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."

The beginning of my Compositing career started with After Effects, and while I’m now living and breathing Nuke, there’s one thing I still miss — the ease of use of After Effects’ animation tools.

Coupled with a recent fascination with bezier curves, I decided to set out and see if I could bring the most basic functionality from After Effects, “easy ease”, into Nuke, with a way to control the smoothness of that curve.

To start out, I wanted to explore what was already possible. Selecting a keyframe and hitting “h” on your keyboard changes the keyframe type to “horizontal”. If you do that on the first and/or last keyframe of a curve, you get a smooth ramp in/out. However, if it’s not easing enough, grabbing one of the handles and trying to adjust the curve quickly results in frustration.

Continue Reading "Programmatically editing animation curves in Nuke."

 

Over the last two parts of this series, we’ve talked about how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the VFX industry globally, how VFX vendors are adapting, and the opportunities presented to us to manage our own time, increase productivity, and gain greater flexibility in our lives. In this third and final part, we’ll discuss some of the potential pitfalls that working from home brings, how you can make the most of the situation, and even find an opportunity for growth.

Continue Reading "COVID-19 — An Opportunity for the VFX Industry: Part 3."

 

(In Part 1 of this series, we take a look at why security in our industry is water-tight, and the infrastructure challenges presented by working from home. It shines a bright light on how incredibly many folks have adapted to the new ways our industry has been forced to operate. If you haven’t yet read it, you can do so here.)

For the VFX industry and its workers, the global Coronavirus pandemic has presented an incredible opportunity to step up, and prove we can do better. Just like Movie studios, VFX vendors are first-and-foremost a business. Successful business growth requires many things, but the underlying tone of it all is: a constant increase in productivity generates more profit, which generates expansion and more work, which then needs greater productivity, and so on.

Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed reading about intelligent folks’ systems, and how they manage their time and energy for maximum output every day. One of the primary benefits of working from home is having more control over managing our own time. In this article, I’ll be sharing some tips on how I leverage this flexibility to be a more effective member of my team.

Continue Reading "COVID-19 — An Opportunity for the VFX Industry: Part 2."

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to get an edge on efficiency in your workflow, and contribute more value to your team. A common thread between most Compositors is they see the value of utilizing Python, but are unsure how and where to start learning…

If this sounds like you, I have some great news — I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, creating the solution to your problem! I’m incredibly excited to announce a new online course, comprising of 10 weeks of video tutorials, which is now available for pre-order!

I’ve put a ton of effort into making this course as valuable as possible, for an incredibly affordable price.

Click here to read more, and pre-order!

A common problem we face in visual effects is what DoPs might refer to as “dynamic” lighting; aka light sources that change colour and intensity throughout the shot. It makes our images look more interesting, but adding any VFX to these plates instantly becomes more complex. Common examples include flashing police lights, in-camera lens flares for dramatic effect, and shots lit entirely by flashing neon lights or a fire. The latter is most complex to manually animate, so it will be the example I’ll use in this article.

Continue Reading "Easily control CurveTool’s output to help match constantly-changing lights in your plate"

The ImagePlane gizmo is my favourite for speedily placing an object on a card in (pseudo)3D space. Rather than dealing with Nuke’s clunky 3D system, you can easily get a handful of atmospheric smoke elements layered up and in your shot! But that convenience of fast setup time comes at a price…

If you’ve got 2 or 3 elements to throw into your shot, ImagePlane’s are perfect! Although if you’re working on a mostly-CG shot that needs polishing up with a lot of 2D elements, it’s best you stick with the standard 3D Card, Camera & ScanlineRender setup. It’s more annoying and time-consuming to set up for sure, but it will prevent your Nuke script from chugging along at snail’s pace.

ImagePlane’s in vast quantities, especially with motion blur switched on, will take a huge toll on both your GUI’s interactivity & your Viewer’s processing speed.

Do you have a better way? Reach out and let me know!

Nobody likes getting to that stage of a shot where they come to the realization: “damn, warping is the only way…” Although, there are certain techniques that can make the process more streamlined and manageable. I’ve noticed Compositors, myself included at times, attempt “just a quick and easy warp” without setting things up properly, only…Continue Reading “SplineWarp hacks for an easier time when warping”