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Live Visual FX in Mythological (Vittalacharya) Movies

Mr. Krishna Kumar, a Chennai resident, has a strong background and impressive credentials in the field of traditional compositing. He has more than 1300 movies to his credit and is one of the very few people in India who is experienced in both optical and digital compositing.

Compositors club has recently organized the seminar on “Optical Compositing and its Evolution” by Mr. Krishna Kumar at ICAT.

The seminar focused on Common optical effects including fade outs and fade in, dissolves, slow motion, fast motion, matte work.

Evolution of compositing:

Early compositing was accomplished in the camera by masking part of the scene when filming, then rewinding the film and removing the matte and shooting again to expose the previously masked portion. The photographic technology of the optical printer revolutionized visual effects in the 1920s. In the 1990s, digital compositing has become common in which multiple film images are scanned into the computer, combined digitally and output to a single piece of film.

Traditional mask

Early filmmakers created in-camera composites by covering part of the lens with a mask while filming, or placing a sheet of glass with a blacked-out area between the camera and the scene, to prevent a portion of the film from being exposed. The camera-man would then rewind the film, and shoot again with the mask removed and the previously exposed area covered, thus combining two images in one shot.

Traditional compositing vs. digital compositing

Traditional compositing had physical limitations on the number of layers being placed into the final film. Care was also needed in making the individual layers be compatible with each other, so that one would not conflict with another.

With the advancement of digital compositing, the discrete layers could be edited in groups, and lighting effects could be applied to the entire frame or to each layer selectively.

The informative technical seminar was attended by 50 people mostly students aspiring to get into the industry, Visual FX professionals who wanted to know more about the previously used technology which included ICAT alumni as well.