Learn Digital Compositing in Nuke - NK101

Learn digital compositing in Nuke. NK101 assumes no previous experience. If you are new to compositing, start here.
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  • Lectures 84
  • Contents Video: 13.5 hours
    Other: 26 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2015 English

Course Description

Learn Digital Compositing in Nuke from experienced Hollywood VFX Artist (20 years) and Trainer Aaron Estrada using professional grade media and digital assets.

Compositing is the art and science of combining multiple images into a single seamless result. It a cornerstone of Visual Effects and one of the most important skills every budding Visual Effects artist should get exposure to.

Nuke is arguably the most powerful compositing software package on the market, and the current de-facto industry standard. It's safe to say that if you do not know Nuke, you will have a very difficult time getting a job as a Feature or Television compositing artist.

NK101 is designed to teach students both compositing and Nuke at a high level regardless of previous compositing experience. Using Nuke 9 as our playground for exploration, we start at the beginning and cover every aspect of modern compositing, step by step. If you are new to Nuke or Compositing, this is where you should start.

Each lesson covers practical aspects of Digital Compositing Theory and its application in Nuke. The lesson ends with a practical tutorial / assignment, where students may practice the skills demonstrated in the lecture.

NK101 includes approximately 16 hours of video training. Please also allot 3-4 hours per lesson for completing the assignments.

NukeX is now free for personal, non-commercial work so you may get a license directly from The Foundry for free to use on your assignments.

What are the requirements?

  • Students will need a copy of either the Nuke Non-Commercial License or Commercial License installed and running on their machine.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the fundamentals of Digital Compositing
  • Use Nuke at an Intermediate level
  • Pull high-quality mattes from green screen and blue screen plates
  • Composite Computer Generated (C.G.I.) footage with live action
  • Understand the fundamentals of Rotoscoping and Paint clean up

What is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for New to Intermediate compositors who want to learn Nuke.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Intro to Digital Compositing and the Nuke UI
01:51

How to succeed in this course:


  • Watch the all the videos for each lesson.
  • Do the recommended reading for each lesson.
  • Complete the assignment for each lesson.


Depending on your experience level, things may seem to start a bit slowly. Some of it may seem like review. But success in composting first and foremost involves mastery of "the basics". More advanced concepts build on the basics, so gaining a firm gasp of the fundamentals will be time well spent.

Please reserve 2-3 hours per lesson to do the assignment. As with any skill, practice makes perfect. Mastering Compositing is no different.

12:56

In this first video we cover the basics of digital images: What is a Pixel? What properties can it have? What is a digital image? What is Gamma?

09:16

This video introduces the concept of the matte or alpha channel and the notion of premuliplication by deconstructing an unpremuliplied Over (Aka Matte or KeyMix) operation.

07:18

This video provides an overview of the Nuke UI and how to customize it.

07:23

This lecture covers navigating in the Node Graph and manipulating node graphs.

06:42

In this video we cover creating Keyframing and editing animation curves in the Curve Editor.

09:12

Introduction to Clone and Knob Expressions in Nuke.

14:52

In this video we look at working with the Viewer and the Viewer's controls.

08:13

Quick intro to creating and using mattes made with the Roto Node.

12:31

How to use the Roto node to create mattes on moving footage.

07:03

How to use the Assignment Template Nuke Scripts, AutoMagic Nodes and Project Directory Structure.

01:41

A quick run through of expectations for this weeks homework assignment. See the course notes for a detailed explanation of the assignment.

7 pages

Section 1 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 2: Intro to the types of image manipulations available
12:53

In this lesson, we cover manipulating color.

08:38

In this video we explore a practical workflow that exploits reverse color grades.

06:41

In this video we explore some of the fine points of manipulating channels in the color nodes.

08:58

We continue our exploration of the four basic types of image manipulation with Neighborhood Operations (Filters).

06:50

We continue our exploration of the four basic types of image manipulation with Merge operations (multi-input operations).

06:03

We continue our exploration of the four basic types of image manipulation with Pixel Transforms (Transforms and Warps).

11:07

Part 1/3 of a track and corner pin tutorial.

18:46

Part 2/3 of a track and corner pin tutorial.

08:03

Part 3/3 of a track and corner pin tutorial.

00:10

Here is what the completed tutorial could look like.

3 pages

Section 2 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 3: Intro to Roto & Paint. Compositing C.G. passes.
15:07

In this series of videos we dig deeper into the Roto node. Part 1/3

04:57

Part 2/3 of our Roto node deep dive.

11:10

Part 2/3 in our exploration of the Roto Node

13:15

In this series of videos we dig deeper into the RotoPaint node. Part 1/3

05:14

RotoPaint node deep dive Part 2/3

08:46

RotoPaint node deep dive Part 3/3

08:26

We look at keeping composites efficient via proper management of the Bounding Box. Part 1/2

09:15

We look at keeping composites efficient via proper management of the Bounding Box. Part 2/2

08:00

Here we look at a practical example of adding C.G. lighting passes together to create a finished result. This is also this weeks assignment. Part 1/4

12:59

Here we look at a practical example of adding C.G. lighting passes together to create a finished result. This is also this weeks assignment. Part 2/4

08:37

Here we look at a practical example of adding C.G. lighting passes together to create a finished result. This is also this weeks assignment. Part 3/4

09:43

Here we look at a practical example of adding C.G. lighting passes together to create a finished result. This is also this weeks assignment. Part 4/4

16:07

Additional Example of Adding together Light AOVs to produce a finished C.G. composite.

2 pages

Section 3 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 4: Building hand-rolled Keyers
18:26

In this video we explore creating mattes using the raw color channels of an image.

06:35

In this video we explore creating mattes using the luminance (brightness value) of the pixels in an image.

10:25

In this video we explore creating a matte using the difference of the color channels in an image. We also learn how to hand-roll a basic screen suppression algorithm.

13:45

In this video we explore creating a matte using the 3D distance between RGB values in pixels as well as learning about User Knobs in the Nuke UI.

08:08

In this video we explore the HueKeyer, which allows pulling a matte from the HUE of the pixels in an image. We also explore the HueCorrect node, which leverages an internal hue keyer to do various color manipulations based on the hue of the input pixel.

17:21

Tutorial walking through the creation of a matte and composite using a hand rolled keyer.

In Part 1 we cover creating the beauty matte, core matte and bringing the two together with a matte specifically made for the another part of the plate. We also cover the use of limit by Red / Blue screen suppression.

The expression for a color difference key in Nuke Expression language is: g-max(r,b)

This can be further modified to invert and clamp the matte. Here is the expression including an invert and clamp: clamp(1-(g-max(r,b)))

The expression to limit the green in the screen by the average of the Red and Blue channel is: min(g,((r+b)*0.5))

19:05

Tutorial walking through the creation of a matte and composite using a hand rolled keyer.

In Part 2 we cover fine tuning the edges of the comp and adding grain to the BG to make it match the grain in the FG.

08:48

Tutorial walking through the creation of a matte and composite using a hand rolled keyer.

In Part 3 we cover matching the FG color to the BG color and final tweaks.

4 pages

Section 4 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 5: Making the perfect Matte
16:33

In this series of videos we composite a green screen shot that is typical of a real world green screen plate complexity.

The first concept is that of the Soft Matte (detail preserving) and Hard Matte (core filling)

14:20

In this video, we build a procedural G-Matte to clean up the area outside out beauty matte.

07:35

In this video we make an additional matte to capture some of the fine detail in the plate.

20:40

In this video we tune the screen suppression and despill. We also rouch in the color match of the background.

16:37

In this video we match the color of the foreground GS plate to the background.

22:26

In this video we add edge blur, grain match and subtle light wrap.

00:04

Here is an example of how your assignment should look when completed.

2 pages

Section 5 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 6: Advance Screen Suppression Strategies and 2D Trackers
09:29

In this video we explore an advanced Unspill technique Part 1/2

05:22

In this video we explore an advanced Unspill technique Part 2/2

10:58

Intro to the PlanarTracker node

25:42

In this Tutorial we explore 2D Tracking, G-Mattes using the Roto node, Expression Linking and basic green screen matte extraction using Primatte. For more tutorials, VFX mentorship and free assets contact us through this channel.

11:42

In this video we explore how 2D tracked scale and translation can also be used to create a virtual set. Part 1/2

23:49

In this video we explore how 2D tracked scale and translation can also be used to create a virtual set. Part 2/2

3 pages

Section 6 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 7: Intro to Tile Worlds/Panoramas & Nukes Lens Distortion tools.
03:59

In this video we discuss what panoramas are and other general concepts.

08:33

In this video we discuss the issues of Field of View and Lens distortion and their relevance in producing a tile World successfully.

09:50

In this video we look at using the LensDistortion node to profile and remove lens distortion from photographed images.

06:51

How to use image metadata to determine focal length and camera type.

06:44

Here is a trick for figureing out the FOV of a Camera/Lens combo when you have no metadata or camera log information.

06:56

This video introduces 3D navigation in the Nuke Viewer.

18:54

In this video we explore the creation of Tile World from still images.

07:01

We walk through a completed Tile World that includes a video tile.

Tips for Shooting Panoramas
Article
3 pages

Section 7 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

Section 8: Intro to Nukes 3D system
11:43

A quick introduction to the fundamental concepts of reprojection / camera projection.

21:08

In this video we explore creating basic geometric primitives in Nuke.

08:50

We explore Nukes 3D shaders, lighting and rendering.

06:13

In this video we explore the various ways of grouping and transforming 3D geometry in Nuke.

11:56

In this video we explore the use of the CameraTracker node to match move a camera.

09:32

In this video we check the quality of our match move.

11:23

In this video we explore a technique for projecting footage from a moving camera onto a static set.

16:43

We create a reprojection set up. Part 1/2

08:21

We create a reprojection set up. Part 2/2

16:33

Intro to building 3D Models with the Model Builder node. Part 1/2

07:49

Model Builder node. Part 2/2

2 pages

Section 8 Course Notes and Assignment. The suggested reading in the course notes will help you master the technical concepts behind composting. I strongly recommend you do the suggested reading.

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Instructor Biography

Aaron Estrada, VFX Supervisor 20+ Years Experience

Aaron has over 20 years experience in the VFX and animation industry. He started his CG career in video games working on titles for the innovative yet ill fated 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system. While in his 20's, he co-founded and helped manage the computer graphics group at Dreamworks TV Animation where the group pioneered the use of desktop computers for the production of broadcast quality animation. The efficient work-flows he helped develop allowed a modest team averaging 4 artists to produce 60 minutes of computer animation in less than a year.

Aaron's professional resume also includes work as a lead in the computer graphics groups of Sony Development and Nickelodeon and work as a senior level artist at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Rising Sun Pictures, Dreamworks Feature Animation and Rhythm & Hues | BoX. His filmography includes: Ironman 3, The Amazing Spiderman, Kungfu Panda, Men in Black 3, The Green Lantern, Over the Hedge, Flushed Away, Bee Movie, Shark Tale, G-Force, Cats and Dogs 2, Zookeeper, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and numerous location based films, commercials and TV programs including the Emmy Award winning Earth2 pilot. Aaron has over 2 years executive experience from his stint as CTO at Pivot VFX, where he also served as a VFX and CG supervisor. His area of specialty is Lighting Rendering and Compositing.

One of Aaron's passionate hobbies is HDR panorama photography.

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