Compositing for VFX (Evening - 20 weeks)
This intensive evening course will teach you the fundamentals of compositing, from understanding the VFX pipeline, to mastering rotoscoping to integrating the final shot.
Our online evening course is popular with students who need to manage study around work or family commitments. You’ll be hands-on in the studio two evenings per week. You'll be taught by a tutor who has worked, or is currently working in the industry, so they can share their real-world tips and techniques. See below for the online course requirements.
The course follows the same principles as our full-time 12 week course. You’ll gain sought after VFX production skills, including industry-recognised Nuke training. We cover everything you need to start working on your showreel and in the final weeks you’ll work on a project that brings all the techniques together. We’ve been teaching compositing at Escape Studios since 2002 and we’ve helped thousands of students break into the industry.
- Access to the internet
- 3 button mouse
- Wacom tablet/ Microsoft Ink
- A laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone
- A microphone
- Webcam (not compulsory)
- Materials to take notes, such as notebook and pen/pencil
- Study in the evening - this course packs the same punch as our full-time 12 week course but you get the flexibility to study in the evenings. We keep our class sizes small so you’ll get plenty of 1-2-1 time with your tutor.
- Industry trained tutors - we work with the best and you’ll be taught by a tutor who has worked in the industry.
- Intensive learning - 20 weeks might sound like a lot but we promise it will fly by. We pack a lot into each of our classes so you understand the fundamentals of 2D and then you can begin to create your own masterpieces.
- Follow in the footsteps of success - thousands of our Escapees are now working in the creative industries. They’ve worked on VFX blockbusters like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina, Interstellar and Gravity and you could follow in their footsteps.
- There's high demand for skilled compositors and we can help you connect with studios and find roles. Escape Studios is well regarded in the industry and you’ll become part of our creative, vibrant, well-connected and global community of Escapees.
Week 1 - Introduction to Compositing
- The VFX pipeline
- The Nuke interface
- Project settings and formats
- Read and write nodes
Week 2 - Merging your elements
- Premultiplied images
- Image and channel blending
- Generating masks, alphas and mattes
Week 3 - 2D Tracking
- Understanding tracking and stabilising
- Curve editor
- Multi-point tracking
Week 4 - Advanced Tracking
- Planar tracking
Week 5 - Rotoscoping in Nuke
- Roto and tracking
- Rotoshape breakup
- Human motion vs objects
Week 6 - Mastering Rotoscoping
- Silhouette Rotoscoping (SFX)
- Tracking in SFX
- Working with motion blur
- Project: Roto a shot in SFX
Week 7 - Rig Removal Prep Work
- Painting in Nuke
- Marker Removal Procedures
- Generating clean plates
Week 8 - Mastering Prep Techniques
- Film grain management
- Warping and morphing
- Retiming techniques
Week 9 - Silhouette Painting
- SFX paint cleanup
- Wire removal painting
Week 10 - Keying Foundations
- Luma keying and the keyer node
- Primatte keying
- Compositing outside the keyer
Week 11 - Improving Edge Mattes
- Colour difference keying: keylight node
- Nuke’s IBK keyer
- Pre & post processing: refining the matte
Week 12 - FG and BG Edge Integration
- The despill process
- Keying motion blur
- Edge treatment and luminance
Week 13 - Understanding Colour Corrections
- Colour management and LUTs
- Float and linear light workflow
- Density and colour matching
- Mastering the colour correct node
Week 14 - Colour Matching FG and BG
- Primary grading: grade node
- Exposure, gamma and curves
- Depth queuing and atmospherics
Week 15 - Nuke’s 3D System
- Intro to the 3D interface
- Projection types and 3D displacement
- Projected mattes
Week 16 - Nuke Camera Tracking
- Lens distortion
- Solving the camera
- Utilising camera data
Week 17 - 3D Projection Workflows
- Projection cleanup workflows
- UV and camera projections
- Optimising 3D motion blur
Week 18 - Compositing CG
- Multi-channel workflow
- Rebuilding the beauty pass
- Utilities passes
Week 19 - Integrating CG with Live Action
- CG grading
- Applying convolve filters to CG
- Interactions and depth of field
Week 20 - Final Project Submission
The course also includes:
- A free online primer course before you start studying, so your foundation skills are up to speed.
- Escapee Alumni after-care and career support including help and advice with your CV, showreel and job applications.
- Free Autodesk Software when you register with the Autodesk Education Community (full details will be available in your welcome pack if you choose to study on this course).
- Access to software including Nuke and Silhouette.
We welcome and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
To study this short course, you must:
- Be over 18
- Have a good understanding of written and spoken English
- Feel comfortable using a computer
Evening (part-time) courses can be purchased directly via our online shop - just click the Buy Now button at the top of the page.
Alternatively, you can:
- Call our Admissions Advisors on +44 (0)203 441 1303
- Email us at email@example.com
- Reach us on LiveChat on Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Following your application, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions before your place on the course can be secured.
Compositors are the masters of make-believe, responsible for creating the illusion of reality. They compose the final image in a VFX or motion picture sequence, creating VFX that make the impossible, possible! Without them, we’d all be looking at the wires that support actors during action sequences, or shots lacking in atmosphere or composition. As a Compositing Artist it is the their responsibility to make the shot look totally believable. You’ll need an artist’s keen trained eye for photo-realistic details so that you always create exceptional imagery.
After the classroom course is over we offer three months of online mentoring, so that our students can continue to refine and polish their skills. We take aftercare very seriously - since it can take time to put together a job-ready demo reel, we make sure our students get the time and practice that they need to refine their work to make them job-ready. Learn more about our Aftercare support.
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: Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Cinesite, DNEG, MPC, Milk VFX, Sky, Electric Theatre Collective, Jellyfish Pictures and Pixomondo. For more careers advice, download our Careers Guide.
We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses, including up to five instalments following the initial deposit. Depending on the length of the course, we ask that the initial deposit be paid when registering for the course, and the final payment prior to the end date of the course.
Following the deposit, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining instalments equally. Please speak to a member of our Admissions team on +44 (0)203 441 1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the dates of those payments.
Contact our Finance team to discuss your options on +44 (0)203 441 1303 or email@example.com.
Funding for international students
We recommend you visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. The Council doesn’t provide funding directly, but it will give you all the information you need about studying and living in the UK, including visas and funding.
We do our best to find funding solutions for overseas students. For example:
- If you’re from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Burma, you may be able to get funding from the Charles Wallace Trust, to help towards your living costs and educational development in the UK. Find out more at wallace-trusts.org.uk.
Get in touch
We can help with any problems or questions you have with course fees and funding. Speak to one of our Applicant Advisors via phone or email today! Call us on +44 (0)203 441 1303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our tutors
Our tutors have all sculpted their own careers in successful studios in the industry and are now sharing their expertise in the classroom. Packed with everything from Thor: Ragnarok, Black Mirror and Black Panther to the original Lion King and multiple PlayStation titles, their CVs don't get much cooler! They know exactly what skills you need – teaching you real-world tips and tricks, as well as the latest industry software and techniques to kick-start your career.
Industry partners and advisors influence everything we do, from the curriculum we teach and how it's delivered to our webinars and events.
We work alongside an impressive list of VFX, Games and Animation studios including Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Blue Zoo, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, PlayStation London Studio and Creative Assembly and many more across all our courses at Escape Studios.
With exclusive professional feedback, intensive software training and much more, our industry-led courses give you up-to-the-minute, inspirational knowledge and experience, tailored to the work you’re passionate about. Our Escape Studios alumni (Escapees) can be found working at a variety of studios including Pixar, MPC, Industrial Light & Magic, DNEG, Rockstar Games and Electric Theatre Collective.
Find out more about our industry partners.
Why Escape Studios?
Learn industry-relevant techniques from the experts, in a studio-like environment.
- Studio-experienced tutors. Our tutors have worked at studios including DNEG, Walt Disney Animation, EA, Rebellion and Framestore and their credits include Captain America, Black Mirror and Bond: Spectre. They speak at international conferences, like B’Ars (Spain) and VIEW Conference (Italy), write for industry-recognised blog Befores&Afters, and are authorised trainers for software like UnrealEngine, Autodesk or Houdini.
- Industry-standard facilities. Our central London campus is surrounded by world-leading studios and fully equipped with high-end hardware and the latest software.
- Industry partners. Our studio partners, including DNEG, Framestore and PlayStation London Studio, help design and develop our courses to make sure that what we teach is relevant to the current industry practices. You’ll also have access to events and webinars ran by our Student Experience team with industry speakers.