Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 001


Welcome to the very first issue of Ben's Compositing Newsletter! To kick things off, I've recently been reflecting on the tools I use multiple times every single day, which over the course of a day save a lot of button-clicks, and therefore a lot of time.

The first three items are python scripts to add to your, which will add some custom functionality to Nuke! If you're not sure what a is, or what it does, Click Here to read more about it.

This python script sets a hotkey, alt+e in this example, to toggle the current Viewer's exposure and gamma sliders between the last adjustment and the default values. I find this particularly useful when I'm QCing my comps, to check what the shot looks like at normal, and boosted exposure on each frame. Additionally, it's useful to quickly toggle back and forth to see extra details in the blacks/whites when doing paint or roto.

Click here to get the code to add to your!

To customize the keyboard shortcut, you can change "alt+e" in the last line of the code to whatever you like! A nice alternative might be "shift+home", to make it the same as RV.

A good chunk of the time we need to add keyframes as a compositor, it's to toggle a node from on to off, or vice versa. To speed up this process, I wrote a simple python script that operates on the mix knob of any selected node.
  • Meta+, will set an "on keyframe". In nuke-terms, this will add keyframes to set the mix knob to 1 on the current frame, and 0 on the previous frame. 
  • Meta+. will set an "off keyframe". This will add keyframes to set the mix knob to 1 on the current frame, and 0 on the next frame. 
  • Meta+/ will open a dialog box (the image above) so you can set a specific frame range for your mix knob to be set to 1, and every frame outside that range will be set to 0. There is also a "fade" parameter, if you want to fade in & out over a certain duration.
Click here to get the code to add to your!

I've worked with a lot of compositors over the years who prefer to use in & out, as opposed to mask & stencil. I got talking to Conrad Olson about this, who is equally as puzzled by why people work this way. He made a video about why Mask & Stencil are the superior operations. Click here to watch!

I also wrote a python script that will switch all in & out operations to mask & stencil (and flips the A and B pipes, of course), should you inherit a script from an artist who still does things the "legacy" way.

Click here to get the python script.

Hands-down the best productivity tool I've ever come across. I use it for both work and home to create to-do lists, and lists of things to remember.

What's cool about Workflowy is it's compatible on all browsers, and has an app for iPhone & Android. This means you can take notes in dailies on your phone, and they will be automagically synced to Workflowy that's already open on back at your Workstation!

Click here to get started.
I found this hilarious, and thought it was worth sharing for a laugh.

The video glosses over the technical side of creating HDR imagery, but also demonstrates how crazy Excel can get!

Click here to watch!
Click Here to view previous issues.


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I would love some feedback on this newsletter. If you have any comments, or suggestions for things to add to the next issue, simply respond to this email!