Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 025


It's hard to believe this little newsletter project was started 1 year ago -- thanks for your support and continued readership! If you have any suggestions for how this newsletter could provide more value to you, please don't hesitate to reach out and let me know.

At the end of every year, I like to take some time to reflect on what I've learned, how I've grown and whether I've come closer to achieving my goals, or whether those goals have changed completely. I encourage you to do the same; if you don't track your progress, you can't manage it!

This year I have met some incredible artists whom I've learned from, have mentored a handful of intelligent students via Vancouver Film School & Patreon (and will continue to do so in the new year -- reach out if you're interested), and I've ultimately found a renewed sense of enthusiasm and motivation for the work I'm doing.

It's the end of the year, but definitely not the end of us learning and growing better together! Next year, I plan to make some additions to this newsletter in an effort to provide better content & more learning opportunities for you!

As you might not have been subscribed from the start of this year, I thought the best way to wrap up 2018 would be to collate the most popular items from Ben's Comp Newsletter into one mega list! Hope you enjoy.

The most popular item.

By far, the most-read item in this newsletter has been my article titled, Create Simple Python Scripts to Speed Up Your Workflow.

Other notable, well-read articles include, How To Speed Up Your Nuke Scripts By Compositing Efficiently, alongside When To Utilize A Different Colourspace.


Speaking of Python.

Gianluca Dentici's hilarious Python course offers clear & concise explanations for the basics of Python in Nuke, with an added splash of humour to spice things up! This is a great place to start if you've always wanted to learn Python, but haven't yet found a place to begin.

I appreciate that Gianluca doesn't bother with teaching the basics of Python's syntax -- instead he dives right in and teaches by doing; by showing examples of things you'd actually create/want to do using Python in Nuke.

Once you've got the basics down, my quick tutorial on how to Add New Functionality to Default Nodes with addOnCreate() is a great next step, and teaches you how to customize Nuke, without having to be a Python Wizard.


The most downloaded gizmo.

Every other week I share a variety of gizmos, python scripts, knowledge via articles, etc. Some are written by me, some from individuals who are much more intelligent. This community downloaded bm_CameraShake more times than any other tool I've shared!

The aim of this gizmo is to produce a more natural camera shake by splitting it into 3 components (Jitter, Shake & Float), and subsequently gaining far more detail in the shaky motion blur. Check it out, and let me know about your improved results!


The most commented-on & requested items.

I received many positive emails about the article I wrote, titled Understanding Despill Algorithms. It seems a lot of people learned something new whilst reading, and reached out to let me know!

Outside of this newsletter, a lot of my compositor friends have mentioned that the ColorMatrix node confused the hell out of them. It initially confused me too, so I figured out how it worked, and wrote an easily-digestible article titled, Understanding The ColorMatrix Node.


My favourite tool this year.

Mads Hagbarth Lund creates some really interesting things. He found a GPU Buffer exploit with Blinkscript, and accidentally created Reaction Diffusion. There's not really much application for this for Compositors in a production environment, but it's so damn cool!

In terms of tools that I love and use every day, my favourite creation has got to be my own Backdrop Node Defaults. I still use this multiple times every single day, and my scripts have never been neater!


Lastly, some inspiration.

Outside of Nuke, the most viewed videos I linked to were Matthew Encina's talk on Designing Cinematic Scenes, and GMUNK's talk on 8 Secrets to Intergalactic Success. If you haven't already watched these and need some inspiration, I highly recommend you do so!


Readership Growth.

My goal with Ben's Comp Newsletter is to encourage open communication and knowledge-sharing between the global Compositing community; by keeping your Compositing skill set at the forefront of the VFX industry, you're prepared both technically and creatively for any shot that passes through your hands.

You are one of the many readers of this newsletter, which has grown at an average rate of 10.5% each and every month! Help your friends to become better Compositors, and recommend they subscribe too.


Community contributions to Charity:Water.

This newsletter is all about helping others. By removing people's simple blockers, they're free to seek out what they need to ultimately live a more fulfilling life. In parallel to this project, I have been donating 50% of all Patreon pledges to Charity:Water, who provides clean drinking water to communities in need in developing countries. Since the inception of my Patreon campaign in September, we have donated $150.00 USD to Charity:Water -- absolutely amazing!

I want to remind you that donations are always appreciated, but not required to continue receiving Ben's Comp Newsletter -- it will always be free! Although if you gain value from the content I send you every two weeks and are in the financial position to do so, please consider pledging a small amount to my Patreon page.

Every dollar contributed helps to keep this project running, and ultimately makes the world that little bit better via charitable donations.

Farewell, 2018!

As you're reading this, I'm getting some rest & relaxation in New Zealand (if you're located in Wellington, reply and say hi!), and will be travelling home to spend time with my family in Australia for the holidays.

I hope you'll be taking an opportunity to switch off, leave work behind, and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones over the holidays, too. To encourage this, Ben's Comp Newsletter will be on hiatus, and will return January 14th.

All the best for the remainder of 2018!

Did you find this newsletter informative?

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.

Looking to get more out of Ben's Comp Newsletter? Consider pledging a small amount on Patreon to gain access to exclusive perks, make a difference to a meaningful charitable cause, and help keep this project running!
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Premium Contributor: Seb Tran
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