I’m excited to announce that I will be presenting a talk on “The Math of Comp” as part of the “Meet the Masters” Compositing event at SparkFX this year. Register here to be sure you don’t miss out!

The Math of Comp aims to share knowledge that will deepen your technical understanding of Nuke, as we talk about some of the fundamentals behind what Nuke’s tools are actually doing to the pixels in your images. We’ll cover the math of how the Grade node works, followed by a demonstration of how different methods of matching blacks affect your images differently. Next, we’ll take a look at the transform node, and how transforming an image filters its pixels, while touching on why node concatenation is important. Finally, we’ll look at how data on a pixel level can help us do pretty interesting things in a flexible way using ST Maps.

Additionally, my talented colleagues will be presenting talks under the umbrella “From v001 to Done”, discussing some of the essential soft skills you need to have as an artist working in VFX, how to assemble your show efficiently, as well as how to polish & add optical finesse to your shots.

My talk will be streaming March 4th 2021, and will be followed up with a panel on March 6th, 2021.

I’m excited to announce that I have just released a new course, aimed at introducing Compositors to GitHub!

If you are unfamiliar, Git is a powerful version control system, which supports the backbone of most modern VFX pipelines. Compositors like you are starting to embrace GitHub for finding and developing gizmos & python scripts, as well as version-controlling their .nuke directories.

Gone are the days where your Nuke preferences, toolsets, and menu.py have to be re-built at every new studio. Click here to get ahead of the curve, and introduce GitHub to your workflow today!

Compositing CG renders into a plate with a rack focus can sometimes be tricky to get right. However, your defocus has to match perfectly, otherwise the illusion falls apart! Manually creating keyframes and adjusting curve slopes can be a bit cumbersome, so I thought there had to be a better way to approach this. In this tutorial, I will share what I came up with!

We can learn a lot about what our CG needs by taking cues from our plate, and matching defocus is no exception. We can look at the size of our plate’s bokeh shapes, or how soft high-contrast edges are for reference. Animating a rack focus is a natural extension of this!

Continue Reading "Automatically matching a plate’s rack focus."

Jedediah Smith has been burning it at both ends in VFX for 10 years. He’s worked as a Compositor, a VFX Supervisor and many roles in between. Self-taught since his origins in the wilderness of Alaska, he has a massive fascination for the intersection of art and technology. Playing with code, fiddling with cameras, building nodes to create pretty pictures… That’s the best quality time.

Continue Reading "INTERVIEW: Jedediah Smith"

Nuke’s merge node has 30 operations, and finding a Compositor who has utilized them all would be a difficult task. However, I want to shed some light on two merge operations that are incredibly useful, and don’t get as much love as they should.

The most common operation, Over, is pretty self-explanatory: The image in the A pipe goes over the top of the B pipe. So how and why would this concept need to be expanded upon?

When working with CG renders that have baked-in holdouts, or if you’re creating and precomping your own holdouts using Deeps, you might find that you get dark edges when merging everything back together. This is where disjoint-over can help! Let’s take a look at a quick example to demonstrate:

Continue Reading "Disjoint-over and Conjoint-over, explained."

Nuke scripts often start out as well-intentioned, clutterless masterpieces that even Marie Kondo would be proud of. However, endless revisions and client notes in the heat of a deadline often cause tidy Nuke scripts to unravel into unintelligible, slow messes.

Compositors often lean into pre-comping to help wrangle these large, lethargic beasts, so Nuke will run at an interactive speed again. This article will cover best practices when pre-comping, to ensure you maintain optimal speed with your image processing.

Continue Reading "Back to Basics: Pre-comp more efficiently."