Want to become a better, more productive compositor? Get a new NUKE nugget every Thursday, including tips on lighting, color matching, grading, cloning, rotoscoping, and more.
- [Steve] Hi, this is Steve Wright welcoming you to this weeks Nuke Nugget. Slot gags get their name from an old trick used in film opticals. The idea is you take two masks like this one and this one, you move them and then you multiply them together to get an interesting animated effect. So here, we'll move this guy in this direction and the other one goes in the other direction and if we multiply them together, there is our interesting animated effect. Now you can see what's going on with these two Grade nodes here.
I have them dimmed down and then we do a merge plus so you can see the overlapping region and that is our slot gag. So let's apply it to something fun and interesting. How about some counter rotating rays? So here's our first mask and the other mask. One is rotating in this direction the other one in the opposite direction. So we multiply those two together and we get this interesting animated effect.
Now we can trick it up a bit by adding a blur and then maybe some god rays and that'll give it kind of a softer appeal. So there you go. Counter rotating rays. Okay, how about a twinkling starfield? So, we'll start with a starfield here and make a noise pattern here. Now this noise pattern is being slowly slid north so its got a little Translate Animation going. Now this grade node is used to do two things.
One, by pulling down on the blackpoint, I can increase the amount of black regions and those regions, when they multiply by a star, will turn black or dark. The star will go out. If the star hits a gray area, it'll go dim, but notice I've also taken the gain up to five. So in these areas here, watch my RGB values down here, you'll see I have code values way above one. So when these hit a star, it's going to make it brighter.
Alright, so let's check this out. So here's my starfield, I multiply it by my mask, you can see the effects going on right there. Okay, for example, here's a star that gets brighter. Here's a star that's going out and here's a star that's going dim. So, we got all the cases right there. So let's see it in action. We'll go to a resolution of one so it's pretty big and let's play this thing to see how it looks.
There we go, a lovely twinkling starfield. Okay, what else can we do with this concept? Well, we can take a text, we rehone the viewer, and add a glint to it like this. Okay, well this is easy to do. Cheap tricks, cheap tricks. These are all cheap tricks. You just need a mask that's got a little animation going on, something like that and our text of course, and we multiply the two together. Now here, here we see a white text and my mask, okay, and then they're multiplied.
That's what I get, hit it with a blur, add a grade node to dial it up a bit, and then plus that in, and we get this nifty glint animation rolling over the text. Lovely. Okay, now, let's try the flaming edge gag. Clear my property bin. So the idea is we'll take this roto here, which has a big ole feather pulled out. So you can see, I can show you that feather right there.
Then we'll take this noise pattern here and if I take a grade node to the noise pattern masked off by the roto, so the roto is the mask with a grade node here. What I'm doing is I'm using the mask to pull up a lift on the noise so I get a solid core here, which feathers off to the original noise pattern there, but I want this to be black because I want to make a nice raggedy-edge gag. So to do that, I take the grade node and multiply it by the roto and I get this.
Okay, now that looks pretty interesting. One key point, you want to set the falloff for your roto, let me get that guy up here, because the falloff of the feather has a very big effect on the look. So if we put it back to the default of linear, it looks like that. See how that gives you kind of a too hard of an edge here. That's kind of nasty, but we look through the different falloff schemes and we find the one we like. I liked smooth1. Okay, next we can get rid of the buzz-cut look here by adding a grade node and then we pull down on the gamma, Look at that.
Now we get a nice raggedy-edge. Now I can trick it up some more if I add another grade node, actually I could do it in the same grade node, but this makes it easier to understand. I'll add a second grade node here, go to the gain and let's pull down on the blue and a little bit on the green. It's going to be kind of a yellow core. Now I want some nice red edges here, right? So, we'll go down to our gamma and unfold that. I'm going to gamma down the blue so I'm losing blue on the outer edges, pull down on the green, or maybe I'll raise up on the red just a little bit, there look at that.
Okay, so let's play that and see what that looks like. Ooh, look at that interesting effect and let's push in and take a closer look. There now, isn't that cool? Okay, let's stop that, rehone the viewer, and let's come over here and try the same gag on a sphere. Okay, just a very minor change we can make it work on a sphere. So here is my mask, you can see the feather here. I'll take the viewer gamma down. Okay, so there's my feather.
Here's my noise pattern. Now what I did on the noise pattern that's different is I did a little scale animated push-in on it, see? That makes it look like you're flying into it. Plus, it's got the z animation as usual. So we do the same gag, we take a grade node and use the lift masked off by the roto in order to get myself a nice solid core, multiply that times the original mask to get rid of the edges, we'll add the grade node here in order to introduce our raggedy-edge, and I'll even borrow this coloring grade over here, put it there.
Okay, now let's see what this looks like. And play. There we go, neat. Here, let's take a closer look. Now, tell me that isn't cool. Alright, so there you have it. How to use slot gags to create dazzling animated effects. This is episode 104, the last episode of my Nuke Nuggets. So the only thing left to do is start back at the beginning and go through them all again.
This is Steve Wright signing out.
What kinds of NUKE tips do you need? Join the Steve Wright's NUKE NUGGETS group on LinkedIn, and post your requests there.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.