I have had an interesting little conundrum pop up on my latest job, which compositor do I use to work on my current 3D job?
I had intended to use a NUKE STUDIO option, but alas due to the current versions lack of alpha transitions between clips in the NUKE STUDIO timeline it was a bust. I decided to do the entire shot of 5 separate clips with the transitions in NUKE X instead.
This went reasonably well, using the Dope Sheet and the Timeoffset node it is straightforward to manipulate keys, and within my time limit I was able to produce a good enough comp for delivery. The issue was when I came back the next morning I was presented with the image at the top of this post.
Which did make sense, but due my lack of proper node naming, as I had been tired it was hard to see where the overlaying mattes where which were crucial to the transitions.
As I worked through the day, the complication of which matte was premultiplied and which weren't as well. As well as would it be better to Precomp at key points? Did mean that a lot of logistical decisions were getting in the way of finessing the shot.
I went out for an hour, got my second delivery out of the door, and cleared my head.
Since I was pass the stress of deadlines, for the sake of an experiment I decided to put the shot together in After Effects, and ended up with this, in two hours.
Very tidy! Easy to read and easier to manipulate the elements that I need. However, all is not rosy, After Effects grinds when handling this many passes, it is much slower than NUKE to open the file. Also, you get used to proxy previewing the animation in NUKE, After Effects preview is like wading through treacle in comparison.
Then there are mask's which in NUKE are beautiful to use and make After Effects appear cludgy in comparison.
As well as that, features such as Depth of Field and Motion Blur additions are much more refined, produce a better result and are native elements in NUKE X rather than the additional plugins which are required for After Effects. Oh and NUKE renders much more quickly, the only way to get After Effects to render as quickly is to use BG Renderer.
However After Effects still offers the better environment on this specific job to complete it efficiently, I am still glad I went through the process of the NUKE build, as it gave me a chance to directly compare, and there is the opportunity for much more control than there is in After Effects.
Hopefully the updates to NUKE STUDIO will help manage jobs like this more easily in NUKE, and the promised updates for After Effects will help with it's biggest weakness - speed.