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Chapter 18. Compositing and Rendering > Understanding Compositing

Understanding Compositing

Compositing is an art unto itself. Production houses often have entire departments devoted to the task and thousands of dollars invested in compositing software. From the optically composited spaceships of Star Wars to the digital apes of 20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes, compositing has come a long way. Over the years, compositing technology has evolved from purely optical techniques such as matte paintings and frame-by-frame painting to completely digital methods, but compositing will always be an important part of animation and visual effects. It is its own unique art. That is the core of success for most Hollywood production studios.

Indeed, the enormous importance of compositing has led to the development of many high-powered, complex, and expensive programs dedicated to the task. But LightWave comes with its own, rather extensive set of tools both for compositing within the program and for exporting images to be composited in other software packages.


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