Benjamin and I had the sincere privilege of speaking with the very modest, kind, and talented Raymond Corbett. Raymond is a very seasoned Visual effects specialist with over 15 years of experience working with 3D, animation, compositing, and keying.

The most recent work that he has done was  the lead CG on the film “Invictus”, starring Matt Damon,  Morgan Freeman, and directed by Clint Eastwood. Raymond enjoys course development and delivery, as it is an opportunity for him to teach up and coming students.

We sat down to discuss the art of what Raymond does. The following is a transcript of our interview, which took place on July 13, 2010.

Interviewer: What is the most exciting part of your work?

Raymond: To work with other members of the team and to be able to see the final product on screen.

Interviewer: What is the most difficult part of your job?

Raymond: It is sometimes difficult to keep the team’s spirit high, as our job requires long hours and things are constantly changing.

Interviewer: What is your position on the film “The Music of Erich Zann”?

Raymond: Visual effects coordinator and supervisor.

Interviewer: What does keying involve?

Raymond:  Keying is when the green or blue from the “green screen” is removed from the characters or environment.

Interviewer: What program do you use?

Raymond: Nuke. It is a high end compositing program. It is an industry standard produced by Foundry. Nuke works with frames instead of time codes. This process requires a sequence of frames instead of seconds because each second of footage has X many of frames, and each frame should be rendered.

Interviewer: What are the differences between Nuke an After Effects?

Raymond: After Effects is a layer-based program similar to photoshop. Nuke is a nodes based program, which allows for better flexibility and control.

Interviewer: Which is better and why?

Raymond: Nuke is better for larger productions, as it handles larger amounts of data at a quicker rate. Raymond suggests that “After effects” would be better for smaller productions.

Interviewer: What are the specific requirements when working with green screen?

Raymond: You need to make sure that the green screen is evenly lit and separate from the set. Make sure that you have sufficient lights and keep the actors far away from the green screen so it doesn’t produce hard shadows.

Interviewer: What are some “mishaps” that someone working with green screen should look for?

Raymond: They should look for shadows, uneven lighting, and possible green spill (when the background is keyed out, this may cause a “halo” over the actor’s head). Also, look for creasing in the green screen.

Raymond suggest that above all, “Fixing it in POST” is not an option. This reason is simple; it will cost YOU more and your Post team un-necessary stress. Always, try to fix the problem before, do not cut corners. It will affect the look, outcome, and the cost of post will increase substantially.