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  • Writer's pictureMike

MA Perfecting The Look: Introduction to Nuke

Hello hello!

Now that its the final half of the degree, we were given a choice on which class we wanted to take for our second semester. I've gone with a class that's about computer animation, VFX and video compositing - Perfecting the Look is the official title. The main tools that I will be using will likely be Maya and Nuke, so let's talk about what happened in the first week!


Looking at Nuke

Our first class introduced us to the Nuke software. The content was mostly around making sure we organised our files easily and how to navigate the program. We did a little exercise with some assets given to us so that we could start getting to grips with the different nodes and how to use them. The assets were a .exr of Wall-E and some (shaky) video footage, so I stuck Wall-E in a spot that I thought would seem sensible:

Also did some colour correction to Wall-E (which I do not think I have an eye for yet!) but I liked the shinier look I gave him. The main nodes for this section were:

  • Merge

  • Transform

  • Reformat

  • ColorCorrect

We followed this up by looking at how to use the camera tracking to help make Wall-E seem part of the footage (which took a lot of tracks, I think I ended up with about 12 before I felt no more would add value). Some more nodes were shown to us to ensure both Wall-E and his shadow would be moving with the camera so that they looked like part of the scene, instead of a static image on top of the footage!

The last thing covered was how to replace the laptop screen with an image. This was, naturally, the perfect opportunity to use a meme from an old classic:

The image wasn't perfect since you could see it "floating" when looking at the corners of it, but it wasn't a terrible start! The new nodes used for this were:

  • Transform MatchMove

  • Tracker

  • CornerPin2D

  • EdgeBlur

So it was a pretty fun start to the class!


Closing Thoughts

With the ice-breaker done, I started to have a think about what I could make for this assignment. Having watched a lot of Corridor Digital's VFX breakdown videos on YouTube, I'm hoping I'll be able to make use of the info I learned from them for the project! I was thinking something with a peacock might be good, but sadly there don't seem to be any free models that also have PBR...or animations...or both. So, I'll just have to keep brainstorming!

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