This is funny to me because I’ve been keeping a little living and growing document for my purposes/ amusements that I call the Batch Manifesto on my phone for the last year or so. This is it- it’s really just for me, and there’s plenty to disagree with and I don’t actually know what I’m doing most times most likely but since you asked. I do shot work in batch:
Action is sometimes (but not always) superior to comp nodes, and Vice versa
Don’t be afraid of linear.
Linear is your best friend when it comes to blurs and comp math.
Linear is not so friendly when it comes to sharpening, resizing, tracking, and regraining.
There is always a better way to do something that you have done one thousand times before.
Better ways that take more time sometimes aren’t worth it. Constantly search for better ways anyways.
Black points and white points are important.
Chromatic aberration, not so much.
Colour management has a steep learning curve. It’s worth the climb.
The rule of halves: add the amount of glow that you think looks like enough, then cut it in half.
Pixel spread is a last resort.
Spill is in the eye of the beholder.
Measure twice, cut once. Pull the exposure up when you measure.
It’s ok to cross the streams in a schematic, if necessary.
It’s never okay to go backwards in a schematic. Left to right, never right to left.
Swapping inputs in comp nodes isn’t helpful, it’s confusing
Comp like it’s an element you are giving to someone else.
Trust other people. Better yet, learn as much as you can from them.
Cycle your channels to check your grain.
Premultiply when you need to, unpremultiply when you feed into action
Premultiplied is just multiplied.
Unpremultiplied is just divided.
Premultiply if effecting matte and fill identically.
Unpremultiply if effecting matte and fill differently.
Color correct unpremultiplied.
Color correct before blur.
BLUR IN LINEAR
Learn to camera track, it can’t hurt.
A good camera solve can solve almost anything.
Anamorphic lens blurs are biased on y.
Bright backgrounds erode dark, defocused foregrounds.
Reflections are tough. Always will be.
Distortion workflows are not as complicated as they seem.
Redistort only the element you’re comping,
never the entire plate.
Too much is easier to dial back than too little is to amp up.
The Rule of Cool: Photorealism means nothing if it doesn’t look cool
Concatenation errors are not very noticeable, but comp like they are
Steal everything you can from Nuke people
Pixel math is normal math in linear. Pixel math is weird in video.
Use negative values to your advantage. But nobody wants negative values in a final comp.
Don’t waste time with flame particles unless you really want to. Just use after effects. Or Houdini. Or anything else.