Visual Effects For Directors
Well, yes, but that's the whole idea! The point is for you to get some solid exposure to a subject that you, like many Directors and DPs, may have been avoiding -- partly because there hasn't been any really good training that explained it properly.
This is a demanding course, but it's made to be as easy to understand as possible. The assumption from the beginning is that you're a smart person who simply has never gotten a proper explanation of visual effects.
Most VFX artists actually don't have a particularly broad understanding of other topics than the ones they work with. That way, Character TDs don't know matchmoving, compositors don't know rigging, and the vast majority of VFX artists have little or no idea about what should be done on the set -- which is a critical aspect of Visual Effects For Directors, and something that everybody, including or maybe especially VFX Artists, needs training in.
Per Holmes teaches a Green Screen Intensive course, which has been attended by Academy Award winning VFX Supervisors, who felt that they for the first time really understood critical aspects of VFX.
No, Visual Effects For Directors is not software training, it's concept training. We're far more interested in making sure you understand the underlying principles, because that's how you understand both how to shoot it, and if you feel like it, how the software works.
For example, all matchmoving is based on something called Photogrammetry, and once you understand that, it's suddenly extremely obvious how to place tracking markers on a green screen -- but it also becomes extremely obvious what you're really doing in the matchmoving software. Many people feel they suddenly understand their software for the first time.
But we don't care which software you use, or if you use any at all and just leave it to others. They're all built on the same principles. Whether you matchmove with BouJou, SynthEyes, Matchmover, PF Track, or do 3D in Maya, Max, Cinema 4D or the software 'du jour', from our perspective, it's just a different user-interface to the same technology.
On the contrary. With very few exceptions, this entire course could have been made 15 years ago. Software comes and goes, but the underlying principles stay the same. A texture has always been a texture, and will probably be so for the next 50 years. The same way, rigging is rigging, skin weights are skin weights, ambient occlusion is ambient occlusion, green screen is green screen, and matchmoving is matchmoving.
The core principles of visual effects don't change very fast. What changes is the ease of use and automation of the workflow, and the sophistication and intelligence of the tools.
Because Per Holmes is both a Director and a nerd, which puts him in a unique position. His computer graphics background goes all the way back to Commodore 64 and hacking the VIC chip to make border sprites -- and if you know what that means, you're a nerd too!
Being primarily a music producer during much of the 90s, he trained 3D, compositing and character animation on the side, which became very handy when he got his first break as a Director – on a high budget music video with motion control and green screen and virtual set and tons of 3D. Everybody was very nervous, but Per Holmes pulled through!
Per Holmes doesn't like to not know how things work, so he has spent years figuring all this out in a way that would make it actionable on the set. What is it really you need to place tracking markers? How do you really make a virtual prop? What does it really take to paint something out? What are some simple rules you can act on? These are the kinds of questions Per Holmes asks, and the answers are in Visual Effects For Directors.
Yes, the vast majority of topics have nothing to do with the medium you're shooting on. There are really only a couple of topics where film is different from HD, and those times we cover both.