Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 021


Hope you're doing well. Please enjoy Issue 021 of Ben's Comp Newsletter!

KeenTools' FaceBuilder

Released just last week by KeenTools (the company who brought you marvellous plugins such as GeoTracker and FaceTracker) is a brand new plugin which stands up against their already-amazing line-up of tools.

FaceBuilder is a natural extension of KeenTools' existing plugins, which allows you to rapidly create a 3D model of an actor's face using only a few reference images, right inside of Nuke! Once you have this model, FaceTracker or GeoTracker can track your newly-created face model to the actor in your plate!

Figuring out a 2D solution for replacing a stunt-actor's face in Nuke is by far my least favourite thing to do. This suite of plugins appears to put an end to our days of frustration!
Click here to watch the preview video, and download a 15-day trial!

Keep organized with to do lists.

To-do bullet lists are my favourite productivity hack. I love the ability to dump my brain into a document, then be able to search for items effortlessly when I need them. Long-time readers of Ben's Comp Newsletter may already know of Workflowy, which is great, albeit quite simple.

Last month, I stumbled upon the free web-app Dynalist, which adds all the features you might be missing from Workflowy, and more! I have been using it every day for the past 30 days, both at work and at home, and I absolutely love it.

An example of how I utilize Dynalist at work is:
  • Start with a large heading for the shot name
  • Add a small sub-heading underneath with the date tag !(2018-10-22), to know when the shot is due.
  • Additionally, add a # to tag certain things like urgency and ETA (e.g. #urgent #2.5hrs)
  • Now we can add indented sub-bullet points for each note we have, and sub-sub-bullet points for items to complete this task! The more granular the better, as the more things you can check off the list, the more dopamine (reward hormone) your brain gets! More dopamine = more flow-state = more productive.
Other conveniences include:
  • Using a to-do list keeps all of your outstanding tasks visible in one easy-to-access place.
  • You can effectively plan your workday by organizing your custom #timeETA tags into 8 hour blocks; simple!
  • Time for dailies? There's a native iPhone & Android app that syncs your notes real-time to the cloud. Typing notes on your phone in the review room, and then walking back to your workstation to have those same notes at your fingertips is invaluable!
  • Want to know everything that's due tomorrow? Use Dynalist's search function to search for your custom tags with tomorrow's date, e.g. !(yyyy-mm-dd), and you automatically have your to-do list for the day!
There are plenty more features that make Dynalist worth using, but too many to point out here. I encourage you to check out their website and try out the Live Demo to see what it can do, and how it can help improve your productivity!
Click here to start using Dynalist!

Create simple pop-up dialogs with Python.

Nuke has a built-in PythonPanel object, which you're able to add all sorts of knobs to via Python, and that will do anything you can imagine & anything you can code! Back when I first learned how to create them, it was a more involved process. However now, it's quite simple!

If you're looking for something a bit more comprehensive than nuke.message("Hello World!"), Jeang Jenq Loh has written a simple and easy to follow tutorial about how you can create PythonPanel's, using an example of a tool he wrote that helps the user globally deal with Nuke's localization policy.

Another example of how I use PythonPanels is my QuickKeys script, which helps you quickly set on/off keyframes for selected nodes. E.g: A window pops up, asks for your first and last frame, and then you hit "Go!" and it figures out the rest!
Click here to read Jeang Janq Loh's tutorial.

Designing Cinematic Scenes

One of the ways I seek inspiration is by looking to designers (motion, web, UX), animators and other artists who are exceptional at analyzing and problem-solving creative challenges.

I recently came across this talk by Matthew Encina of Blind and TheFutur, who outlines how he approaches digital cinematography. In his talk, Matthew covers the basics of how he thinks about composition & lighting, and touches on the importance of contrast in an interesting and informative way using Cinema4D to show examples. Interesting stuff!
Click here to watch the Design Cinematic Scenes talk.

Did you enjoy this newsletter issue?

Have you created, or do you know of any outstanding Gizmos, Python Scripts or Tutorials that you would like to share with the community? Please send me an email, and I will do my best to include it in a future issue of this newsletter.

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Premium Contributor: Seb Tran
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