Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 012


I always appreciate a clean, organized Nuke script. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it runs much more efficiently and is significantly easier to work with. This issue of Ben's Comp Newsletter is about keeping your scripts fast, clean & tidy.


When addressing client notes, I find myself creating & concatenating new nodes so I can easily go back to a previous version if needed. This is a flexible way to work, although it can get messy, is hard to reverse & sometimes causes confusion with too many nodes (depending on how picky your client is!).

Once I've dialed in something the client likes, I could be stuck with 15 transform nodes all with their own unique animation, and it can be quite hard to add another layer while having to fight against previous iterations.

Thankfully, Erwan Leroy has come to the rescue with a super handy Python script that collapses multiple Transform & CornerPin nodes into a single node, to avoid the clutter!

Click here to download it, or Click here to read more about the code and how it works.
Tip: If you're only translating & scaling, you should output a Transform node. For anything else, including if you have a stack of Transform nodes with rotations, I found the tool works most-predictably by outputting a CornerPin.

If someone figures out how to do this with Grade, Multiply & ColorCorrect nodes, please send it my way!

Humans are creatures of habit. To align with this mindset, I have created a python script that enables compositors to set Backdrop Node presets in their! The above image is representative of some of the presets I have made for myself.

I appreciate having consistent defaults, as it helps our lizard brains instantly recognize what is what at a glance, without thinking about it. If I'm zoomed out all the way on a massive Nuke script, I know the green areas are Keys, purple areas are DMPs, etc. etc.

Click here to download the python script, and Click here to read a quick tutorial on how it works, and how to set your own presets!

As a bonus, by Ivan Busquets allows you to cycle through hue, saturation & luminance of a selected Backdrop node, and automatically fix any layering issues that pop up with nested Backdrop nodes

Click here to download backdropTools.

One of my favorite Python scripts to hit Nukepedia in recent history is W_ScaleTree, by Wouter Gilsing. This panel allows you to scale a group of selected nodes in your node graph by a specific anchor point & automatically align them with even spacing in between. Click here to download W_ScaleTree!

Supplementary to this is the classic script from Frank Rueter, that allows you to mirror nodes on the horizontal or vertical axis. Click here to download mirrorNodes.

I use both these tools almost daily!

DeepMind's AI has been trained to create a 3D representation of different objects & environments using a sparse selection of 2D images. This article outlines how the neural network feeds off the relationship between parallaxing objects (much like how our favourite Camera Tracking/Solving programs do), and can then predict all the details in between.

It's early days for this kind of technology, but there are huge implications for the impact it could have on the VFX industry!


If you've created a gizmo or python script to solve a common problem or speed up your workflow, please reply to this email and let me know about it's existence! I'd love to help spread the word, to help us all be better compositors together!

Click Here to view previous issues.