Layer Manager Gizmo in Nuke
This has been my first approach at building a gizmo inside of NukeX 6.3v8.
The idea behind this gizmo has to do with the experience gained coding my Light Contribution Manager Tool. Having different lighting passes you are able to control the final look of the lighting within Nuke without having to re-render anything. Changes like intensity (Exposure) of some light pass or color can be easily and non-destructively changed in post.
But having all the nodes for each light pass can rapidly clutter your node graph. This is where the “LayerManager” gizmo comes into place. Here is a quick view of what it does and how it can be used.
This is the basic properties view of the Layer Manager. Basically it groups the most important controls for handling the different light passes: Exposure and Color.
With these simple controls you can combine different lighting passes and have all the control you need right in one node, instead of fetching around for nodes when you only want to change a simple value.
Case study 1: Fast visual development
To give an example of why this could be useful let’s take a look at this “fictitious” scenario. Let’s say we are in a production and we are in the Concept/Visual Development stage. So the Concept artists come up with some visual scenarios and the Art Director and/or Director want to start seeing what some models will look like in these environment to see if they’ll work.
Using a stock model from Infinite Realities I created a simple 8 light rig in Maya and rendered each light separately making sure the SSS shader was set up correctly to prevent adding up the Sub-Surface incorrectly. Those renders where brought into Nuke and piped into the “Layer Manager”.
This is what the final node graph looked like.
I then proceeded to find 3 backgrounds and try to match the lighting of the model rendered using only the layer manager.
Here are three results created in a matter of minutes.
As we can see, even-though in no way perfect, these images suffice as a proof of concept to determine if the three environments will work for the Art Director or if they won’t.
Well, this is all for now! It is one of the many application this little gizmo can do and I will surely use it for some upcoming projects.