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news • 3 November 2023

How To ‘Grow a Lawn’ Using Particles in Nuke

Profile picture of Lorenzo Maniccia

Written by Lorenzo Maniccia

2D VFX Tutor

In this tutorial, 2D VFX Tutor Lorenzo Maniccia talks through how to add grass and foliage to a scene using Nuke. 

Everyone probably knows that Nuke's Particle Emitter node can generate cool FX, often used to enhance renders from Houdini or other software. But did you know that Nuke's particle system is capable of more than just creating dust and wind effects? It can also scatter foliage and grass leaves on a selected area, making your project look even more realistic and natural.  

There’s a very quick and handy technique that can be used if the camera is not doing any extreme movement or the 3D department is too busy to render out any assets for you. 

Whether the images you are using are renders from the production or jpgs from the internet, make sure the resolution is adequate: this will help to ensure that the leaves look sharp and realistic. 

Use a variety of different leaf sizes and shapes. This will help to create a more natural look. 
Adjust the colour of the leaves to match the environment, for example if you are creating grass leaves for a forest scene, you will want to use a darker green colour. 

Watch the video below for more information on how to achieve this effect in Nuke.