NUK101: Introduction to Nuke
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Taught by Sean Devereaux, this course will get you up and running on version 4.7 of The Foundry``s Nuke compositing software. The software will be available over the VPN to fxphd posgrads for non-commercial use (OSX, Linux, and Windows versions). The course starts with an overview of Nuke and how it differs from other apps like Shake or Flame and then dives into multi-channel support, compositing, and its powerful 3D environment. We plan on following up this course with a 200-level course during the following term (subject to change). Devereaux has worked at Digital Domain, ILM, RhinoFX and other facilities as a freelance artist, working on films such as Transformers, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I, Robot, Star Trek: Nemesis, and others.
Class 1 : Overview of the interface and workflow
Including reading image files and setting up your working resolutions. A detailed look at the viewer with an introduction to the disk caching system. Brief look at the color space of Nuke and why it``s different. This will be detailed in a later class but will be introduced here. Differences between nuke and other popular apps, such as shake and flame will also be illustrated.
Class 2: A detailed look at channels and layers
Nuke can have up to 64 channels in any script and we will focus on those this week. Using real world examples we will identify the reason for dozens of channels instead of the typical 4, RGBA. From rotoscoping to multi-pass cg compositing, the channels are one of Nuke``s best strengths and most unique systems and require some time to understand.
Class 3: Compositing
Now that we have the basics we will start from scratch assembling a composite. This will introduce many nodes and tools as well as creating a efficient and clean script. Nodes covered this week: Draw tools such as Bezier and Rectangle; Merge tools including Premult, Merge and AddMix; Translate tools; and in-depth looks at the 2 key color correction nodes, Grade and Color Correct.
Class 4: The Backbone of Compositing: Keying
We will build upon previous weeks and focus on some of nuke``s tools for cutting mattes. Focus on the Keyer, the HueKeyer and introduce Primatte and the IBK or Image Based Keyer. This pipeline will also show how to split images into sections and reassemble them as well as creating edge and fill mattes.
Class 5: Keying, Part 2
Primatte and the IBK. These tools are far more complex then Nuke``s Keyer and far more powerful. Although Primate is used in several apps, Nuke``s implementation of it is different and deserves some focus. The IBK on the other hand is completely unique to Nuke and needs more attention and time to understand.
Class 6: Color and Color Space
What is sRGB? Why does it matter? Unlike most image manipulation applications, Nuke allows the user to choose his/her color space. In most other apps it is chosen for you. Understanding this workflow is crucial for long term success in Nuke. Whether you have an 8 bit jpeg image or a 10 bit Cineon film frame, every thing in Nuke is seen as 32 bit floating point data. This week we will be going over all the color tools found in Nuke and some real world examples that will help you identify which tool is right for which task.
Class 7: Nuke Filters
Although touched upon here and there through out the course, this week we will focus on Nuke``s powerful set of Filters and how to use them. These will include obvious tools such as GodRays, DeFocus, EdgeBlur and lesser known but equally useful filters such as VectorBlur, iDistort and LightWrap.
Class 8: 3D System, Part 1
Introduction to the 3D system. We will focus on how nuke deals with 3D objects and how to control the 3D system. A good portion of time will be spent on the 3D interface and the 3D viewer. Since the 2D and 3D components of Nuke are effectively separate entities that must be joined together we will also look at how they work together and how to render your 3D image.
Class 9: 3D System, Part 2
This week will focus on the Projector and image mapping as well as importing 3D objects and 3D camera data. We will detail the Render node and go through every parameter. We will also learn how to apply true Motion Blur to your scene in two different ways and why each way is better suited for certain scenarios.
Class 10: Efficient Nuking
Time to learn how to composite in Nuke the efficient way. This week we will cover optimizing your script for speed and trouble shooting errors such as matte lines and resolution/pixel aspect mis-matches. If you plan to move forward with your Nuke training in a production environment, this session is a can``t miss. We will also introduce Nuke``s Macro/Custom Tool System called Gizmos. These are extremely powerful and easy to create tools that can be as simple as a default color correction for a particular scene or as complex as a complete assembly of every cg element in a shot.
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