Fundamentals of Compositing

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Introduction to Blender

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  • 149 lessons
  • 12hrs 21min
  • 8 exercises
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Fundamentals of Compositing

Compositing is an optimizational workflow for minimizing render iterations while maximizing your render output’s editability. It’s essentially the concept of separating your render into individual components that can be reconstructed and tweaked independently after rendering.

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Compositing can be an odd concept at first glance. Watch this overview to get a quick explanation of what compositing is and why it's useful.

Chapter 2 - Pre-Render Dissassembly

The first step in the compositing workflow is to separate your 3D scene into its individual render elements.

Chapter 3 - Post-Render Reassembly

Once your separated elements are rendered out, we need to re-combine them using the Blender's Node Editor.

Chapter 4 - Treatment

The bread and butter of compositing is the ability to quickly tweak and perfect your image without waiting to render the scene again. This chapter covers some common treatment techniques.

Chapter 5 - Quiz & Exercise

Put your new compositing knowledge to the test!

When people say “fix it in post”, this is what they mean.

Compositing is sort of like Apple TV in that it’s very useful but can be difficult to explain and understand. So let’s break it down into a problem –> solution explanation.

The Problem ————————————————–

Rendering is always the bottle neck of a production pipeline due to the extended time required to render animation. So when we commit to a render, wait hours or days for it to finish, only to decide after the fact that we want ​​the​ [metallic material] to reflect 50% less, our only choice is to make that change in the shader then render and wait again. This is where compositing comes in.

The Solution ————————————————–

Someone had the brilliant idea to separate rendered elements – like objects, material color, reflections, lighting, etc – so they could be tweaked individually after rendering. Now to continue with the previous example, we could reduce reflections by 50% with the compositor in 5 seconds instead of waiting hours to render the whole scene again.

That’s the meat and potatoes of compositing. And in this course we’re going to explore how we can disassemble and reassemble a 3D render with Blender’s Node Editor.

CC Music: “Outer Planet” by Robbero

Lesson Questions and Answers

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  • Replies: 1

    Noticed you used light source and HDRI. Followed the manual for final render leaving out the 4th layer where you put the light. Very blue. It appears you cannot get a layer render without a light source for the orb, etc. Am I missing something in compositing without light source and using HDRI only? thanks

    2 months ago

    • Replies: 0

      Got it…fun…will post on my Patmos Project….thanks again

      2 months ago

  • Replies: 0

    Finished this course and works great…thanks.
    Tried to get the environment integrated so it looked like a non-composit render but not getting there. Tried adding env to the backdrop and bring it in via alphaover…worked but not same. Tried using an image file input, worked but still not the same. Can you give me some ideas or is this one of the limits? Thanks

    2 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    Great job as always on making such a clear explanation. I’m a Cookie fan for a long time. I recently managed to become a citizen and it really pays of.
    So now I have a question regarding compositing. In my current project I have neon tubes behind a glass. I’d like to manipulate the intensity/color of the glow in the compositor but even though I have emit output I can’t see behind the glass. It’s like the glass is not transparent at all. I had to render again without the glass and steal emit pass from that render so that I could make a final image.
    So the question is, am I missing something in the settings that’s getting on my way? What should I do to get emission pass from behind the glass?

    Thank you all :)

    5 months ago

    • Replies: 0

      Compositing with transparent/refractive objects is a tricky thing, for the exact reasons you describe. We need to teach a lesson about how to do it. Thanks for asking and pointing this out, Milan. Also thanks for your citizenship :)

      4 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    No Questions :/ but I want to say after finishing all lessons of the Blender Flow. Big thanks! very clear and understandable to get acquainted with the blender. :)

    2 years ago

    • Replies: 0

      This is so awesome to hear, dokus. We’ve put a lot of effort into our Flows, so thanks for the encouraging feedback!

      4 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    Nice tutorials. Please can you make a more advanced one about using the compositor to change the textures of objects after a render with Cycles. I mean something similar to Fryrender Swap or Motiva Colimo or Colorway. I saw some attempts on using compositor on doing this in the blenderartists forum but they never get finished.

    http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?324359

    2 years ago

    • Replies: 1

      Thanks for the positive feedback. We do intend to eventually produce intermediate-to-advanced courses. Thanks for the suggested topic!

      2 years ago

      • Looking forward to that…

        2 years ago

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