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Author Steve Wright explores the new features found in the 3D digital compositor Nuke 6. The course introduces the RotoPaint node for drawing and painting effects, the Keylight keyer for creating mattes and composites, and the SplineWarp node for warping images. The course also explains how to merge keys, animate with keyframes, and create image-based blurs. Exercise files accompany the course.
Nuke 6 New Features was created and produced by Steve Wright. We are honored to host his material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
I've restarted Nuke to show how to set up a morph. The new GridWarp node makes it surprisingly easy to do. Let me show you the workflow. In addition to our original purple face, I've added the new alien face, which you'll find in the same folder. We're going to morph the purple face to the alien face. In other words, this would be the source, this would be the destination. Just to show you what it looks like in the viewer, there you go. So first up, I'm going to zoom out a little bit here. I'll select the purple face, so when I add the GridWarp node, it'll hook up to the source input.
Go up to the Transform tab, add a GridWarp node, and you'll notice that it hooked up to the source input. The destination input goes to the alien face. Now we're all set up. Let's do some morphing. But first you'll have to switch the viewer to Input 1 so we can see our purple face. Okay, now I'm going to increase the size of the viewer, reposition the node graph, and set the viewer for a nice integer zoom. The first thing I'm going to do is turn off the Auto key right here.
The reason is, these are static images; there'll be no keyframe animation. And if I leave the Auto key on, it's going to be adding keyframes every time I touch it, and then I'll have to pay very close attention to where the playhead is. This way I can have the playhead anywhere I want and it won't affect anything. Okay, let's set up a morph. We'll start with the mouth. We'll do a little zone attack here. So I'm going to add another gridline here, then return to the Selection tool.
The idea is I want to surround the mouth with control points, so I can adjust the splines accordingly. So I'm going to put the control points in the corner of the mouth, but you see the mouth is moving. The reason is the output is set to source warped. I want to set it for source. And notice that we now have the source grid, and notice up here where it says Source Grid, it's selected. In fact, every time you change between source and destination, it'll select the grid for you. See, Destination is visible? And you have the blue destination grid. Back to source.
With the output set to source, the grid is not going to warp my image. So I'll put these back over the mouth where they belong, over here in the corner of the mouth. We'll zoom in a bit. Holding down the Ctrl key, I'm going to adjust the splines to follow the rim of the lips. Okay, let's say that's good enough. Again, I don't want to spend a lot of time tweaking splines. That's no fun. All right! So I've outlined the mouth for the source.
Switch the output to destination. Identify the same control points and put them in the same relative positions in the mouth. Okay, and then we'll push in a little bit and I'll adjust my splines. Again, hold down the Ctrl key to give a break in the tension. Okay.
I'll switch back to source. So remember, the red grid is the source, and destination is the blue grid. In order to actually see the morph, we have to do three things. First, set the output to morph. Also, we want to put the playhead on frame 1. I want to turn off the grids by typing O to get rid of the overlay. The second thing we need to do is animate the warp parameter. With warp set to 1, the image is getting 100% of the GridWarp.
With it set to 0, no warp. So we want to start off on frame 1 with a warp of 0. So we'll select that, set a keyframe to 0, move the playhead to the end of the clip-- I like to use the End of Clip button so I don't overshoot or undershoot--and we'll set a warp of 1. And the third thing is to set the mix parameter. So what the mix parameter does is actually a cross-dissolve between the two views.
So we'll set that back to default. Now I'll set the playhead back to frame 1 to show you an important feature about the mix or the cross-dissolve. You do not want to start the mix on the first frame of the warp. You want to roll into it partway, let's say at frame 20. Then set your keyframe here and then roll towards the end of the clip and before you get to the very end, set your next control point for 100% dissolve to the B side, or the destination side.
This way the last part of the animation is 100% the destination. And down at this end, the first part is 100% the source. Okay, we're ready to play and see what we've got. There! Now we have a morph between the two mouths. Let's take another part of the picture. I'm going to turn the output from morph back to source. Remember, when you're drawing your splines, you bounce between source and destination.
So I'll go back to source. Let's tackle these eyes next. I'll turn the overlay back on with an O. And because I'm on the source, it has selected the source grid, so I'm good. I need to insert some more lines, so I'm going to set a point here and another one over there, and then go select the Selection tool again. All right! We'll zoom into this eye, and I'll move my control points where I want them.
The key is it's not where the control points are; it's where the splines go. So I'm going to set these splines to outline the shape of the eye. There! Okay, now I'll switch the output to destination, and I have to put these same four control points in the same relative position. Let me zoom out a little bit, because this eye is a lot bigger. So this guy goes here, this point here, that point up there, this point over here.
Now it's very important that you not cross the streams like this. So I'm going to adjust the slope down here so that the spline lines don't cross. All right! So what I need to do is make these splines outline the eye. So I'll start here, adjust the tension like so, come up here, adjust him like that. This one here, we'll pull it down, that one there, pull that down, and we'll also set the back side of the eye like this.
Okay, so I now have outlined the eye with a set of splines, and we're ready to see the morph between the two eyes. I'll jump the playhead to frame 1, set the output to morph, and then turn off the overlay, type O on the keyboard. All right! We should get an interesting eye morph here. Okay, there we go! We've got the source eye morphing into the destination eye. All right! Let's do the other eye. We'll stop this, switch the output from morph back to source.
Scooch over to the other eye. Turn out Overlay back on by typing O on the keyboard. Now I'm going to need another set of control points here, so I'll get my Add a Line tool, click there, and go back to the Edit tool. Same drill. I'm going to line these points up to the part of the eye and then adjust the slopes in order to surround the eye with a spline.
I have a little kink here. Let me relax the tension on that kink. Okay, let's say we like that. Now we switch the output to destination. And again, the four control points have to go to the same correlated positions as the other view. So I'll put this down here, that one over there, this one up here, that one over there. And then I'll adjust my tensions.
So we'll adjust the slope here and the slope there, get the eye outlined, adjust this tangent here, move this over here, and I'll get the back of the eye nicely sloped too. Okay, so the spline has now outlined the eye approximately, and I don't want to spend all day twiddling splines for you here. All right! So let's say we like that.
So we'll put the playhead at the beginning of the timeline, switch the output back to morph, turn all the overlays off, re-home the viewer so we have a nice pretty picture, and now we'll admire the finished morph. And there you have it. Now we have some dissolvey parts here. That's because I haven't warped that part of the picture to fit right over the destination. So we could fix that by refining the GridWarp, but you got the workflow. Okay, let's stop this and turn our attention to the other tabs in the GridWarp node.
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