Introduction to Nuke, Part 1

Taught by Christoph Zapletal

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
June 2023 
5 hours 32 minutes 
Nuke is the industry standard for node-based compositing. Whether you are just starting out in the industry or coming to Nuke from another Application, this multi-part course aims to give you a solid foundation for setting up your first shots.

Striking a balance between explaining core principles and hands-on examples, Nuke will become more and more accessible to you with each class. This first part will show you many techniques you will use on a day-to-day basis as a compositing artist.

The course is taught by Christoph Zapletal, a freelance Flame and Nuke artist who has been in the industry for close to 25 years, working on both commercial and feature projects. Beyond that, he is a frequent contributor to Digital Production Magazine as well as an instructor at the HFF in Munich, Germany.
Introduction to Nuke, Part 1
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: Introduction, Overview and First Steps

We discuss Nuke's history, its place in the vfx pipeline, and take a tour of the interface by building our first very basic comp.

Class 2: User Interface

The workspaces with their panes and windows offer great flexibility and customisation. We also learn about different types of notes and good housekeeping rules for keeping your script organised.

Class 3: Color Spaces, Read and Write Node

Starting off with a discussion on caching vs. localisation, we dive deep into the Read Node, discussing the virtues of a consistent start frame and Nuke's color policy. We also discuss premultiplication and good working practices when writing files to disk.

Class 4: Transforms, Concatenation, and the Bounding Box

A simple football/soccer ball will help us exploring three important concepts of Nuke, laying the groundwork to head of into animation.

Class 5: Animation

The football wants to bounce, so we explore animation while also taking a close look at the curve editor and the dope sheet.

Class 6: Tracking, Part 1

We discuss the basic functionality of a point tracker, both with one and two points. Another topic is how to verify your track. Later, we also discuss offsetting tracks to avoid obstructions and averaging your tracks.

Class 7: Tracking, Part 2

4-Point-tracking and corner pinning serve as a jumping off point for our discussion on supervised tracking as well as manually refining your track.

Class 8: Roto, Part 1

A detailed introduction into the roto node and a guide on how to apply tracking data to your roto. Also a discussion on roto strategies.

Class 9: Roto, Part 2

Continuation of the roto class, with a closer look at lifetime, ripple offset and motion blur. The class concludes with a discussion on proper blend modes for mattes.

Class 10: Retouch

Meet the roto nodes bigger, beefier brother, the RotoPaint Node. Also, an introduction to the Invert-Stabilize Workflow.