VFX Foundations II

Taught by Tahl Niran

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
October 2012 
6 hours 25 minutes 
This course, taught by Tahl Niran, continues from VFX201, building on the concepts learnt and look at how the simple operations and theories shown in the first course can be weaved into more complex tools and techniques.

A typical day for a Nuke artist might involve tasks like Track, Keying, Matching Grain and even projecting Images to aid in a cleaning up a plate. VFX202 sheds more light on how these process work and how more complex operations are woven together to make the scripts that you rely on to create Visual Effects.

Additionally we take a look at some very simple and versatile mathematical concepts that drive most of the expressions that you will ever need to write, along with some very useful practical examples.

Finally we delve into the world of 3d, looking at how even the most advanced tools and concepts in 3d like, Rendering, Rigging, simulation and more can be understood in very simple terms so that people with a limited knowledge of 3d can work hand in hand with 3d artists of all specializations.

For this course, material are demonstrated primarily in Nuke and Maya, although all techniques can be translated to any application.

Tahl Niran, is a compositor and trainer who has been working in visual effects since 1999. In that time he has worked in games, broadcast design, tv commercials and feature films and trained artists in Australia, London, New York, Mumbai and Shanghai. Tahl was one of the foundation professors at FXPHD and also one of the creators of the original Foundry Nuke Masterclasses. He returns to FXPHD after three years in London working with the team at Double Negative Visual Effects.
VFX Foundations II
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

Render passes - What is a render pass, how are they created and where do they come from? What are contribution passes and data passes and the the difference between the two. CG rendering theory: Point World, Normals, UV and other data passes, their origin and usage.

Class 2

Using Data Passes in Compositing - we cover the usage of Non-colour data passes in Nuke and creating effects using these passes.

Includes: Pworld pass, Normals, Motion vectors, Z depth from Nuke and mental ray, Understanding Maya 3D and 2D Relighting, Nuke relighting and Motion Vectors in Nuke.

Class 3

Expressions made easy: What I never learned in Math class but wished I had. How expressions are simple ways of making a computer your bitch! Core mathematical concepts: invert/negate and average, expressions and syntax in Nuke, conditional statements and compound expressions for smooth, negate and scalar.

Class 4

Expressions continued: Equalize & Normalize. Creating more complicated colour functions (expand and compress).

Class 5

Keying Made Easy: The magic of a keyer striped bare. How to make your own keyers and how to get under the hood of greenscreen extractions. Learning what to do when a keyer fails. Identifying luminance, chrominance and colour difference and keying for each.

Class 6

Keying In Depth: Beyond matte extraction. 3d Keyers. Using Trigonometry to define colour tolerance and make a 3d keyer in Nuke. Primatte and the use of the 3d colour visualizations in Nuke. Fun stuff.

Class 7

Make it Stick: Tracking and everything you should know about makinhg them fail. The differences in between pattern based, planar and optical flow based trackers and how to choose. A look at the new tacking technology in Nuke 7.

Class 8

Noise and Grain: Understanding grain and why it occurs. Creating a custom grain node and how to emulate the look of grain on a non-photographic image.

Class 9

Focus and Blur: Optics are a crucial part of every VFX shot. How to understand the effect of shooting an image and how to use Nuke to create believable optical effects using Nuke 7's zDefocus node.

Class 10

Something Awesome: Emerging technology and what is hot right now. We de-mystify some of the more interesting VFX tools that are being discussed.