Compositing Software/Tutorial/Info Links


People are asking questions about what software should I use and stuff like that so I’m making a permanant info page to help out everone so this kind of information is more readily available.

This is a works in progress. I’m still working on it now but I thought I would post what I have so far. I will be periodically adding things to this. I also have a thread were I want people to give me additional links to add to this document.


Here is a list of software related to this forum. Including, Compositing, Editing, and other tools along those lines.

      DOA= not devloped anymore  I included many DOA packages because many companies still use them so it is usefull to know about them.
      I will add descriptions to many of these later on when I have time.
      I. Compositing Software

[li]Adobe After Effects:(Win, OSX)[/li][li]Autodesk Combustion:(Win, OSX)[/li][li]Autodesk Composite (Toxik): (Win, OSX, Linux)[/li][li]Autodesk Flame:(Linux)[/li][li]Eyeon Vision: (Win)[/li][li]Eyeon Digital Fusion: (Win)[/li][li]The Foundry Nuke: (Win, Linux, OSX)[/li][li]Blender: (Win, Linux, OSX)[/li][li]R&H Icy: (Linux) (Non Commercial In house Software)[/li][li]ILM Saber: (Linux) (Non Commercial In house Software) [/li]
[li]ILM Comptime: color=#C0C0C0 (Non Commercial In house Software)[/color][/li][li]Apple Shake: DOA (OSX, Linux, Sgi)[/li][/ol]

   II. 2d/3d Paint

[li]Adobe Photoshop: (Win, OSX)[/li][li]Gimp: (Win, Linux, Sgi, Sun, Freebsd)(Free!)[/li][li]Krita: [color=silver](Win, Linux, Sgi, Sun, Freebsd) (Free!)[/color][/li][li]ArtRage: (Win, OSX)[/li][li]Maxxon Bodypaint: (Win, OSX)[/li][li]The Foundry Mari: (Win, Linux)[/li][li]Autodesk Sketchbook Pro: (Win, OSX)[/li][/ol]

   III. Roto/Paint

[li]Silhouette (Win, Linux, OSX)[/li][li]Eyeon Rotation: (Win)[/li][li]Mocha/Mocha Pro: (Win, OSX, Linux)[/li][/ol]

   IV. Matchmoving/Tracking

[li]Mocha/Mocha Pro: (Win, OSX, Linux, Irix)[/li][li]SynthEyes: (Win)[/li][li]PFTrack/PFMatchit/PfHoe: (Win, OSX, Linux, Sgi) Previously called Icarus, and originally developed at the Victoria University of Manchester.[/li][li]Autodesk Matchmover:[color=silver](Win, OSX, Linux)[/color][/li][li][color=silver][color=#000000]2d3 Boujou:[color=silver](Win, OSX, Linux)[/color][/color][/color][/li][li][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000]Science D Visions 3D Equalizer:[color=silver](Win, OSX, Linux, Sgi)[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/li][li][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000]Alias Maya Live:[color=silver](Win, Linux, Sgi)A tracker that is built into Maya Unlimited. It was licensed technology from a company called Alchemy 3D, that was later bought by Synapix who went belly up.[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/li][li]Voodoo Camera Tracker: (Win, Linux)[/li][/ol]

   V. Editors:

[li]iMovie[/li][li]Sony Vegas:(Win)[/li][li]Adobe Premiere Elements[/li][li]Adobe Premiere Pro:(Win, OSX)[/li][li]Apple Final Cut Pro:(OSX)[/li][li]Apple Final Cut Express:(OSX)[/li][li]Media 100 Suite:(OSX)[/li][li]Avid Media Composer:(Win, OSX)[/li][li]Avid Pinnacle Studio: (Win)[/li][li]Grass Valley Edius:(Win)[/li][li]EditShare Lightworks: (Win)(Free!)[/li][li]Cinefx:(Linux)(Free!)[/li][li]Cinerella:(Linux)(Free!)[/li][/ol]

   VI. Finishing

[li]Autodesk Smoke:(OSX, Linux)[/li][li]Avid Symphony:(Win, OSX)[/li][li]Avid DS:(Win)[/li][li]Quantel iQ/eQ:(Win)[/li][/ol]

   VII. Digital Color Grading/Digital Intermediate

[li]Apple Color:(OSX)[/li][li]The Grading Sweet:[/li][li]Synthetic Aperture Color Finess:[/li][li]Magic Bullet Suite:[/li][li]Assimilate Scratch: (Win)[/li][li]Autodesk Lustre:(Linux/Win)[/li][li]Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve:[/li][li]Pandora Revolution:[/li][li]Iridas SpeedGrade: (OSX/Win/Linux)[/li][li]Digital Vision Nucoda:(Win/Linux)[/li][li]FilmLight Baselight:[/li][li]SGO Mistika:[/li][li]Quantel Pablo:[/li][li]DFT Bones:[/li][li]DVS Clipster[/li][li]The Foundry Storm:(OSX)[/li][/ol]

   VIII. Digital Daily Playback

[li]FrameCycler:(Win, OSX, Linux)[/li][li]RV: [color=silver](Win, OSX, Linux) [/li] [/color]
[li]JefeCheck: [color=silver](Win, OSX, Linux)[/color][/li][li]DJV View: (Win, OSX, Linux)[/li][li][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000]PDPlayer: [/color][/color][/color][/color] (Win, OSX, Linux)[/li][li][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000]Mflip: [color=silver](Linux, Sgi) (Free!)[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/li][li]Cineplay: (Win, OSX, Linux)[/li][li][color=silver][color=#000000][color=silver][color=#000000][color=deeppink][color=#000000]i-display: color=silver (Free!)[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/li][li]Bluefish 444 Symmetry:(Win)[/li][/ol]
IX. Utilities

   a. [u]Particles[/u]

[li]Genarts Particle Illusion:(Win, OSX)[/li][li]Trapcode Particular(Win)[/li][/ol]
b. Motion Blur

[li]ReelSmart Motion Blur:(Win, OSX, Linux, Sgi)[/li][/ol]


Tutorial/Information Links:

Camera Mapping:[ul]
Front Projection
Fixed Front Projection - Faking reality (LW6.5)

Color & Lighting[ul]
Tips on Shooting Blue Screen and Green Screen
A few comments on “blue channel noise”
Visual Effects Lighting With Kino Flo
Environmental Design(lots of nice information about lighting and how objects absorb light)
What Wavelength Goes With a Color?
Lighting Controls for Computer Cinematography


  1. DV Garage
  2. OUTPOST - exercise in compositing 3D elements in a phototgraph
  3. Working with Particleillusion 3.0 and After Effects
  4. Compositing Backlighting(for AE, but general enough to use for anything)
  5. Compositing Basics in 3d
  6. Fake Camera Movement in Blue Screen Composites
  7. Compositing info and tutorials from the people who made Duality
  8. What the hell is multi-pass rendering?
  9. Jeremy Birn Tutorials (Lighting In Layers & Multi-Pass Rendering)
  10. Shadow Compositing
  11. Rendering and Compositing CG Reflections
  13. Intro To Compositing For Vfx:
  14. Compositing a 3D rendered object into Video
  16. Darkness Tutorial
  17. Compositing tutorial by Maarten Gribnau
  18. Working with Particleillusion 3.0 and After Effects
  19. Multi-Pass Rendering & Compositing
  20. Multipass Rendering Surface
  21. How-to: Lightsaber - working with CG props

Codec Comparison
Discreet Codec/Video info page
OneRiver Media Codec Resource Site

Film Technical Docs:Introduction to DI, Shooting HD for DI, Linear vs. Log Digital Capture, Thomson Viper HD Camera, Viper vs. 35mm film, Thoughts on Resolution, Digital Intermediate, Digital Film: Scene-to-Screen, Quantel’s iQ DI system
The Ultimate Table of Formats-- Aspect Ratios
Film Format Scanning & Recording Resolution Tables from Cinesite
Cinesite Technical Scanning & Recording Documents

Keying(Blue/Green Screen)[ul]
Making A Green Screen With Local Materials
Why using green works better for DV
Clean DV Bluescreen/Greenscreen Composites
You Can Do Bluescreen in DV!
Blue Screen Production Tips
Green Screen DV Compositing
The Blue Screen Page

Matte Painting:[ul]
Matte Painting for Visual Effects/Compositing by Dennis Sedov


Location Photography
Shooting for Visual Effects
Filmlook with Magic Bullet


Adam Wilt’s DV
Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users group
A listing of Video Recording Formats
Wide Screen DV Notes
Camcorder Info
A Quick Guide to Digital Video Resolution and Aspect Ratio Conversions
HD Resource
What’s an Anamorphic DVD
Dvd Faq

Transitions in Films
ImageMagick Resize Filters(nice overview of different filtering algorithms)
Discreet White Papers
The Quantel Digital Factbook
Digital Filtering Docs from Alvy Ray

Application Specific Tutorials

I’m leaving out AE tuts since there is allready a thread on it in the AE forum


MtoC: Maya to Combustion script
Jam Retimer
Tips and Tricks from FXguide for Combustion(around 30 of them)
Introduction to Combustion
Creative Cow Combustion Tuts
Cloning with Discreet combustion
Discreet Combustion 2 tuts
Creating Clouds with Combustion
The 3d transition in combustion2
Mist Effect Tutorial
Apply motion-blur to a moving object in your keyed footage
Combustion Hardware Guide: Build the Best computer!
Digital Producer tuts for C*
Pulling a Blue Screen with Combustion’s Keyer
Speeding Up Display Performance in Combustion 2
Moving to Combustion 2 from After Effects, 5 part series article:
Part 1: Working with Illustrator files
Part 2: Working with Photoshop files
Part 3: A birds-eye view of the C2 interface, volume one
Part 4: A birds-eye view of the C2 interface, volume two
Part 5: A birds-eye view of the C2 interface, volume three

Digital Fusion:[ul]
Tips and Tricks from Fxguide for DF(around 11 of them)
Technical FAQs on Eyeon’s site
Techniques on Eyeon’s site(lots of tutorials, macros, scripts and courseware)
DFX+/Fusion Tutorial Videos on Newtek’s site
Just for fun(requires flash)
Basic Poly mask in 30 seconds(requires flash)
Grid Warp
VFXTalk DF Tutorials
Fireworks Extravaganza
Color Matching

[list]CMI Studios Video Tuts:
Faking smoke trails
Fusion Color Correct 1&2
Shiny Text
Additional text tuts at the bottom of the page at the link above:
#11 Simulating Microthermal Turbulence in Digital Fusion 4.02
#12 Fluid simulation with displacements and grid warp in Digital Fusion 4.02
#13 Displacement of clouds text effect DF 4.0
#14 Simulating fluid reflections in DF 4.02[/ul]

[ul]Digital Producer tuts for DF:
Simple and Stuttered Strobes in Digital Fusion
Using DVE for a Motion Graphics Background in Digital Fusion
Using a Reference Frame for Color Matching in Digital Fusion
Grid Warp in Digital Fusion 4
Color Suppression in Digital Fusion 3.1
Creating a Fireworks Display Using Digital Fusion’s Particle System
The Art of Rotoscoping with Multiple Splines
Post-Multiplication in Digital Fusion
Bitmap Particles in Digital Fusion
Simple Overhead Text in Digital Fusion

Flame Tips and Tricks with Kuban Altan
CMI Studios Video Tuts: Displacements
Tips and Tricks from Fxguide for FFI(flame/inferno)

Houdini Halo:[ul]
Sidefx Compositing Lessons
Oddforce tutorials
Visual Paradigms Houdini Page (temporarily down)
CMI Studios Video Tuts: Houdini Halo Image Based Glow Session

Throb’s page
Nuke Central
CMI Studios Video Tuts: Channels Inhouse Tutorial, 3d Compositing, Changing Seasons
Tips and Tricks from FXguide for Nuke(4 of them so far)

Aneks tutorials on Multipass Keying and Multipass Comping(hosted on vfxtalk)
Building Sapphire Sparks Edge Ray in Shake 2.5.1
TV Scanline text tutorial for closeup animation
CMI Studios Video Tuts: Blurry Reflections, Shadow Displacements, Random Highlighting, Alternative GUI, Expression Linking, Simulating 3d in Shake, Smoking Text
Shake Support Documents(Bugs, Incompatibilities, etc…)
Compositing Tutorial by John Moores
Tips and Tricks from Fxguide for Shake
Shake Benchmarking Site

Additional Compositing Apps:[ul] Tutorials, hints and Tips for Illusion
Tips and Tricks from Fxguide


Digital Fusion:

Forums: :slight_smile:


Compositing Books

The Art and Science of Digital Compositing
by Ron Brinkmann

Digital Compositing In Depth: The Only Guide to Post Production for Visual Effects in Film
by Doug Kelly

Digital Compositing for Film and Video with CDROM
by Steve Wright

Apple Pro Training Series: Shake 3
by Marco Paolini

Inspired 3D Lighting & Compositing
by David A. Parrish

The Invisible Art
by Mark Cotta Vaz, Craig Barron

Combustion v2: The On-Line WebWarriors Guide
by Jack Pfeiffer

Combustion Ground Rules
by Todd Peterson

Focal Easy Guide to Discreet combustion 3 : For new users and professionals
by Gary M. Davis

Reference Books:
American Cinematographer Video Manual
by Frank Beacham

American Cinematographer Video Manual 3RD Edition
by Michael Grotticelli

Photoshop CS for Nonlinear Editors (DV Expert Series)
by Richard Harrington

Film Into Video: A Guide to Merging the Technologies, Second Edition
by Stuart Blake Jones, Richard H. Kallenberger, George D. Cvjetnicanin

Film Technology in Post Production, Second Edition
by Dominic Case

American Cinematographer Manual (8th Edition)
by Rob Hummel


The Art of Color
by Johannes Itten

Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color
by Leatrice Eiseman

Color Correction for Digital Video: Using Desktop Tools to Perfect Your Image
by Steve Hullfish, Jaime Fowler

Video Color Correction for Non-Linear Editors: A Step-by-Step Guide
by Stuart Blake-Jones


The Elements of Typographic Style
by Robert Bringhurst


Compositing Videos:

Sphere VFX:
CMI Studios:

Video Blurb:
The Street Productions: