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Compositing smoke

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Dennis DunbarCompositing smoke
by on Sep 4, 2011 at 2:41:18 am

A shot I was working on called for compositing some dark smoke in to a shot so it looked like some ominous cloud of smoke traveling through a room.

The supplied shot of smoke was shot against black and normally I'd use a blending mode such as Screen to drop out the black background, but this needs to be dark, almost med-dark brown smoke so the Screen Blending mode just doesn't work.

Then we tried keying out the black, but getting the edges to have that smoke light feel was tough, (at least for this newbie).

Plus as the smoke moved past windows etc the way it interacts with the background should change too.

Any suggestions, or tutorials you could point me to?


Dennis Dunbar

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niccolo ungaroRe: Compositing smoke
by on Sep 4, 2011 at 8:42:52 am
In usual!

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Compositing smoke
by on Sep 4, 2011 at 8:48:35 am

Not seeing the footage it's hard to say- but my first idea is to use Knoll Unmult on the smoke. Animated feathered masks that move with the cloud/smoke and color correction - Levels or Curves- should take care of giving the impression that the walls are affected.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Dennis DunbarRe: Compositing smoke
by on Sep 4, 2011 at 11:32:53 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I passed them on to the guy I was working on the project with. Hopefully they'll help us figure it out.

Dennis Dunbar

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Darby EdelenRe: Compositing smoke
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 1:20:57 am

If you use Channel > Set Matte and point the layer to its own luminance then you're halfway there. Change the blend mode to Luminescent Premultiply and you should be set!

This should give the same result as the free Knoll Unmult plugin. I definitely recommend the plugin though :)

Darby Edelen

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