Nuke and the VFX Pipeline

Taught by Charles Lapage

Course Number:
NUK214
Software Version:
6.2 
Original Run Date:
April 2011 
Duration:
8 hours 26 minutes 
vfx
pipeline
This is a project based course that solves real world challenges and provides insight and techniques in a visual effects workflow. Nuke is far more than compositing software...it is a robust tool set that is the hub of many studios and is often the final step in the pipeline before the images are aired or projected. Most of Nuke's tools were designed with a team based workflow in mind and nuk214 will be heavily focused on that collaborative environment covering topics rarely discussed and almost never in detail outside of the studio environment.

The course is taught by ZERO VFX artists Charles LaPage, Jeremy Brown and moderated by longtime fxphd prof Sean Devereaux. Tapping into Deveraux's experience at large film studios and now in having built and run his own company, NUK214 will cover the key skills that artists need to have for success on the job -- exactly the kind of skills Devereaux and other owners are looking for in finding and hiring talent at facilities such as his. This includes the common daily tasks every artist needs to know, from advanced clean-up and paint work to Nuke 3D environment creation all the way to macro/gizmo tools to make artist's daily routine simpler and more powerful. You will learn not only how to complete the tasks but how to complete them as a member of a team of talented artists.

In addition, throughout the course we will share the workflow, conventions, and infrastructure implemented at ZERO VFX -- the kind of processes that any facility needs to be successful. In the past, we've focused a lot on the craft and artistic skills without covering best practices for workgroups. This course will attempt to bring the best of both worlds, so if you're an artist looking for a job at a small to medium sized facility or an artist looking to start your own company you will be much more prepared.
 
Nuke and the VFX Pipeline
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

Rotoscoping in the nuke pipeline - By Jeremy Brown - With schedules getting tighter and tighter, roto needs to be done faster and cleaner then ever before while remaining consistent throughout the production. We will cover proper rotoscoping in nuke, shape tracking, boolean operations, importing data and shapes from external applications and creating gizmos to speed up common tasks.

Class 2

Fix it in post usually boils down to fix it in "clean up" or "Finishing School" as we lovingly call it at ZERO VFX. We cover common but complex clean up and paint tasks to create clean plates and remove unwanted elements in the photography utilizing any 2D node nuke has to offer. We will be covering a very useful/translatable method of 2D paint that many artists see on a day to day basis. We discuss the most reliable techniques to achieve acceptable paint work results in a working environment. We will also investigate a very efficient paint pipeline workflow to make working side by side even easier!

Class 3

Paint Work/Clean up in 3D - By Jeremy Brown - We will take advantage of nuke's powerful 3D system to repair and remove elements from the plate photography.

Class 4

Perfect keys don't exist. There is always more to noodle, tweak and refine. And often times the artist that starts the key, doesn't finish it as shot assignments change often. We will build upon other nuke courses but most importantly it will discuss designing your key in such a way that it can be applied easily to similar shots and passed on to other artists. We will cover a technique that we use in conjunction with the ibk. We will also cover a few other keyers, and a keying technique using the colour lookup. Please enjoy.

Class 5

Still life in Motion Part 1 - By Jeremy Brown - As nuke's 3D capabilities have advanced we at ZERO VFX have taken full advantage of the new tools in our bag of tricks. This is a truly unique project and definitely one for the reel. We will convert a still photo into a dynamic moving shot that will impress your friends and influence potential employers. We cover advanced projection, texturing and 3D camera work.

Class 6

Still life in Motion Part 2 - By Charles Lapage - As in most collaborative environments, many artists share work on single shots. Charles will pick up the shot where Jeremy left off and bring us to final. The added benefit will provide you an inside look to how studios like ZERO are organized to allow for quick and efficient collaboration. We will be discussing methods to set up functional projections and and some movement top a still frame. We will be using the files that Jeremy provided previously.

Class 7

Multi-pass compositing and advanced channel management Part 1 - By Jeremy Brown - Arguably, nuke's greatest strength is its ability to work so seamlessly with multi-layer image formats such as exr and manage those channels in a complex CG workflow. In this two parter we will cover channel management, assembling and adjusting CG layers to create a single beauty image as well as custom tools and gizmos, building upon nuk204, to make the job easier and more consistent each time.

Class 8

Multi-pass compositing and advanced channel management Part 2 - By Jeremy Brown - Arguably, nuke's greatest strength is its ability to work so seamlessly with multi-layer image formats such as exr and manage those channels in a complex CG workflow. In this two parter we will cover channel management, assembling and adjusting CG layers to create a single beauty image as well as custom tools and gizmos, building upon nuk204, to make the job easier and more consistent each time.

Class 9

We embark on our final shot in a two part spread taking the shot from beginning to end, reviewing some techniques that we have learned so far and adding new ones to the list.

Class 10

Ah yes, indeed it is fun time. In this lesson, nuk214 goes out with a bang! A class of epic proportions. Charles Lapage takes you on the journey to completion, as you turn the footage from the previous lesson into a finished comp you really will have done the whole nine yards. This lesson shows aspects from the whole post production pipeline and really sums up our semester using a technique form every aspect of the class all in one comp. With all new elements this lesson was worth the wait! ENJOY! Happy Compositing.