Ringling_LogoAt Ringling College of Art & Design, I teach a full course on digital compositing with The Foundry’s node-based compositing software Nuke. I’ll be bringing all my lecture notes, slides, and exercise files online for anyone wishing to know more about this fantastic discipline.

The sections to be discussed in depth are as follows:

Section 01

NukeClass_Section01 Introduction to Digital Compositing
History of Cinematic Compositing – In-Camera Holdouts, Rear/Front Screen Projection, Optical Printing, Digital Pipelines
Software Packages Discussion
Principles of Node-Based Compositing
Nuke Interface – Panes, Tree, Graph Editor, Timeline, Project Properties
Proper Building of Node Trees and B Pipes

Section 02

NukeClass_Section02 Animation Data (Translate, Rotate, Scale nodes)
Ambient, Direct, Bounce Lighting Breakdown
Motion Blur/Camera Shutter Breakdown
Perspective and Depth Cues
Colorspace Management – sRGB vs Linear vs Logarithmic

Section 03

NukeClass_Section03 Mattes and Clean Plates
Write Nodes and File Types
Introducing Proxies
Alpha Channels
PreMultiplied Images and Unpremultiply
Bounding Boxes in Nuke
Judging Color and Your Environment/Tech

Section 04

NukeClass_Section04 Reformat, Crop, Clone and Duplicate
Explanation of Channels, Multi-Channel Files
Bit Depth (8bit vs 16/32 Half/Full Float data)
HDRI Images
Image Compression and Codecs

Section 05

NukeClass_Section05 Color and Gamma Correction Nodes
LUTs (Look Up Tables) and Input/Output Graph
Pixel Value Clipping
Image Manipulation Graphs (Add, Gamma, Invert, Contrast, etc)
The Merge Node/Working with Mattes
Blending Modes with the Merge Node

Section 06

NukeClass_Section06 Types of Keys (Chroma, Luminosity, Difference, IBK, etc)
Presentation / Lecture: History and Techniques of Modern Chromakey
Scarlett X RED Camera Integration
Pulling a Key On Live Footage
Spill Suppression and Edge Manipulation

Section 07

NukeClass_Section07 Rotoscoping and Traveling Mattes – Still and Animated
Hold-Out and Garbage Matting
Digital Painting (Wire, Rig Removal, etc)

Section 08

NukeClass_Section08 Retiming Footage (Holds, Speed Changes, Frame Blending, Optical Flow)
Intro to Tracking (Point/Planar/Camera Point Cloud)
Image Tracking and Stabilization in Nuke
Planar Tracking in Nuke and Mocha
Bringing Data In Between AE/Mocha and Nuke
Lens Distortion and Correction

Section 09

NukeClass_Section09 Nuke 3D Functionality
3D Cards, Geo, Cameras, Textures and Lights
Scanline Node
Bringing Outside Geo into Nuke

Section 10

NukeClass_Section10 Matte Painting Workflows
Film vs HDTV – Aspect Ratios, 3:2 Pulldown
Aspect Ratio Movie Presentation
PreComping Best Practices
Identifying Lighting Quality in Live Footage
Film Grain
Digital Intermediate