Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 026


Happy New Year, and welcome to the beginning of your most productive year yet! I'm hoping 2019 will be filled with an abundance of personal & career growth for you.

Instancing Read nodes

If you've read my previous article on how to speed up your Nuke scripts, you'll already know that copy/pasting Read nodes around your script will grind your work to a snails-pace, as Nuke will be reading the same data from the same file path multiple times.

Theoretically, cloning said Read nodes should eradicate this problem, but there's a problem: Cloning in Nuke is, and always has been fatal. I've lost unthinkable hours of work over the years by trusting Cloning. Without warning, cloning nodes can corrupt your entire script & delete nodes. Don't do it, ever!

Because of this, I've had a Python script on my "to create" list for ages. I wanted a simple way to instance my Read nodes, whilst being friendly to Compositors who don't appreciate PostageStamp nodes with hidden inputs, including dealing with the annoyances of simplifying Nuke scripts for stereo conversion...

I'm happy to share that I've started 2019 with a win, by finally creating this solution!

As you can see by the GIF above, this python script works by creating a PostageStamp node with a hidden input. It's coloured dark grey, so it's obvious that the instanced node is different to the original Read node. What's more, there are now buttons on each instanced node that show where the original Read node is in your Nuke script!

Lastly, a new tab is added to the original Read node so you can easily show all connected hidden inputs, and even de-instance your instanced nodes by converting them to duplicates of the original Read node. As mentioned before, some Compositors don't appreciate this way of working (PostageStamps with hidden inputs), so this feature aims to alleviate those pains, should a cranky Compositor happen to pick up your Nuke script!

It doesn't stop there: this functionality also works with cameras! Rather than finding and changing multiple cameras throughout your Nuke script when your shot's frame range inevitably gets extended, why not instance one camera throughout your script, and make this problem a thing of the past!
Click here to download the Node Instancer Python script.

Despill To Colour

Have you ever had a shot that's seemingly impossible to pull an accurate key or despill for? Yep, me too. When I hit that point in a shot, I always look to this technique to bail me out.

The idea behind this technique is that you're keeping the luminance of your greenscreen/bluescreen, but replacing the green/blue hues with your background image's hues via a despill algorithm. This will keep your edges looking great!

I was faced with some gnarly greenscreen shots on a recent show, and had to come up with a solution to help the team smash through the sequence. Naturally, I started building this technique into a gizmo, and subsequently found a way better one to use online, created by Johannes Masanz. Johannes has created a demo video which you can watch here.
Click here to download Despill To Colour on Nukepedia.

Nuke View Manager

Mads Hagbarth Lund consistently creates cool things. His latest tool solves an issue I didn't know I had with Nuke -- it adds an easy way to jump between multiple frame ranges in your timeline! This tool also doubles as an easy way to create, store and jump between many different iterations of different node settings.

I encourage you to watch the demo video here to see how easy it is to use, and learn how it can help to speed up your workflow!
Click here to download the Nuke View Manager python script.

Compositing, Grading, and finishing using Nuke

Hugo Guerra of Hugo's Desk is a rare type of person in our community. I admire how he's made a location-independent career for himself, primarily directing & producing rad video game trailers & cinematics! Although, above all, I admire how willing he is to share his workflow and day-to-day processes so transparently.

Hugo's latest free Webinar is an insight into how his VFX pipeline operates throughout the course of a production, focusing primarily on his colour workflow.
Click here to Watch Hugo's Webinar on YouTube.

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 global Compositing 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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