About Ron Brinkmann

Brinkmann headshot

Author of The Art and Science of Digital Compositing. (A few more copies of the classic 1st edition are still available too!). Occasional supervisor in the visual effects and animation world. One of the founding employees of Sony Pictures Imageworks. Part of the initial design and development team that produced the digital compositing application Shake (acquired by Apple in 2002). Continued as Shake Product Designer for a few years, until development on the product was ruthlessly terminated. Also was involved with Apple’s photo-management software Aperture for a bit. Worked at Amazon for a bit, doing things completely unrelated to visual effects, animation, image processing or photography.  Just because. 

Frequently speaks at seminars on the topics of visual effects, digital filmmaking and general technology. (Has spoken in England, Netherlands, Russia, China, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Japan and India… and several less-interesting locations).  Regular guest/host on This Week in Photography podcast.  Gadabout.


28 thoughts on “About Ron Brinkmann

  1. Hi Ron,
    Thought I saw you at the Coulton show but I wasn’t sure. Then I saw your tweets. Great show. Awesomely fun.

    We’ve never met but I’m a big fan of your book and always enjoy hearing you on TWIM, etc.

    Have a great day.


  2. I’d be surprised if Apple does much of anything with Shake, other than continue to sell it as-is.

  3. Ron,

    You’re great on TWIP. Have fun in Redondo Beach…no wait, Hermosa Beach…or Seattle. Wherever you are.

    By the way, the TWIP link above is pointing to the wrong place.


  4. Always love listening to TWIP but even more so when you are in the mix. Great “interesting” blog as well, thanks very much.


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  6. Hi Ron, currently reading trough the S.E. of your book, and I have to say it´s one of the funniest books I´ve ever read, and I learnt a lot about compositing too! :))

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  8. Hey Ron, I heard you talking about a monopod that needed to be able to go vertical, I laughed outloud when you said it. I built one from a 10.00 walking and 2.00 in parts. It has a twist to release head that rolls anywhere along 90 degree axis and locks back into place. It’s collapsible and serves a dual purpose. I put a pic on twitpic just for you. Hope your feeling better. Dale Stockton, Stockton Expressions

  9. Hello and hi from sweden. What now when Apple has officially killed Shake. Do you think they are working on a new compositing software? Sure hope so.

    • If I had had ANY indication that Apple was interested in creating a new piece of software that addressed a market even SOMEWHAT close to Shake’s, I probably wouldn’t have quit 2+ years ago. Obviously I don’t know anything for certain, but I’d be extraordinarily surprised if anything more than updated versions of Motion come out of Apple in the compositing space, at least for the foreseeable future.

  10. Hi Mr. Brinkmann,
    I am a photo editor at a magazine and we are interested in some of your photos of the Tokyo Fish Market.
    Can you please let me know if they are avialable for usage?

    • Hey Mark, thanks for listening. I guess I’d probably just try posting on various forums where you might find the right people hanging out. fxguide? CreativeCow?

  11. Hi Ron,
    I believe I’m the one that got the hole stacking polarizers to make an adjustable NB filter discussion going with an audio question in PhotoFocus. It became a hit because Scott and Rick got the answer wrong. The stacking works like a charm, but there’s a ketch, you need to use a Liner on the front and a Circular on the back. Please pass on the word, Brian from Atascadero,CA

    • Hey Brian, I didn’t catch the PhotoFocus show but I’ve been doing the dual-polarizer trick for years. It’s a good point about not using two circular polarizer’s though (though you do get a bit of a color-shift using those… a colortemperature adjustment if you want :-)

  12. Just wanted to say thank you for helping to develop Shake. It was my introduction to node-based compositing back in the early 00’s, and I remember being amazed that my “training period” lasted all of about three hours before I was compositing real shots. I’ve had to transition back to a certain ubiquitous “flat” compositor lately and it’s been like pulling teeth.

  13. Hi Ron! Just came across your blog! I think I met you in the Film and TV Institute of India in Pune, sometime around 2003-4. Were you there? Thanks for Shake. Wish it were still around!

  14. Ron,

    We were in Egypt for 10 days in Sept 2010. Cairo, Aswan and Luxor. Upon return, I wrote a short travel tip document “Egypt Travel Tips That No One Told You But Would Have Been Nice To Know.” I would be happy to share the document with you. I don’t know how to do so here so if interested please email me and I will reply with the document attached. We have traveled out of the US extensively. Egypt offered some of the best and worst experiences. We were not at all prepared for the Cairo leg of the trip. nor did we realize how hot and humid it was. Never, and I mean by a wide margin, have we felt more like foreigners than we did in Egypt. I did take lots of photos though we were with a group; the trip was not photo centric.

    I love TWIP and always appreciate your opinions and insight.

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