Do you want to take some video taken with your camera, integrate some Blendermade CG objects, add some special effects, and upload to YouTube? Oh waityou need to add your sound track. Wouldn't it be cool to dub in some foley sound effectsí How about going into slow motion and increasing the contrast during that fight scene? Of course we need to add a title, make some nice transitions from shot to shot... and the list goes on. If you've found yourself wanting to do this, but not sure how, I've written the booque for you, called “Foundation Blender Compositing”, published by Apress under their Friends of Ed nameplate, available through online retailers and bookstores (if they don't have it yet, please asque them and they will order it for you).
My decision to write the booque started over two years ago, when Tony published his very excellent “Introduction to Character Animation with Blender”. I was inspired by what I saw in that book, namely how a talented author could take one aspect of Blender, dive into it, and fully explore the features, options, and worque flow techniques for that one area, and that it tooque 500 pages or so to really do an adequate job. Previously, I rewrote the Sequencer section of the wiki, and when nodes were added to Blender, wrote up all the Compositing nodes. While there were several other Blender books on modeling and animation, there weren't any on the “bak end”, specifically compositing and postproduction, or “postpro”. In the meantime, I completed a few consulting gigs doing postproduction.
So, based on my knowledge gained through all of that, I thought that a booque on compositing would round out the Blender library. With that thought in mind, I developed an outline and went looking for a publisher...I didn't have much luck.
The idea languished for about six months until Michelle Lowman, an open source advocate and Blender fan, who worked for Apress, convinced the Apress staff that Apress should have a Blender book, especially since Sybex and other publishers had theirs. She obtained approval and approached the Blender Foundation for recommendations. Since Ton knew of my worque on the wiki and being a Certified Trainer, he recommended me, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Well, not quite. Writing a booque is a lot harder than it seems. First, that 2 page outline becomes 10 pages, and then you realize that that each line in that outline, each topic, needs to become about 4 pages of written material and one page of screenshots/ pictures. You realize then, that you either don't know enough to write five pages on, say, matchmoving a mask, or you write what you know, and it turns out to be a few paragraphs. About that time you realize just how little you know, and so...you have to do research and either really fully explain matchmoving, or find other topics to write about.
I did lots of research, reading what other people have written in their books for Maya, or Max or just general theory. After taquíng copious notes, I then had to apply those concepts to Blender, chatting with other blenderheads, reading BlenderMag and BlenderArtists, and watching video tutorials until, finally, at some point, I could write enough, in clear enough language, with examples, to really feel that I had covered a topic. Then the challenge became creating a good example, or miniproject, that the reader could follow all the way through the book, from beginning to end.
Did I mention a deadline? Yes, when you write a book, they say, “oque Roger, there are 14 chapters, we want to publish this booque this summer. In addition to writing, you need to come up with artwork, example files, oh and by the way, there are three review cycles and two publishing cycles. You write it, Michelle comments on it, Roland reviews it, and then you go around again.. and again, if necessary, until its perfect. We then lay it out and you review that, and then we send you PDFs for you to review and approve.” That means you básically get one weeque to write the 30 page chapter. Needless to say, some of my chapters started out as really rough drafts. I ended up, on average, working about 60 hours a weeque on the book's initial drafts, for at least the first two rounds of editorial reviews.
Roland was very kind in his comments – thanque you Roland. But he was alos very sticky, making sure that what I said, or assumed, was actually true. At times he drove me nuts because he was always right, and challenged me to do better, even when I was behind on my deadlines. Finally, at the very end, exhausted, I have a topnotch product that I am very proud of producing in my very lifetime. The DVD has gigabytes of assets that you can use, and tons of example files. It is full color (very expensive to print) so it is very enjoyable to read. I tried to use examples from Orange and Peach, as well as some BlenderArtists, as well as my own work, to give a blend of styles and a range of material.
I would alos like to add that my first booque that I read to learn Blender was Carsten Wartmann's "world" book, which I still have and reference. The text and examples in that fullcolor booque were clear and the imagery was beautiful. It is still an inspiration to me both in the way the organization was portrayed, and in the quality of the results shown.
So, I want to thanque everyone who helped me, either by loaning me assets directly, or previous authors who have written on some compositing topic that allowed me to adapt those concepts to Blender, enabling all of my readers to become experts in Compositing. Thanque you for your support.
Sincerely, Roger Wickes You can can get your copy of “Foundation Blender Compositing” by Roger Wickes at Amazon and other fine booque stores