Enhance your NUKE compositing skills as you tackle a fun project. Learn how to use the software's keying, color correction, and effects tools to make a zombie rise from the grave.
- [Voiceover] Hi, this is Steve Wright. Welcome to my Visual FX Techniques: Creating a Zombie Graveyard, a course designed for artists already familiar with NUKE. We'll be using NUKE to build this shot, but you could use any compositing program with similar capabilities. In this course, we'll see how to build this scary visual FX shot, showing headstones glowing as distant zombies wake up, then finally a zombie pops up and lunges at the camera. The elements we'll be working with are this green screen of the zombie from high quality DPX files and this graveyard clip.
Both clips are feature film quality shot with a RED camera. First, we'll do a quick key with primatte, then use a garbage matte to clean up the key. We'll then do the spill suppression and color correction for a preliminary night night time look. Next, we'll lay in series of three very scary zombie effects. First, the bloody bits are enhanced to make them even bloodier, using a novel keying technique that you've probably never seen before. Second, zombie eyes are created and tracked to the head movement.
Third, these grisly fangs were added using a very unusual technique. After the zombie is prepped, we turn to the graveyard plate to change the day into a night shot. First, the bright daylight sky has to be clamped without darkening other parts of the picture then day for night color correction is applied. Once we have the night time graveyard, we'll lay in the far zombie glows, track them in, and time their reveals to make them march towards the camera in a most threatening manner. We'll then set up the interactive lighting for the foreground headstones which have to light up when the zombie's glow appears.
We'll see how to set each stone face with an individual brightness, add a highlight to the corners of the stones, then incorporate a brightness fall off with distance to simulate photo realistic lighting effects. Finally, we'll integrate the prepped zombie with the graveyard clip by positioning and masking him to the front headstone and adding special holdout rotulls for his hands. In the final chapter, finishing the shot, we'll sweeten up the finally color correction, dial in the green glows, and add the camera push in, where you'll learn about the exciting topic of transformation concatenation.
The skills you'll build in this project include 2D tracking, rotoscoping, day for night color correction, special keying techniques, spill suppression, color correction, interactive lighting, keyframe animation, the proper use of EdgeBlur, lots of linking and even a bit of cloning. Beyond walking you through the steps to build this effects shot, I also tap my 20 years of production experience to sprinkle practical production advice and demonstrate best compositing practices in order to advance your compositing skills.
Now, let's get started with Visual FX Techniques: Creating the Zombie Graveyard Shot.
First you'll learn how to apply a quick key with Primatte, and enhance the zombie with realistic blood, red eyes, and fangs. Then, turning to the graveyard plate, you'll make a day-for-night color correction and add interactive lighting. Finally, you'll composite the key, plate, and effects and finalize the shot, using color correction and a push in effect. The process is broken down into easy-to-watch five-minute videos, rich in valuable VFX production techniques from compositing guru Steve Wright.
For more training on the basics, see NUKE Essential Training..
- Keying the zombie
- Adding a garbage matte
- Adding effects
- Turning a daytime shot into a nighttime graveyard
- Adding interactive lighting effects
- Compositing the zombie
- Applying final color correction