This video is meant to be a semi-informal discussion on how procedural nodes can help create a faster and more parametric workflow to the existing world of layer-based parenting in general tool sets. Detailed descriptions of the methods are explained with examples in later chapters.
Exploring Our Options
The method to Maynard Madness? Leave yourself many alternative escape routes. When you have been doing this kind of work for a long time, you're bound to find ONE ROUTE and stick as closely to it as possible. THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING. At least not for creativity. You can stagnate by doing the same thing over and over again, and often times another solution could work and may even be more efficient. This chapter shows you how to get the same result with different roads taken.
After many years, the "Maynard Key" has been renamed to fit certain workflows. It has gone through many iterations such as M-Key or Modular Key. However, the industry has come around full circle in that the technique that was invented over 15 years ago, is the one of the only techniques that stands the test of time and can be used in ANY NODE SOFTWARE that supports channels. So we clarify the smallest, most compact elements of the Maynard key and call it the "M-Key." The base of a Maynard Key can later be extrapolated and branched into variations that will later be combined with logical operations such as add, subract and multiply. This chapter focuses heavily on the combination of alpha and other image channels using math nodes.
Now, after learning how to build your area-based M-Key, you might want to also use "M-Edge" (aka "Medging") instead of using commercial de-spilling tools. Some of you legacy VFX artists might remember the original â€œMaynard Light Wrapâ€ technique back when Shake was the dominant desktop compositor for film. This very same solution has migrated to each node based app that exists out there, and thus, by user request, we will show you how to perform the operation in Mistika (also MambaFX). The concept of "Medging" can be a bit more time consuming and each user will spend their own time layering up variations of this for later compositing. This chapter also relies heavily on channel nodes to extract out and visualize your updates in realtime.
Taking Out The Garbage
Exactly how it sounds. Garbage masking can be done in many ways. For NEWCOMERS to Mistika, the combination of Framing and Animated Roto can also be integrated directly into an M-Key. What's even more fun is how you can pre-clean your sequences so that all the labor is only dedicated to the areas that need it most. One of the biggest mistakes in compositing, is working on parts of an image that wont ever be seen in the final shots. (Pride can make us lose focus a bit in this area so do not be afraid to take out the garbage!)
Instead of beating a dead horse with the exact same branch of tools, we will spend our time showing you alternative routes, which will all be combined into a MASTER MAYNARD KEY structure (aka Master M-Key). It is very possible that your second or third branch of creativity might turn out better than the first one, so by copying that flow to another area, you could render better results. The trick is to keep an eye on the node tree to see which ones are producing the same results with less CPU.
This video is dedicated to just a handful of users who are now confronted with a brand new method of thinking inside of Mistika and MambaFX. Those users coming from other software can apply this knowledge to their new workflows, however, the only true constant in compositing is that channels are the only way to get an accurate representation of pixel based semi-transparency and object edges. For more information, you may always contact us at email@example.com for one on one time with a mentor.
About The Instructor
Chris Maynard is the owner and Chief Public Partner of the profit-sharing organization known as cmiVFX.com. Surprisingly, the letters "CMI" in the company name are not an abbreviation for Chris Maynard Institute. The initials actually stand for the first company name, entitled "Creative Minds Imaging," which dates back to 1997 and is responsible for the creation of digital pre-press applications made from adobe products on roto gravure, which is a form of heat transfer printing. Since then, Chris has been the driving force behind a large majority of Application User Interfaces for the visual effects and computer graphics industries. He has designed application features, entire GUI's and partial GUI's that nearly everyone in the visual effects industry has used on some level. Applications like Photoshop, Painter, and Poser allowed Chris to break into the "commercial illustration and design world." This was when he decided to move away from the field of engineering. Before graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology for Advanced Computer Graphics, Chris studied Laser Holography for real 3D applications. In 1998, he became the first person in history to simulate holograms of helium neon laser light. He did this on a Cray super computer, using Houdini as the backbone of the project. Later, he moved on to become the Creative Director for several large corporations in which training for CBT (computer-based training) sparked his interest in combining all four of his practiced skills into one complete business operation. For the last decade, Chris has been assisting tens of thousands of customers deliver top shelf productions through training and extensive labor. He is a dedicated service provider for freelance compositing work whenever he is not managing cmiVFX. If you need him to solve a problem with your software or production pipeline, just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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