AE to Nuke: 07 Beauty work

Hey guys,

Instead of doing a video copilot tutorial on the blemish removal, I noticed Andrew’s was a little out of date, and an overall sub-par example, as the girl in the video looked good from the start.I did find a great tutorial on beauty work in nuke by Stephan Fleet here:

I especially liked this tutorial because it was organized, had great techniques, like the erode in then erode out to fill in colors, and also because he quickly goes through a little Mocha technique which I thought was intriguing and made me want to learn mocha further to help me out with roto/planar tracking in the future.
So please check that out as it is a much more thorough tutorial than I’d be able to produce!Also check out Stephan Fleet’s site for more of his tuts here:

Hopefully I’ll be moving on to more tutorials soon.  I’ve been getting into some python scripting and menu customization and will be coming out with a Compositing Guru Toolkit soon.  So stay tuned for that and much more.

Tony Lyons

AE to Nuke 06: 3d card systems – Card3D

Output_Pipe Gizmo: (in case you want to organize your scripts in a similar way)

Here is the script I was using so you can review:
06 3d Camera Projections_ALY_v06_forWeb.nk

Here I reproduce video-copilots “3d compositing” tutorial # 6 in nuke. I am using card3d’s instead of regular cards.  Here are some Spark Notes on the video:

Recap, Things to Remember

1.) use card3d instead of card where you can – renders a lot faster (no scanline renderer)

2.) The uniform scale of the card expression is:


3.) use an axis node to control the cameras pivot

4.) premult the depth from the card3d by the alpha

5.) set merges to “also merge” the depth channel, to layer the depths

6.) us the focal plane setup in the zblur and animate the focus plane,
depth of field and maximum for a shift focus


In the “Uniform Scale” of Card or Card3d:

Type this Expression:



The Default Settings of a camera in Nuke are always the same,
even when the project settings global format changes.
The cameras h-aperture and focal length are always:

h-aperture: 24.576

focal lenght: 50


The first part of the equation gets simplified by us since it is
always the default and only changes if we import the camera
or change it ourselves.  Therefore the new equation is:



Took a little bit to figure some of this out, I can probably say it’s easier to do this tut in AE, but then again there is a lot of power coming out of the card system in nuke.  At least you can reproduce the results! To each his own.  I really hope you guys can use this info, especially the equation!


Tony Lyons

AE to Nuke: 05 Camera Shake

Demonstrating how to do camera shake inside of Nuke, as well as Introducing my Motion Tile Gizmo.  I really enjoyed making this one because of the problem with having no motion tile option in nuke, then problem solving the best way I could.  I think that this tutorial is a great example of why I started this series, to bridge the gap between AE and Nuke and to come up with clever solutions to problems like missing tools.

You can find the video footage I was using here:

Download the Motion Tile Gizmo:

Thanks so much for watching!  If you have any questions you can leave a comment or email me at


Tony Lyons

AE to Nuke: 03 Old Film Look


AE to Nuke: 03 Old Film Look

Here I’m covering how to do the Old Film look Effect in Nuke, using elements from as a guide.

You can get the elements for this tutorial, or watch it for AE here:

Here is a link to the Nuke script I used, which you’ll just have to download those .mov files and hook them up to get the full result:

AEtoNuke Old Film look nk script

Thanks for watching, more to come!

Tony Lyons

So you’re thinking about making a switch to nuke?

VideoCopilot’s 04 tutorial is about the basic after effects interface, and so I thought I’d do something similar.  But instead of reinventing the wheel, I thought I’d just point you to some super useful Nuke tutorial “playlists” if you will where you can quickly learn the basic interface and workflow within nuke.

Here are some links to help you guys pick up the Basics:

for just basics:

For some broader tutorials  use this:
That page is really all you need to know, but hey, why stop there?
tons of great videos there.
Also a great free resource!

I just found this one to be handy for users coming from AE or other comp programs to get a general sense of what nuke can do and some interface tips/tricks. It’s even called “STEP up to Nuke”:

Hope all those sites and videos will hold your thirst of knowledge for awhile.  Shamefully, I haven’t even seen all these incredible videos yet, there are tons!  Slowly but surely though, I will plow through them all.

Knowledge starts with the heart.  So get passionate!


Tony Lyons

Optimization in Nuke

Hey Guys,

Different artists have different workflows.  But I think most can agree on common practices that make nuke run faster, and stay more organized, allow you as an artist to do your thing and output renders quickly.

I have my own list of Steps I have written sort of as a compositor’s Checklist.  I believe I posted this checklist in a blog awhile back, but I will give you guys the link to check it out.  I strongly suggest you write these down and keep them on your desk at work.  It is invaluable when you are starting out.  The blog was down so I’ll just post it here:

Compositor’s Checklist 

1.) Check your reference well (placement, timing, color, lighting, etc.)

2.) Flip back and forth/compare between the original plate and your render (or end of your script)

3.) Check Comp and elements in different LUT’s to check any problems across a wide range of color and values (basically testing to see if DI will mess up your shot by crunching values)

4.) Remember to Re-distort your CG, Also remember to undistort a plate before projecting it inside nuke. (these both assume you have a layout or matchmove geometry and camera that was exported from a program that tracked an undistorted plates)

5.) Try to limit the amount of grain nodes to 1 at the very bottom of the script, and use a “combined alpha” in order to mask where the grain should go. ***tip gamma up the channel being used as the mask, as a falloff in the mask will result in “soft grain”, which can reveal seams.

6.) Delete most or all nodes in your script that are unused or off to the side, if its something you think you’ll need later, just version up.

7.) Try to do test frames, test renders with jpgs at a lower quality first, to get a sense of timing or things that are immediate red flags. At the very least, render out first, middle and, last frames before committing to a lengthy render.

8.)AutoCrop whenever you can, keep your bounding box as small as possible on every element. In the spine of your script you’ll usually want the bbox to remain the size of your plate. For more info and a much better explanation go here:…ent-workflows/

9.) Use a saturation keyer at the end of the script to make sure cg isn’t overly saturated compared to the plate.

10.) When match specs, gamma down and match the CG spec to the plates natural spec, try to pick an area of that plate thats got similar spec already, if possible

11.) always gamma up to check blacks and shadow color

12.) Bring in previous renders so you can compare the current version to older versions, and that the proper notes were addressed.

13.) Note the kind of lens being used on the plate, judge depth of field based off how much defocus there is in the footage.

14.) make your own mattes in CG passes using a combo of combining mattes provided, huekeyer, and some rough roto, then pump it into the stream with it’s own channel so you can use it later on.

I am also going to link you guys to the 2 most useful articles about nuke optimization I have read online.  Both have saved me tons of render time and have made my scripts more organized and easy to navigate.  Links Down Below.

HighPass Gizmo: tutorial + download


I’m going to show you the highpass tool I developed in nuke.

I got the idea after reading Digital Compositing for Film and Video with Steve Wright.
gives you the difference between a blurred input and the original input. making small details quite noticeable.

The 2 main uses are:
1.) to Aid 2d tracking
2.) to apply a different type of sharpen filter to an image.

Here is the link to download the gizmo.  Thanks!


-Tony Lyons.

Advanced Random-Lighting Match Tutorial


In this tutorial I go through a great technique for matching elements or CG to a plate that have randomly changing lights.

You will be able to quickly match whitepoints and black points to help seamlessly blend your image together.

Don’t waste your time animating grades when there is an automated technique that will get you 90% of the way there!


Tony Lyons

.mov issues and workarounds in Nuke

A quick overview of bugs Nuke has with .mov files, and how to work around them if you must use them.

It is always a better choice to convert to an image sequence.  Read nodes will get bogged down when rendering because the .mov reads can only be single threaded, where as an img sequence can use multiple threads when rendering, making speeds much faster.

brief overview:

1.) hide the postage stamps on the reads of .mov files if nuke is crashing and freaking out
2.) when rendering, if you receive a .tmp error and runs through the timeline without rendering anything, try checking “render in background”
3.) use img sequences in nuke when you can


Tony Lyons