Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Isa teaches NUKE in India

Isa Alsup teaching Nuke.  
Reliance Media Works, India
Isa Alsup recently traveled to Navi Mumbai, India, to teach over 60 CG artists NUKE. Isa was one of four instructors assisting Steve Wright to teach 280 employees at Digital Media Imaging Ltd, a Reliance Media Works Company.  The company will specialize in stereographic conversions.

Isa, as an After Effects user of more than nine years, shepherded those artists making a transition from After Effects to NUKE. "Once you know one compositing software application, learning a new one is like learning a new language. Going from After Effects to NUKE," Isa told the class, "is mostly
learning the vocabulary of NUKE and translating from After Effects to NUKE language." Isa also stressed that in learning NUKE, the other challenges for After Effects artists are to learn what Wright calls "The Way of NUKE", meaning some of ways NUKE and After Effects workflows may differ when doing similar operations and using similar tools.

"Teaching in India was a great experience with some unexpected challenges," Isa said. These challenges included the need to explain concepts like color spaces, basic color theory, and the differences between garbage, core, soft and hard mattes. Even so, Isa said "the students were bright and asked insightful questions. It was obvious they had compositing experience and were anxious to get the information they felt was essential to do a good job."

From left:   Isa, Lawrence Littleton,
Steve Wright, Scott Dickson
and Ken Littleton 7 Mar 2010
The curriculum for the two week course was developed by Steve Wright, who has been teaching NUKE to students in the states, on the internet and in India since last summer.  Other instructors with Isa Alsup were brothers Ken and Lawrence Littleton and Scott Dickson. The course of instruction, included the Nuke GUI, essentials of file operations, color, keying, channel operations,merging and rotopaint. In addition, students were taught the use of Nuke's stereographic workflow and given a basic primer in Nuke 3d. A few of the furnace plug-ins were also visited as they related to making clean plates and rotoscope.

While the base curriculum was designed by Wright, each instructor was left to interpret and expand upon the material in their individual classrooms, embellishing with their own experience using NUKE and stories as professional compositors.

Isa (center) with Nuke students in India 6 Mar 2010

Isa told students that he had recently made the transition himself from After Effects to Nuke. "Over the years I've worked with about nine different compositing apps. I think -you can think -in terms of basic compositing concepts, so learning a new application is fairly easy," he reassured the students.

"The core functions of NUKE are based on fundamental compositing principles, just as they are in After Effects," Isa told the class. He used an analogy of learning to drive a new car: "the first thing you do is you have to learn where all the controls are in the new car -how they differ. You already know how to drive."

Isa also discounted the idea that moving from After Effects to Nuke was difficult because Nuke is node based whereas After Effects is layer based. "Multi-layer compositing is all node based if you understand the underlying code and concepts," Isa argues. He explains that while After Effects calls "nodes" "effects" and groups them within a structure of a layer, "under the hood they both take in footage, apply effects to the footage and write it out." The difference he says is mostly emphasiss of the presentation: "After Effects focuses attention on time and animation while nesting effect nodes within a layer structure. Nuke, on the other hand, brings the image data stream and effects to prominence and obscures time and animation."

During class sessions, Isa made it a point to introduce Nuke concepts, tools and procedures by relating Nuke to After Effects terminology. In some cases workflows were similar and in others divergent, and Isa pointed these out as well. For example, in explaining the rotopaint node in Nuke, Isa pointed out that it integrated functionality that in After Effects is done using masks and several different effects.

Wright, arrived a week ahead of the other instructors to teach an additional 60 advanced students the week prior to the course. These advanced students were distributed among the four classes to assist as mentors during student excercises. "The use of classroom mentors helped enormously," Isa said, "they were able to offer one on one assistance that teaching a group of 60 was too much for me to offer alone."
Isa at the Gateway of India.  Mumbai 28 Feb 2010

Overall, Isa says he enjoyed the expereince in Mumbai, adding, "it's an exciting new company with a great vision, and the positive attitude and ey of the students was outstanding.  Digital Media Imaging  intends to convert several motion pictures a year to sterographic once operations are fully launched. "I hope to go there again," Isa ated, "the people were excellent to work with, both management and students; I enjoyed teaching Nuke, and the food was great."


Anonymous said...

Thanks Isa to teach us nuke and it was realy nice training.
Nice comments and Nice Blog

And by the way its not Gate of India
its Gateway of India

Isa A. Alsup said...

Thanks. Gateway it is!

I had a great time teaching.

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