DvGarage, the QuickTime-only site dedicated to “building the next generation of visual media artists,” has rolled out a new product: The Composite Toolkit: Beta. The toolkit is designed to provide insight into the process of Blue Screen shooting and keying.
DvGarage is releasing an early beta version to get user feedback, according to Alex Lindsay, dvGarage founder. The final product will come with extra video clips and tutorials.
“We want this product to really cover all the necessary bases of procedural matte creation,” Lindsay said. “The beta is only a starting point. The basic elements are all there, but as we finish it, we really need customer feedback to guide our next steps.”
The beta ships with seven tutorials, a new After Effects Keying Plug-in called “dvMatte” by Ben Syverson, and a martial arts clip designed by Dave Macomber of the Internet fan film, “Duality.” The tutorials are designed to offer insights into the way After Effects is used in visual effects production and simplify complex functions. Subjects like After Effect’s ever confusing “Color Difference Key” are explained in simple terms. The martial arts footage is directed by Macomber and performed by him and two stuntmen. The full version of the disk will include an entire fight sequence.
The Composite Toolkit removes many of the walls most compositors run up against when getting started: affordable keying options, finding footage and professional guidance, according to Lindsay. The beta costs US$99 and can be found at the dvGarage Web site.
dvGarage is designed to teach individuals who are excited about visual media the “tricks of the trade” and offer a place to trade ideas with others around the world. The “mechanics” in the dvGarage have worked in various areas of digital production.
For instance, Lindsay himself was a member of the secret “Rebel Mac Unit” of George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, which officially uses nothing but high-end SGI systems. Lindsay has worked on such films as “Star Trek: Generations” and “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.”
“As a result of my work in the Mac unit, I have a fairly deep understanding of what can be done in film with Apple products,” Lindsay told MacCentral. “However, dvGarage is platform and application agnostic. We don’t care what you’re using as we’re committed to training people’s eyes not their fingers.”