/ Free /  2 min read

Creating Panoramas for CG

Tile Worlds, Camera Projection and Image Based Lighting all have one thing in common: They use photographic elements as their main source inputs. While I tend to say this about nearly every VFX technique (I love them all!), the above are among my favorites. There is nothing more photo-realistic than a photograph or live action plate so it’s the best source material one can hope for! More excitingly, once you understand how they work, the techniques allow you to mix and match and move back and forth between C.G. and reality as you see fit.

Tileworld How-To Illustration

After releasing the free HDRI panoramas, we received some questions as to just how they might be useful for VFX. It’s easy to say “Virtual Set” and "IBL" but not so easy to visualize if you aren’t familiar with the techniques involved. To help everyone build some new skills, we decided to give away some lessons on Tile Worlds and panoramas so people can try their hand at using the panoramas we gave away last week. It doesn't cover Image Based Lighting but it should give you a sense of how you can use panoramas for virtual sets.

As I mentioned, along with matte paintings, camera projection, and IBL these are some of my favorite VFX techniques. It’s possible to get very impressive results without a huge amount of effort. I’m excited to be able to share these techniques with you and hope they help you create some amazing stuff. In fact, everyone here would love to see what you come up with. If you make something cool using these techniques, please post them on your video sharing site of choice and share the link with us: @FullMetaPipe on Twitter or @MetaPipe on Facebook.

Pano/Tileworld WIP

You can use the non-commercial version of Nuke or use Blackmagic Design's Fusion for your experiments. The techniques work in either. They are probably adaptable to After Effects, though I’m not familiar enough with the 3D system in AE to say for certain. The Tile World technique will also work in any 3D package that has a camera with a physically accurate aperture gate and lens system so you can even do it right in your favorite 3D system if you like.

Here are the links to the lessons (over two and a half hours of free training). You need to register but the lessons are free: NK101 Lesson 7: Intro to Nuke’s 3D system and Tile Worlds
NK201 Lesson 3: Mixing Scale and Deep Compositing

If you like what you see, here is a coupon code for 80% off anything at LearnVFX: metapipe_blog_pano_promo

I already applied it to the links above for you. You can also manually enter it at checkout.

The coupon makes the NK101 & NK201 bundle just $49.60 (normally $248.00)