C OMPOSITING IS A POST- PRODUCTION process critical to the workflow of many artists creating complex
animations in any industry. The main purpose of compositing is to save time and simplify work in the
creation of an animation. Rather than spending an enormous amount of time setting up complex
effects and rendering animations in a brute-force method where the entire animation is rendered
as a whole, compositing involves the rendering of layers, or elements, which are later combined, or
composited, in special software that runs outside of 3ds Max.
During the planning of this book, it was decided that compositing is such an important part of
the workflow of the typical veteran 3ds Max user, that not including some guidance in an advanced-
level book would be a mistake. There are numerous software packages that are all capable of the
same basic functions, though some shine better in very specific ways. Some examples are Shake by
Apple, Combustion by Autodesk, and After Effects by Adobe. It was decided that the software used in
this demonstration would be Fusion from eyeon Software because this is the software that 3DAS and
its partners use in production and only a demonstration with this software would be possible. It is
important to understand that everything discussed in this demonstration can be performed by any
other major compositing software, although the settings themselves will obviously vary in name. If
you want to follow along with Fusion, you can download a watermarked version of this software with
no timeout at www.eyeonline.com and by selecting Learning Edition from the Downloads page.
If you prepare your 3ds Max scene properly, compositing software affords you the opportunity
to implement an endless variety of visual effects and design changes with minimal work. Once
you've finished rendering your animation, you can quickly and easily change the appearance of indi-
vidual objects in your scene with or without affecting other objects. You can adjust things such as
color, brightness, saturation, and specular highlights. You can animate lights and materials and add
great effects such as fog, depth-of-field, motion blur and much more. Best of all, you can do all
these things to an entire animation just as easily as you could a single image in Photoshop. Things
that you often don’t have the ability or expertise to create in 3ds Max can become 2 nd nature in
Although this chapter is dedicated to compositing, it is necessary to discuss a few things
about the rendering process for this scene, to include how things were setup in 3ds Max and why.
For this scene, we are using the V-Ray render engine, because of its impressive speed and ease of
use, but also to serve as a demonstration of a 2 nd rendering solution to mental ray. It is not neces-
sary to follow along with V-Ray, because the larger picture can be applied to mental ray or just
about any other render engine, and the render phase of this chapter is intended to only serve as an
introduction to the more important discussion within Fusion. However, if you do wish to render the
example scene using V-Ray, you can install a demo version of this software as well, which is
included with the support files for this book. Installation of the program is extremely quick and
simple and can be done in literally 20 seconds or less. The results of the rendering process are
shown both in images within this chapter and as movies found in the support files of this book.
The Rendering Phase
Let’s jump right into a discussion on the rendering phase of the project that we will deal with shortly
in Fusion. Along the way, there will be multiple files which you can use to continue with if you are
unable to follow along at any point, either because of the difficulty level or because you chose to
not install the demo software needed.
1. Play the movie file bridge_final.wmv to get a feel for what the final product is that we will try to
produce in this chapter. This animation is 640x480 and runs at 25 frames per second. It
uses the DivX codec, which you may need to install, depending on the age of your computer.
2. Open the file ch16-01.max. This scene consists of a bridge with several cars traveling along it
and an animated camera passing from one end of the bridge to the other. The cars are
presently hidden and need to remain hidden at this time. If you are familiar with the difficul-
ties in rendering animations with moving objects, then you will be probably appreciate the
importance of being able to render the cars as a separate layer from the rest of the static
objects in the scene. If we were to render the cars in this scene along with all of the other
objects, then the cars would leave behind a trail of bounced light, almost like a GI signature.
There are ways to mitigate this affect, and you could certainly render with a brute-force
method, but in many situations it is highly beneficial to render objects like this in a separate
pass and composite them in later in a program like Fusion. Yet, as we will see, being able to
handle animated objects in this way is only one of the many benefits of compositing.
Unless you choose to create an animation using a brute-force approach, where the GI for
every pixel of every frame is calculated independently of every other pixel and every other frame,
the first step in the creation of an animation using global illumination is to calculate a saved GI map.
In V-Ray there is really only one reasonable option; using the irradiance map and light cache com-
bination. Thankfully, this is a great option.
If you do not want to create your own GI map, skip step 3 and 4 and continue on from step 5
using the file ch16-02.max, which is the same scene configured to render with an already prepared
3. If you want to create a saved GI map using the irradiance/lightcache configuration, follow
the steps outlined in Appendix K for creating an animation for a static scene. Currently the
scene is static, so the same steps apply at this point. Once we unhide the moving cars, the
scene will no longer be static. When you calculate your own GI map, be sure to use the fol-
lowing critical values for the light cache and irradiance map. All other settings not listed
here or in this document should be set to default values:
• Light Cache settings: Subdivs = 3000
• Irradiance Map settings: Preset = Medium, H.Sph Subdivs=20, Interp. Samples=100, Nth Frame = 5
4. Once an irradiance map is created, continue with the steps 17-22 shown in Appendix K. Once
these steps are complete it’s time to render the entire animation using that saved irradi-
5. You should have a scene that is now prepared to render the complete animation. However,
the complete animation includes the cars which are presently hidden.
6. Unhide the layer Cars. This layer contains 9 cars and a VRayLight. The VRayLight is used to
illuminate the cars and only the cars. It is set to serve as a dome light, which is nothing
more than skylight coming in equal amounts from all areas above the horizon. We can illu-
minate the cars with this light during the rendering process without seeing a GI signature
left behind, as it would if the cars were included in the GI map calculation.
7. Create a new folder on your computer to save the sequence of images we are about to
8. Go to the Frame buffer rollout of the V-Ray tab and enable the Save separate render channels
option. This option will allow us to save separate image files for all of the different layers of
9. Click the Browse button, and navigate to the folder you just created.
10. Change the file type to OpenEXR, give the sequence of image a name, and click the Save but-
ton. The OpenEXR Configuration dialog box appears.
11. Change the Format type to Half Float – 16 bits per channel and leave all other settings as is. We
are using the OpenEXR image format because of its many advantages, such as a high-
dynamic range pixel format, good compression, numerous sub-channels and more.
12. Go to the Render Elements tab. Here you can see we have numerous render elements listed.
These represent all the different channels of information that will be rendered out as sepa-
rate EXR files to the location you just specified. These channels include things such as
motion blur, depth-of-field, global illumination, and many others. Later we’ll explore these
channels in greater depth when they’re used in Fusion. Although they are presently listed
here, they are not yet activated.
13. Enable the Elements Active option.
14. Render the animation, or just a portion of it if you only want to render a small test sequence.
Rendering all 250 frames of this animation will take approximately 12-24 hours, or 3-6 min-
utes per frame, depending on your computer’s speed. The next illustration is an example of
what the various render elements of frame 150 should look like. To see what the compiled
raw animation looks like at this point now, play the movie bridge_01_day_raw.mov.
At the bottom of the V-Ray frame buffer (i.e., V-Ray version of the rendered window), there is a
button labeled sRGB. This button changes an images gamma from 1.0 to 2.2. The next illustration
shows what both versions look like, and later will explore what the difference is between these
The final step of the rendering process is to calculate an ambient occlusion pass to bring more
realism to our animation. Ambient occlusion (AO) is the measure of how much of the sky is
occluded, or blocked from view, at any given point on a surface. An AO image is always grayscale,
and an example is shown in the following illustration. As you will see shortly, creating an AO pass
will do wonders for our final animation because it will be used within Fusion to multiply the colors of
the animation, which will not only add depth and contrast, it will create a weathered look to surfaces
that would otherwise look too perfectly clean.
To make an AO pass in V-Ray, we need to apply a special material to all of the objects in the
scene. Specifically, we need to create a VRayLightMtl which is a material that casts illumination. The
strength and color of the illumination is dictated by the color or color channel shown in the following
illustration. By loading a special map type, the VRayDirt map, we can use the map to control the
strength of the VRayLightMtl. The VRayDirt map wants to generate a grayscale image where pure
black areas represent completely occluded points blocked from view of the sky, and pure white
areas represent completely unoccluded points. In between pure black and pure white are areas
that are partially occluded. By using this map in the Color channel of the VRayLightMtl, we can cre-
ate a nice AO pass, like the one shown in the previous illustration. Incidentally, it should be no
surprise that an AO pass is also know as a dirt pass since its greatest benefit is the way it creates
a weathered look to objects in a scene.
15. Open scene ch16-03.max. In this scene, the following changes were made in order to prepare
an AO pass for render:
• A new VRayLightMtl was created and the VRayDirt map was added to the Color channel,
as shown in the previous image. Within the VRayDirt map, two settings were changed
from their default value. First, a Radius value of 0.3m was used instead of 10m, to make
the occlusion not spread out so far, as shown in the left image of the following illustra-
tion. Second, a subdivs value of 16 was used instead of 8. This helps reduce noise in
• An instance of this new VRayLightMtl was dragged into the Override mtl channel as shown
in the right image of the following illustration.
• Indirect Illumination was turned off because it’s not needed in the calculation of an AO
• Render Elements were turned off in the Render Elements tab.
• In the Global switches rollout, the Shadows and Lights options were disabled, as shown in
the right image of the following illustration, because we don’t want these lights or
shadows affecting the AO rendering.
• In the Environment and Effects dialog box, the VRaySky map used as the background was
removed and the background color was changed to pure white.
• In the Frame buffer rollout, the saved file name was changed.
• Render the AO version of the animation. This type of rendering should take very little
time to render because it doesn’t use GI, textures, reflections, etc. The left image of
the following illustration shows what frame 0 should look like. Notice the difference
between this image and the previous AO image. The difference in the two images is a
result of using a smaller radius value.
The Compositing Phase
Before we start an exercise on compositing with Fusion, a brief overview of its interface is in order.
Fusion can be divided into the following main areas:
• Tools Toolbar - This displays shortcuts to some of the critical tools available in Fusion.
• View Toolbar - This displays additional commands for polylines, text and motion paths.
• Display View - The Display View is used to view the images produced by tools in the flow. The
view can be configured as a single view or two separate views located side by side, using
the layout buttons in the view toolbar. Additional floating views can be created on demand
from the view menu.
• Work Area - The Work Area displays the Flow, Console, Comments Tab and Timeline and
Spline Editors. For more information, see the chapters on Flow Editor, Timeline Editor
and Spline Editor.
• Controls Area - The Controls Area displays controls for the tools in the flow. Additional tabs in
this area reveal controls for any masks or modifiers attached to the currently selected tool.
• Time Ruler - The Time Ruler displays controls global to the project, such as the current
frame, render range, proxy and quality modes and so forth. Buttons for playing, navigating
and rendering the flow are also located here.
• Status Bar - The Status Bar displays various bits of information about whatever is beneath
the mouse pointer, the time to render completion and render status, and memory in use.
1. Start Fusion with a new composition. Composition is the word used to describe a working
Fusion file, and appropriately enough, the files are saved with the extension .comp.
2. Within the Tools Toolbar, click the LD icon. This activates the Loader tool which automatically
opens a window in which a sequence of image files can be selected. Instead of listing every
individual file within a folder, Fusion will display a sequence of files with a single name and a
suffix showing the sequence range involved.
3. Select the sequence 1.RGB_color.0125-0150.exr and click Open to load this sequence of
images. For simplicity, we will only use 1 second of the animation; however, you can render
the entire sequence as previously described if you desire.
The only thing you see at this point is a single icon in the Work Area, as shown in the left image
of the following illustration. If you put your cursor over the icon, a flyout appears containing two
black dots. These dots represent the two display views above the Work Area.
4. Click the black dot on the left, as shown in the right image. This causes the sequence of
images to be displayed in the left window of the Display View. We don’t need two windows
open at the same time so let’s make it a single view.
5. In the Tools Toolbar, click the icon representing a single display view, as shown in the follow-
ing illustration. The two display views should change to a single display view.
6. From the File menu (above the Tools Toolbar), select Preferences and then click on Frame
Format, as shown in the following illustration.
7. Click on the Default Format drop-down list and select NTSC (Square Pixel), and within the
Settings section, enter a Frame value of 25. This change causes the default frame resolution
to be 640x480 and the frames per second rate to be 25. Click the Save button to com-
plete the configuration.
At the bottom of the Work Area is the Time Ruler, where we should set the frame count to
match the sequence of images loaded. There is a quick and easy way to do this.
8. Click and drag the loader icon from the Work Area to the Time Ruler. Release the mouse and
the Time Ruler should change to reflect the total number of frames you loaded a moment
ago. Some versions of the software may require you to simultaneously hold the Shift key
while you drag the loader.
The image loader in the Display View looks like the original image before we used the option in
the VRay frame buffer to display the image with a gamma value of 2.2. Let’s do the same thing here
that was done in the VRay frame buffer. As mentioned before, we are going to use linear color
space for compositing, and a little bit later we’ll see why.
9. Within the View Toolbar, click the LUT icon, as shown in the following illustration, and then click
Edit. The LUT Editor appears.
10. Set the Color Gamma to 2.2 and close the window. The image shown in the Display View
changes to reflect a gamma value of 2.2. This is the same change made within the VRay
frame buffer using the sRGB icon.
11. Within the Time Ruler, click the Play icon to play the sequence of images.
12. Save this composition. If you want to continue on from this point with an already saved file,
load the composition ch16-01.comp.
The first composite that we will make is to add the ambient occlusion pass to the sequence.
13. Click on the 1 st icon that you created in the Work Area. If you do not have this icon selected,
it is displayed as a green icon. If you do select, it’s displayed as a tan icon and its name
(Loader1) is displayed in the Controls Area, where you can do things like change the files
used and change the number of frames loaded.
With the Loader1 selected, as shown in the left image of the following illustration, click the LD
icon in the Tools Toolbar. Select the sequence 1.ao.RGB_color.0125.exr and click Open to load the
sequence. Notice that when you created this new loader, two new icons appear in the Work Area.
One is the new loader icon and the other is a merge icon. This icon represents the Merge Tool. Had
you not had the Loader1 icon selected when you clicked on the LD icon, this merge icon would not
have been created. But since you did have it selected, Fusion assumes that you want to merge the
two loader sequences together. You could have clicked on the Mrg icon instead, followed by the LD
icon, and could have then created the linking that you see in the right image manually. It is critical to
know how to do this, so instead of continuing on from here, let’s revert back to a moment ago.
14. Undo the Add Loader command you just executed. The Work Area returns to displaying
15. Click and drag on the Mrg icon in the Tools Toolbar and place it directly to the right of Loader 1
in the Work Area, as shown in the left image of the following illustration.
16. Place your cursor over the red square on Loader1. Notice that in the Status Bar, it says that
this is Loader1 Output.
17. Place your cursor over the yellow arrow of Merge1. Notice that in the Status Bar, it says that
this is Merge1 Background.
18. Click and drag from the Loader1 Output to the Merge1 Background and release the mouse. When
you do, a link is drawn between the two icons. You have just told Fusion to load the
sequence of images in Loader1 as the background of Merge1.
19. Click and drag on the LD icon in the Tools Toolbar and place it directly above the Merge1 icon in
the Work Area, as shown in the left image of the following illustration.
20. Click and drag from the red square of Loader2 to the green arrow of Merge1, as shown in the
middle image. When you do, a link is drawn between the two icons, and Fusion changes the
positioning of the square to the bottom of the loader (right image). By doing this, you have
just told Fusion to set the ambient occlusion sequence as the foreground of the merge tool.
At this point, we should view the composite that we have just created. We can split the current
window that we see into 2 windows, so that we can compare a before and after view side-by-side.
21. Click the Switch to A/B split view icon in the View Toolbar, as shown in the following illustration.
The image that is loaded is split vertically and we can only see the left side in channel A.
22. Carefully click and drag the Loader2 icon (AO pass) from the Work Area to the right side of the
vertical green line in the Display View. When you do, the AO pass is loaded in channel B. You
could press the play button now to play both sequences of images.
23. Click the LUT icon in the View Toolbar, select Edit, and change the Gamma Color from 1.0 to 2.2.
24. Drag the Merge1 icon from the Work Area to channel B of the Display View. When you do,
nothing changes. The reason nothing changes is because we have set Loader1 as the back-
ground of Merge1 and Loader2 as the foreground. Since the foreground covers and hides
the background, we don’t see the original rendered sequence. The whole purpose of creat-
ing the AO pass was to use it to multiply the colors of the original animation, not to hide the
25. Click on Merge1 and within the Control Area, click on the Apply Mode drop-down list, shown in
the following illustration, and then select Multiply. This causes channel B to show the effect
of multipling the original animation color by the AO pass. You can consider pure white to
represent a value of 1 and pure black to represent a value of 0. So in all of the pure white
areas of the AO pass, the original animation is unaffected. In areas of the AO sequence
where you see gray, the result will be a reduction in color value, with greater reductions
being applied to darker AO areas.
26. Click and hold on the green vertical line and drag around the Display View. Notice that you
can rotate the green line, as shown in the following illustration. Notice also that there is a
square in the center of the green line. You can move the entire line by dragging from this
27. Position the green line as shown in the right image of the following illustration. When you do,
you can see quite clearly the effect of the AO pass on the white concrete barriers. Without
the AO, the concrete looks too flat and clean. By adding the AO, we add a layer of dirt, which
adds depth and realism to the animation.
28. Save your composition. If you want to continue from this point on, open the file ch16-02.comp.
Up to now, the three icons we have been working with in the Work Area have been displayed
without the benefit of any visual aid in what they represent. We can change that.
29. Right-click over any empty part of the Work Area, and from the menu that appears, select the
Force Source Tile Pictures. The Work Area icons change to display a thumbnail view of the var-
ious sequences, as shown in the right image of the following illustration. You may have to
reposition the thumbnails slightly if they are positioned too close to each other.
30. Right-click over any empty part of the Work Area, and from the menu that appears, select the
Force Source Tile Pictures. The Work Area icons change to display a thumbnail view of the var-
ious sequences, as shown in the right image of the following illustration.
Now it's a time to make some color correction of our image and explore masks.
31. Click the Merge1 icon. It should turn tan.
32. With the Merge1 icon selected, click on the CC icon in the Tools Toolbar. Rather than placing the
CC icon yourself and having to manually link it to the Merge1 icon, selecting the Merge1 icon
before creating the CC icon makes the process a little easier. Color correction is a powerful
tool that let’s you change gamma, brightness, contrast, saturation, levels, and much more.
Let’s start by making an adjustment to the levels in the animation.
33. From the Controls Area, click on the Levels button and enter a value of 0.7 in the field shown in
the following illustration. This should increase the contrast of our animation, but in the Dis-
play View nothing has changed. This reason why is because we have not yet loaded
ColorCorrector1 into either channel A or B.
34. Drag and drop the ColorCorrector1 icon from the Work Area into channel B of the Display View.
When you do, the total combined result of everything coming into ColorCorrector1 and the
result of ColorCorrector1 itself should be displayed in channel B.
Now let’s really make some ingenious adjustments.
35. Select ColorCorrector1 and click the CC icon again in the Tools Toolbar. A second color correc-
tion icon is loaded and connected to the first.
36. With ColorCorrector2 selected, click the Bmp icon in the Tools Toolbar. This is the BitmapMask
Mask tool and once loaded, it is automatically linked to feed into ColorCorrector2.
Rather than using the method we’ve been using, where we select an icon in the Work Area and
then click on an icon in the Tools Toolbar, we will have to manually link the next tool.
37. Click and drag a new loader icon from the Tools Toolbar into the Work Area directly above the
Bitmap1 icon. When the explorer window opens, select 1.pass_obj_id.0125-0150.exr. This is the
rendering element we created by establishing different material IDs for the various objects.
In this scene, we set the water object to material ID 1 and the car object to material ID 2
38. Click and drag this new loader icon (Loader3) into channel B of the Display Area.
39. Click and drag from the red square of Loader3 (Output) to the yellow arrow of Bitmap1 (Back-
ground). The result of the flow thus far should look like the following image. The word flow is
often used because this sequence of inputs and outputs is basic a flowchart of information.
40. Load ColorCorrector2 into channel B of the Display View.
41. Select ColorCorrector2 in the Work Area and then select the Colors button in the Controls Area (if
not already selected).
42. Click and drag from the center of the color wheel out and to the right until channel B
changes to a red hue as shown in the following illustration.
The intent in creating a material pass and loading it into the flow, is so that we could use it to
apply color correction to very precise areas of the animation. Let’s make the color correction
change we just made apply only to the water in the scene. The water was given a red material ID, so
we can use this to isolate the effect of the color correction.
43. Select the Bitmap1 icon and in the Controls Area, select Red from the Channel drop-down list, as
shown in the following illustration.
44. Drag and drop Bitmap1 to channel B view to see the mask. You'll see a black and white image,
where only the white area is allowed to be affected by the color correction applied.
45. Drag and drop ColorCorrector2 to channel B once again so that we can fix the color of the
46. Select ColorCorrector2 in the Work Area and within the Color tab of the Controls Area, change
the color of the water so that it’s a fairly rich blue color, as shown in the following illustration.
Be careful not to add so much Strength that the water is unrealistic. Notice that the
Strength value changes as you drag around within the color wheel.
47. Save your composition. If you want to continue from this point on, open the file ch16-03.comp.
Now let’s add some glows and highlights to the animation.
48. With ColorCorrector2 selected, click on the LD icon once again in the Tools Toolbar. Merge2 is
automatically generated with CorrectCorrect2 linked to the background and the new loader
linked to its foreground.
49. Select the 1.pass_specular.0125-0150.exr sequence. This is represents the specular highlights
channel. As before, it’s helpful to select the icon you want the new loader to link to, because
the new loader is automatically placed in a suitable location in the Work Area and aligined
in a aesthetically pleasing fashion. This can be seen in the left image of the following illus-
50. Drag and drop the new loader (Loader4) into channel B of the Display Area.
51. Select Loader4 and from the Tools menu select Matte ➤ Luma Keyer. The Luma Keyer Tool
uses the black and white specular channel to create an alpha channel. This alpha channel
can then be used as a mask for other effects so that we can adjust the specular highlights
without affecting any other part of the image.
52. Drag Lumakeyer1 to channel B of the Display View to see what this layer of information looks
like, and within the Controls Area turn off the Post multiply image option. In the following illustra-
tion, we can see only bright pixels.
53. Drag and drop the Merge2 icon into channel B to see the combined effect of all flow elements
at this point.
54. Select LumaKeyer1 and from the Tools menu, select Blur ➤ Soft Glow. Notice that a glow is
applied to only the areas that were already bright in the scene, as determined by the spec-
ular channel we just added.
55. Within the Controls Area, change the Blend amount to 0.5.
Now let’s make some highlights on the cars. To do this, we need to isolate the cars’ specular
channel from other objects.
56. Drag and drop a new BitmapMask Mask icon directly to the right of Bitmap1, as shown in the left
image of the following illustration.
57. Connect the Output of Loader3 to the Input (background) of Bitmpa2, as shown in the middle
58. Drag and drop Bitmap2 into channel B of the Display Area. All you should see is solid white
because Bitmap2 is set to display its alpha channel by default. Since Bitmap2 is fed by
Loader3, which has no alpha channel, white is the only thing it can display.
59. In the Controls Area, change the Channel to Green. When you do, you should see the cars in
white and everything else in black, as shown in the right image of the following illustration.
60. Within the Controls Area just above the Channel setting, enable the Invert option.
Since we want to adjust the specular highlights on just the cars, we need to create an alpha
channel of just the cars’ specular highlights. To do this, we need to combine the alpha channel of
the entire scene’s specular highlights (LumaKeyer1) with the alpha channel of the cars (Bitmap2).
This is what the Matte Control tool allows us to do.
61. With Bitmap2 selected, click on the Mat icon in the Tools Toolbar. This loads the Matte Control
62. Create a link from the LumaKeyer Output to the MatteControl1 Input, as shown in the left image
of the following illustration.
63. Drag MatteControl1 to channel B of the Display View. The result is just an alpha channel created
from the specular highlights (right image), which is all the work of LumaKeyer1. This is not
what we want. We want to create an alpha channel of just the cars’ specular highlights. By
default, when we created MatteControl1, the link from Bitmap2 was to the wrong place.
64. Click and drag the blue arrow leaving Bitmap2 and place it on the white arrow of MatteControl1,
as shown in the left image of the following illustration. The white arrow is called the Garbage
Matte. As its name implies, the Garbage Matte allows you to throw away that part of
LumaKeyer1 that is not part of Bitmap2. The result is an alpha channel of just the cars’ spec-
ular highlights, as shown in the right image.
65. Select MatteControl1 and from the Tools menu, select Effect ➤ Highlight, and reposition the
new highlight tool directly below MatteControl1, as shown in the left image of the following
66. Drag Highlight1 to channel B.
67. In the Controls Area, change the Low value to 0.75, change the Length value to 0.65, and change
the Number of points value to 6. The result is a nice streak to the cars’ highlights, as shown in
the right image.
Now let’s add color to the highlights.
68. With Highlight1 selected, add a color correction tool and reposition it just below the Highlight1,
as shown in the left image of the following illustration.
69. Drag ColorCorrector3 to channel B.
70. Adjust the color of the cars’ specular highlights using the color wheel in the Tools Area, as
shown in the following illustration.
Now we need to show the end result of all the work performed thus far.
71. Drag and drop a new merge tool from the Tools Toolbar and place it below ColorCorrector3, as
shown in the left image of the following illustration.
72. Create a link from the Output of Merge2 to the background of Merge3.
73. Drag Merge3 to channel B.
74. Create a link from the Output of ColorCorrector3 to the foreground of Merge3, as shown in the
At this point we are finished with this portion of the composite process and we need to save
the output. You can also play the final sequence of images to see the end result.
75. Select Merge3 and click the SV icon in the Tools Toolbar and select a file type and save loca-
tion. You can save your file type as JPG to keep file sizes down with no negligible loss in
76. Click the green Render button to start the process of creating each individually composited
frame. The finished result should look similar to the following illustration. If you want to
explore the final composition file, open ch16-04.comp.
The goal of this chapter is to introduce you to the power and utility of compositing with professional
3 rd party software. We hope you agree that compositing with great software like Fusion is really
quite simple in comparison to a program like 3ds Max. Although it is beneficial to create your 3ds
Max scenes as complete and finished products, there is no denying the usefulness of software that
can do some of the things that this chapter illustrated. Like other chapters in this book, we have
only brushed the surface of what is possible. As we alluded to earlier, we can make adjustments to
objects based on their distance from the camera, based on their speed, or based on any number of
things that could fill a book by itself. The tools are in the program to do more things than you can