Start compositing like a pro with these awesome Nuke tutorials!
Compositing is one of the most volatile and intricate steps in the visual effects process. Though it’s technically during the finishing stages of a shot, compositors are offered an extreme amount of control over assets (both three and two dimensional). From chroma keying to advanced tracking and placement, compositing is all about marrying the creations of several artists into a final and cohesive work.
At the forefront of this art form is The Foundry’s Nuke: an advanced and sophisticated node-based solution equipped for high level Hollywood compositing. Though its complexity may be intimidating, it’s just another tool in the box. The best place to start? Free tutorials.
1. AE2NUKE class 1 - After Effects to Nuke 101
After Effects is the natural first step for most compositors and many visual effects artists. It’s a program with great accessibility, great support, and truly professional capabilities. Here, in one of his many great Nuke tutorials, Hugo Guerra helps you step smoothly from the After Effects world into Nuke. The transition can be rough especially when it comes to layer vs. node-based systems, but Hugo’s mastery of both offers several connection lines that will guide you along the way. Whether you’re curious and want to try Nuke for the first time or are a Nuke amateur but an AE expert, this tutorial will help you translate a little more knowledge from one software to the other.
2. Advanced Keying Breakdown
Keying is obviously a big part of Nuke’s toolset. In this tutorial, Tony Lyons dissects the scientific approaches that are available to you in Nuke. He also discusses some of the fundamental components of keying in Nuke such as alpha management and despill. This tutorial is an all-in-one solution for beginners or as a refresher for someone with experience. It has 10 parts, so add it to your bookmarks and consider taking notes!
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3. Multipass Compositing in Nuke
Multipass rendering is the gold standard for live action CG work. In turn, Nuke’s handling of channels or layers is one of its greatest strengths. This tutorial from CG Swot offers a crash course on the process. You’ll notice it begins in V-Ray with a quick overview of render layers and what it means to create multipass image sequences. Once you’ve got a grasp on how to set things up in Nuke, you’ll see the amount of control that the multipass process gives after the render. It’s one of the very best solutions for an indecisive client.
4. Nuke Camera Tracking
This crucial walkthrough of Nuke’s camera tracking by Tunnelvizion is simple and easy to follow. Nuke’s camera tracker may not be as fleshed out as other dedicated solutions, but it gets the job done for compositing use and in some cases CG round tripping. In the tutorial you’ll learn about the first steps, setting your ground plane, and controlling the level of error in your track. The camera tracker is a "need-to-know" for any Nuke compositor and one of the biggest time savers in the program’s arsenal.
5. How to Composite 2D VFX Stock Footage Into a 3D Scene In Nuke
Once you have a solid 3D track, you will want to make the most of it. The most cost and time effective way to do this is through stock footage placement in your new 3D scene. In this tutorial, Sebastion Siggerud will brush up on some of the camera tracking basics from the previous tutorial and go over how to properly place 2D elements inside of your scene. Not only is this an important technical skill, but it communicates a cornerstone of the VFX process: if you’ve recreated the camera, you have ultimate control.
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