Technodolly Focus, Z-Depth, and Lens Distortion

being one of the only google search results on the technodolly
techno_dolly

Any comp lives or dies on subtle qualities of a scene – color, depth of field, lens distortion, etc etc. Solving lens distortion with nuke is pretty easy once you understand the process (and immensely easy if you prepare ahead of time!); without a good lens distortion solve you’ll never get a convincing composite. Depth of field is easier to do a guess-and-check method, but of course we’d much rather get an accurate result. We’ll discuss both, but first a quick overview of the technodolly itself.

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Luminance Curves

being an exploration on converting values from one set to another using curves
grayscale_curve-perceptual

Often in compositing, I will need to take one set of values and convert it to a different set of values. Say I have a linear image, with luminance values in a range from 0 – 4.589:

Input: Output:
0 0
4.589 1
If I want to do some fancy operation on that image based on it’s luminance, I’ll probably want to convert that range to 0-1, so it’s easier to work with. The easiest and most straight-forward type of conversion is a linear one, of course, where we simply divide all the luminance values by the largest value, giving us a range of values between 0 and 1:

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./hello -t “world”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve run into an issue in my work as a┬áTechnical┬áDirector that I’ve solved just by googling it, and landing on some random blog or forum post. The goal of this site is to add my experiences to the great reference library.