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About this book

Digital Image Compositing Fundamentals is an introductory title covering concepts central to digital imagery and digital image compositing using software packages such as Adobe Photoshop or the open source GIMP software, which is used for this book because it is free for commercial use.

This book builds on the fundamental concepts of pixels, color depth and layers, and gets more advanced as chapters progress, covering pixel transparency using the alpha channel, pixel blending using Porter-Duff blending and transfer modes, and digital image file formats and key factors regarding a data footprint optimization work process.

What You'll Learn:

What are the most common memes in digital imaging

What comprises a digital image compositing pipeline

What are the concepts behind digital imaging

How to install and use GIMP 2.8 or 2.9

What are and how to use the concepts behind color depth and image optimizationAudience:

This book is for those new to image compositing, editing. Ideal for web developers, game developers who need to learn these kinds of fundamentals quickly and effectively.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Foundation of Digital Imaging: The Pixel

Abstract
Welcome to Digital Image Compositing Fundamentals. This book will take you through the foundation of digital imaging as well as multilayered image compositing. It starts with the lowest-level concepts—in this chapter that’s the pixel—and builds upon each of those concepts in subsequent chapters until we have a comprehensive understanding of image-compositing concepts, pipelines, work flows, and terminology.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 2. The Size of Digital Imaging: Resolution

Abstract
Now you have an understanding of the pixel building blocks that make up raster images as well as what the difference is between a raster image that is 2D and pixel based, and a vector image that is 2D (or 3D), and vertex and line (or curve) based. In this chapter, we build on these concepts by looking at the x and y dimensions of digital image compositing. Since you now have GIMP downloaded onto your computer, I will illustrate concepts in the book using both Photoshop and GIMP, as those are the most widely used digital-image packages.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 3. The Shape of Digital Imaging: Aspect Ratio

Abstract
Now that you have an understanding of the image resolution and how to calculate the number of pixels that make up your raster image, it is time to consider the shape (rectangular or square) of your digital imagery. Your digital imagerys shape, known in the industry as its aspect ratio, is more important than you might think, especially when you’re changing it using image scaling (known as resampling) or image cropping.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 4. The Color of Digital Imaging: Color Theory

Abstract
Now that you have an understanding of the positioning of pixels using an x,y grid, which defines the image resolution as well as the image aspect ratio, it is time to look inside of each pixel, and see how it defines its color space. Whereas a digital image holds its resolution and aspect ratio, from a data perspective, each pixel contains its own characteristics, such as the x,y grid (array) position, color composition, transparency or opacity, blending mode, and the like. We will be looking at all of these areas individually, each in their own chapters within this book.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 5. The Digitization of Digital Imaging: Color Depth

Abstract
Now that you have an understanding of the primary two color theory models used in digital image editing and compositing, and the reason why we are going to be focusing on the RGB mode from here on out, it is time to take a more in-depth look at how colors are represented digitally for each pixel. The number of bits used to define color within a digital image and its file format are traditionally referred to as the digital image . The most common color depth, used in the most common image format, JPEG, is true color, or 24-bit color. There are also other image formats that use different bit-level color depths, such as the GIF format, which uses 8-bit or indexed color; the Targa format, which uses 16-bit or high color; and the RAW format and HDRI format, which can use up to 48-bit and even use 64-bit color.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 6. The Transparency of Digital Imaging: Alpha Channel

Abstract
Now that you have an understanding of the basic color depths used in most digital-image-editing and compositing pipelines, we are going to be focusing on the 32-bit RGBA mode from here on out. The RGBA mode is tantamount for all of the compositing layers in an image composite other than the 24-bit color image back plate. We are also not going to focus on High Dynamic Range Imagery (HDRI) because it is data heavy and not practical for the types of usage that most of the book’s readers will target, which include the Internet, e-books, iTV sets, smart phones, smart watches, tablets, netbooks, laptops and so forth.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 7. The Isolation of Digital Imaging: Masking Tools

Abstract
Now that you have an understanding of alpha channel data and how it can be used in a digital-image-compositing pipeline, as well as how to use it to “store digital image objects, the next logical step is to learn how to use masking tools to extract subject matter from your digital images. This is called “pulling a mask in the digital image compositing industry.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 8. The Organization of Digital Imaging: Using Layers

Abstract
Now that you have learned how to mask objects for use in your digital image compositing pipelines, the next logical step is to learn how to leverage the to organize your digital image compositing projects. Layers allow you to isolate masked objects as well as to apply imaging special effects to individual layers and your digital image backplate—that is, the foundational background image upon which your digital image composite is based.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 9. The Algorithms of Digital Imaging: Blending Modes

Abstract
Now that you have learned how to use layers in a digital image compositing pipeline, in this chapter, well dive in deeper and take a look at the blending mode functionality contained within each of these layers. These blending modes are present in both GIMP and Photoshop, and they allow algorithmic functions for combining pixels across different layers. These blending algorithms were originally the work of Thomas Porter and Tom Duff, and in the Android API, blending modes are, in fact, a part of a PorterDuff class, named after these two men.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 10. The Modality of Digital Imaging: Modal Operation

Abstract
Now that you’ve learned some of the basic components of digital image compositing, such as concepts and terms, alpha channels, selection sets (masking), layers, blending modes, and the like, let’s spend a chapter taking a closer look at the nature of the modal operation of advanced digital imaging software. This modal operation is also present in other high-end multimedia production software packages, such as 3D, digital video editing and special effects, and audio packages. This modal functionality is also part of programming languages, such as C, C#, C++, Python, Java, JavaFX, and JavaScript.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 11. The Automation of Digital Imaging: Plug-In Filters

Abstract
Now that we have gone over the primary fundamental topics in digital image compositing, let’s take a chapter to have some fun and take a look at plug-in software. Plug-ins can automate specialized imaging effects for you, by allowing you to simply set a number of options and click the OK button in the dialog! These plug-ins are generally found in the Filter (Photoshop) or Filters (GIMP) menu in your digital image compositing software package.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 12. The Work Process of Digital Imaging: Compositing

Abstract
Now that we have had some fun using plug-in filter software, which you could probably experiment with for the rest of your life, it’s time to get back into some more advanced “under the hood” thinking about how the digital image compositing pipeline works, and what it is doing in system memory. This is important if you are also going to leverage digital image compositing concepts and techniques in this book in your new media programming projects using popular widespread platforms such as Java, JavaFX, Android, or HTML5. Since I’m a programmer, I tend to think along these lines anyway, and with complex 2D and 3D software packages, knowing what is happening at the core processing level can be an advantage and help you to understand what the software tool is doing (and what it is going to do).
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 13. The Data Footprint of Digital Images: Optimization

Abstract
Now that we have gone over how to create professional digital images using the powerful features in digital image compositing software packages, which you could probably base a lucrative career on, it’s time to take a look at how to output, or “export,” these digital image composites, as highly optimized files. In this chapter, you will learn about the considerations of data footprint optimization, so that you can export (save) a digital image file in the proper format for what you’re doing. The objective in this chapter is to use the smallest possible number of bytes possible to create the file that contains your digital image compositing pipeline creation; that is, your resulting visual image multimedia asset for use in whatever digital playground you happen to be playing in at the time.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 14. The Automation of Digital Imaging: Programming

Abstract
Now that we have looked at how to create professional digital images using the powerful features in both of the digital image compositing software packages and to export them to the most popular file formats, it’s time to take a look at those programming platforms themselves, just in case you want to take your digital image compositing career to the next level. In this chapter, you will learn about the internal programming languages used for GIMP (Python) and Photoshop (JavaScript) as well as external programming languages that support digital imaging such as C# (.NET); ObjectiveC (iOS); Java (Android Studio, Linux); JavaFX; JavaScript; HTML5; and CSS3 (WebKit Browsers, HTML5 OSs).
Wallace Jackson
Additional information