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Visual Effects Design Lab - TFT00008M

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Paul Ryan
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module summary

This module enables students to understand the visual effects creation process in detail. This includes gaining a fundamental knowledge of visual effects design as well as a detailed practical understanding of compositing and how visual effects work is integrated into film and television projects.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

To provide a hands-on environment in which advanced visual effects techniques and technologies can be explored through solving real-world problems.

To enhance and develop a range of creative and technical skills in visual effects creation using industry standard systems.

To provide the basic mathematical fundamentals required to enable the exploration of image processing algorithm design.

To develop and encourage professional production values through technical expertise and reflective learning.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students are expected to be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of picture compositing algorithms and demonstrate their use in industry-standard postproduction tools Nuke.

Demonstrate an understanding of the technologies and applications of digital matte creation, rotoscoping, object tracking, matchmoving and compositing as well as demonstrate how tools are applied in visual effects creation.

Demonstrate an understanding of and basic facility with the use of custom scripting in node-based compositing systems.

Demonstrate a basic understanding of virtual camera work and practical set augmentation.


Task Length % of module mark
Production Project with Reflective Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Practical sessions each week involve supervised exercises where detailed feedback is provided.


Task Length % of module mark
Production Project with Reflective Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Detailed feedback will be given to students on their production project by Week 5 SpT

Indicative reading


Ganbar, R. (2014) Nuke 101: Professional Compositing and Visual Effects, 2nd Ed.. Berkeley: Peachpit Press.

Brinkman, R. (2008) The Art and Science of Digital Compositing, 2nd Ed. Morgan Kaufmann.


Lanier, L. (2013) Digital Compositing with Nuke. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.

Lanier, L. (2010) Professional Digital Compositing Techniques: Essential Tools and Techniques. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing.

Foster, J. (2010) The Green Screen Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing.

Wright, S. (2010) Digital Compositing for Film and Video, 3rd Ed. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Van Hurkman, A. (2011) Color Correction Handbook. Berkeley: Peachpit Press.

Sawicki, M. (2007) Filming the Fantastic: A Guide to Visual Effects Cinematography. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Brown, B. (2002) Cinematography Theory and Practice. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Dobbert, T. (2005) Matchmoving: The Invisible Art of Camera Tracking. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing.


Millimeter Magazine:

Digital Video Magazine:

TV Technology:

Televisual (UK, pay only):

Broadcast Engineering:

Post Magazine:

Computer Graphics World:

Cinefex (pay only, in library):

3D World:

VFX World:


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.