The VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The VES Handbook of Visual Effects

Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures, 2nd Edition

Edited by Susan Zwerman, Jeffrey A. Okun


1,100 pages

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pub: 2014-08-25
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The award-winning VES Handbook of Visual Effects remains the most complete guide to visual effects techniques and best practices available today. This new edition has been updated to include the latest, industry-standard techniques, technologies, and workflows that are ever-evolving in the fast paced world of visual effects. The world-renowned Visual Effects Society (VES) tasked the original authors to update their areas of expertise, such as stereoscopic moviemaking, color management, facial capture, and the Digital Intermediate, as well as provide detailed chapters on interactive games and full animation. Additionally, fifty new contributors share their best methods, tips, tricks, and shortcuts earned through decades of trial and error and real-world, hands-on experience.

This 2nd edition has been expanded to feature lessons on:

  • On-set stereography
  • The Academy Color Encoding System (ACES)
  • Whether to shoot or convert to 3D
  • Virtual productions
  • Editorial workflow in an animated feature
  • 3D matte painting
  • General geometry instancing

A must-have for anyone working in or aspiring to work in visual effects, The VES Handbook of Visual Effects, Second Edition covers essential techniques and solutions for all VFX artists, producers, and supervisors, from pre-production to digital character creation, compositing of both live-action and CG elements, photorealistic techniques, and so much more. With subjects and techniques clearly and definitively presented in beautiful four-color, this handbook is a vital resource for any serious VFX artist.

In-depth bonus chapters are available on the all-new companion website:


"The VES Handbook of Visual Effects offers a fine technical reference for any college-level collection strong in media technology. It surveys visual effects techniques and best practices learned from both research and practical applications, covering techniques for all VFX artists and producers and applying technical knowledge to industry standards. A 'must' for any involved in any aspect of visual effects production."---BookWatch

"According to Okun, it had been five years since the inception of the book and it took the last three to write and pull it together. What they have created is the definitive visual effects textbook for our times and there is no doubt that it will remain the bible for those laboring in our business for many years to come. If you're in the vfx, animation, gaming or production business in general, you've got to have this book. Not on your shelf, but in your hand as you commence each new project. It's the most definitive book on the market today."--Animation World Network Online

"This is a fully comprehensive look at the art and craft of ‘effects’ and how they fit into the production process. This book, in my opinion, should be at the head of the ‘must-have’ list for every media course tutor and student at whatever level, as it encompasses so many aspects of the shooting process, which everyone who wants to be involved in film production should absorb…At some point in every film career, you will need to know about the skills which other people in the crew bring to the production and this truly excellent book makes the ‘dark art’ of all aspects of filmic effects come to life in an easy to read, technically accurate and comprehensive work." - Wendy Laybourn, Network Nine News

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Pro-production/Preparation

Chapter 3 Acquisition/Shooting

Chapter 4 Performance and Motion Capture

Chapter 5 Stereoscopic 3D

Chapter 6 Post Production and Image Manipulation

Chapter 7 Digital Element Creation

Chapter 8 Interactive Games

Chapter 9 Complete Animation

Chapter 10 Other Workflow Considerations

About the Editors

Jeffrey A. Okun, a leading Visual Effects Supervisor who has supervised high-profile visual effects-heavy feature films for over 30 years, is currently Chair of the Visual Effects Society (VES).

Susan Zwerman is a highly respected Visual Effects Producer who has been producing visual effects for more than 20 years. She is also a well-known seminar leader and author.

The Visual Effects Society (VES) is the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the worldwide community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators, and studio executives. Its members contribute to all areas of entertainment from film, television, and commercials to music videos, games, and new media. VES strives to advance the art and science of visual effects through its many domestic and international events, screenings, and programs, highlighted by the annual VES Awards.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Film & Video
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General