Short University Courses

Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects

Escape Studios, In North Greenwich (+1 locations)
18 weeks
13,200 - 16,850 GBP
Next course start
23 September, 2024 (+2 start dates)
Course delivery
Classroom, Virtual Classroom
18 weeks
13,200 - 16,850 GBP
Next course start
23 September, 2024 (+2 start dates)
Course delivery
Classroom, Virtual Classroom
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Course description

Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects

Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects

Take your comp skills to a more technical level with this 18 week course. If you're serious about breaking into the industry - go advanced!

This is our most popular 2D course and it’s easy to see why. In just 18 weeks, you not only learn how to use 2D tools but you also get to grips with the principles behind them. You study the content of the intensive 12 week compositing course and then move onto 6 weeks of advanced study, exploring the latest technological advances in compositing and understanding how 2D and 3D integrate.

Studios are crying out for skilled compositors and we’ve packed this course with the artistic and technical skills you need to get hired. During the advanced 6 weeks of the course you will keep finessing the additional artistic techniques that are used by the high-end compositors. You get foundation to customising Nuke and developing pipelines if you are more interested in the technical roles (TD, RnD). You will also learn an introduction to managerial skills useful for sequence leads and supervisors if that is the direction you may choose to take a couple of years after the course.

Our tutors are top industry professionals, so you’ll be taught by the best in the business. Plus, we work with industry professionals on all of our daytime courses (full-time) so you'll hear directly from someone who's working in the industry and get feedback on your work from a pro.

We've been teaching compositing at Escape Studios since 2002 and we’ve helped thousands of students break into the industry.

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Upcoming start dates

Choose between 2 start dates

23 September, 2024

  • Classroom
  • North Greenwich

23 September, 2024

  • Virtual Classroom
  • Online

Suitability - Who should attend?

Aged 18 or over, a good understanding of written and spoken English.

Training Course Content

Week 1 - The Interface: Premultiplied Images

  • Production pipeline and light
  • Digital images, formats and resolution
  • Film properties and behaviour: log vs. linear
  • Premultiplication Maths
  • Introduction to Nuke

Week 2 - Transformations and Rotoscoping

  • Transformations and introduction to tracking
  • Multiple point tracking
  • Planar tracking and refining track data
  • Introduction to rotoscoping
  • Rotoscoping human movement

Week 3 - Rig Removal Composites

  • Rotoscoping in Silhouette (SFX)
  • Tracking in SFX
  • Painting in Nuke
  • Generating clean plates

Week 4 - Advanced Paint/Prep Work

  • SFX prep techniques
  • Warping and morphing
  • Advanced prep work
  • Matching film grain
  • Marker removal

Week 5 - Keying

  • Introduction to keying methods
  • Keylight node and the despill process
  • Primatte and IBK keyers
  • Compositing outside the keyer
  • Pre and post – processing: refining the key

Week 6 - Colour Correction and Grading

  • Exposure, gamma and curves
  • Density and colour matching
  • Colour management
  • Atmospherics

Week 7 - Filters, Motion Vectors and Time Based Effects

  • Convolutions filters
  • FG and BG edge integration
  • Retiming

Week 8 - Projections

  • Introduction to the 3D interface
  • Projection types and 3D
  • Camera projections

Week 9 - Projection Workflows and Camera Tracking

  • Lens distortion
  • Nuke camera tracking
  • Projection rig removal methods
  • Utilising camera data

Week 10 - Compositing CG

  • Multi channel workflow
  • Introduction to render passes
  • 2D and 3D motion blur
  • CG production pipelines – Framestore, MPC, The Mill

Week 11 - CG and 2D Element Integration

  • Edge pre and post treatment
  • Integrating CG and live action
  • Redefining you composites
  • Advanced keying and edge treatments

Week 12 - Project Week

  • Finalising your shots
  • Developing your demo reel
  • End of course presentation

Week 13 - Advanced Compositing craft 1

  • Advanced CG compositing with AOVs
  • ModelBuilder
  • UV Unwrap Techniques for 2D
  • Advanced Projection Techniques

Week 14 - Compositing TD (Technical Director)

  • ExpressionNode & Filtering (Matrix, Laplacian Pyramid)
  • Position/normals, Relighting, Distortion
  • Expressions, Gizmo’s, OpenGroups,
  • Scripting (Python/TCL/Bash)

Week 15 - Advanced Compositing Craft 2

  • Seamless Cuts with Projections
  • Projections for DMP (Digital Matte Painting)
  • Beauty Retouching / Basic Face Tracking
  • Nuke Rayrender + 3D Lighting and Rendering Techniques

Week 16 - Senior/Lead Compositor skills

  • NukeStudio project management and pipeline
  • Shotgun project management and pipeline
  • Receiving and giving feedback in dailies
  • Estimating project requirements
  • Consistency and continuity

Week 17 - Emerging Compositing Techniques

  • Volumetric Rendering with Eddy for Nuke
  • VR / 360 images with Cara VR
  • Particles
  • Deep Compositing
  • GeoTracking and FaceTracking with KeenTools

Week 18 - Project Week

  • Showreel Advice
  • Job Hunting Tips

Why choose Escape Studios

Top 6% of Institutions for Graduate Employability -- by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

First Unreal Authorised Training Center in the UK


  • Tuition fees (on-campus): £15,950
  • Tuition fees (live online): £12,760

Continuing Studies

Compositors often start out as rotoscope artists or in junior roles, but can rise to become mid-level, then senior compositors and compositing supervisors. From here the path is open to becoming a VFX supervisor.

Escapees from our compositing courses have gone on to work at companies including: ILM, Framestore, Cinesite, DNeg, MPC, Milk VFX, Sky, Electric Theatre Collective, JellyFish Pictures and Pixomondo.

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