MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing)

Escape Studios
Course summary
Postgraduate Education
1 year
15,450 - 17,995 GBP
Full time
London, Online courses
MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing)

Course description

MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing)

Take your skills to the highest level and become the master of Compositing with our postgraduate course.

The MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing) programme is designed to give you both practical training and a globally recognised postgraduate qualification.

You’ll study at our state of the art studios for 18 weeks, learning how to use 2D tools, exploring stereoscopic compositing and understanding how 2D and 3D VFX integrate. The remainder of the course is working on two major projects, where you will apply the techniques you have learnt to a brief. You will receive regular contact with your tutors and have two great resources that will act as a visual CV for future employers.

Studios are crying out for skilled Compositors. We will help you stand out from the crowd with a Masters qualification validated by the University of Kent, a portfolio of advanced work and the technical skills you need to get hired.

Our talented compositing tutors have worked within the industry so you get to learn from the inside out! Plus, we work with industry professionals on all of our postgraduate courses so you'll hear directly from someone who's working in the industry and get feedback on your work from a pro.

Suitability - Who should attend?

An undergraduate honours degree in Art and Design, Architecture, Computing or Engineering-related subjects.

We're also happy to consider applicants without a degree if you have significant industry experience in VFX or related fields. We'll ask suitable applicants to submit a creative portfolio and attend an interview.

English Language requirements

If your first language is not English you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree. All our courses are taught in English.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

Training Course Content

Module 1: Compositing 1

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

Module 2: Compositing 2

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 your composites
  • Advanced keying and edge treatments

Week 12 - Project Week

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

Module 3: Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects

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, menu.py/init.py
  • 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

Module 4: Visual Effects Collaborative Project

Module 5: Visual Effects Production Project

Why choose Escape Studios

In 2020 over 80% of VFX, 100% of Animation and over 80% of their Game Art undergraduate students have had their student projects nominated for awards.

36 Escapees (alumni) worked on No Time to Die, 47 worked on Avengers: Endgame, and 24 worked on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

In 2021, they hosted over 70 mock interviews with the likes of MPC, DNEG, Aardman, Blue Zoo and Creative Assembly.


  • Tuition fees for on-campus: £17,995 per year
  • Tuition fees for live online: £15,450 per year

Continuing Studies

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!

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.

Our MA Visual Effects production (Compositing) students have been successful, with two of our students accepted onto Industrial Light & Magic’s (ILM) Graduate programme following their studies. 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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Escape Studios

Escape Studios offers undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in Visual Effects (VFX), Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics. Whether you are looking to take your first step into the Creative industries, develop your professional skills or give you that much...

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Escape Studios

190 High Holborn
WC1V 7BH London

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