Advanced VFX Compositing

Artiste en Composition Numerique - NTL.1P

What is Compositing?

Compositing is a vital part of the process in creating visual effects (VFX) for movies, TV, and animated productions. The Compositor combines elements filmed during production with Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) created by other artists to blend them together seamlessly. Compositors also fix problems in the footage that occurred during filming, and find methods to enhance VFX shots to better match the director’s vision. All of the final pieces are assembled by Compositors, who can transform a shot into something spectacular that initially was not possible. 

Our 12-Month Program

The Advanced Visual Effects Compositing Diploma offered only at Lost Boys is specifically designed and continuously updated to provide students with a broad variety of real-world compositing tasks to sharpen and prove their skills on a demo reel. Being a small, specialized school with a strong reputation, we have a long history of successfully creating practicum opportunities that lead to jobs for our Compositing graduates. The overwhelming majority of graduates from our intensive 12 month program, which only holds 12-students max for each class, are hired right out of school either as Compositors or BG Prep/Paint Artists, and go on to enjoy long careers in the VFX industry, with some choosing to become Leads or Supervisors.

Our Teaching Philosophy

The vast majority of VFX that appear in modern films and television are “invisible effects,” which means that ideally the audience has no idea they’re watching something that’s either been digitally altered or is completely synthetic. To create this effect, we have to observe reality and then replicate it.

And there is not just one reality an artist has to deal with. There are in fact 6 of them.

The Physical Reality, the real world; the Photographic Reality, the reality that is captured by the camera; the Perceptual Reality, how you perceive the world; the Imagined Reality, how you imagine reality to be; the Expected Reality, how your leads, supervisors, and directors want it to be and the Approximate Reality, how the computer mathematically creates a virtual reality.

This Compositing Program, the first of its kind in the world was designed to teach students about these realities. It gives the students a framework for understanding Visual Effects. Through a unique and iterative workflow, students are taught how to learn to composite photo-real images.

There is no hiding in photo-realism, if it does not look photo-real then it isn’t real. All we have done over the last 10 years at Lost Boys is to teach students how to perform this magic trick without getting caught.

Alumni Success

We believe that progress toward our mission can be measured by the profound impact our graduates have on the visual effects industry. Our alumni continue to engage and shape the world of entertainment. Through our project-based learning and the unique curriculum of each of our veteran instructors, our alumni have proven time and time again that Lost Boys produce extraordinary artists ready to start on the ground floor.

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What You Will Learn | Curriculum

These are the core concepts that will be covered in our Advanced VFX Compositing program using Foundry’s Nuke Software. Our curriculum evolves and adapts to fit Industry needs.

Keying >

By selecting a range of specific pixel colours and brightness levels in the image, the Compositor creates a cutout or "matte" that can be used to replace the background. We explore a vast number of keying tools and strategies to preserve fine details (like an actor's hair) and go beyond the first steps into the realm of digital relighting and colour correction.

Rotoscoping >

When keying is impossible or needs to be improved, rotoscoping can be used to isolate a specific part of the image to make all kinds of adjustments. Rotoscoping (roto) is the foundation of what we do in Compositing, and we teach you established techniques to roto challenging shots quickly and precisely.

Tracking >

Since Compositors work on motion pictures, being able to track the movement of any given object is an invaluable part of the process. We cover the 3 main categories of tracking in depth: point tracking, planar surface tracking, and camera tracking, providing you with a variety of tracking tasks, tips, and tricks to handle complex movements.

Digital Painting >

Often the goal of digital painting in visual effects is to paint something out, (company logos, stunt equipment, reflections of the camera and crew, etc.). You will learn multiple methods to complete high level paintouts, as well as advanced techniques related to digital makeup and de-aging effects. The end goal here is to make your paint work invisible and believable to the audience.

2D Compositing >

Compositing in 2D involves taking footage shot during production and 2D elements created in post-production to integrate them cohesively into a single shot. Blending layers of 2D elements to create the illusion of depth while matching colour, lighting, and perspective. We teach you how to analyze and recreate camera and lens properties, with a special emphasis on creating photo-realistic composites.

3D Compositing >

By understanding what each of the different layers in a 3D element does, a Compositor can separate a specific pass to make quick changes. Integrating 3D elements into a live action shot and making it look like they were both shot on the same day is one of the toughest challenges Compositors face, and we teach you how to do it successfully.

What To Expect

Practical

Practical

Based on Mark Benard’s Project-Based Learning, students are presented 18 to 20 shots to complete for their demo reels. These shots are designed specifically to demonstrate Rotoscoping, Keying, Paint & Integration competency, and also provide the student an avenue to showcase their excellence in execution.

Theory

Theory

Designed by Ganz Ramalingam, these 150+ compositing lessons do a deep dive into every aspect of photo-real compositing. The why, the how, and the when a tool or node should be used. If you are the kind of person that needs to know how something works, you are going to love this!

Industry Insight

Industry Insight

Learn about the Past, the Present, and the Future of the Visual Effects Industry. Get access to Guest Speakers from the Industry, Studio Tour of World-Class Facilities, and gain access to closed-door Presentations.

Review

Weekly Review

Weekly Review of student’s work, one-on-one mentorship, periodic script reviews, all given by the instructors with pixel accuracy to ready you for Studio Dailies.

Career Prep

Career Prep

If you want a career in visual effects, not only do you need to know how to do shots, you also need to know how to get Jobs. Learn how to create a demo reel, breakdowns, portfolio site, manage your money, set goals, apply for jobs, and learn the dark art of soft studio skills.

Practicum

Practicum

Once you are done with the program, you will get placed at studio for more real-world training and experience. You will get to practice everything you have been taught and have learned over the last 10 months. Often theses practicum opportunities lead to studio hires.

Compositing Practicum

Unique to Lost Boys and a testament to the job readiness of our students, our Advanced VFX Compositing Program includes a two month Industry Practicum placement. You will be placed inside the compositing department of local studios to gain both unique workflow knowledge and industry connections. This initiative has received immense industry support, with the majority of the local studios signing on to open their doors to our students, eager to find new talent. The successful implementation of our practicum has become a huge proponent to our high placement rates with many of our students receiving job offers weeks prior to graduation!

Both Montreal and Vancouver provide a two-month industry practicum opportunities as part of Lost Boys curriculum. In addition to this, Montreal offers post-graduate work permit! Students must have a grade above 75% and 90% Attendance to Qualify for Practicum.

Select Student Reels

Visit our YouTube to see more video content. 

Admission Info

Academic Start Date

Spring Full Year Term: March 2021 – April 2022

Winter Full Year Term: September 2021 – August 2022

What We Look For...

The following criteria provides a general idea of what we look for in the personal letter and portfolio that you must submit in the application process. It is important to note that the quality of these items are considered together with the general requirements needed to apply to Lost Boys

In your personal letter, we want to know about you as a person and your feelings towards visual effects, movies, film-making, art, design, or technology. Be sure to share with us why you have chosen this program and what research you have done. Also, illustrate to us your ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team environment. Remember, this is your time to really tell us all about you so feel free to go all out!

In your portfolio, include 8-10 pieces of your best work in any visual medium that demonstrates your artistic proficiency. Caption each piece of work and tell us about your process, how you came about this work, and why it is significant. Students that have no previous Nuke experience will be offered a discounted online training module, created by our Compositing Lead Ganz Ramalingam.

Tuition Costs

Our Advanced VFX Compositing Program continuously produce highly-sought out specialized artists which has given us an unrivaled 99% placement rate. To that extent, our tuition cost for this program is expertly calculated to both represent the quality of our program and the exclusive nature of what we offer here at Lost Boys. We are confident that the investment you make will be rewarding both in experience and to your clear future as a visual effects artist. 

Domestic

$39,900.00 CAD

International

$41,900.00 CAD

Check out our admission process!