Photoreal Compositing using Nuke

Learn a range of established high-end techniques in photoreal VFX compositing, using Foundry Nuke.

Course Schedule
03.05.2021 - 15.08.2021
Ian Murphy
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Production training, broken down into practical yet challenging lessons


This online course is ideally suited to a wide range of learning groups: start-ups, CPD training, the postgraduate sector, freelancers, or smaller studios looking to scale up in using Nuke. Nuke is widely used for both VFX feature film and high-end TV and this course will demonstrate tools, techniques and problem-solving skills to manage such projects.

There are 14 lessons divided over 4 key units covered in the course, the units being: The Basics, Prep, Greenscreen and CGI. Each unit will provide you with the tools and understanding to overcome common and also thornier problems faced in industry.

Training shots from the feature film Grabbers, courtesy of VFX supervisor Paddy Eason and Element Pictures Distribution

Course Details

  • Type: Online
  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Format: Pre-recorded videos and weekly live sessions
  • Assignments: Weekly & 1 final
  • Tools: Nuke
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Course Access Time: n/a

Small, personal classes with no more than 15 students

Industry partners

Lessons in this course

  • 01. The Basics: Seeing one thing, controlling another and in-pipe alpha

    This lesson will focus on the Nuke interface, working with nodes, layering and premultiplication, alphas and RGB.
    Available on: 06.10.2020 10:00 am
  • 02. The Basics: Out-pipe alpha and the image movers

    Learn about resolution, tracking, animation and why it’s useful to have your alpha on a separate branch to your RGB.
    Available on: 13.10.2020 10:00 am
  • 03. The Basics: Perspective movement - corner pinning and planar tracking

    Learn about planar tracking, matchmove and stabilisation using 4 points.
    Available on: 20.10.2020 10:00 am
  • 04. Prep: Paint, patching and wire removal

    You will be adding painting to your compositing toolkit to complete a background wire removal shot.
    Available on: 27.10.2020 10:00 am
  • 05. Prep: Articulate rotoscoping

    Learn to think like an animator when rotoscoping for best results.
    Available on: 03.11.2020 10:00 am
  • 06. Greenscreen: The set up for green screen environment shots

    You will learn about using still images on cards and a 3D matchmove camera. This will be used to create a 2.5D pan and tile environment that will then composited with a green screen foreground element.
    Available on: 10.11.2020 10:00 am
  • 07. Greenscreen: Fundamental match grading and colour management

    Learn about colour and match grading, the difference between colour operators and the workflow for matching midtones, the white point and the black point. We’ll also cover how to deal with supervisor or client notes on colour.
    Available on: 17.11.2020 10:00 am
  • 08. Greenscreen: The Principles of the split comp set-up

    Learn about the building blocks of the primary matte, to cut out the foreground of your green screen and go on to drive the despill set-up.
    Available on: 24.11.2020 10:00 am
  • 09. Greenscreen: Keying and the primary matte

    Learn how to squeeze the utmost detail from green screen plates with specialist keying techniques used in the feature film industry.
    Available on: 01.12.2020 10:00 am
  • 10. Greenscreen: Edge and Core Despill

    Learn about edge integration, dynamic despill, core despill and luminance restoration for naturalistic green screen compositing.
    Available on: 08.01.2021 10:00 am
  • 11. CGI: Introduction to CGI compositing: The correct use of the AOV template

    Learn about how CG shader based AOVs come together to re-build the primary, giving the compositor the ability to grade for realistic integration into a shot.
    Available on: 15.01.2021 10:00 am
  • 12. CGI: Putting the camera and the lens back into cg composites

    Learn about the shot finishing stage of CG compositing, where you get to add the camera and lens characteristics from the plate back onto the CG asset.
    Available on: 22.01.2021 10:00 am
  • 13. CGI: Using AOV utility passes

    Learn how to 3d mask and use ID in selective grading.
    Available on: 29.01.2021 10:00 am
  • 14. CGI: Multichannel and deep data workflow

    Learn how to manage and manipulate additional channel sets for CG comp.
    Available on: 05.02.2021 10:00 am

Tutor: Ian Murphy

Compositing Supervisor

With more than 20 years as 2d production artist and training lead in VFX, Ian has trained hundreds of compositors to Hollywood feature film standard, for films such as Passengers, Skyscraper, Jumanji, Wonder Woman, Dumbo and the Lion King. He has led compositing training in VFX facilities, both as a 2d trainer and VFX training lead. He has worked in the UK, India and Canada, training senior and junior compositors, setting up new studios and pipelines and upskilling ‘from Bollywood to Hollywood’, for companies including the Moving Picture Company, Rushes, Atomic Fiction and in Integrated Advertising at Framestore. Ian is experienced in translating industry requirements into innovative learning solutions and projects, using his industry, academic and teaching experience to teach apprentices from the main Soho VFX facilities, to advise and train start ups and coach smaller post production picture finishing departments expanding into specialist 2d VFX for streaming platforms. This has involved designing and delivering training programmes for Flame Operators, Editors, animators and designers for studios producing Netflix shows, including Nvizible in Belfast, Bait Studio in Cardiff and Dock 10 in Manchester. Ian has also worked in professional development for Screen Skills in the UK and is a consultant for Masters degree students at the National Television and Film School and at the new Centre for Creative Arts and Technologies at the University of Surrey. Ian is a Foundry certified Nuke trainer

Course Fee: £1,120

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