Nuke: Zero to Hero

  • NUKE Workflow Overview
  • Basic Visual Effects
  • Compositing
  • Advance Visual Effects and Keying Compositing
  • Color Corrections
  • Transformation
  • 2D
  • Paint
  • Tracking
  • Working with 3D Objects
  • Temporal Operations
  • Warping
  • Basic Stereoscopic in NUKE
  • Previewing in Nuke

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In the world of 3D compositing, Nuke is an invaluable tool. In this Zero to Hero course, students will learn to combine simple live action shots with computer-generated elements, using blue and green shots. They will learn move onto more complicated features such as importing geometry, lights, cameras and shaders, as well as creating multi-layer composites using Nuke’s Node tree organisational structure. The course is far more than just an introduction; it’s a full education in the world of Nuke.


Nuke has a unique channel based approach and supports stereoscopic imaging, state-of-the art image based keying and full 3D compositing including the capability to import geometry, lights, cameras and shaders. Using customized visual effects shots created for this course, students will learn to combine live action shots with computer-generated elements, using blue and green screen shots. Combining motion tracking data into Nuke’s 3D compositing world. Creating multi-layer composites using Nuke’s Node tree organizational structure.

Who is this course for?

This class is designed for those wanting to learn compositing and visual effects using Nuke and who prefer prefer hands-on and interactive instruction.

Assumed Knowledge

This class assumes that you already have a basic understanding of the concepts of 2D compositing of visual effects using one of the packages mentioned above and want to learn about Nuke’s powerful capabilities including its 3D compositing workflow!

What you will learn

  • NUKE Workflow Overview
  • Basic Visual Effects
  • Compositing
  • Advance Visual Effects and Keying Compositing
  • Color Corrections
  • Transformation
  • 2D
  • Paint
  • Tracking
  • Working with 3D Objects
  • Temporal Operations
  • Warping
  • Basic Stereoscopic in NUKE
  • Previewing in Nuke


Finding Your Way Round Nuke

• Understanding the UI
• Node Graph
• Propertise Panel (Undo, Redo, Revert, etc)
• Viewer
• Toolbar
• Changing, saving and loading Layouts

General Compositing

• General Compositing using Read, Merge, ColorCorrect, Blur, Transform and Write nodes
• Bring audio into Nuke using AudioRead

General Utilities

• Using Dot and Backdrop nodes
• Precomp

2D Techniques – Merging Images

• Layering Images Together with the Merge Node
• Merge Operations
• Generating Contact Sheets
• Copying a Rectangle from one Image to Another

2D Techniques – Transforms

• Image Manipulation using Transform, Crop, Mirror, Reformat and F_Align

2D Techniques – Animation

• The Animation Menu: Set and Delete Key, No Animation, Set to Default
• Curve Editor and Dope Sheet
• Copying data between nodes: Copy (Values, Animation, Links), Paste and Link to (Tracker)
• Basic Expressions

2D Techniques – Concatenation, BBox and BlackOutside

• Understanding concatenation and which nodes do and don’t concatenate
• User standing the BBox and Blackoutside
• Merge (set bbox to)
• CopyBBox, AdjustBBox
• BlackOutside
• Transform (black outside)
• Crop (black outside)
• Using the CurveTool (AutoCrop) with the Crop node

2D Techniques – Image Distortion

• Image Distortion using CornerPin, SphericalTransform, IDistort and STMap
• Morphing and Warping using GridWrap and SplineWarp

2D Techniques – Premultiplied Images

• Understanding Premultiplied images
• Using Premult and Unpremult nodes

2D Techniques – Colour Management

• Understanding how monitors work and sRGB
• sRGB vs. Linear
• How Nuke ‘intelligently’ gamma corrects incoming images
• How Nuke chooses the gamma correct settings (…Settings / LUT)
• Nuke’s Viewer LUT
• Writing files out with the correct LUT
• Creating a custom Viewer LUT (…Edit / Nodes / Use as Input Process)
• Working with custom 1D and 3D LUTS I/O and TrueLight
• Remembering Premult on reading with CG images (RGB and Alpha)

2D Techniques – Colour Corrections

• Atomic colour correction using Add, Multiply, Gamma and Saturation
• Working with Premultiplied images containing Alpha.
• Integration colour techniques using Grade, ColorTransfer and F_MatchGrade
• Artistic colour techniques ColorCorrection
• Other colour techniques using: ColorLookup, CCosstalk, EXPTool, HueCorrect, HueShift,
• HSVTool, Toe, Invert, Colorspace, Clamp, F_DeFlicker and Expression (Math)

2D Techniques – ChannelSets and Channels

• Channels Sets and Channels
• Shuffle
• Shuffle Copy vs. Copy
• ChannelCopy
• Node’s ‘Output’ option

2D Techniques – Roto

• Understanding the added Viewer toolbar (side and top)
• Creating shapes using Bezier, B-Spline, Ellipse and Rectangle
• Editing selecting and animating shapes
• Per object and per point feathering
• Understanding the Root layering system
• Transform, Shape, Clone and Lifetime
• Understanding ‘autokey’ and ‘ripple edit’ on top toolbar

2D Techniques – Keying

• Types of Keyers in Nuke
• Chroma
• Color
• Luma
• Main / Max
• Difference
• Image Based
• Proprietary (Ultimate, Keylight and Primatte)
• The use of ‘garbage mattes’
• Combining multiple keyers using ChannelMergeDifferent keying methodologies
• Hard and soft matte
• Spatial mattes
• Combination mattes
• Building a custom Luma keyer
• Using AddMix and KeyMix
• Lightwrap and Edge Blur Integration Tools

2D Techniques – Paint

• Understanding the added Viewer toolbar (side and top)
• Creating paint strokes, clones, reveal, blur, sharpen, smear dodge and burn
• Understanding the Root layering system
• Transform , Stroke, Clone and Lifetime
• Create a clone with a time off-set
• Understanding ‘autokey’, ‘ripple edit’ and ‘allow paint selection’ on top toolbar

2D Techniques – Tracking

• Understanding the basics of tracking
• Creating a Tracker Off-Set (cmd/ctrl)
• T, R and S and how they contribute to the Transformation
• Using Settings to affect how the Tracker tracks
• Using the tracked data
• None, Matchmove, Stabilize, Add Jitter, Remove Jitter and CornerPin
• Good Tracker workflow to avoid breaking concatenation
• Using Planar Tracking
• Using F_Steadiness

2D Techniques – Temporal Operations

• Understanding how the Read node works with footage and time
• Distorting time using Retime, FrameBlend, OFlow, TimeWarp and F_Kronos
• Editing Clips using TimeOffset, FrameRange and AppendClip

2D Techniques – Wire Removal and 2D Rig Removal

• Removing wires using F_WireRemoval
• Removing rigs using F_RigRemoval

2D Techniques – Lens Aberrations and Effects

• Lens Aberrations and Effects using Blur, DirBlur, Defocus, EdgeBlur, Convolve, Soften, Sharpen, Glow, Flare, Sparkles, Glint, GodRays and VolumeRays
• Creating a custom Chromic Aberration effect

2D Techniques – Lens Distortion

• Understanding Lens Distortion workflow
• Types of analysis
• Image AnalysisGrid Analysis
• Line Analysis
• Removing Lens Distortion
• Adding Lens Distortion

2D Techniques – General Effects and Filters

• Effects and Filters using Erode (Fast, Filter, Blur), Bilateral, Median and Matrix
• Creating a custom Sharpen and Defocus effect

2D Techniques – Motion Blur

• Using common motion blur parameters built into the Transform Nodes
• Using Time nodes to add motion blur: TimeBlur and NoTimeBlur
• Using F_MotionBlur

2D Techniques – Grain and Noise Management

• Understanding grain and noise management
• Removing grain and noise using DegrainSimple, DegrainBlue and Denoise.
• Adding grain and noise using Grain, ScannedGrain and F_ReGrain

2D Techniques – Working with Log vs. Lin

CGI Techniques – Compositing Multipass Renders
• Understanding multipass rendering
• Using the render passes
• Ambient
• Ambient Occlusion
• Diffuse
• Specular
• Reflection
• Refraction
• Global Illumination
• Sub-Surface Scatter
• Shuffle vs. ‘In the Pipe’
• Using Arbitary Output Variables
• zDepth
• Motion Vector
• Fresnel
• Normal
• ID

3D Techniques – Basic Techniques

• An Introduction to Nuke’s 3D Environment
• Understanding the core 3D nodes: Card, Camera, ScanlineRender, Axis, Scene and
• TransformGeo
• Using Lights: Point, Spot, Directional and Environment
• Using Shaders: ApplyMaterial, Phong, FillMate and Displacement
• Using Deformers and Modifiers: Trilinear, DisplaceGeo, Normals and MergeGeo
• Snapping in 3D
• Working with .fbx data
• Working with .chan data

3D Techniques – 3D Camera Tracking

• 3D Camera Tracking basics
• Refining the Solve
• Refining the generated 3D Camera
• Working with the Point Cloud data

3D Techniques – Advanced Techniques

• Pan and Tile Setup
• Camera Projections
• 3D Retouch and Rig Removal Techniques
• Set Extensions
• Rotoscoping in 3D
• Coverage Mapping
• Environmental Mapping Techniques
• Working with 3D Data from 3rd Party Applications
• Working with CG Normal and Point passes

3D Techniques – Miscellaneous Techniques

• ProjectionSolver
• Photogrammetry techniques using Modeler
• Dense Point Clouds and Meshes

3D Techniques – RenderMan

• RenderMan shaders: Reflection and Refraction
• Rendering with RenderMan in Nuke
• Working with RenderMan .rib files

3D – Particles

• Emitting and Spawning Particles
• Emitting particles with the ParticleEmitter
• Spawning particles with ParticleSpawn
• Adjusting the Speed and Direction of Particles
• Applying directional force to particles with ParticleDirectionalForce
• Attracting particles to a specific point with ParticlePointForce
• Modifying Particle Movement
• Bouncing particles with ParticleBounce
• Adding drag to the particles to slow them down with ParticleDrag
• Adding turbulence motion on particles with ParticleTurbulence
• Adding spiral motion to particles with ParticleVortex
• Adding a wind effect to particles with ParticleWind
• Adjusting Controls Common to Several Particle Nodes
• Particle rendering controls
• Particle transform controls
• Condition and Region controls
• Customising the Particle Stream
• Adjusting your particle properties with curves using ParticleCurve
• Merging particle streams
• Creating geometry to particles with ParticleToGeo
• Adding expressions to particles with ParticleExpression

Deep Compositing

• Understanding Deep Compositing
• Reading in Deep Footage
• Merging Deep Images
• Creating Holdouts
• Creating 2D and 3D Elements from Deep Images
• Modifying Deep Data
• Cropping, Reformatting and Transforming Deep Images
• Sampling Deep Images
• Creating Deep Data

Stereoscopic Compositing

• Basic Overview to Stereoscopic Production and Compositing
• Setting Up Views for the Script
• Loading Multi-View Images
• Displaying Views in the Viewer
• Selecting Which Views to Apply Changes To
• Performing Different Actions on Different Views
• Reproducing Changes Made to One View
• Swapping Views
• Converting Images into Anaglyph
• Changing Convergence
• Previewing and Rendering Stereoscopic Images
• An Introduction to Stereoscopic Compositing

General Techniques – Meta Data

• Viewing and modifying Metadata

Gizmo Creation

• Creating gizmos
• Managing the gizmo controls
• Sourcing gizmos

Basic Python Techniques

• Understanding and
• Adding Custom Hotkeys to Existing Nodes
• Adding a Custom Toolbar
• Changing Tool Settings
• Displaying Data from a Knob on the Node in the Node Graph
• Adding Custom Formats
• Creating Saved Layout Names under the Layout Menu


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