Ben's Comp Newsletter: Issue 060


The week's newsletter includes another great interview, an automatic lens flare gizmo, some TCL tips, and a look at some mindblowing advancements in real-time rendering.

Interview: Geoffroy Givry.

"Hi, my name is Geoffroy Givry, I’ve been in the VFX industry since 2001, first as a Generalist and I quickly became a full-time Compositor around 2003. I’m a proud and dedicated husband and father of 3 wonderful children. I love looking after my family, my garden, cooking BBQs, chopping wood and building AI Drones. But most of all, my two real passions are learning (I’m addicted to video tutorials!) and in developing pipelines and intelligent workflows for the VFX industry, especially everything concerning remote work.

I created my own company in August 2019 after being at ILM for 5 years as Senior Comp, Comp TD and Comp Technical Lead. Now, I’m working remotely in the gorgeous countryside of Surrey in the UK, as a Visual Effects Supervisor, pipeline architect and senior compositor. As well, I am an Art Director and VFX Supervisor for Ubisoft on their game cinematics."

Click here to read my interview with Geoffroy Givry.
P.S. Thanks to Lu Anh Tuan for requesting this interview! Please reach out if there's anyone you'd like to see interviewed in a future newsletter issue.


My favourite tools are the ones where you can dial in a look on one frame, and trust that it'll animate and work as expected for the entirety of a shot. Han Cao has created a tool like this for lens flares! Don't let the silly image above fool you, check out the demo video to see it in action.

I first heard the idea of procedurally-generated and animated lens flares in The Lego Batman Movie (CTRL+F "Gotham Procedural Lens Flares"), and have come across a few examples of tools trying to replicate it. However, H_AutoFlare is the first publicly-available gizmo that hits the mark.

On his website, Han also links to this article as a source of inspiration, which is a great behind the scenes look at Animal Logic's technical approach to digital cinematography on The Lego Batman movie. Definitely worth checking out.
Click here to download H_AutoFlare from Han's website.

Up your TCL game.

Nuke currently supports the use of two primary programming languages for artists, Python (which the program is built upon), and TCL. Attila Gasparetz has a couple of great resources on his website for making the most of TCL in Nuke.

First, check out TCL Snippets & Expressions for some ideas on what's possible with TCL in Nuke, including procedurally animating knobs, dynamically setting knob values, and displaying information on node labels.

Secondly, check out Attila's tutorial on Conditional TCL Expressions in Nuke for a comprehensive look at some of the things you can do with "if / else" statements, arithmetic operators, nuke-specific commands, etc.

Lastly, it's always a good idea to scrape through official documentation. Here is Nuke's TCL Scripting Documentation.

The Unreal Engine 5 tech demo is mindblowing!

If you haven't already seen it, you have to check out this new tech demo for Unreal Engine 5. Running on a PS5, this demo touts so many impressive technological advancements in realtime rendering! The highlights among the countless improvements are how the engine automatically deals with high-resolution geometry without an artist having to optimize it, and real-time global illumination!

While you might think, "but this is for games", there are countless implications for how this technology will affect the feature film world in the near future. Unreal is already being used for real-time environments in film & TV, and with the current state of the world, rapid advancements with this technology will undoubtedly help productions get back to shooting.

In the future, imagine dialling in creative choices on lighting & lookdev with the director in your theatre, like a Flame Op would for comps. It would rapidly speed up the currently cumbersome & expensive cycle of notes and revisions. What if 90% of our work could be created in real-time, and then ported to a traditional render engine to bake a higher-fidelity final render?

Seeing this tech demo, I suspect this vision of the future isn't that far away...
Click here to watch the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo.
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Thanks to my Patreon Supporters.

This issue of Ben's Comp Newsletter is sponsored by Keegen Douglas.
Aaron Bradford
Adam Kelway
Adrian Winter
Aman Arora
Anton Moss
Antonio Gabarrón
Attila Gasparetz
Ben Cecioni
Brent Veal
Christian Morin
Ciaran O Neachtain
Dan McCarthy
David Ventura
Denys Holovyanko
Eduardo Cardoso
Ed Englander
Fredrik Larsson
Gary Kelly
Hugo's Desk
Ian Failes
Ivan Sorgente
Jan Stripek
Julien Laperdrix
Kris Janssens
Lee Watson
Micheal Liuyu
Michael Loithaler
Santosh Seshabhattar
Seth Weber
Shih Yi Peng
Stu Maschwitz
Suresh Pandi
Tiscar Coig
Vincent Desgrippes
William Towle
+ 2 Anonymous others...

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Thanks for reading!
This newsletter exists to encourage open communication and knowledge-sharing between the global Compositing community. 

My goal is to share the best gizmos, python scripts, workflow tips, and in-depth knowledge on compositing techniques, to help keep your toolset & skillset at the forefront of the VFX industry. I hope this newsletter keeps you prepared technically, creatively & mentally for any shot that passes through your hands.
- Ben McEwan