This is a list of books and other non-internet publications I would recommend to anyone trying to get into the industry:
This book is provides a comprehinsive and easy to read overview of all genreal areas of compositing. It’s a great starting point and a must read for everyone but you should really be too advanced for this book already.
The Encyclopedia of Visual Effects – Damian Allen/Brian Connor | Amazon
This is designed as a reference book with definitions for lots of common VFX terms. As well as defining terms there are also tutorials on how to do some of the techniques in Shake (although most of the book is software independant). There are also interesting case studies throughout the book. Although this is primarily a reference book it is pretty light reading and can easily be read cover to cover in a couple of days.
Once you have read the books above and got the general idea of what you are doing this book explains what is actually going on with the numbers. There is much more detail in this book making it slightly harder to read but it is a great reference book and should be kept on hand at all times. The chaper on log/lin colourspace is the best explanation of the topic that I’ve read and is vital to anyone trying to get that section of their skills matrix signed off.
Core Skills of VFX – Skillset | Skillset
The Core Skills of VFX Handbook has one simple but ambitious aim: to improve the new entrant skills available for the UK’s VFX industry. The handbook is relevant to both students and tutors; it is designed to assist universities and colleges to raise the standard of VFX courses available and therefore the new talent available in the UK.
This website is referenced in the reading list for the paint chapter.
Nuke Color Management – Steve Wright | Online PDF
This a well written document explaining the steps Nuke goes through to convert everything into linear colourspace, display it properly and then render back into the correct colourspace.
Cinefex | Cinefex website
Cinefex is a long running quaterly magazine aimed directly at visual effects professionals. They write long articles on the making of the biggest feature films and interview some very highly regarded professionals. Definitely geeky but it highlights other areas of visual effects that you might not think about while you roto away. The articles don’t date much so you can learn just as much from the older issues than you can from the lastest ones.
Framestore subscribe to Cinefex and have most of the back catalogue in the lending library. You can also subscripe to the digital verison that allows you to read the magazine online.
Droidmaker – Michael Rubin | Amazon
This a book about the story behind Lucas Film, ILM and Pixar. It is written by a guy who worked at Lucas Film for years and who knew everyone involved with the growth of the company. The book begins as a bit of a biography of Lucas himself but quickly opens up to cover the stories behind everyone else involved. It provides a great background to so much of the technology and techniques that we take for granted today.