Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects (18 weeks)

Course details


London campus or live online

Start date

23rd September 2024


18 weeks

Mode of study

Full time


London campus (UK residents): £16,850

Live online: £13,200

Thirs place Rookies award icon for production excellence in visual effectsTop 10 Rookies award for creative schools in the UK

Course overview

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! 

In just 18 weeks, you’ll not only learn how to use 2D tools, but you’ll also get to grips with the principles behind them. Study the content of our intensive 12-week compositing course before moving on to more advanced study, exploring the latest technological advances in compositing, understanding how 2D and 3D integrate and learning the additional artistic techniques that are used by high-end Compositors. 

Studios are crying out for skilled Compositors and we’ve packed this course with the artistic and technical skills you need to get hired. You'll learn the foundation to customising Nuke and developing pipelines, key if you are more interested in the technical roles (TD, RnD). You'll also learn an introduction to managerial skills, useful to become a Sequence Lead and Supervisor. 

Our tutors are top industry professionals who worked on the likes of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Kingsman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, so you’ll be taught by the best in the business. Plus, we work with our industry connections who’ll take part in the course and will give feedback on some of your work. 

See also MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing) or Compositing for Visual Effects (12 weeks)

See more student work

Why choose this course

  • Ranked 2nd in the UK - and 10th in the world for Visual Effects Excellence by The Rookies

  • Based in London - home to some of the best animation studios in the world  

  • Industry feedback - receive industry-standard critique from an expert in their field from Framestore (February 2024 intake) - previous studio partners for our compositing course have included Industrial Light & Magic, The Mill and Outpost VFX 

  • Professional input - our advisory board of experts, from the likes of DNEG (Avengers: Endgame and Oscar-winning Dune) and MPC (The Lion King and 1917), help keep this course relevant

  • Successful alumni - you'll join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios. 47 Escapees worked on Avengers: Endgame, 36 on No Time to Die and 16 on Stranger Things

  • Aftercare package - we'll help you polish your showreel and find the right job, with access to our studios and showreel clinics for 12 months

  • Industry-standard facilities - study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Nuke and Silhouette 

  • Fast-track advanced learning - our advanced short courses allow you to go deeper into technical and software skills for a quick springboard into your next creative career step 

  • Strong portfolio - along with an Escape Studios Certificate of Completion, you'll leave with strong creative and technical skills and great pieces for your portfolio 

  • Small class sizes - a convivial environment allows students to assist and inspire one another and benefit from personalised feedback from tutors

Course modules

The first 12 weeks of these modules are common with our 12-week Compositing for Visual Effects course and the first 12 weeks of our MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing).

  • 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

  • Transformations and rotoscoping

    • Transformations and introduction to tracking

    • Multiple-point tracking

    • Planar tracking and refining track data

    • Introduction to rotoscoping

    • Rotoscoping human movement

  • Rig removal composites

    • Rotoscoping in Silhouette (SFX)

    • Tracking in SFX

    • Painting in Nuke

    • Generating clean plates

  • Advanced paint and prep work

    • SFX prep techniques

    • Warping and morphing

    • Advanced prep work

    • Matching film grain

    • Marker removal

  • 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

  • Colour correction and grading

    • Exposure, gamma and curves

    • Density and colour matching

    • Colour management

    • Atmospherics

  • Filters, motion vectors and time-based effects

    • Convolutions filters

    • Foreground and background edge integration

    • Retiming

  • Projections

    • Introduction to the 3D interface

    • Projection types and 3D

    • Camera projections

  • Projection workflows and camera tracking

    • Lens distortion

    • Nuke camera tracking

    • Projection rig removal methods

    • Utilising camera data

  • Compositing CG

    • Multichannel workflow

    • Introduction to render passes

    • 2D and 3D motion blur

    • CG production pipelines: Framestore, MPC and The Mill

  • CG and 2D element integration

    • Edge pre and post treatment

    • Integrating CG and live action

    • Redefining your composites

    • Advanced keying and edge treatments

  • Project week

    • Finalising your shots

    • Developing your demo reel

    • End of course presentation

  • Advanced compositing craft 1

    • Advanced CG compositing with AOVs

    • ModelBuilder

    • UV unwrap techniques for 2D

    • Advanced projection techniques

  • Compositing TD (Technical Director)

    • Expression node and filtering: Matrix and Laplacian Pyramid

    • Position/normals, relighting, distortion

    • Expressions, Gizmo’s, OpenGroups and

    • Scripting: Python, TCL and Bash

  • Advanced compositing craft 2

    • Seamless cuts with projections

    • Projections for DMP (Digital Matte Painting)

    • Beauty retouching and basic face tracking

    • Nuke rayrender, 3D lighting and rendering techniques

  • Senior/Lead Compositor skills

    • Nuke Studio project management and pipeline

    • Shotgun project management and pipeline

    • Receiving and giving feedback in dailies

    • Estimating project requirements

    • Consistency and continuity

  • Emerging compositing techniques

    • Volumetric rendering with Eddy for Nuke

    • VR and 360 images with Cara VR

    • Particles

    • Deep compositing

    • Geo tracking and face tracking with KeenTools

  • Project week

    • Showreel advice

    • Job hunting tips

More information

  • Nuke 

  • Silhouette

To apply, complete the relevant online application form linked below:

Our Admissions Team will get in touch to take you through the next steps.

If you have any questions about your application or our entry requirements, get in touch!

As part of the application process, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.

Minimum requirements

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.

If you’d like to discuss your circumstances before applying, contact us!

Non-UK students

We accept international students for our short courses, with no difference in course fees or administration costs. 

The Standard Visitor visa allows students to come to the UK to study for a course of up to six months at an accredited institution. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a standard visitor visa prior to departure from your home country. For more information visit:  

Contact us on or +44 (0)203 441 1303 for any questions.

We can provide remote access to our workstations during teaching time. Due to availability restrictions, we highly advise you to have your own set up at home to study in your own time.

More things you’ll need:

  • A strong internet connection

  • An external hard drive (minimum 2TB) to back up your work during the course

  • A three-button mouse (or optionally graphics tablet)

  • A computer microphone (and optionally a webcam)

  • Note-taking materials

If you have any questions about learning online or if you need help with what to buy, get in touch at


London campus: £16,850

Live online: £13,200 

Payment plans

We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses. Following an initial deposit at registration stage, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining fees into up to six equal instalments, to be paid over the course length.

Contact us or visit our admissions page for any questions about fees, funding and payment plans.

"In compositing we have the unique pleasure of coming at the end of the pipeline. That means everything we do directly appears in the finished product on screen. That combined with the perfect balance of creative contribution to the finished product and technical problem solving, means that the scope of work is broad and no two days are ever quite the same." Chris Fryer, Digital Compositor at Industrial Light & Magic

Along with an Escape Studios Certificate of Achievement, you'll leave with strong creative and technical skills and great pieces for your portfolio, which you can then finesse with help from our Aftercare programme. Ready to apply to start your career in the industry!  

Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include: 

  • Runner

  • Prep Artist

  • Roto Artist

  • Production Assistant

  • Production Coordinator

Compositors often start out in junior roles or as Rotoscope Artists to then rise to mid-level and senior roles such as Compositors and Compositing Supervisors, opening the path to becoming a VFX Supervisor. 

Our students have gone to work as both specialist and generalist artists in creative studios, across TV shows, films and commercials, at companies including Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite, Pixomondo and Milk VFX. Read some of our VFX Escapee success stories

Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.

Profile picture of Sokratis Synitos

Meet our industry-experienced tutors

Sokratis Synitos is the lead tutor on this master’s programme. He’s worked on titles including Bond: Spectre, Avengers: Endgame and Dr. Who. Our tutors work together to develop our courses. They all have industry experience, at studios such as DNEG, Framestore and Industrial Light & Magic, and are experts in their fields. 

Meet your tutors

Student showcase

The excitement and gratification of producing the end result is an exhilarating position and creative career to grow into.

Davi Stein
Technical Trainer at Industrial Light & Magic