dvGarage, the QuickTime-only site dedicated to “building the next generation of visual media artists,” has released The Camera Mapping Lab, a training disk designed to teach print, video and 3D artists how to employ a technique often referred to as “Two-and-a-Half D.”
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“Used for many years in nearly every major visual effects shop, the process is only understood by a handful of artists,” explains Alex Lindsay, former member of Industrial Light and Magic’s Rebel Unit, and dvGarage founder. “It’s most often used in digital matte and set extension shots for TV and feature films. This is really like a great magician’s trick, Nobody knows how to do it, it’s not that hard, and everyone is impressed.”
The Camera Mapping Lab tutorials are based on Adobe Photoshop and Electric Image Universe, 3D Toolkit Version (a 30-day, fully operational version ships with the product). The concepts of digital matte creation in 3D, however, are universal and nearly every 3D application has this feature in one form or another, Lindsay said.
The Camera Mapping Lab disk ships with movies that illustrate the process and 11 tutorials that guides users through the Photoshop and 3D operations necessary to create the visual effect. The disk is normally US$99, but you can get it for $69 until Aug. 7.
More information 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. They also make such products as the Composite Toolkit and the Reflection Toolkit.