A bit of a broad question, I’m not quite sure how to phrase it even. Like, in the examples below, what sort of compositing steps are people doing do to achieve this look?
I’ve been watching various tutorials on compositing, but I’m not making much progress. I think the problem for me is that most tutorials are not applied - they tell you about the theory, then expect you to build that from first principles (e.g. if you multiply diffuse and indirect, then add the colour pass, you can rebuild the diffuse pass). Sadly, I’ve I just don’t find myself able to build from that for this sort of work. I’m not yet able to look at these images and understand - “oh, that’s a guassian blur on the background layer” etc.
I know some of you will probably think - well, just experiment, but usually by the time I have something rendered, I’ve not really considered rendering it out as multiple layers, because - as I don’t know what “steps” to take, I also don’t know what layers I need to render separately, and then what layers to apply these things to. It’s also very slow, and without a clear end goal, I don’t find randomly trying nodes achieves very much. I have been looking into chromakeying, but again it’s a bit directionless - “oh that’s cool you can do that, but now what?” sort of thing. It’s like going into Gimp and just applying artistic filters to a jpeg; most of the time it looks worse.
It seems like a lot of digital artworks have similar tools applied (there’s a definite look, collectively), so is there any like, top 3 tools or top tips that might help me get a foot in the door? Is there some industry book that everyone reads that I don’t know about?