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Nuke 5 Essential Training was created and produced by Steve Wright. We are honored to host his material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Nuke 5 Essential Training is designed for digital artists already familiar with compositing visual effects using programs like Adobe After Effects or Shake. This course provides a solid foundation in operating Nuke, using the core functions of keying, motion tracking, and color correcting, as well as Nuke’s key strength, 3D compositing. Tour the Nuke user interface, its unique color management system, and overviews of HDR images, masking, keyframe animation, and 2D and 3D motion blur. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Diffuse node gave us a nice, simple overview of this whole Shader material properties thing. So, let's kick it up a notch and take a look at the Phong node. I am going to delete the Grade and Diffuse nodes. We'll come up to the 3D Tab, come down to Shader and here is the Phong node. Now the Phong actually incorporates the Specular, the Emission and Diffuse nodes, so the Phong is like a super shader. The other ones are kept for downward compatibility. So, we'll select that, bring it over here, disconnect the Map. Now I'll turn my light back on and now we have a Phong Shaded version of the geometry, no texture maps.
The Emission Shader is turned down to zero, Diffuse is set for 0.18 and the Specular, I am going to also set down to zero. So, I've now adjusted the Phong Shader to look just like the Diffuse Shader. Next, we'll hook our CheckerBoard texture Map up to the Map input, but specifically, the Map Input for the Diffuse. Let me get a little closer for you. Instead of just a Map Input, we have a MapD input. That's the Map Input for the Diffuse Shader.
So, we'll hook that up, and there we have exactly what we had when we hook the Map up to the Diffuse node, and we can adjust the intensity of that. Now we also have the Emission light, but right now, it's just set for the Geometry, so you just get this horrible flat, white light. So, we want to hook up a matte for the Emission. We'll do that with the MapE input. So, we'll connect the MapE arrow to the CheckerBoard, and now the Emission Shader will show the Texture Map instead of just plain, flat geometry.
Holding down the Command key, I am going to add a little dot between the two Map inputs that I have. Now let's adjust the Specular. As I increase that, we get a big shiny spot on top of our Texture Map. Of course, I don't have a Map input to that so this is really just a shiny spot on the original raw geometry. In addition to the Specular setting, we also have the min and max shininess values, which affect, you know, the look of the shiny spot. But now let's see what happens when I connect a Map to the Specular input and, of course, that will be the MapS input.
We'll hook that up to our CheckerBoard texture map and I'll also add a little dot for that one, and now we're seeing the texture map Specular, not just the geometry. And I can crank that up and adjust its attributes, make it real tight, whatever I want. Of course, a CheckerBoard does not make it very convincing texture map. So, let's take a more realistic example. I'm going to move down here a little bit. Let's go get a stone texture map. We'll go to Read node/Nuke Workshop/ Lesson_6_Media, select the stone picture.
Bring that in here and we'll reconnect all the arrows from the CheckerBoard to the stone. Now this is more like it. We don't need this Read node anymore, so I'll close that, and now we can adjust this texture map for the look that we want. Now you may have noticed that the highlight here looks rather clipped. It turns out it's not really clipped. It's only clipped in the Viewer. Coming up to the Viewer Gain Control, if we slide down the Viewer Gain, we can see that there's still plenty of code values here.
In fact, if you look at the RGB values down here at the bottom of the screen, you can see as a cruise over there, they are all greater than one, which is why they look clipped in the Viewer. Nuke doesn't clip code values. The last thing we have to look at is this interesting little unlabeled arrow here. What's this for? This Arrow is where you can bring in other Shaders and a Transparency Value. If we had other Shaders, we could hook them up to this Arrow and they would be added to the Shaders that are generated in the Phong node.
But the real important thing here is it's the Alpha Channel of the unlabeled arrow that controls the transparency of the geometry. To show you that, we'll need a Constant node. We'll come up here to our Image Tab, select Constant. I'm going to switch this to a four channel image, adding the Alpha Channel and then I want to set the Alpha Channel to be white, 100% solid. I now have a four channel Constant Color node, black in the RGB's and solid white in the Alpha Channel. Okay, all right.
When I hook the arrow up to the Constant node, the RGB values are all going to be added to the Phong Shader. Of course, they are all zeros so there will be no change, but the Alpha Channel behind the Constant Color node will now control the transparency of the geometry. To see that, we are going to need a little background plate, so I'll bring the CheckerBoard down here and hook that to the background of the Scanline Render node. You know this trick. Come back up here to our Constant Color node, and now the transparency of the Alpha Channel will control the transparency of our sphere.
As I dial down the density of the Alpha channel, the sphere gets more transparent. Put it back up to solid. So, it's the Alpha Channel of the unlabeled arrow that controls the transparency of the geometry, and, of course, if this was an image, it would control variable transparency around the geometry.
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