1. The VES handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures Edited by Jeffrey A. Okun and Susan Zwerman
This book was written with the help of dozens of leading VFX practitioners and covers everything you’ll ever need to know to excel in the industry. If there’s a Bible of the Visual Effects Industry; this is it. Buy it, read it, study it, mark it up, dog ear the pages and reference it; just don’t loan it out as it won’t come back. You won’t be sorry. Some books get read only once, but others are like an old friend; this is one of those books.
2. The Visual Effects Producer: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX by Charles Finance
To succeed in any industry you need to know the business side as well as the artistic and technical side. Avoid the mistakes so many have made by learning all you can about the business. This book will help you by showing you industry best practices as well as the mundane things such as budgeting and scheduling.
3. The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, Second Edition: Techniques for Visual Effects, Animation and Motion Graphics (The Morgan Kaufmann Series In Computer Graphics) by Ron Brinkmann
This is a huge book with 675 pages of information that will take you through the history and techniques of digital compositing. You will find yourself immersed in this book because there is so much useful information you can put to work right away. Full color images help illustrate the authors points. It would take a lifetime to learn all these techniques and yet the author has and puts it together in a way that you will understand.
4. The Visual Effects Arsenal: VFX Solutions for the Independent Filmmaker by Bill Byrne
Ever wanted to just lop someone’s head off? Well now you can “digitally” that is. Bill lays out the techniques and you follow his demonstration. It’s that easy. It comes with a DVD you can use to put the techniques learned into practice.