Nuke vs. After Effects for Compositing

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Nuke vs. After Effects for Compositing

Have you ever tried doing some serious compositing with After Effects? Like taking a bunch of 3D passes and combining them to get the result you want, or doing some really selective color-correction and effects to get the final image to look amazing? Don't get us wrong, you CAN do it. But it can be PAINFUL. After Effects has so many quirks, so many gotchas, that just doing a simple lightwrap can take 3 effects and a precomp.

We love After Effects. It's an awesome piece of software that lets you create almost anything you can dream of...

But if you want to really dial in the look of your composites, if you want TOTAL control over your image, then a node-based compositor can give you that control, and that's where Nuke comes in.

There are plenty of things After Effects does better than Nuke, but compositing ain’t one of them. No big deal. Ideally, you learn both, and your tool belt groweth!

Check out the Resources tab for more info on how to get a copy of Nuke for yourself.

If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we'll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP.

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    00:00:00,869(gurgling mechanical noise)
    00:00:07,753(plopping)
    00:00:09,901(electronic music)
    00:00:17,989- What's up guys?
    00:00:19,243Joey here at schoolofmotion.com.
    00:00:20,496And in this video we are gonna talk about
    00:00:22,056one of my favorite topics which is Nuke.
    00:00:24,487And what I'm gonna try and do
    00:00:25,772is show you the difference between a layer based compositor
    00:00:28,176like After Effects and a node based compositor like Nuke.
    00:00:31,688One isn't necessarily better than the other.
    00:00:34,321They're just different tools.
    00:00:35,572And depending on what task you're doing,
    00:00:37,147one might be a little bit easier to use.
    00:00:39,226And I know a lot of you guys out there
    00:00:40,730have probably never used Nuke.
    00:00:42,037And you may really just kind of be scared of it.
    00:00:44,397And so I wanna show you how it works
    00:00:46,360and why it's so cool and why it can actually be useful
    00:00:48,833to a motion graphics artist
    00:00:50,745and not just a visual effects artist.
    00:00:52,561So let's hop in and get started.
    00:00:54,093So we're gonna start in After Effects
    00:00:56,399since I'm sure that's what most of you
    00:00:58,453are more comfortable with.
    00:00:59,919And what I have here is a pretty typical
    00:01:02,1673-D composite set up where I've rendered out
    00:01:05,881multiple passes from Cinema 4D.
    00:01:07,816I've rendered them as a multipass EXR file
    00:01:10,653so I have one set of files here.
    00:01:12,924One image sequence and I've pulled that in
    00:01:15,620and I've used the built-in extractor effect
    00:01:18,227to pull out each pass from the EXR files.
    00:01:22,887So I've got my lighting passes like my diffuse pass
    00:01:26,011and I'll just solo them one at time
    00:01:27,813so you can see what they look like.
    00:01:29,391This is the diffuse lighting pass.
    00:01:30,639This is the specular pass.
    00:01:34,100This is the ambient pass.
    00:01:36,052Reflection, global illumination.
    00:01:39,309And now I get into my shadow passes.
    00:01:41,917So I've actually got a shadow pass
    00:01:43,557and I've got an ambient occlusion pass .
    00:01:47,069And then up here I haven't turned off
    00:01:48,576I've got an object buffer for the sky, the floor,
    00:01:51,615and the spikes .
    00:01:53,595So all of these are feeding from the same set
    00:01:57,934of image sequences here
    00:01:59,283and I'm using this effects in the 3-D
    00:02:01,197channel group extractor to pull each of those channels out
    00:02:04,528one at a time.
    00:02:05,783And I've set, I've already set up my my compositing
    00:02:08,239so you know diffuse is generally the channel I start with.
    00:02:12,265That's my base and then I'll add all
    00:02:13,953of the lighting channels on top of.
    00:02:16,067Now I don't want to get too much into the actual
    00:02:19,245compositing part of this but it is very important to know
    00:02:21,575that I'm in 32-bit mode and I'm actually compositing
    00:02:24,187in a linear workspace.
    00:02:26,773And the reason that I'm doing that is because EXR files
    00:02:29,696out of Cinema 4D are 32 bit
    00:02:32,489so I have tons and tons of color information
    00:02:34,706and that's wonderful .
    00:02:36,099So you can see here that this is my compositing set up
    00:02:39,447and you know if I just pull all of my passes in
    00:02:42,804and I set this up and I now look at it.
    00:02:46,731All I'm seeing is a list of passes
    00:02:49,365and I'm seeing layers, right .
    00:02:51,497Just these bars that go across.
    00:02:53,344And if I really want to look at all of my passes
    00:02:56,454and try to understand what I have to work with
    00:02:59,378to help myself figure out how to composite these things,
    00:03:02,999the only way to do it is to solo them one at a time.
    00:03:06,096Right, and it's not really that intuitive
    00:03:09,586of a way to composite.
    00:03:10,937If you composite in After Effects
    00:03:12,597you certainly get used to this .
    00:03:14,648But let me show you a different way.
    00:03:16,125So now were gonna hop onto Nuke.
    00:03:17,657I'll show you what it looks like in Nuke.
    00:03:19,260So this is the Nuke interface.
    00:03:21,507And if you've never opened Nuke and you never played with it
    00:03:24,412this is going to look a little bit alien to you.
    00:03:27,553It works very differently than After Effects .
    00:03:29,897And I'll admit I mean it took me a while
    00:03:31,798to get the hang of it but once I did
    00:03:33,832it is so much nicer to composite 3-D passes together
    00:03:38,350and really control the way your image looks in Nuke.
    00:03:41,819So the first thing you're probably noticing
    00:03:43,687is I've got all of my passes kind of laid out here
    00:03:47,217in front of me like cards on the table.
    00:03:50,172And I don't have to sort of
    00:03:52,640you know guess what the reflection pass looks like.
    00:03:56,353I can actually see a little thumbnail of it.
    00:03:58,218But the way Nuke is set up you have instant access to
    00:04:02,093any single one of these little thumbnails at any time.
    00:04:06,031Now these are called nodes.
    00:04:07,802Nuke is a node based compositor.
    00:04:09,263And the one of the great things about nodes is
    00:04:11,851you can look at any node at any time in Nuke
    00:04:13,786if you hit the one key.
    00:04:16,257You can see this little viewer here .
    00:04:18,649This little dotted line is gonna jump
    00:04:20,951to whatever I select and then hit one.
    00:04:23,179So I can very quickly step through all of my passes.
    00:04:27,560Another really great thing about working this way
    00:04:30,794is I can see here a visual representation
    00:04:34,905of what the source material is.
    00:04:37,650Okay if I hopped back into After Effects for second
    00:04:39,748you can see that you know I can switch to the source name
    00:04:42,917and then I can see what the sources for all these layers.
    00:04:46,697But generally you're looking at the layer names
    00:04:48,926and this doesn't tell you anything about
    00:04:50,475what file this came from.
    00:04:52,814And this gets even worse if you start pre-comping things.
    00:04:57,255In Nuke it's all just right in front of you
    00:05:00,080and I can see even really really zoomed out like this
    00:05:04,221I can see this is the map for the object.
    00:05:07,439This is clearly the ground.
    00:05:08,700This is clearly the sky.
    00:05:10,050So that's the first benefit.
    00:05:11,803Nuke is going to let you see your render passes
    00:05:14,142and see the relationship
    00:05:16,058between render passes in the source material
    00:05:17,812in a much much easier way .
    00:05:20,557Now let's start actually compositing this
    00:05:22,180and doing some color corrections
    00:05:23,805so you can see some of the other ways
    00:05:25,299that a node-based workflow is gonna be
    00:05:27,457a little bit easier in some cases .
    00:05:29,012So let's say first of all the shadow pass is way too dark.
    00:05:33,262So I'm just going on in the opacity for the shadow pass
    00:05:35,127and turn it down a little bit.
    00:05:36,925If you've never used multipass rendering before
    00:05:40,352this should show you immediately the power of it.
    00:05:43,212You have the control to just totally decide
    00:05:46,150how much shadow you want and don't want in post .
    00:05:48,989So let's say we want this much
    00:05:50,428And I would really like to color correct those shadows
    00:05:54,053so they're not just black.
    00:05:55,827So I might do is put a levels effect on there
    00:05:58,734and going to the blue channel let me solo
    00:06:01,990the shadow pass for minute .
    00:06:03,750And I am going to push a little bit more blue
    00:06:06,153into the blues, into that shadow pass, okay?.
    00:06:10,507So this is great.
    00:06:11,844You know I like this.
    00:06:13,095I may want to play with even the black output
    00:06:16,660so that I really get some blue in there.
    00:06:20,616I can see it in context which is great.
    00:06:23,950Wonderful.
    00:06:25,200Okay so that's, I like that color correction
    00:06:26,829for my shadows.
    00:06:28,220Because ambient occlusion is also generating
    00:06:31,239sort of like a shadow,
    00:06:33,570I'd like the same color correction on the ambient occlusion.
    00:06:37,465Okay simple
    00:06:39,245I just copy and paste levels onto there,
    00:06:41,557now they have the same effect.
    00:06:43,110Wonderful.
    00:06:44,379Okay well what if now you know 10 steps later
    00:06:46,529I decide whoa that's way too blue.
    00:06:49,603Let's pull that back.
    00:06:50,868Well now I've got ambient occlusion
    00:06:52,201that has an effect on it
    00:06:53,659and I've got shadow pass that has an effect on it.
    00:06:55,865What's worse is when you're looking at your timeline
    00:06:59,085you don't see those effects
    00:07:01,580unless you have the layer selected
    00:07:03,583or if you select all your layers and you hit ease .
    00:07:06,902You can see what effects are on there.
    00:07:08,549So you don't get an instant read of what you've done
    00:07:12,470to your comp.
    00:07:13,725And on top of that I've got two levels effect
    00:07:16,649that I would like to be identical
    00:07:18,699but they're not.
    00:07:20,564Now of course you could make them identical
    00:07:22,911by using an expression to tie the values of one to another.
    00:07:27,468You could do that but that's gonna require
    00:07:30,057expressions and it's gonna require some manual set up
    00:07:32,705or a script or something like that .
    00:07:34,493So now let's hop into Nuke and I'll show you how this works.
    00:07:37,797Now in Nuke the way you composite one thing
    00:07:41,058on top of another is by using a node
    00:07:43,535called a merge node.
    00:07:45,151This probably took my brain the longest amount of time
    00:07:48,313to understand moving from After Effects to Nuke .
    00:07:52,372There are no layers in Nuke.
    00:07:54,758It is a totally different way of working .
    00:07:56,537And you have to get used to seeing it .
    00:07:58,495The way the merge node works is whatever goes in a input
    00:08:02,804is merged on top of whatever's going into the b input.
    00:08:07,335And so when you look at at Nuke artists projects
    00:08:10,306you'll generally see something like this .
    00:08:12,912One is a whole bunch of passes .
    00:08:14,625There's sort of a stair stepping like this.
    00:08:16,678And then once you get deeper into the compositing
    00:08:19,282you try and make everything go from top to bottom.
    00:08:21,902That's generally the way it looks.
    00:08:23,419And so if we just go from left to right
    00:08:25,561you can see I have my diffuse pass.
    00:08:27,333And that I am merging the specular pass on top of it.
    00:08:32,011And then the reflection pass, the ambient pass,
    00:08:34,824global illumination and then my shadow
    00:08:37,054and my ambient occlusion.
    00:08:38,946Over here I've got my mattes ready to go.
    00:08:42,541And so let's do the same thing we just did.
    00:08:45,082Here's the shadow pass and I'd like to introduce some blue
    00:08:47,872into the Blacks .
    00:08:49,964So in Nuke there's a bunch of different effects you can use.
    00:08:53,947And everything in Nuke, even effects
    00:08:56,286are called nodes.
    00:08:57,968Over here you got a whole bunch of neat little tools
    00:09:00,827and you can click on these and you can see
    00:09:02,990all the different effects you have.
    00:09:04,411What I like to do Nuke is just hit tab
    00:09:05,763and type in the name of the effect I want.
    00:09:08,400It's just a little faster.
    00:09:09,667So here's a grade node.
    00:09:10,915A grade node is very much like the levels effect
    00:09:13,382in After Effects.
    00:09:14,978So I took a grade node and I've inserted it
    00:09:17,815underneath the shadow pass in between the shadow pass
    00:09:21,073in this merge node here .
    00:09:22,721Because I did that, I can now color correct the shadow pass
    00:09:26,070and I need to make sure that I'm looking
    00:09:27,779through the grade node.
    00:09:29,535Remember this this dotted line which is connected
    00:09:32,232to this node here, this is a viewer node.
    00:09:34,900This viewer node actually controls what I see right here .
    00:09:38,940So I'm looking through the grade node and now
    00:09:41,053I can use these controls over here
    00:09:42,518And what I can do is like grab this color wheel in the lift.
    00:09:47,557And first thing I need to do actually is
    00:09:50,209brightness this a little bit.
    00:09:54,870And then I can grab the color wheel
    00:09:56,368and I can start to pull it into the blues like this.
    00:10:01,813And you can see it's getting a little bit more blue .
    00:10:03,659I may want to actually boost,
    00:10:07,192boost all the colors a little bit
    00:10:09,080and then just pull more blue out.
    00:10:10,841There we go.
    00:10:12,091That's getting a little bit washed out.
    00:10:14,366Right maybe something like that, okay?
    00:10:17,850So now we can look at the result of that in context.
    00:10:21,233Right and maybe now that I'm looking at in context
    00:10:25,368maybe I want to
    00:10:29,596boost the levels a little bit
    00:10:31,037of the Blacks.
    00:10:35,174And then I'll put a little blue in the gamma as well.
    00:10:38,980There we go, and you can see the blue being added
    00:10:41,839to that, right?
    00:10:43,089Now here's the really cool thing about working with nodes.
    00:10:44,831I can instantly in like a second see that there is
    00:10:48,922a color correction being applied to my shadow pass.
    00:10:52,158Now that may not seem like a big deal
    00:10:54,227but when you're really getting deep into a composite
    00:10:57,151and you have tons and tons of color corrections
    00:11:00,170and masks and all kinds of stuff,
    00:11:01,838working with nodes you can see every single thing
    00:11:05,297you've done.
    00:11:06,984So here's another cool thing.
    00:11:08,234So first let me just adjust this a little bit more
    00:11:09,592because I am kind of nitpicky
    00:11:12,605and I don't like the way it's looking .
    00:11:15,195I maybe don't want that much blue in there .
    00:11:17,737Okay great.
    00:11:18,996So now let's say I want the same grade
    00:11:20,977to be applied to my ambient occlusion.
    00:11:25,079Well Nuke has a very nifty little feature where
    00:11:28,022you can click on a node and you can control click.
    00:11:31,234Go up to Edit and say Clone.
    00:11:35,017And what it does is it creates another grade node
    00:11:37,131with this visual link between the two nodes .
    00:11:41,295And this is again the big advantage of working this way.
    00:11:44,666Whatever I do to either of these grade nodes
    00:11:47,246will be applied to the clone.
    00:11:49,230Doesn't matter which one I mess with.
    00:11:51,203They will both do the same thing.
    00:11:53,743And what's great about that is that
    00:11:56,833not only do do I not have to set up anything
    00:11:59,269with expressions like you would in After Effects
    00:12:01,303but I can see that they are cloned.
    00:12:03,462I don't have to remember that they're cloned .
    00:12:05,422I can actually just see it.
    00:12:07,674So again you get this visual representation, okay?
    00:12:10,641So that is another huge advantage of working in Nuke.
    00:12:14,960Just being able to see the relationship
    00:12:16,423between effects and things like that.
    00:12:18,763So now we're gonna hop back into After Effects.
    00:12:21,030So now let's talk about manipulating
    00:12:23,869very specific parts of your image in After Effects.
    00:12:27,337So let's look at the shadow pass for minute.
    00:12:28,999You know when I move the opacity up and down like this,
    00:12:31,939what I'm noticing is I really like
    00:12:33,249the dark shadow on the ground.
    00:12:35,726But when the shadow on the ground is dark,
    00:12:37,880the shadows get a little too dark on the object.
    00:12:40,290So what I'd really like the shadows and the object
    00:12:42,381to maybe be about this dark.
    00:12:44,042But then on the ground I want them to be maybe,
    00:12:47,221maybe that dark.
    00:12:48,472Like pretty dark.
    00:12:49,724So what I do is selectively brighten
    00:12:53,452parts of the shadow pass
    00:12:55,181but leave other parts untouched.
    00:12:58,037So how the heck are we gonna do this in After Effects?
    00:13:01,284There's not like a super quick and intuitive way
    00:13:03,641to do that, is there?
    00:13:05,078So there is a bunch of ways you might approach this.
    00:13:08,363What I'll probably do is duplicate the shadow pass
    00:13:13,089and call one copy shadow floor
    00:13:18,374and another copy shadow object.
    00:13:25,078And then what I want to do is take my floor object buffer
    00:13:30,280And there's a few ways I can do this.
    00:13:31,530One way is I could just duplicate it,
    00:13:33,043move it down here and set my shadow floor layer
    00:13:36,730to use as its luma matte, that floor buffer.
    00:13:41,591And so that's gonna do is it's gonna just give me
    00:13:43,319the shadow pass where that floor is.
    00:13:46,293Now that's kind of a messy way of doing it
    00:13:47,978because now any time I want to split something off
    00:13:51,463and just effect the floor part of that pass
    00:13:54,546or the object part of that pass,
    00:13:56,078I'm gonna have to have to have a copy
    00:13:57,683of this floor buffer layer .
    00:14:00,079So there's another way to do it
    00:14:01,997which is a little bit cleaner.
    00:14:03,635I'm just undoing a bunch times .
    00:14:05,136And that is to use the set matte effect,
    00:14:09,013So if I say shadow floor
    00:14:11,425and I only want the part of the pass
    00:14:14,688that's touching the floor.
    00:14:16,533And go up to Effect, Channel, Set matte.
    00:14:20,177And I want to take my matte from the layer
    00:14:22,999called floor buffer.
    00:14:25,045And I don't wanna use the off channel.
    00:14:26,706I wanna use the luminance channel.
    00:14:28,061And it's not working.
    00:14:29,538Now why is it not working?
    00:14:30,801Great question.
    00:14:32,492The reason is because of the order of operations
    00:14:35,188that you have to deal with
    00:14:37,706and fight against in After Effects.
    00:14:39,888This floor buffer layer
    00:14:41,712has an effect on it, the extractor effect
    00:14:44,932which pulls out the floor object buffer.
    00:14:48,282So the problem is if I put the set matte effect
    00:14:51,998on the shadow floor layer
    00:14:54,964and is looking at the floor buffer layer,
    00:14:57,143it's actually looking at this layer
    00:14:58,946before this effect gets applied
    00:15:01,117if that makes sense.
    00:15:02,356So what it's actually seeing is this.
    00:15:05,616It's not seeing here, I'll show you.
    00:15:07,590It's actually seeing this as the layer.
    00:15:10,354It's not seeing this because in order to see this
    00:15:13,586it has to take into account the effect which it doesn't do.
    00:15:17,110Because of the order of operations.
    00:15:18,807I know, it's confusing, right?
    00:15:20,249So one way around that is to pre-comp
    00:15:22,766your object buffers, okay
    00:15:25,490and makes you move all the attributes to new comp
    00:15:27,671and we'll call this floor buffer precomp.
    00:15:30,416And now I can use this in my set matte effect.
    00:15:38,109Okay now it should work fine .
    00:15:39,502So that's the workaround.
    00:15:41,684You can pre-comp your object buffer
    00:15:44,425and now it works but now of course
    00:15:46,631your object buffer is buried inside of a pre-comp
    00:15:49,173which means if you need to replace this render
    00:15:51,784with another version of your render
    00:15:54,391and you don't want to just totally overwrite this one,
    00:15:57,564well and I have to remember that there is a copy
    00:15:59,476in this pre-comp and it really just starts to get confusing.
    00:16:03,078So now that we have that I would do the same thing
    00:16:05,102for this object buffer, the spikes.
    00:16:08,631So I pre-comp this .
    00:16:10,093We'll call this pre-comp spikes buffer pre-comp .
    00:16:15,276And then I would put the set matte effect
    00:16:17,598on this version of the shadow pass.
    00:16:21,680And then we'll set this to spikes buffer
    00:16:24,653and instead of off channel we'll say luminance .
    00:16:27,033There we go.
    00:16:28,284So now I have two shadow passes.
    00:16:31,467And now I can take my object buffer.
    00:16:34,050I can take the shadow from the object
    00:16:36,304and I can just fade that out a little bit.
    00:16:40,132So now you have control over both parts
    00:16:42,694of your shadow pass.
    00:16:44,783There are other ways to do this
    00:16:46,356but this way is a little bit cleaner
    00:16:50,269because now you only have two layers to mess with.
    00:16:53,536And I want you to just notice how little information
    00:16:56,949you are given about your composite
    00:16:59,000from After Effects right now.
    00:17:00,718We have a pretty complex little set up here .
    00:17:03,525We have a floor buffer pre-comp inside of which
    00:17:06,099is our floor buffer.
    00:17:08,111And then we have a shadow pass
    00:17:10,001which is getting its initial image
    00:17:13,297from this extractor effect pulling the shadow pass
    00:17:16,200out of the EXR file.
    00:17:17,896Then were using the set matte effect to pull the mat
    00:17:20,193from a different layer and you don't get any feedback
    00:17:22,692that that's happening .
    00:17:24,126You just have to remember that it's happening .
    00:17:26,149And the worst part is if you have to work
    00:17:29,007on someone else's After Effects project.
    00:17:30,720So now we'll hop into Nuke and I'll show you how this works
    00:17:32,976and you're gonna laugh at how much simpler it is.
    00:17:34,903Let me show you how simple this is to do in Nuke.
    00:17:37,112So what I'm gonna do is use a grade node.
    00:17:39,046And I'm going to put it's right here.
    00:17:43,563And I'm actually going to rename this grade node
    00:17:45,294so I can start to keep track of what each
    00:17:46,984of these grade nodes are doing.
    00:17:48,426So this grade node, I'm gonna come up here.
    00:17:50,517I'm going to rename it grade
    00:17:53,736let's say lighten.
    00:17:58,433And what I want to do is just use the controls
    00:18:01,255to lighten up I'm sorry I'm not looking through the node
    00:18:06,122see this is another thing about Nuke
    00:18:07,634I have really gone into yet
    00:18:08,892which is that you can look through,
    00:18:11,370you can look at any point on your composite.
    00:18:14,137So you can look at the foreign effect,
    00:18:16,047in the middle of an effect,
    00:18:18,249all the way down here.
    00:18:19,677So I want to look at this node
    00:18:22,239so I can see I'm doing.
    00:18:24,176And I'm going to adjust the lift.
    00:18:27,791And you can see that that is brightening this area here.
    00:18:32,088You can also just the gamma .
    00:18:33,899There's a little bit more finer control
    00:18:36,545with color correction in the Nuke color correction tools
    00:18:39,674than there are in the After Effects color correction tools.
    00:18:42,121And I always get them confused .
    00:18:44,507But you can sort of mess around with them
    00:18:46,056and see what they can do .
    00:18:47,322But the gamma and the lift are going to give us
    00:18:50,756the the most effect here.
    00:18:52,807Sso I only want to lighten this part.
    00:18:54,828I don't want to lighten the floor.
    00:18:56,875So will be great is if I could just tell this effect
    00:18:59,016use this matte to only affect that area.
    00:19:04,550Well a lot of nodes in Nuke
    00:19:07,092have a little arrow coming up the side here.
    00:19:09,397And if you pull that out it says mask.
    00:19:10,663So all I have to do is take this arrow
    00:19:14,426and connected it to this.
    00:19:16,370And now it's that simple.
    00:19:18,069I can control just that part of the image.
    00:19:23,603There you go, piece of cake.
    00:19:24,855Now you know I'm pretty anal when I'm doing,
    00:19:27,583when I'm using Nuke.
    00:19:29,169I don't like when lines kind of crisscross
    00:19:30,692over things like this.
    00:19:32,108So if you hold down the command button
    00:19:33,653it'll bring up a little dot in the middle of each
    00:19:37,000of your, these are called pipes in nodes .
    00:19:39,368So you can grab this little dot
    00:19:41,462and then you can create little elbow.
    00:19:43,473So they can nicely kind of go like this.
    00:19:45,583And you can see that's what I've done here too.
    00:19:47,224One of the amazing benefits of doing this
    00:19:49,864is that now let's say ,
    00:19:53,203and actually in reality I had two versions of this render.
    00:19:56,855This is the second version.
    00:19:58,560Let me bring in the first version really quick
    00:20:00,649and I'll show you .
    00:20:03,356And I called it bizarre render.
    00:20:05,299So there it is.
    00:20:07,476So here's version one, here's version two.
    00:20:09,924I can just do this and the entire comp is updated
    00:20:13,600with this image sequence.
    00:20:17,206It could not be simpler.
    00:20:19,121So now if I want to test out different versions
    00:20:21,845of my renderer with this comp set up,
    00:20:23,599that's all you do.
    00:20:24,906So that's the benefits of using these little elbows too.
    00:20:27,626Cool? All right.
    00:20:29,537So now we can look down here.
    00:20:32,875This is the very end of our comp.
    00:20:34,534The last merge node, that is where our comp
    00:20:36,867is sort of ending at the moment.
    00:20:38,604So if I look through that I'm gonna see everything.
    00:20:41,203And so now looking through there,
    00:20:42,876in context I can of course grade the shadow
    00:20:47,197on the object.
    00:20:49,313And you can see it's not effecting the ground.
    00:20:51,454It's just effecting the object.
    00:20:52,821And it literally took two seconds to do that.
    00:20:55,701So let's hop back into After Effects
    00:20:58,375and I'll show you a couple other things.
    00:21:01,033Now I'm not gonna do a full comp in After Effects
    00:21:02,964because that would take too long .
    00:21:04,292But I do want to show you some of things
    00:21:05,688that I typically do when I'm compositing stuff like this.
    00:21:08,993So a good example would be if I wanted to get a nice glow
    00:21:13,108on this object without having a glow on the sky
    00:21:17,005and on the ground.
    00:21:18,507So one of the techniques I like to do a lot
    00:21:21,728to achieve a glow is to just take a copy of the object,
    00:21:25,776blur it and add it on top of the original object.
    00:21:29,624And that's how you get a glow.
    00:21:31,424And then you can color correct that
    00:21:32,782to kind of get more or less glow.
    00:21:34,278So if I wanted to do that
    00:21:37,291then what I need to do is actually pre-comp
    00:21:40,736my whole scene.
    00:21:43,685Okay so I sort of get the comp where I think I want it .
    00:21:47,505And then I'm gonna pre-comp.
    00:21:49,461I need to pre-comp the entire thing.
    00:21:51,490Remember I can't just pre-comp the parts that are turned on
    00:21:55,152because this shadow layer in the shadow layer,
    00:21:57,876they are referencing object buffers that are up here.
    00:22:01,049Even though those are turned off.
    00:22:02,297So I need to select everything and pre-comp it.
    00:22:04,087And then I'll say comp pre-comp.
    00:22:08,135I could probably come up with a better name than that
    00:22:10,118but it'll work for now.
    00:22:12,094So I got comp pre-comp.
    00:22:13,349I'm gonna go into my comp pre comp,
    00:22:15,309I'm gonna pull out this spikes object buffers.
    00:22:18,980So let me copy that.
    00:22:20,938And now I'm gonna bring it back to here and paste it.
    00:22:26,099So what I want to do is make a copy
    00:22:28,102of my entire composited piece and I'll call this glow.
    00:22:32,295And then I want to use this object buffer
    00:22:35,822as a luma matte.
    00:22:38,014So now I've got my scene
    00:22:41,050and then I've got just those things.
    00:22:43,982So now what I could do is I can solo those.
    00:22:48,646And I could use levels to really crush those Blacks
    00:22:51,911and try and only pull out the brightest parts of that image.
    00:22:58,549And then I'm gonna use a fast blur
    00:23:00,238to blur it.
    00:23:05,592And we are, so here's a pretty awesome thing
    00:23:09,723about After Effects that it always gets me.
    00:23:13,616So what's going on here is I'm blurring this layer
    00:23:16,880but it's being matted by a layer that's not blurred.
    00:23:21,449So that means that I'm blurring the color
    00:23:25,317inside of my renderer pass
    00:23:28,942but the alpha channel is not blurred.
    00:23:31,032So what I actually need to do is delete that fast blur
    00:23:35,904and I'm gonna command X and cut that levels.
    00:23:40,096I'm gonna first pre-comp these two things together
    00:23:44,367and this is a theme with After Effects .
    00:23:46,529A lot of times you have to pre-comp things
    00:23:48,869in order to get them to work right.
    00:23:50,824So now I'll paste that levels effect back on there
    00:23:52,896and now I can use the fast blur .
    00:23:56,138And it will blur correctly, that's what I wanted.
    00:23:59,490And then I can set this to add mode.
    00:24:03,670You can see I get this nice glow.
    00:24:05,279Very nice, and I can control the opacity of it
    00:24:06,979and all that stuff.
    00:24:08,232Wonderful, right?
    00:24:09,480That's exactly what I wanted .
    00:24:11,071Except now I want to adjust that color adjustment
    00:24:14,797that I did on my shadow pass.
    00:24:17,573Well, shoot, that's buried inside this pre-comp.
    00:24:19,877And so you know there are ways you can work on this comp
    00:24:24,907while looking at this one.
    00:24:27,861I could lock this viewer and then come over here
    00:24:30,154and then come to my shadow passes
    00:24:32,660and then adjust the levels and then once I let go
    00:24:35,366it's gonna update.
    00:24:36,687But you could see how many levels of abstraction
    00:24:39,389have to happen to do something like this in After Effects.
    00:24:42,876Now now we're gonna go to Nuke and I'll show you
    00:24:45,415how it would work in Nuke.
    00:24:46,694Now the first time I figured this out
    00:24:48,315when I was using Nuke, it blew my mind
    00:24:49,913because it is really,
    00:24:52,206this is in my mind the biggest difference
    00:24:55,244between Nuke and After Effects.
    00:24:56,720In After Effects you have to really understand
    00:24:59,913how the program interprets things
    00:25:03,092based on footage and pre- comping things.
    00:25:05,726In Nuke you can pretty much ignore that .
    00:25:08,205The way Nuke works is every single level of a comp
    00:25:12,219and by level what I mean is this is a level,
    00:25:15,041this is a level, this is a level, this is a level,
    00:25:17,786all the way to the end.
    00:25:19,013Even the final step here.
    00:25:20,294This is a level.
    00:25:21,877And every level of new comp
    00:25:24,399is essentially pre-comped already.
    00:25:26,740So what that means is this.
    00:25:28,786I want this render right with all my passes comped together
    00:25:34,140the way I like, I want to now
    00:25:36,845take just the object out of that, blur it
    00:25:39,516and add it back on top of itself to get a nice glow
    00:25:41,877just like we did in After Effects.
    00:25:43,914So what I need to do is first
    00:25:46,386use this matte here to get a version of this
    00:25:50,475that doesn't have the the sky and the ground.
    00:25:52,864So in Nuke there's a node called copy
    00:25:56,165and it's kind of tough to explain what it does
    00:25:58,845without getting a lot more technical
    00:26:00,262with the way Nuke works.
    00:26:01,585Nuke is very good at letting you take any channel,
    00:26:05,162red, green, blue, alpha, and there's even more channels.
    00:26:08,222You can combine with different passes
    00:26:10,833and you can make different things.
    00:26:12,214And so what I'm gonna do is I wanna combine this right here.
    00:26:15,392I want this to be the alpha channel
    00:26:16,746for my final render here.
    00:26:19,886So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use this copy node
    00:26:22,111which does that for me .
    00:26:23,591And the way a copy node works is it takes by default
    00:26:25,972the RGB channels from the B input
    00:26:30,158and then on the a inputs it takes the alpha channel.
    00:26:35,318So I'm gonna take this a input and I'm gonna pipe it
    00:26:37,557to this little guy here which remembers our object matte.
    00:26:40,636And now if I look through this
    00:26:42,460it doesn't look like anything's different.
    00:26:45,062But if I hit a button it's gonna show me
    00:26:47,711the alpha channel for this node
    00:26:50,086which is now this.
    00:26:51,460If I go back one level and I look here
    00:26:53,123the alpha channel is kind of weird .
    00:26:56,092It's not actually the correct alpha channel for anything.
    00:26:58,317So this copy node gives me the correct alpha channel.
    00:27:01,894And then in Nuke if you want to use that alpha channel
    00:27:05,519to knock out the background and only keep the foreground
    00:27:08,732you have to pre-multiply it.
    00:27:10,990I have a whole video series about this
    00:27:12,828called Pre-multiplication Demystified on schoolofmotion.com.
    00:27:16,586Check it out.
    00:27:17,835It'll explain this a lot better.
    00:27:19,096So now I have this and I have this.
    00:27:23,021And what I can then do is maybe put a great effect on this.
    00:27:27,136And we can push the black point up,
    00:27:33,117pull the white point down.
    00:27:34,422So were getting some really nice highlights.
    00:27:37,586And then I'm gonna add a blur node.
    00:27:42,610And you can also see me,
    00:27:44,520you know coming from After Effects
    00:27:46,228it was really kind of an eye-opener
    00:27:48,551to see how quickly you can sort of like
    00:27:50,572preview things in Nuke.
    00:27:52,063Everything works very quickly.
    00:27:53,840So here's my blur.
    00:27:55,339So now we've got this and we've got this.
    00:27:59,797And we want to have this go on top of this.
    00:28:03,292So what I'm gonna do is add a merge node.
    00:28:05,092And what I'm gonna do is
    00:28:08,211I'm going to say the B, 'cause a goes over B.
    00:28:11,913So B's the bottom, that's the bottom.
    00:28:13,712This is the top.
    00:28:16,762I'll show you what this looks.
    00:28:19,728It's not right yet because I need to tell this merge node
    00:28:22,544to add those pixels on top instead of just
    00:28:25,398placing them on top.
    00:28:26,648So I'm gonna set the operation to plus.
    00:28:29,832And so now we're gonna get that nice glow.
    00:28:31,900So I want you to try and understand what's going on here.
    00:28:35,118Imagine in After Effects, this entire comp,
    00:28:38,928this entire set of nodes up here
    00:28:41,143that is creating this result
    00:28:42,990has to be pre-comped
    00:28:45,177and then combined with an alpha channel in another pre-comp
    00:28:48,565and then finally put together in a third pre-comp.
    00:28:53,364Whereas in Nuke, you can literally just split off
    00:28:55,905different pieces of your comp.
    00:28:58,198You can just add a branch that goes out this way.
    00:29:00,616So this result goes here
    00:29:03,011and it also goes here .
    00:29:05,191And this copy of the result has this happen to it .
    00:29:08,296And then it's added on top here.
    00:29:11,791And every single merge node by the way in Nuke,
    00:29:15,020it has a mix setting which is basically opacity.
    00:29:17,952So I can turn that glow up or down
    00:29:19,722and get it exactly where I want.
    00:29:22,287And the beauty is that if I want to then mess with
    00:29:25,419for example the amount of shadows that are on the object
    00:29:28,812I can see even with my screen zoomed way out
    00:29:31,818that this grade lighten node, that's the one I want to use
    00:29:34,774because again you can see the mask going right into it.
    00:29:37,857And I'm looking at the result of my comp
    00:29:40,306but then I can easily adjust the color correction.
    00:29:43,312And again look how quickly it updates for you.
    00:29:45,346It's very fast.
    00:29:46,911So maybe with that glow I decide I want the shadows
    00:29:50,210a little bit darker.
    00:29:52,521Again and this and the result of this is now piped
    00:29:55,407all the way through the comp into our glow
    00:29:57,784and merged on top of itself .
    00:29:59,718And that is so much easier.
    00:30:02,559Once you get the hang of looking at this
    00:30:04,413I can see what's happening here
    00:30:06,448without having to open up effects and click on layers
    00:30:09,638and solo things .
    00:30:10,896You can just see it.
    00:30:12,156Another cool thing about Nuke is that
    00:30:13,622when you do things like this
    00:30:15,448you can literally step through your comp
    00:30:17,389step-by-step very easily.
    00:30:19,075So I can say this is the beginning
    00:30:21,250and then this, then this, then this, then this, then this.
    00:30:24,456Then this.
    00:30:25,718And you can step through and see all the things you've done.
    00:30:28,944So now what I wanna do is just work on this comp
    00:30:33,286a little bit more so you guys can see
    00:30:35,560you know just really how you can fully
    00:30:38,845fine-tune things in Nuke in a way that's not,
    00:30:41,217it's possible in After Effects.
    00:30:43,009It's just a lot more painful.
    00:30:45,588Okay now we just want to start doing an overall
    00:30:48,749color correct on this.
    00:30:50,674So what I'm just gonna do is I'm just going to add
    00:30:53,083instead of a grade node, I'm gonna add a color correct node.
    00:30:55,591A color correct node is sort of like a grade node.
    00:30:59,056It just gives you a lot more kind of fine detail
    00:31:02,607that you can you can mess with.
    00:31:05,037So it breaks the shadows, midtones and highlights
    00:31:06,660up into sort of their own effects.
    00:31:08,701And so if I adjust the gain on the midtones ,
    00:31:11,158you can see that brightens just the brightest parts
    00:31:14,524of the image okay.
    00:31:16,271That the highlights actually
    00:31:18,221they're very, very, very finicky
    00:31:20,887so I usually use the midtones.
    00:31:22,523So let's say that I like what this is doing to the floor.
    00:31:25,928I don't really like what it's doing to the object
    00:31:30,085but I do like what it was doing to the floor.
    00:31:33,510So you know in After Effects you'd have to jump
    00:31:35,889through a whole bunch of hoops
    00:31:37,486to have that only effect the floor.
    00:31:39,039Where as here, all I have to do is come up here.
    00:31:41,181Yup, there is the floor mask.
    00:31:43,022So I can just take this arrow,
    00:31:46,143the one that's coming out of the side of the node
    00:31:48,327and pull it up here and connect it to the floor
    00:31:50,131and there you go.
    00:31:51,386Then I'll hold command so I can make a nice little elbow
    00:31:53,257like this so it's nice and neat.
    00:31:57,105And I can just quickly rename this color correct floor.
    00:32:03,268Okay cool.
    00:32:04,516And then there it is, it only effects the floor.
    00:32:07,494And you can even get a little bit crazier if you wanted to
    00:32:11,229if I said okay I only wanted to effect the floor
    00:32:14,043but I kind of also only wanted to effect the floor
    00:32:16,723in more of the center of the frame
    00:32:19,777and not the edges of the frame.
    00:32:21,966So now I could do is I could
    00:32:23,665I'm gonna use another effect called a Roto node.
    00:32:27,694And what a Roto node is is it just let you draw shapes .
    00:32:30,396You think of it like a mask in Nuke.
    00:32:32,821So I'm gonna double-click on that
    00:32:34,625and I'm just gonna draw a mask around the part of the floor
    00:32:37,075that I would like to be brighter.
    00:32:43,893And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to insert this right here
    00:32:47,898and I'm gonna look through it.
    00:32:49,613So here's what's happening.
    00:32:51,112This pipe is bringing in the floor matte
    00:32:53,879as an alpha channel.
    00:32:55,130And my Roto node is also creating an alpha channel.
    00:33:00,215So if I just look through the the normal RGB channels
    00:33:03,806of this node and I know getting a little more
    00:33:06,434complicated and technical.
    00:33:07,871And maybe some of you After Effects guys are lost right now.
    00:33:10,141But I have to actually look through the alpha channel
    00:33:12,708by hitting a to see what this Roto node
    00:33:15,389is doing by default.
    00:33:16,892And by default what it's doing is
    00:33:18,716it's creating a white shape wherever I put it.
    00:33:21,259And so what I'd actually like it to do
    00:33:23,443is create a black shape .
    00:33:24,859So I'm gonna go to shape
    00:33:28,053and I'm going to change the color to zero
    00:33:31,968and then I'm gonna hit invert.
    00:33:34,422So all it's doing is creating a black shape
    00:33:36,242to cover up pieces of the optional I don't want.
    00:33:39,718So now if I switch back to my RGB and look through this
    00:33:42,787you can see now this color correction
    00:33:44,383is only hitting where the floor exists
    00:33:47,866and where this mask is.
    00:33:49,763And masks in Nuke are also really pretty nice to work with.
    00:33:53,407If you hold Command you can just feather them very quickly
    00:33:57,016just by grabbing the points.
    00:33:58,538You can do this in After Effects too .
    00:34:00,441You have to use the mask feather tool
    00:34:02,069which is not nearly as nice to use .
    00:34:06,700And you can also see how smooth and quick
    00:34:08,474the mask tool works in Nuke.
    00:34:10,167So I'm gonna select all these
    00:34:11,810and just scale this down a little bit.
    00:34:13,069And so I'm just kind of getting, getting now.
    00:34:17,812I'm getting this nice,
    00:34:19,395it's almost like there's a like a flashlight
    00:34:21,864on the camera lens and it's giving that
    00:34:23,516little bit of an extra specular hit there.
    00:34:26,204Let me limit change a couple settings in Nuke here.
    00:34:29,802Make this a little easier to look at.
    00:34:32,260Cool, all right.
    00:34:33,508So now we have done a very specific color correction
    00:34:35,744on a very specific part of the image .
    00:34:37,964And again it only took this one pipe
    00:34:40,446coming out of this matte and I put a Roto node
    00:34:42,894in front of it to knock out an alpha channel.
    00:34:46,243And then we get this piece of cake.
    00:34:49,192So now let's talk about some other cool things
    00:34:51,816that you can do in Nuke
    00:34:53,488that you can't really do After Effects very easily.
    00:34:56,323There is actually a new feature in After Effects
    00:34:59,225that will let you use masks
    00:35:01,209to control where an effect happens.
    00:35:03,680And it's very similar to what's going on here
    00:35:05,344piping in this Roto node into the mask input
    00:35:11,108of our color correct here.
    00:35:12,917But in After Effects you can't very easily pipe in
    00:35:16,345you know mattes like this that come from Cinema 4D.
    00:35:20,240So let's say we wanted to make a vignette here .
    00:35:25,127It was one of my favorite things to do
    00:35:26,935not just in motion graphics but in life.
    00:35:29,682So I'm gonna make a grade node.
    00:35:32,748And we're gonna connect it up
    00:35:34,251and I'm just gonna rename this grade viggy.
    00:35:39,508And then I'm going to make another Roto node
    00:35:41,598So I'm just gonna hit Tab, type in Roto
    00:35:44,093and I'm just gonna grab the ellipse tool here
    00:35:49,561and just draw a quick ellipse like that.
    00:35:52,513And so if I look through this Roto node,
    00:35:54,490by the way this is one really cool thing about Nuke is
    00:35:57,031this Roto node's not even connected to anything
    00:36:00,004but you can still see the controls for it.
    00:36:02,312And that's one of the great things.
    00:36:03,598Nuke makes it really easy to look at absolutely anything
    00:36:06,610but control something else very easily.
    00:36:08,840So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna now grab
    00:36:11,360the mask input here and connect to this .
    00:36:14,853And if I look at the Roto and I look at the alpha channel
    00:36:17,601there's my alpha channel.
    00:36:19,301And I'm actually gonna want the inverse of that
    00:36:21,283because I want to only hit the edges of my comp.
    00:36:27,113So I can just go to my shape tab up here.
    00:36:30,911By the way, I haven't mentioned it
    00:36:32,484but this is where all of the sort of properties
    00:36:35,188and settings for any node pop up.
    00:36:37,468So that's why when I double-click the Roto node
    00:36:39,769it shows up here and I can hit invert.
    00:36:44,817I can go here and I can add a vignette
    00:36:48,225just by darkening the image like this.
    00:36:50,247Now of course it's a very hard vignette right now.
    00:36:52,696I'm gonna hit the O key.
    00:36:53,956Turn that overlay off for a minute
    00:36:55,395this is a very hard edge.
    00:36:56,958So I could do the same thing I did here
    00:36:59,162if we look at this Roto node you can see
    00:37:04,342that I manually feathered it the way I wanted .
    00:37:07,646But there's another way too.
    00:37:09,676Because this mask input it's not taking a shape
    00:37:13,993the way After Effects masks work.
    00:37:16,708They are shapes.
    00:37:18,145This mask input is actually taking the alpha channel
    00:37:22,740so whatever the result is,
    00:37:25,756again remember I said every node,
    00:37:28,701every step of your composite in Nuke is already pre-comped.
    00:37:32,274So I don't have to think of this Roto node is a shape.
    00:37:35,602It is actually kicking out an image
    00:37:37,799so I can manipulate that image to change
    00:37:40,576what this mask is doing .
    00:37:42,174So what I could do is I could add a blur node
    00:37:44,772after this Roto.
    00:37:46,994So it goes from a Roto node into the blur node
    00:37:49,221into the mask input for my grade.
    00:37:51,428So now if I blur this
    00:37:52,870it's going to blur the mask.
    00:37:55,594And it's going to create a perfect little vignette for me.
    00:37:59,066The slider goes up 100
    00:38:00,874but you can actually crank that if you want to.
    00:38:03,761And then here's another great thing about
    00:38:07,921I'm assuming other node-based compositors do this too
    00:38:10,526but Nuke makes it really easy.
    00:38:12,350If I wanna just quickly turn this vignette on and off
    00:38:14,786I can hit D.
    00:38:16,341You can see very quickly before-and-after.
    00:38:18,948And you can step through it.
    00:38:20,568I can say okay here's where we started
    00:38:21,898and then we have the glow
    00:38:23,698and then we color corrected the floor
    00:38:25,363and we added a vignette.
    00:38:27,068So you could see were starting to get
    00:38:28,598really fine-tuned here.
    00:38:30,216All right, so here's another thing that you can do
    00:38:33,169in After Effects but it's kind of a pain.
    00:38:35,238And actually why don't I first hop into After Effects
    00:38:37,822and show you this?
    00:38:39,793All right so our After Effects comp is not all comped.
    00:38:42,776We haven't done as many things to it .
    00:38:44,507But what I want to do is I want to get some depth of field
    00:38:51,350just at the bottom part of the image here
    00:38:54,337So this is a wide-angle lens from Cinema 4d .
    00:38:57,999And so with wide-angle lenses
    00:38:59,958especially when you're seeing stars
    00:39:01,718and stuff that are essentially infinitely faraway
    00:39:05,039you know you're not gonna get a shallow depth of field
    00:39:07,889but if you're very close to the ground
    00:39:09,655you might get a little bit of depth of field at the bottom.
    00:39:13,233And it'd look really cool so I like to do that .
    00:39:14,782So what am I to do is I want to just selectively
    00:39:18,318blur the bottom here.
    00:39:19,956So let's think how could we do this in After Effects?
    00:39:24,568I mean that's step one is you have to think about it
    00:39:26,820because you've got all of these passes.
    00:39:29,366And you could do that step here
    00:39:32,534or you could go downstream and do it here.
    00:39:36,400And you have to kind of figure out like okay
    00:39:38,580where does it make sense to do it?
    00:39:40,294If I do it here, one of the issues that might pop up
    00:39:44,233is that you've got a glow happening.
    00:39:46,321And so your glow is going to be sort of
    00:39:49,569this post effect that should happen
    00:39:52,688just on top of your final image.
    00:39:55,848So you probably don't want to do the glow
    00:39:58,220and then the depth of field .
    00:39:59,861You want the depth of field to happen first probably
    00:40:03,173so that means we have to do it in here
    00:40:05,439but we've got a million passes that were dealing with
    00:40:07,828so how do we do it?
    00:40:09,084All right, so I'll show you a trick that I like to use .
    00:40:11,159So first thing I'm gonna do is just create a shape
    00:40:13,723like this roughly where I want the image to be blurred.
    00:40:20,703And then I'm gonna take that shape
    00:40:22,346then I'm gonna put a fast blur effect on it.
    00:40:24,752And I'm just gonna blur it.
    00:40:27,667I'll move it down so that is only kind of catching
    00:40:31,116the bottom of the frame there.
    00:40:33,522And I'm gonna make this white.
    00:40:36,988Then I'm going to pre-comp this.
    00:40:40,399And I'm gonna call this depth of field gradients.
    00:40:44,361And I'll tell you why I have to pre-comp in a minute.
    00:40:46,655Then him and add a solid layer that's black.
    00:40:51,539I'm gonna put that at the bottom.
    00:40:53,019So this pre-comp is just this gradient.
    00:40:56,286And I don't need it to be turned on.
    00:40:58,511It can be turned off.
    00:41:00,216So then I'm gonna make a new solid setting.
    00:41:03,079A new solid and I'm gonna call this depth of field
    00:41:05,661and I'm gonna make it an adjustment layer.
    00:41:10,490And I'm gonna put the compound blur effect on there.
    00:41:13,721You could also do camera lens blur
    00:41:15,406but compound blur will work pretty well for this
    00:41:17,992and it renders a lot faster.
    00:41:20,381And compound blur takes a gradient, a black-and-white image
    00:41:25,033and it blurs the pixels based on that gradient.
    00:41:28,582So now I can tell to use the depth of field gradient
    00:41:30,627and don't blur it that much.
    00:41:32,525Just blur it a little bit.
    00:41:34,873And one of the problems of compound blur
    00:41:36,882is that it gives you these stupid edges here
    00:41:39,268which I don't really like
    00:41:40,548but I'm not gonna mess with that right now.
    00:41:42,680But I want you to see that this works
    00:41:44,847and there are ways that you can get rid
    00:41:46,873of these edges too .
    00:41:48,538But what I want to point out is that if I want to change
    00:41:52,116where the depth of field is now,
    00:41:55,308this effect is referencing a gradient
    00:41:58,591that is pre-comped.
    00:42:01,081So if I want to change it I have to come into here
    00:42:03,695and then move my shape layer down .
    00:42:06,375And then come back here.
    00:42:07,629And then if I want to see the result of the whole thing
    00:42:09,390I come here.
    00:42:10,642And so again you're in that situation
    00:42:13,527where you have things that are pre-comped
    00:42:15,360effecting very greatly the look of your comp
    00:42:18,152and you don't have instant access to them
    00:42:20,223and you can see how they all fit together.
    00:42:22,584So now let's hop back into Nuke.
    00:42:25,621So now we'll do the same thing in Nuke.
    00:42:27,362So again I want to do this
    00:42:29,884before this glow happens.
    00:42:32,215So I want this to happen right after this node .
    00:42:34,586So what I'm gonna do is just put an elbow here.
    00:42:37,413And I'm gonna connect the glow to the elbow like this.
    00:42:41,610And now I have some room here where I can do
    00:42:43,818the depth of field.
    00:42:45,357So what I'm gonna do is .
    00:42:47,127I'm gonna make a Roto node
    00:42:48,839and I'm gonna grab a rectangle and just make
    00:42:52,988a shape like this.
    00:42:57,093And again if I look through the Roto node
    00:42:58,757it's just making an alpha channel where that shape is.
    00:43:02,064And so what I need to do to make this work in Nuke,
    00:43:05,819this is something that it's a little bit more
    00:43:08,459intermediate Nuke I guess.
    00:43:10,462But the way the Nuke node works
    00:43:13,562that I want to used to do depth of field,
    00:43:15,761this is called the ZD focus node.
    00:43:19,002And this is what you would use with a depth pass .
    00:43:21,363And I'm basically just making my own depth pass here.
    00:43:24,581So I'm just gonna put the ZD focus node in here.
    00:43:26,889This node is looking for a depth channel.
    00:43:30,838So I actually want to take this alpha channel I created
    00:43:33,933and turn it into a depth channel.
    00:43:37,309So the way I'm going to do that is by using
    00:43:38,618the copy node again.
    00:43:40,915And I'm just gonna put this in here.
    00:43:43,637And so by default again that copy node
    00:43:45,951it takes whatever comes into the a input
    00:43:48,259and it uses that alpha channel.
    00:43:50,179I'm gonna change the settings on it
    00:43:51,824so that instead of copying the alpha channel
    00:43:54,035into the alpha channel I'm gonna tell it
    00:43:56,121to copy into the depth channel.
    00:43:57,877And now we look through the ZD focus node
    00:43:59,631it's all blurry .
    00:44:01,345And so I'm just gonna change the math on this to direct.
    00:44:05,480And you don't really need to
    00:44:07,439I don't want to make this about the ZD focus node.
    00:44:10,722I don't want to get too far into that.
    00:44:12,972But basically this is just gonna let me
    00:44:16,087use my black-and-white image here as as a depth pass
    00:44:22,418and not have to worry about focus or anything like that.
    00:44:25,434And this maximum amount here
    00:44:27,094,this is controlling how much blur.
    00:44:29,167Now you can see I've got a very hard edge.
    00:44:31,058So what I need to do is blur this.
    00:44:33,775And because of the way Nuke works ,
    00:44:36,185if you remember, this is the same way
    00:44:37,872we made our vignette.
    00:44:39,715I can take this Roto node and just put a blur node after it
    00:44:44,108and that is going to effect the depth of field.
    00:44:48,694And so now I'm getting a nicer blend
    00:44:51,236with the depth of field.
    00:44:52,609If we look through this with blur node with alpha channel
    00:44:55,600I've now got a nice gradient.
    00:44:57,651That's been copied into the depth channel
    00:44:59,782and then that's being run through a ZD focus node
    00:45:02,819to create this kind of fake depth of field.
    00:45:05,495Now here's what's great about this.
    00:45:08,513If I double-click this I can see
    00:45:10,604where the depth of field is .
    00:45:12,989And if I step through my animation
    00:45:16,836and I need to make this animation a little longer
    00:45:19,193because this is actually 144 frames.
    00:45:22,774Not 36.
    00:45:25,493Let me just make sure all of this is set up right
    00:45:27,881because I don't think it is.
    00:45:29,232There we go, okay.
    00:45:30,576So if we step through towards the end here
    00:45:32,357I don't want the depth of field that high
    00:45:34,989once we get closer to these crystals.
    00:45:37,763So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna just go forward
    00:45:39,308till about here.
    00:45:40,938And then I'm gonna double-click my Roto node
    00:45:43,089and I'm gonna select that shape,
    00:45:44,990select all the points on it
    00:45:45,887and just move it down a little bit.
    00:45:48,114And then I'm gonna step kind of in the middle here
    00:45:50,275and move it up a little bit more.
    00:45:51,871And you can see these blue little
    00:45:53,854blue highlights, that's telling me
    00:45:56,036where keyframes are being set.
    00:45:58,149And I can really quickly step through
    00:45:59,979and just set keyframes
    00:46:02,083making sure that my depth of field never gets too close
    00:46:04,876to those crystals.
    00:46:06,857And all of this is being done in context
    00:46:10,657at any point.
    00:46:12,160So if I want to see the final comp,
    00:46:14,434I can just set my viewer to look through this last node .
    00:46:19,096But if I wanted just look at the ZD focus node
    00:46:21,477I can look at that.
    00:46:22,755If I want to look at just the first part here
    00:46:25,123I can still see where my mask is.
    00:46:27,811So again Nuke lets you see everything at any point in time.
    00:46:33,784Right and so now you know hopefully you guys
    00:46:36,773are really starting to see the power of working this way.
    00:46:39,139I wanna show you a couple other things
    00:46:40,916that are just kinda nice.
    00:46:43,072And you know one of the cool things that Nuke lets you do
    00:46:48,175is be incredibly specific
    00:46:50,946with where effects are happening
    00:46:52,748and where they are not happening.
    00:46:54,256And you can go back and adjust these things very easily.
    00:46:56,420So let's take this glow for example.
    00:46:59,884Let's say that you know okay I like the glow
    00:47:02,931but I don't want it to glow on the right side
    00:47:05,501as much as the left-side.
    00:47:07,034I do want some glow but more on the left side
    00:47:09,875than the right side.
    00:47:11,124Okay again in After Effects you'd have to jump
    00:47:13,620through all kinds of hoops to do that .
    00:47:15,488What we're gonna do here is just add a grade node.
    00:47:20,644And I'm gonna add a Roto node over here and connect it in.
    00:47:27,238And then I'm just gonna grab a rectangle.
    00:47:30,396And I'm gonna cut this in half.
    00:47:32,610Okay like that.
    00:47:34,049And my overlays are off so you can't see what it's doing.
    00:47:38,139So let's do that again.
    00:47:39,517And actually I'm gonna select the other side of the image.
    00:47:42,710And I want to make sure that I'm actually selecting
    00:47:44,488literally half of my image.
    00:47:47,144And I want to blur that.
    00:47:49,236So it's not this hard-edged kind of effect.
    00:47:53,715So let's just blur it to 100 like that.
    00:47:56,209And you know this is what it's creating.
    00:47:57,716I'm creating a gradient.
    00:48:00,261And then we'll look through our grade node here.
    00:48:03,927And I can now just darken the right side of the image.
    00:48:07,184And let's look at this in context.
    00:48:10,908The light is actually coming more from the left side
    00:48:13,791so it makes sense it wouldn't glow as much on the right side
    00:48:16,081and so I can just turn it down a little bit.
    00:48:18,335That's how easy was to do that .
    00:48:20,135I just made a new grade node,
    00:48:22,024made my own little mask and controlled it.
    00:48:24,407And then let's say that we wanted to, you know,
    00:48:27,786I don't know, we wanna now color correct
    00:48:29,607the sky a little bit.
    00:48:31,140Because now looking at it
    00:48:32,661there's kind of some red in this blue.
    00:48:34,442It's not exactly the color I want it to be.
    00:48:37,432So I'd like to color correct the sky.
    00:48:41,362And so you know this is actually gonne be pretty easy to do.
    00:48:45,399You need to figure out where in your comp you want
    00:48:48,795to do the color correction.
    00:48:50,335I could do it at the end here.
    00:48:51,697But I've already got glows a nd depth of field happening
    00:48:53,631so I probably want to color correct it before that.
    00:48:56,622So what I'm gonna do is just grab all of these nodes
    00:48:59,146and just scooch them down.
    00:49:01,842I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna to add a,
    00:49:04,816let me think here.
    00:49:06,066I'm gonna add a hue shift node.
    00:49:08,073And what hue shift does,
    00:49:10,572it's like a hue and saturation effect in After Effects.
    00:49:13,359And it's gonna let you change the hue.
    00:49:17,074Oh that's kind of nice.
    00:49:18,322I kind of like the sky doing that.
    00:49:20,112It's kind of nice, that nice teal.
    00:49:21,988But I don't really want it to do that to the object,
    00:49:24,720just to the sky.
    00:49:26,318So again we now you guys probably can guess
    00:49:28,454how easy that's gonna be.
    00:49:29,702All you need to do is connect the mask input
    00:49:31,872to the sky matte and it will only effect the sky.
    00:49:36,578Okay, there you go.
    00:49:40,054Another cool thing you can do in Nuke very easily
    00:49:42,925is add light wraps.
    00:49:44,173This is another thing After Effects
    00:49:45,421that you have to kind of set up in a weird way
    00:49:47,593in pre-comp and do a lot of things .
    00:49:49,263If I wanted to add a light wrap,
    00:49:50,830It's actually a light wrap node.
    00:49:52,511And the way it works is it's going to require
    00:49:57,699that I have the alpha channel for my object
    00:50:00,144So if I wanted to have a little bit of a glow
    00:50:02,685kind of on the edges of this
    00:50:04,246like this thing has a light wrap on it.
    00:50:06,013Then what I would need to do is
    00:50:08,873first create a node that contains
    00:50:14,451just that object and it.
    00:50:16,428Well hey, we already have that don't we?
    00:50:18,047Right here coming out of this pre-mold node
    00:50:21,049we have exactly that.
    00:50:22,866Interesting.
    00:50:24,352Okay so what I want to do is
    00:50:25,975I'm gonna set my a input for the light wrap to be that.
    00:50:29,880And now the B input for the light wrap
    00:50:32,560is gonna be whatever the background is.
    00:50:34,545So the background for this could just be maybe
    00:50:39,172the hue shifted sky .
    00:50:40,699And if I look through that
    00:50:42,429and I say generate wrap only and I turn the intensity up,
    00:50:45,638there is my light wrap.
    00:50:48,466It's that simple.
    00:50:49,879And so then I could just put a merge node right here
    00:50:55,087and just merge that light wrap right on top.
    00:50:58,146And there you go.
    00:50:59,395And I can disable it and enable it to show you
    00:51:00,933what it's doing .
    00:51:02,575And so you can see I just sort of took pieces
    00:51:05,015that already existed, added this light wrap node
    00:51:07,954and then merged it back on top of itself .
    00:51:10,406And because everything is interconnected
    00:51:12,719I can see how it's all connected.
    00:51:15,128And I can adjust the light wrap settings if I want.
    00:51:18,098If I want it to be less blurred, more intense.
    00:51:22,348And there's some other options here too .
    00:51:24,911And then because I have it kind of as its own layer,
    00:51:33,049because I have it as its own layer
    00:51:34,535I can also color correct it.
    00:51:36,427So I could add , I don't know, let's add a grade node
    00:51:42,602and let's push the white points so it's a little brighter.
    00:51:45,470And then let's go into the gamma
    00:51:47,480and let's push a little bit of that teal color into it.
    00:51:52,976And then let's look at the total result.
    00:51:55,503And so I can select both of these nodes and hit D
    00:51:57,923to see with and without.
    00:52:00,484And it's pretty cool.
    00:52:02,513It's a little bit bright.
    00:52:03,859So I may wanna come into my grade node
    00:52:05,096and bring that white point up a little bit .
    00:52:07,537Just like that.
    00:52:09,404Cool.
    00:52:10,661So now I've got my light wrap
    00:52:12,744and I didn't really do much work to get it.
    00:52:15,638And now everything you know the rest of this
    00:52:18,270is just gonna be sort of the finishing touches .
    00:52:20,407I might do an overall grade.
    00:52:22,069I might do some other things .
    00:52:24,362Actually let me show you.
    00:52:25,612I have my example here opened.
    00:52:28,883And if we go to the end I'll just kind of step through
    00:52:30,818the other things I did .
    00:52:32,790I did some extra color correction here
    00:52:34,893and I added motion blur.
    00:52:36,846There is a there's a node in Nuke.
    00:52:38,941It works very much like real smart motion blur.
    00:52:40,674And it can sort of read frames and add motion blur to them .
    00:52:44,345I did some color correction .
    00:52:45,757Here's our glow.
    00:52:47,158And then vignette.
    00:52:49,221Oh another thing I did I wanted to show you guys was
    00:52:52,442you know the vignettes,
    00:52:55,341let's see the vignette is right here.
    00:52:57,637And another thing that might be cool
    00:53:00,392is to have the vignette not only darken the edges
    00:53:04,364but desaturate the edges a little bit.
    00:53:06,501So I could add a saturation node here.
    00:53:10,696And I could desaturate my image.
    00:53:13,608Gotta look through it right?
    00:53:15,067But of course I only want it to desaturate the edges.
    00:53:17,107Well guess what I already have here
    00:53:19,598this nice matte that I've created.
    00:53:23,064So all I need to do is grab my mask input
    00:53:29,243and connect it to this .
    00:53:30,910And now it's only going to desaturate the edges.
    00:53:35,617And what's great about this too is that if I decide
    00:53:37,885I want my vignette to be different shape,
    00:53:39,760I can change this.
    00:53:41,688I need to go to the first frame so I don't
    00:53:43,464accidentally set a keyframe.
    00:53:44,905Let's say that I wanted the vignette to actually
    00:53:46,589be a little bit
    00:53:50,233a little bit bigger sort of around the edges
    00:53:52,419I can do that.
    00:53:53,723And it's going to update both the vignette grade
    00:53:57,882and the saturation at the same time.
    00:54:01,583And then what I love to do in Nuke too
    00:54:04,454is I like to play with color because it's really fun
    00:54:07,424and easy to just kind of paints swatches of color
    00:54:10,742into your scene.
    00:54:12,054So add that hue shift node.
    00:54:16,306And also real quick I want you guys
    00:54:17,899just to notice that you know as I said
    00:54:19,997sort of in the beginning of this video
    00:54:21,907now the comp is moving kind of in a straight line
    00:54:24,002down this way.
    00:54:25,642And so this is kind of the way a Nuke tree typically looks.
    00:54:29,309So with my hue shift node I can just rotate the color.
    00:54:34,823I gotta look through it or I won't see it .
    00:54:36,577And I can just come find a nice color that was gonna
    00:54:40,154kind of play off of that teal color.
    00:54:42,251If I hit D that's kind of the teal color
    00:54:44,776and that's gonna be the new color.
    00:54:46,811And so what I'm gonna do is grab a Roto node
    00:54:49,485and actually might be even easier to just copy
    00:54:51,221and paste these.
    00:54:52,702They're already set up.
    00:54:54,877Gotta be careful.
    00:54:56,125If you copy and paste while something is selected,
    00:54:58,783it's gonna connect them and you may not want them connected.
    00:55:00,665Cool.
    00:55:02,621So now I can grab this Roto node
    00:55:04,332and I need to tell the shape to not be inverted.
    00:55:08,903And I'm just gonna move this kind of up here.
    00:55:11,963Kind of like that .
    00:55:13,377And I can you I can now just sort of shape this mask
    00:55:16,078really easily
    00:55:18,599to just give a nice wash of color
    00:55:21,834over that part of the image.
    00:55:25,720Pretty simple.
    00:55:27,789And I may wanna blur it a little bit more.
    00:55:31,950So that it's a really nice soft
    00:55:33,651kind of transition between those two colors .
    00:55:36,403And then let's say I wanted to do the same thing down here
    00:55:38,744I could just copy and paste this whole set up.
    00:55:43,299Just like that.
    00:55:44,924And then look through this hue shift.
    00:55:46,684Take this Roto node.
    00:55:49,295Grab the shape and scale it down.
    00:55:52,058Kind of upside down it like this .
    00:55:53,813Move it over here.
    00:55:56,310Maybe put it there.
    00:55:59,130And then I want to maybe blur that a little bit less.
    00:56:05,997And I wanna hue shift it differently.
    00:56:07,605So let's crank the saturation up for a minute
    00:56:10,189so we can really see what the color's doing to the floor.
    00:56:12,868And let's just mess around with this.
    00:56:14,553It might be neat to have kind of a warmer color.
    00:56:17,715Like something like that.
    00:56:20,659Yeah, kind of in there.
    00:56:22,316And you can play with the brightness too.
    00:56:24,953You can even use this kind of as a color correction tool.
    00:56:28,841And then now I'm looking at that
    00:56:31,277I want to blur a little bit more.
    00:56:33,183One of the last things I did on the comp
    00:56:35,813that I rendered for the preview
    00:56:37,478at the beginning of this video
    00:56:38,728was I put lens distortion on .
    00:56:40,047This is a wide-angle lens in cinema 4D.
    00:56:42,385So you're going to get some lens distortion.
    00:56:44,027And there's a great lens distortion node in Nuke
    00:56:46,593and then I also added a little bit of grain.
    00:56:49,354Which is a good idea to do with any 3D renders
    00:56:52,001so it doesn't look so perfect .
    00:56:53,447There's a lot of presets here
    00:56:55,183and I don't, you know,
    00:56:57,365I typically don't want too much grain.
    00:57:00,302So I find a preset doesn't have a ton of grain
    00:57:02,133and I'll usually knock it down by about half.
    00:57:06,633There we go.
    00:57:07,959Cool .
    00:57:09,352And now we are pretty much done with the tutorial.
    00:57:13,338What I hope you all got out of this is that
    00:57:16,777when you're compositing in After Effects,
    00:57:20,378at least this happened to me,
    00:57:22,223you can tend to limit yourself with how precise you are
    00:57:26,099with your image.
    00:57:27,624You might kind of self, you know,
    00:57:30,971impose these limitations on yourself
    00:57:32,755like oh I would love it if I could have a glow
    00:57:35,134that was only right here .
    00:57:37,251And a little bit less of a glow here .
    00:57:39,460But in After Effects that's gonna take so many steps
    00:57:41,479and so many pre-comps .
    00:57:42,964And then once it's set up
    00:57:44,719it's gonna be difficult to change
    00:57:46,597and difficult to remember in a month
    00:57:49,260when you have to go back and revise something.
    00:57:51,220Whereas in a node-based compositor,
    00:57:53,895not just Nuke but any node-based compositor,
    00:57:56,033you get a much better visual representation of your comp.
    00:57:59,950It's a lot easier to see the relationship between things
    00:58:02,219and to see what masks are doing,
    00:58:04,473what alpha channels are doing .
    00:58:06,313So I hope that by watching this,
    00:58:09,347maybe you're a little bit more intrigued by Nuke.
    00:58:12,006Maybe you want to go download the demo
    00:58:13,677and play around with it.
    00:58:15,088Maybe you want to take a new class
    00:58:16,706and try to understand a little more.
    00:58:18,391But I really hope that I demystified a little bit
    00:58:21,341and showed you some of the pros of using Nuke.
    00:58:24,536Now it's not all you know sunshine.
    00:58:27,075If you wanted to try and animate something in Nuke,
    00:58:30,076you can but I wouldn't recommend it.
    00:58:32,771It's not really designed to do motion graphics
    00:58:34,749the way After Effects is
    00:58:36,281But for compositing stuff like this it is brilliant.
    00:58:39,835So thank you guys so much and that's all.
    00:58:42,849Talk to you next time.
    00:58:43,682Thank you guys so much.
    00:58:45,654I hope you learn something
    00:58:47,316and I hope maybe you're a little bit less afraid of Nuke
    00:58:49,084than before you started this .
    00:58:50,466And what I really want the take way to be
    00:58:52,672is that Nuke can just be another tool in your tool belt.
    00:58:55,585And one that's very very good at compositing
    00:58:57,487and giving you a ton of control over your final image.
    00:59:00,319So thank you guys.
    00:59:01,570As always please join the mailing list if you haven't.
    00:59:03,783Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter
    00:59:05,336and I'll see you next time.
    00:59:06,585(plopping)
    00:59:09,540(electronic music)

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