Join Steve Wright for an in-depth discussion in this video 068 Curve editor, part of NUKE NUGGETS Weekly.
- [Steve] Hi, this is Steve Wright welcoming you to this weeks Nuke Nugget, an insider's guide to the curve editor. Now I'm assuming that you're generally familiar with the curve editor but haven't had the time to read the manual in detail. So here's some nifty features of Nuke's curve editor that you may have missed. A couple of navigational points here. Let me open up this transform tab and I've got several animations already in it. Now if we just open up the curve editor, we get a whole face full of curves, but if you just want to play with one curve, for example, just the rotate curve, then let me float this guy over here, you click on this guy here and you say I want to see the curve editor, and it opens up just that one curve.
Okay let's go look at all the curves, re-home the viewer, and let's take a look at just one curve there. Now if you would like to zoom in on some control points, you can select some control points like this and you'll get the transformation box. If you type F on the keyboard, it'll zoom in to fill the window with those control points. Okay I'll re-home the viewer. Now if you're moving your control points around, you can see that by default, they're going to move on exact frame integer boundaries.
You can change that at Edit, Frame Snap. By default it's on. So we turned it off. Now I can slide this guy anywhere I want, no integer frame boundaries, but normally you're going to leave that on. Boom, back to integer. Okay I'll re-home the viewer by typing F on the keyboard. Now here's a neat thing. You can actually draw your own free hand animation curve with Shift Alt Command or Control. Hold that down, click, and just drag and draw.
Sweet. Now if you want to filter something, you select the key points that you want to filter, right mouse popup, Edit, Filter. Now the way the filter works is, the only control is how many passes. If you say I just want one pass, we'll click okay. It smooths it out. I'll undo that, but if we say filter to do 10 passes, then it will flatten that puppy right out.
Okay let's undo that, and I'll undo all my control points. Okay now let's say you want to bake in all the data. You want to have a control point on every single frame. So you just select a curve. Say right mouse popup, Edit, Generate. Now you tell it the frame range that you want to have your control points inserted. So if I only wanted from frame one to 50 I would say end at 50. Here I'm telling it the frame increment.
If I want it on every frame, which it is now, or every two, or every 10 frames. So let's see what happens on one. Between one and 50, okay there you go. I'll undo that. You can also do this if you've got an expression. So my rotate curve here is a sign expression, but if I like to bake all the control points in, I could just select that curve, right mouse popup, Generate. Let's say I'll do all 100 frames of my clip.
Click OK, and there you go. The interesting thing here is, it ceases to be a function. It's now a bunch of discrete control points. So it no longer goes off to infinity. Watch what happens when I undo this. My function will come back, boom. Now down here is the expression field. So if I select a curve that has an expression, it'll show up down here. You can also of course, edit your expressions up here by saying edit expression. However, cancel that.
This is more useful. Here's why. First of all, if you select it in the property panel, you change one number, you have to close it to see the change. Here it's a much more interactive thing. Like this. Let's say I'd like to slow down my sign wave. So I'll come in here. Say divided by two. Now I want it even slower. Divide it by three. Okay that looks better. Now I want to increase the amplitude. Times two. Nah, more than that.
Times three. No, more, times five. Ah there you go, that looks better. So you can actually see the curve change as you type in your numbers. The other neat thing about this is this little revert button over here. Let's say that I make a booboo and I type something silly. You see over here I'm getting an error message. So if you hit the revert button, it reverts back to the last error free version you had, like so. There you go.
That could save you a little troubleshooting time. Okay let's talk about editing points. Let's see, let's pick a little translate function here. Re-home the viewer with the F. Now as you may know, when you try to edit a point, if I click and drag horizontally with it, I'm unable to move it vertically. Whichever direction you start with, it locks, it constrains to it. If I click and drag vertically, I cannot move it horizontally.
This protects you from changing the time accidentally when you want to change the value, or versa visa. However, if you'll hold down the Command or Control key, you can click and drag and move it in all dimensions at once. So it's non longer constrained. You also can nudge your control points on the keypad. You know your 10 keypad? Put your middle finger on the number five, and then you can just tap the number four to go left.
Four, four, four, or the number six to go right. Six, six, six. Furthermore, if you hold down the Shift key it'll move in 1/10. So watch the X value. X22, so I'm going to go Shift four, four, four, four, and you see I'm moving in 10ths. Okay let's re-home the viewer. Now let's say you would like to move some of your control points. So let's pick a little group here. I'll grab these guys. If I'd like to shift them in time, of course I can just drag this back and forth.
However, if I'd like to move them an exact amount, like I want to move them 10 frames. With them selected, right mouse popup, Edit, Move. So this is the move dialogue box, and what this is saying is, make the X position equal to the current X position plus five. In other words, relative to where it is in time, shift it to the right by five. Click OK, undo if you'd like to move it vertically, Edit, Move.
By the way, you notice that it has remembered my last setting. So if I want to do it again I can say OK, and then Move, OK, and keep moving it five units at a time. Now back to my story of moving it vertically. We'll put that back to regular X. So this, again, means the same thing. We'll make the new position equal to the old position plus 10. Click OK and it'll jump vertically 10 units. Unto that.
Okay let's look at some copy and paste functions. Now I can select my X curve here, and I can copy these points. Right mouse pop up, Edit, Copy. Now you can copy the selected key frames, or the entire curve, or if it's described by an expression, you can grab the expression here, or if you just got some links. We're going to do just the key frames. Okay now I'll go to this curve and I'll say right mouse popup Paste, Absolute.
Boom, so it's going to put them in precisely the same position. Here is the previous one there. See their coincident. X and Y now share those same points. Undo, but what does relative mean? I'm going to select these guys and re-home the viewer. Relative means to paste them relative to where the play head is. So I'm going to select these three points here. I'm going to say Edit, Copy, The Selected Keyframes there.
Now I'm going to move the play head here and in the same curve even, if I wanted to put it in the same curve, which is my Y curve, I would say Paste, Relative. Now it's going to copy those points relative to where the play head is right now. Boom, there they go. So this point and that point. This point and that point. This point and that point all now share the same values. I'll undo that. Now let's take a look at some interesting built in functions.
Nuke does not have an ease in ease out perse, but if you will select the endpoints. In this case I want an ease in and an ease out. Select the end control points, right mouse popup, Interpellation, Horizontal. Now that throws the slope of the control point to zero, and that gives you an ease in or at the other end an ease out. There it is. They just don't call it that. I'll undo that. Now have you ever had a situation where the motion blur suddenly stopped on the last frame of your clip? Well here's why.
By default, on the last key frame, the slope is constant. Whatever this last value is, it just holds it to infinity. So the motion blur routine is looking at the current frame and the next frame. So at frame 100 it's moving, but frame 101 it's not. So the motion blur routine says on frame 100 my object stopped moving, no motion blur on frame 100. So to fix that, right mouse popup, Interpellation, After, and set it to linear.
Boom, see that? Now the motion blur routine, we'll see it's on frame 100, and in a different position on frame 101, and you will get motion blur on your last frame. Now we'll take a look at predefined functions. So let me come up here to my scale curve. Re-home the viewer. Okay let's talk about looping. You can select several key frames. Right mouse popup, Predefined, Loop. Now this is asking you the frame range to loop.
I want to loop from my first frame one to 20. So I will enter in the last frame here, 20, click OK, and off it goes. Now the doted line is the old curve. The unlooped portion. Let's undo that. And re-home our viewer. To do a reverse, we can say, Predefined, Reverse, and what it does is it mirrors the curve around zero.
Timeline frame zero. We'll undo that. And if you happen to select negate, it's going to mirror it vertically around the timeline. So you're going to get negative code values for all your positive code values. We'll undo that. So there you have it. An insider's guide to the curve editor. Be sure to check in next week so you don't miss out on my next Nuke Nugget.
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