2nd Edition – What’s New

May 21, 2008

Since I’ve been asked this question several times in the past few days, I thought I’d go ahead and post this excerpt from the introduction to the 2nd edition that talks a little bit about what’s new in the update.  Incidentally, the page-count is close to 700 pages, vs about 360 for the 1st edition.  (A lot of that is, of course, the fact that there are far more illustrations/images).


What’s New


If you already own or have read the first edition of this book, you’re probably wondering what, specifically, is new for this edition.  My original goal was to simply update the chapter that contains the case studies – to cover a number of more recent works and thus have the opportunity to discuss newer tools and techniques within the context of those case studies.  


But as I was dealing with the acquisition of those various properties (a process that ultimately took well over a year, all told – traversing the bureaucracies of major movie studios is definitely not recommended for the impatient!) I found myself continually coming across areas that I felt could use a bit of an update in the main body of the text as well.  Although the book was originally written in a fashion that I’d hoped would be reasonably obsolescence-proof (concentrating on core compositing concepts rather than their use within a specific application), technology doesn’t stand still and there were a number of areas that I realized could use further elaboration and some updating. 


The new subtitle – Techniques for Visual Effects, Animation and Motion Graphics – is of course partially an aid to help people find this book a little easier when they’re searching for information on the web.  But it also reflects the fact that this edition is even more focused on providing a set of practical, real-world concepts for working with images.  Technology continues to advance but ultimately one needs to be able to apply that technology to solve a problem.  And technology is ultimately (and even etymologically) all about knowledge of techniques.  


In addition, the first edition was published at a time when color imagery still added a significant expense to a book.  As such there were a number of concepts that I wasn’t able to illustrate as well (or at all) due to the limited number of color pages I was allowed.   With this second edition that limitation has been lifted – the book is now full-color throughout – and I couldn’t resist the temptation to update some of the old imagery and add a number of additional examples and diagrams.  


As such we’ve now got over 600 photos and illustrations (more than 400 of which are new), added sections that cover rotoscoping, 3D/multipass compositing, and high dynamic range imaging, and there are 17 new case-studies.


In my original forward to the 1st edition, I stated that I was writing the book I wish someone had handed to me when I was starting out in this industry.  With the ability to now include far more color imagery (and with the advances in digital photography making the general process of getting high quality imagery much less painful), this new edition is the book that I wish I could have written in the first place. 


A final minor change is evident in the Appendices, which have been both updated and streamlined.  Anything that is likely to be of a more transient nature (lists of companies involved in the creation of digital compositing software, for instance) has been removed from the book completely.  Instead I have put together a website that will contain this sort of information as well as a variety of other things. This will hopefully allow me the ability to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. 


5 Responses to “2nd Edition – What’s New”

  1. Hi Ron,

    nice to read more about the changes between the book versions.

    Is it true that the new edition will only be available as paperback? I was hoping for a hardcover edition again.

  2. ronbrinkmann Says:

    Yup, this one’s paperback only. There’s some strange and complex marketing formula for how a publisher decides whether to go paper or hardback and this is what they told me they wanted to do for this edition. WIth the much larger size it helped to keep the price in the same ballpark as the 1st edition as well. I’m told it’s a nice heavy stock for the cover with these sexy little ‘french flaps’ that fold around the front and back cover edges if that’s any consolation :-).

  3. Haha, you are killing me Ron. 🙂

    I will buy that book one way or the other, because it rocks! (Well, the first one did. I guess this one is a killer as well.)

    Looking forward to reading the new edition.

  4. hanks for giving us a new edition, i am still a student and your previous edition has been an invaluable source for me ( though i haven`t finished it yet)


    brian chinnery

  5. unfermented Says:

    Unfermented says : I absolutely agree with this !

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