screen post-pro. The Channel key node, your secret to processing greenscreen video. There are sample greenscreen video clips available on the net (Google, or search BlenderArtist) to use in this exercise. I discuss premultiply alpha and color spill. This also works for BlueScreen, WhiteScreen, and BlackScreen. The second approach is using the Chroma key, which has the advantage of being able to use the eyedropper to sample the key color, the color to be "keyed" out. The Third way is using the Difference Key.
Manual Keyframing and Match Moving (14:35)
  • In this video, I match move a 3D virtual object on top of a movie which is set as the background image. This FAQ tells you how to integrate your CG objects into a real-world video. I cover only the keyframing aspects of a mask and the object itself, as well as some acting tips. This also applies to rotoscoping.
Titles and Credits (14:00)
  • How to title your video, layering your titles on top of video, or stencil your video on top of the title. I explain Convert Pre-multiply, and discuss how to use and animating lighting and/or moving titles to make it a little more dramatic. Using Time node to fade in the title of the video.
Lighting with Nodes (10:38)
  • You can alter the lighting (general ambient, specific spots, color/warmth) of a video using the Compositor Nodes. Even though there isn't a "light" in the nodes-based compositor, I discuss how to enhance and "light" by increasing the brightness/contrast of an image or, using a mask, a portion of an image, much like lights do to a non-shadeless plane. The advantage to nodes is that you can easily enhance only a certain color spectrum, like making a forest look greener, or an ocean look bluer. Masks can be other 1) images via the Image input node, or 2) textures introduced through the Texture input node, or 3) by making a mask in 3D space and introducing it into the compositor via the RenderLayer node. In Advertising, you always highlight the key product.
Please register at my web store at rogerwickes.com, add them to your cart, and then check out via Paypal. My store will then allow you to download a copy of the videos in full resolution to your PC for off-line viewing, by visiting your "My Account" page. You can view them through the streaming service by just clicking on the product title. Thank you for your support!

Also check out my complete, 10-hour DVD, published by Lynda.com, that covers all the rest of Blender (modeling, animation, sequencing).

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