As a VFX artist, you make things happen that cinematographers and actors cannot. You bring environments, objects, and creatures to life that otherwise would be impossible to add to a film. You must be familiar that most studios rely on a process called Nuke to create these visual effects. So, it has become essential for VFX artists to be well-versed with the Nuke compositing.
Here are five things you must have in your Nuke compositing repertoire:
- Learn All the Nodes
Nuke is a node-based compositing software. Nodes are mathematic machines that compositors use to give input in Nuke. So, whether you are compositing CG sequences or performing any other function, you will use these nodes to create scenes. Nuke separates nodes into these four categories:
- 2D Nodes
- 3D Nodes
- Utility Nodes
- Plug-in Nodes
Working with these nodes will be a great starting point for your Nuke compositing journey.
2. Deep Compositing
Nuke compositing requires VFX artists to work with multiple objects on a single background. With Nuke’s deep compositing, you only have to render the background once, and you can then place objects at different places and depths without repeatedly rendering the scene. Deep compositing also removes artefacts and smoothens edges around objects to produce high-quality renders.
- Multi-pass Nuke Compositing
VFX compositors work with both 2D and 3D scenes in Nuke. With multi-pass compositing techniques, you can easily layer frames of different dimensions and blend them to recreate beauty passes. What’s more, you may not always need 3D in your renders – multi-pass compositing helps you understand where you can use 2D instead of 3D, reducing the workload.
4. Camera Tracking
It is important that renders in Nuke match the camera movements of the footage. Nuke has a CameraTracker node which allows artists to create a virtual camera with the same movements as the original camera. Camera tracking helps you integrate objects with perspective in a plane. Depending on the scene’s requirement, you can do the following:
- 2D tracking
- 5D tracking
- 3D tracking
Lighting is probably the most crucial element of Nuke compositing, and it helps artists add depth to scenes, cast shadows, and simulate real-world conditions. It is important to master lighting as audiences can notice any discrepancy between artificial and original light in a scene.
Light nodes in Nuke contain controls to help you cast realistic shadows in your 3D scenes. Learning how to use shadows in your renders will further help you master Nuke. You must also learn to use Relight node, which will help you use 3D lights to lighten 2D images.
Every VFX artist must master Nuke compositing as a priority for having a lasting career in the visual effects industry. Fortunately, institutes like Pearl EDGE are committed to helping artists like you widen and sharpen their skillset. Pearl EDGE’s Master Certificate in VFX Compositing with NukeX is a comprehensive course that will help you master every must-know Nuke compositing technique in less than a year.
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