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  • Software:Blender 2.76  ·
  • Difficulty:Beginner

Rules of the Exercise

  • 1
    Reconstruct the Cycles render passes into a cohesive image with the Compositor.
  • 2
    Composite an image of smoke to represent coffee steam.
  • 3
    Enhance the image for appeal.


This exercise is designed to give you hands-on experience with reconstructing render passes into a complete image using the Compositor (Node Editor). Jonathan Lampel has built this coffee scene to be your practice environment. Everything is set up for you. Hit render and then get right to compositing! Remember, the big idea with compositing is to make render editing as flexible as possible without having to re-render. So once your render is reconstructed, your assignment includes enhancing the image for appeal. In a way, it may help you to think of this enhancement stage as a manual Instagram filter. So since this is for appeal, this stage is open to your artistic interpretation. It just has to be appealing! Here's a before and after example: before_after


  1. Download the Source FilesOpen the included .blend file with Blender.
  2. In the Node Editor, use what you learned in the Fundamentals of Compositing course to reconstruct the render passes appropriately. This guide will be invaluable.
  3. Use one of the smoke images included in the Source Files > textures folder - or find your own - to add the steam effect to the coffee cup.
  4. The last thing you'll need to do in the Compositor is enhance the image. Some ideas: Color-correction, adding a vignette, chromatic aberration... But it's ultimately up to you as the artist.
  5. Finally, fill in the Blank .PSD Template with a Before (raw render) image, After (composition result), and screenshot of your composition's node network (to prove you reconstructed the scene's render passes and didn't just use the combined image). Then export your template as a .JPG or .PNG and submit for grading!

An example template ready for submission:template_example


Check out this video for additional guidance in accomplishing this exercise. Though, I encourage you to watch only after attempting the exercise first. Otherwise it's defeating the intention of the exercise being a challenge in application of the information learned in the Fundamentals of Compositing Course.

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