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Silhouette Essentials

Compositing Series with Ben Brownlee



Ben Brownlee is Boris FX's Director of Content and an experienced VFX artist & Silhouette instructor. He has designed Silhouette training courseware for Curious Turtle and FXPHD, and led on-site workshops for post-houses across the globe.






Boris FX Silhouette is an award-winning rotoscoping and paint tool that also delivers powerful high-end compositing options. Take your skills from beginner to advanced with this comprehensive training course broken into easy-to-digest chapters. Includes 19 videos and nearly 3 hours of tutorials

Want to follow along? You can purchase the project files to help hone your skills.
01A: Creating a Project

We start gently by creating a new project, discussing the folder structure, and exploring the UI. Get yourself ready with the media and acquainted with how Silhouette looks.

01B: Navigating the UI

Start the project by creating a new Session, setting up your default workspace, and learning which buttons are most important for your immediate future use.

01C: Node Structure & Anatomy

Discover what a Silhouette node (structure, basic anatomy, and color scheme) is and how these differ from a layer-based workflow.

02A: Roto Basics - Shot Prep

The most important part of any composite is the shot analysis at the start. This identifies what you’re trying to do with the shot and the various methods needed to solve any problems.

02B: Creating Roto Splines

What’s the best process to start to rotoscope our hand and create a mask? Save yourself time in the long run by breaking up complex shapes into several simple ones.

02C: Organizing Shapes & Layers

Discover the importance of keeping yourself organized with roto tasks big or small using the Object List, where you can rename, group, and color different shapes into a logical order.

03A: Motion Tracking & Point Tracker

Motion tracking is a vital skill to composite and rotoscope efficiently in Silhouette. Get to know Silhouette’s simplest tracking option — the Point Tracker.

03B: Silhouette Planar Tracker

The journey through Silhouette's different motion trackers continues. Move onto the first of Silhouette’s planar trackers and learn how to get better tracking data with less effort.

03C: Mocha Planar Tracker

Get a quick intro to built-in Mocha planar tracking: set up your shape, make the most out of your footage prior to setting the track in motion, and compare results to previous methods.

04A: Combining Roto & Track Data

Combine the hand roto shapes you created with the tracking data and see how far it gets you in completing the mask shape.

04B: Rotoscoping Organic Shapes

Gain more skills with new tools including the Magnetic Reshape and Brush Reshape to help you complete organic roto with fewer clicks.

04C: Subtracting Shapes & Layers

It’s time to review your roto work so far. Then take it a bit further to create the final arm matte needed for the composite.

05A: PowerMesh & Mocha Pro

Learn how to set up Mocha Pro’s PowerMesh properly to create data (and protect yourself against potential mesh slips!) to matchmove the arm and skin manipulation.

05B: Applying the PowerMesh

Find a clean texture from our shot and warp it into place with the PowerMesh Warp tracking data you already have inside Silhouette.

05C: Organizing the Node Tree

The more nodes you have, the more important your node tree becomes. Don't wait too long or you'll be fighting a spaghetti monster! Learn different methods to bring order to node chaos.

06A: Animating Transitions

Transitions are not a traditional part of compositing, but the addition of Sapphire effects makes this a more accessible option to blend elements together.

06B: Adding the Right Blur

Blur is a compositor's best friend when used correctly. Master properly blurred edges, manually matching motion blur, and attention to detail.

06C Relighting & Color Correction

Add more drama to your scene by exploring available lighting effects and learn how to easily use previously tracked layers to drive effects with parameter linking.

07: Output & Troubleshooting

Your composite is complete! It’s time to set up the Output node to render your finished effect. Plus, top troubleshooting tips in case any problems arise.

Ready for more tutorials?