VFX Digital Compositing in Nuke: A Beginners Guide
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VFX Digital Compositing in Nuke: A Beginners Guide

Learn the skills you will need to become a professional digital compositor and Visual Effects Artist.
Best Selling
4.8 (89 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
989 students enrolled
Created by Blake Muir
Last updated 9/2014
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 15.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 mins on-demand audio
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Teach the basic fundamentals of Digital Compositing
View Curriculum
  • MAC or PC Computer
  • Copy of Nuke 7. Either Licenced, Full Trial or Personal Learning Edition (if you would like to follow allong)

NEW CONTENT ADDED: Updated September 2014!

If you are not happy with this course you can get a refund within 30 days. No questions asked!

This complete VFX course is designed with the beginner in mind who would like to either enter a career in Visual Effects or create their own visual effects at home. This course will teach you what you need to know to land a job as a Digital Compositor as well as cover the fundamentals of compositing for those looking to add effects to their own videos or films.

Digital Composting is a vast and extensive subject and it can be hard for those starting out to know what areas they should be proficient in to make it in the industry. It doesn't need to be overwhelming and difficult. I will show you what is important to know and what you can learn on the job. You will save time and avoid covering topics which can be confusing and unnecessary.

This course will train you on the core fundamentals and skills that employers are looking for when hiring a new compositor. Here you will learn what you need to get your foot in the door.

Visual Effects are often an expensive pipe-dream for smaller smaller makers on a budget so if you are looking to create your own visual effects then this course will allow you to take your films to that next level.

Topics include:

  • The VFX Pipeline
  • What is Nuke?
  • How to use the Nuke interface
  • Compositing Theory
  • Scene Setup
  • Rotoscoping
  • Color Correction
  • Transformation & Tracking
  • Keying
  • Retiming Footage
  • Rendering
Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone looking to start a career in visual effects compositing
  • Those who want to learn how to composite and add visual effects to their personal video & film projects
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Curriculum For This Course
46 Lectures
An Introduction To Digital Compositing
6 Lectures 39:20

The intro or promo video to this course. This video explains what we will be learning in the course as well as a montage of my VFX work.

Preview 09:04

We cover the basics of digital composting and speak about the common skills and tools we will need to master to achieve seamless and integrated composites.

Preview 06:19

Overview of a common VFX Pipeline and where composting fits into the post production environment.

The VFX Pipeline

What is Nuke? What is the difference between Nuke and other composting software like After Affects. We speak about node based and layer based composting and their advantages and disadvantages.

What is Nuke?

A video showing you where to find and download the various editions of Nuke for the purpose of learning.

Downloading Nuke

Professional VFX footage can be hard to find. A quick video on where you may access free VFX footage for using in this course or your own learning.

VFX Practice Footage
The Nuke Interface
15 Lectures 03:42:59

We learn the basics of the Nuke user interface so you may feel comfortable working in nuke. We break the interface down into its basic components.

Nuke UI Basics

We learn about all the viewer controls in Nuke

The Viewer

We learn several methods for creating nodes in Nuke. Nodes let us manipulate our image and are the core way we interact with the scene.

Creating Nodes

We learn how to arrange nodes in Nuke. This is especially important for those entering a professional environment or for improving the efficiency of your work.

Arranging Nodes

Learn the basics of how to organize nodes in nuke and some tools Nuke provides to help us do this. This is very important for large or complicated scenes.

Organising Nodes

We learn how to clone and link nodes in nuke. This which give you the ability to not only improve effectiency but also produce powerful animations and effects.

Cloning & Linking Nodes

We speak about the Node indicators in Nuke and what they mean.

Node Indicators

Learn some advanced node tools which allow us to finely customize our nodes and their appearance to imporve the organisation of our scene.

Advanced Node Tools

A lesson on the properties bin and how you can customise its location and behaviour in the Nuke user interface.

Properties Bin Basics

Learn about all the controls, buttons and sliders in Nuke and how they are used to control the affect a node has on the image.

Node Property Controls

The curve editor is a powerful tool which among other things lets us accurate alter the timing and position of keyframed animation.

The Curve Editor

The dope sheet is a powerful retiming tool in Nuke. It is similar to the time-frame in after affects. This lesson covers the basics of the dope sheet and how it is used to change the timing of cips in our scene.

The Dope Sheet

The flipbook allows us to preview footage at the correct speed. He we learn about how to render footage to the flipbook.

The Flipbook

A lesson on how to import or "read" in footage to Nuke so you may work on it.

Reading Footage

A lesson on how to render out your footage from Nuke

Writing Footage
Compositing Theory
12 Lectures 02:45:49

This lesson covers the common information which makes up and image. We deconstruct these pictures and learn what makes up a digital image.

Pixels & Color Channels

Bit depth is very important for visual effects artists. It limits the range of color avaliable in an image. Here we speak about bit depth and how nuke deals with it internaly.

Bit Depth

We learn about the fundamentals of image resolution and how it is relevant to a compositor.


What is a matte? Here we speak about this subject and how mattes are used in compositing to extract elements and allow them to be placed and manipulated inside Nuke.

The Matte Image

A lesson on Alpha Channels. This is often a point of confusion for beginners. This lesson breaks down the confusion.

Alpha Channels

We speak about masking in nuke. This allows us to limit the area of which a node has an affect


Lean the basics about premultiplication inside nuke and some basic rules to follow to avoid the common pitfalls asociated with this.


We look at the basic merge opperations inside nuke and how they affect the image in a multi-layerd composite.

Merge Operations

We view several example images and speak about the various ways in which light reacts, reflects and helps accentuate the material of surfaces and objects.

Lighting Theory

We look at several examples and discuss how show shadows change and react based on their source and the environment around them.

Shadow Theory

Image artifacts include effects that are generated in-camera. We speak about these artifacts which you need to be aware of so that you may include them in your composite for a realistic result.

Camera & Image Artefacts

Scene setup is very important to make sure that your nodes are referencing the correct image resolution. We learn how to setup a scene for optimal workflow.

Scene Setup
Compositing in Practice
5 Lectures 03:40:22

Color correction is one of the fundamental composting skills. Here we learn about what the core color correction nodes do.

Color Correction

We speak about transformations and how we can manipulate, warp, scale, rotate and animate elements in Nuke


Rotoscoping is a technique for manualy creating mattes when a chroma key is unsuitable. Here were learn how as well as some tricks for getting a good result.


Keying is an essential skill in modern VFX. We learn about chroma and luminance keying and how to create a matte so we can separate the green background and replace it.


Tracking allows us to match elements to a moving scene or stabalise a shot that is moving. We will learn about the most basic types here.

Compositing Examples
4 Lectures 04:26:31

This lecture covers matching the color of elements which are shot differently to make them appear in the same scene. We learn how to analyze the color properties of an image and apply them to an element.

Color Matching Elements

This lesson covers chroma keying. You will learn how to pull a high quality chroma key as well as tricks of the trade to improve some of the common problems associated with this kind of work.

Greenscreen Composite

We look at tracking inside Nuke. You will see examples of single, two point and four point tracks as well as planar tracking and 3D camera tracking.

Track and Replace

Learn about different methods of retiming footage. We will speak about how to produce smooth fluent slow mo foootage inside Nuke.

Retiming Footage
Bonus Making of Videos
2 Lectures 08:08

A short video on the development of a 3D character, how they are designed and composited into the final scene.

Making of: 3D Chracter Development

A Breakdown of the planning involved in making a VFX commercial. This video speaks about the technical challenges and how unforeseen issues are solved in post production.

Making of: Planning of a VFX commercial
Student Questions Answered
2 Lectures 12:18

Student question regarding the post production pipeline is answered. This question answers how compositing intergrates with the editing and color grading processes in the post production pipeline.

Student Question 1: Post Production Pipeline - How Does Editing & Comp Overlap?

Student question regarding the premultiplication is answered. This question answers how with examples what premultiplication means and why its important to understand

Student Question 2: Premultiplication - What Is It And Why Is It Important
About the Instructor
Blake Muir
4.8 Average rating
102 Reviews
2,501 Students
3 Courses
Visual Effects Artist, 10+ years experiance
Blake Muir is digital artist from Australia. His work covers print and digital media involving 2D & occasional 3D design which I continue to love and gain passion for after 10 years of industry experience. I have a great passion for new and emmerging digital effects techniques and technology.
Blake has a Double Degree in Multimedia (3D Animation & Visual Effects) and Television Production. He worked in the Visual Effects industry in Sydney starting from an entry level position and working up to become a compositing supervisor. Over the years he has worked on everything from feature films to superbowl commercials, for some of the worlds largest brands and film producers.

Blake currently runs his own design studio in Mudgee, NSW called Holocene Creative