So You Want to Learn Nuke? Start Here!

So You Want to Learn Nuke? Start Here!

Wanting to learn Nuke but don't know where to start? Your search is over.

Diving into a new program can be an intimidating process. Not only is your workflow completely new, but the places you go for resources, the communities you work within, and much more can change with it.

With the recent announcement of Nuke Indie, The Foundry’s premiere node-based compositor is sure to see some new faces.

If you're one of them, fear not! Not only is the program incredibly intuitive at face value, but everything surrounding it is top-notch, well documented, and easy to access. In the following list, we’ll be compiling some of the components that will help you greatly along the way!

Before we get going though, make sure to bookmark this post. That way you can refer back to it as you go throughout your journey.

Written Guides

Five Habits Every Nuke Beginner Should Have

This guide outlines some habits to institute early on. A lot of them are review for anyone in VFX as they’re applicable to other programs, especially node based ones. 

6 Common (but not Obvious) Nodes for Nuke Beginners

Down to the meat and potatoes: nodes are of course the most important part of Nuke as the basis of all functions of the program. This article outlines six to dive into as a beginner and add to your reportare. 

This is your best friend. The Foundry’s own reference guide includes a comprehensive breakdown on every node in the program along with other functions. If there’s one thing you take from this guide it’s to keep this handy while working, watching tutorials, or learning about the program. It will bring tremendous value.
Source: Foundry

Video Tutorials

How to Use 3D Projection | Composite 2D Stock Footage into a 3D Scene in Nuke

When you’re starting out, what you really want in a good tutorial is applicability and the lessons you take away mean way more than the resulting effect. 3D projection is a fundamental tool within Nuke that you’ll use a lot, and this tutorial can get you started!

How to Use Multi-Channel OpenEXR Passes Nuke Tutorial

Another requirement for your fundamental toolkit: multi-channel management. One of my favorite parts of Nuke is the way channels are handled in full transparency. Ditch your drop-downs and get expanded into an easy to navigate node graph!

Advanced Keying in Nuke

Keying is one of the most important tools for any compositor. It’s an ever changing skill set and not a perfect science. The strength in Nuke keying as such is the variety of tools at your disposal. This tutorial illustrates some of the most primary and explains the use cases. Study up to make sure you’re ready for even the worst greenscreen footage!

Teachers & Programs

Hugo’s Desk

High quality, industry experience, and easy to follow. We sing his praises often and Hugo Guerra deserves every bit. Any Nuke user looking to kickstart their growth can jump into his Youtube free of charge. Keep your eyes peeled for dedicated programs, streams, and seminars that Hugo runs frequently as well to level up your Nuke skills. 

The Foundry Learning Platform

Straight from the source, The Foundry has videos specifically focused on beginner learning. This is great when you’re starting from absolute square one to the level of UI familiarity and transitory tutorials such as Nuke for After Effects Artists

Misc. Resources


Nukepedia in many ways is a one stop shop. The open nature of Nuke allows for some of the best user made tools in VFX. Save yourself some time and effort, and get some plugins.
Source: Nukepedia

Keep Calm I’m in VFX

Community is key when learning a new program! This discord is a great place to start as one of the largest dedicated to VFX on the web. Link up with other Nuke artists online to accelerate your growth. 

ActionVFX Blog Posts

This tag will take you through our blog posts about and involving Nuke. You’ll find tips and tricks, more lists, and other places to dive into the program.

Just like learning any software, you really have to jump in and experience it for yourself, and everything else will follow. When you make the jump, this article will be here. Remember to bookmark this page so you can jump to it quickly!

First time here? ActionVFX creates the best pre-keyed stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. (We also have some great free stuff!)

From Fire and massive Explosions to Blood and Gore VFX, we have the largest VFX library in the world ready to be composited in your project. Check out over 3,400 VFX stock footage elements right here

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