Some help and advice required!


Hi Guys,

Just joined the forum and complete newbie to vfx.

Currently I’m watching various tutorials on Youtube for After Effects and compositing.

A friend suggested that its better if I start creating small videos to learn the effects rather than just watching tutorials.

Stumbled upon this video :

Can somebody kindly guide me about the process used to achieve similar effects.

I know I have to start with photoshop to add the extra stuff as in above video, but how to add into stock video?

Not expecting spoon feeding, just a push in the right direction. :slight_smile:



Take and FX PHD class. They have some classes on compositing and matte painting from time to time. They can get you some decent source footage that you can play with and take you the correct direction.


Hi RiKToR,

Thanks, will check out fxphd.


you need to learn first:
how works perspective/volumes
how works lights&shadows
how works texture&materials
how to quick conceptualize your idea into a clear picture
how to transform your concept into a digital mattepainting
how to do a 3d projection & cam movement
how to composite your layers
how to composite and achieve your vfx shot

i fount those courses not very well, too expensive and not really teaching you reals tricks used in movie industry, you can find TONS of tutorials like those, but your’e never going to find advanced tricks on HOW to achieve a PRO mattepainting quality work.
Because people in the vfx industry don’t teach those “secret” tricks… :smiley:


Do you have access to a camera and a tripod? Even an iphone will do for the sake of learning.

Just head out and shoot some video and do simple background replacements, extensions etc

Shoot some footage, open the video file in Photoshop or After Effects, Find a nice frame to work over, then begin adding in desired elements. The elements can be anything, just pull off some high res images from google. The practice will be more about how you integrate the elements into the frame, making correct use of perspective, color correction, matching black values, correct lighting, clean extraction, correct depth of field etc

One note; if you extract elements, for example a ruined car, and intend to add it into a landscape. Be mindful of local distortion. This is the distortion in the element itself (ruined car) you will need to undistort every element and correctly match the lens distortion of the target frame. Does this make sense? Basically if there was a ruined car in your frame, then it would have the distortion effect of the frame. But when you find refs from google etc, they always have there own local distortion due to different lens, so you have to correct this before extracting.

Anyhow, just a few thoughts!



Hi @everlite,

Yes, I am doing exactly the same now, shooting a video in my neighborhood and trying to add and remove stuff, changing the sky and adding clouds and sort of stuff.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Hi @imothep85,

Thanks for the detailed list of things i need to learn, all the best for your matte painting book :slight_smile:


start with learning the ins and outs of Photoshop. Masking, cutting, edge refinement, depth of field, noise removal etc. I see to many people who jump into doing it all without knowing the basics so their work is not always 100% great, its 50% bashed together and 50% of i dont know what im doing. Learn the basics, know how those techniques work and from there make your work.