Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 054


After a short post-vacation sickness (sorry for the delay!), I'm back with a new issue of Ben's Comp Newsletter, featuring a great interview, a utility to assist you when creating nodes with Python, and a great update to a gizmo I love and use frequently.

Before we dive in, a quick bit of housekeeping. You may have noticed that this newsletter has come from a different email address: To ensure you avoid spam filters and continue receiving each issue of Ben's Comp Newsletter, please whitelist this new email address!

Now, onto this week's newsletter. Enjoy!

Chris Van Dyck // Head of Studio, Crafty Apes, Vancouver.

I'm excited to share another interview, filled with wisdom from a man who has achieved a ton in his many years working in VFX. Here is Chris' impressive bio:

"CVD VFX founder, Chris van Dyck is a Vancouver-based VFX Artist and Supervisor with over 16 years in the industry. He brings experience from some of the top studios around the world: WETA Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, Method, Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, MPC and Prime Focus. Some of his most notable credits include: The Hobbit Trilogy, Warcraft, Thor 2, Life of Pi, TRON: Legacy, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Iron Man, Frank Miller’s 300, Game of Thrones and Stranger Things.

Chris has conducted lectures for the VES, SIGGRAPH, and the Art Institute, been published by Digital Fusion on the topic of Digital Compositing, published by SIGGRAPH on the film industry in Vancouver and has taught Digital Compositing for over 7 years at the following schools: VanArts, Think Tank and Lost Boys.

As Head of Studio at Crafty Apes: Vancouver, he is passionate to grow a team focused on Quality of Work & Quality of Life."

Click here to read my interview with Chris Van Dyck.

aPMatte v2.0.

No matter where you work, you'll likely have a few flavours of tools that help you create mattes from position or pref AOVs. Since its initial release, my favourite of these has been aPMatte by Adrian Pueyo, as it offers a clean UI with simple controls, and runs via speedy Blinkscript.

Adrian has just released v2.0 of his gizmo, which offers some handy new features that none of its competitors offer. A couple of these things include: visualizing the shape of your matte in Nuke's 3D Viewer, and being able to create your matte based off an object-tracked Axis.

Click here to watch Adrian's demo video of all the features.

Click here to download aPMatte v2.0 from Nukepedia.

Nodes to Python.

When I'm writing a new Python script that requires the creation of a handful of nodes, one of my biggest time sinks is perfectly positioning each node in relation to one another in the Node Graph. To do so, you must manually set each node's X and Y coordinates, guessing at how many pixels to offset them so that every input snaps into a straight line...

Thankfully, David Emeny has written a Python script which reverse-engineers this process, and provides a far speedier way to get your programmatically-created nodes aligned perfectly in your Node Graph. Rather than creating nodes with code, you instead create them the way you normally would when working on any shot. Then, you simply run David's Nodes To Python script, and it will generate the code to create and position nodes for you. It's a huge time (and hair) saver!

Thanks to Michael Bogen for the tip!

Click here to download Nodes to Python from David's website.

Inversion: The Crucial Thinking Skill Nobody Ever Taught You.

I often find value in sitting with my own thoughts and deconstructing some of the ways I subconsciously think, speak & act, in an attempt to re-wire any bad habits and such. This exercise is full of thought experiments I've picked up throughout my life so far, and I wanted to share one of those with you today.

"Inversion Thinking" stems from the Stoic Philosophers, and offers an effective way of dissecting your thoughts so you are able to see them from a different perspective. It's quite a simple trick, but one that has helped me to dissect unusual client notes, reach the end-goal of a shot faster, etc.

I hope you find this article as useful & insightful as I do!

Click here to read the article on Inversion Thinking.

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 reply to this email, and I will do my best to include it in a future issue of this newsletter.
Click here to view previous issues.

Support on Patreon

Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 054 is sponsored by Keegen Douglas.
Thankyou to the following supporters
Adam Kelway
Adrian Winter
Anton Moss
Brent Veal
Ciaran O Neachtain
Dan McCarthy
David Ventura
Gary Kelly
Hugo's Desk
Jan Stripek
Julien Laperdrix
Kris Janssens
Lee Watson
Micheal Liuyu
Michael Loithaler
Shih Yi Peng
Tiscar Coig
Vincent Desgrippes
William Towle
+ 2 others...

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