CMAI’s VFX Courses

Introduction to Compositing: Rotoscope, Tracking and Clean up Artist for VFX

The aim of this course is to train new entrants / graduates in the basic steps of Rotoscoping, tracking and plate clean-up for the VFX industry. This is an entry-level position, but it is the start of your career in the VFX industry.

By the end of the course, you will be capable of taking on tasks and a role at a junior level in a VFX studio. The key area of focus which is in very high demand is the labour-intensive position of Tracking, Rotoscope & Clean Up artist. We will take graduates or new entrants with little or no experience in VFX and Nuke the principal software in this position and get them ready to take on a role in a studio.


The course is for recent graduates from creative courses /Animation and VFX. Also, it is for anyone interested in getting into the VFX industry and looking at an entry-level position. There is no need to have a showreel or portfolio but an intertest in the VFX industry is important.

Technical requirements:

  • Must have access to a computer/laptop or iPad.
  • Must have a microphone and camera attached to the computer.
  • A separate or second monitor is recommended.
  • Must have good reliable internet connectivity 40Mbps + approx.
  • A graphics tablet is recommended.


6 weeks online training fulltime + 2 weeks job placement in person onsite in a studio

Start date:



  • Donal Nolan – VFX supervisor at EGG VFX
  • Andrew Rea – Industry professional & College Lecturer

Development Team:

  • Brian Gilmore – Course Director at CMAI
  • VFXAI – Collaboration with studio members & EGG VFX


Course Overview

The Course is 6 weeks in duration and is a mix of lectures and hands-on demonstrations as well as self-led learning and assignments.

There are multiple 2-hour lectures every week, with the Comp/VFX Supervisor. These lectures cover the basic principles of rotoscoping, and how best to use Nuke to achieve good rotoscoping/tracking and cleanup. They provide an opportunity for the students to ask questions and for solutions to particular issues.

The students are then expected to work on assignments that will reinforce the learning from the classes. They will be given different types of footage – e.g. a moving car, people dancing, cast in front of a blue/ green screen. They are given a time estimation on how long to spend on these assignments. The students are asked to submit their scripts/shots to the supervisor during the week using Shotgrid. These are then reviewed, and individual feedback is provided to the students on a regular basis. It is set up to emulate a studio environment as much as possible.

By the end of the programme, the graduates will:

  • be capable of taking on tasks and a role at a junior level in a VFX studio. This is an entry-level position, but it is the start of your career in the VFX industry.
  • be comfortable using Nuke software
  • be knowledgeable of the VFX pipeline and terminology
  • have the basic skillset required to take on junior tasks in a VFX studio
  • have been exposed to and got comfortable with professional feedback and reviews

LECTURE 1  (1st & 2nd week)

Introduction to Nuke in Studio – Recap on basics

LECTURE 2  (3rd week)

Basics of rotoscoping

LECTURE 3  (3rd week)

Intermediate rotoscoping

LECTURE 4  (3rd week)

Advanced Rotoscoping

LECTURE 5  (3rd week)

Clean up & Paint

LECTURE 6  (4th week)

Basic tracking

LECTURE 7  (4th week)

Intermediate Tracking

LECTURE 8  (5th week)

Advanced Tracking

LECTURE 9  (5th week)

Basics of compositing 1

LECTURE 10  (5th week)

Basics of compositing 2

LECTURE 11  (6th week)

Compositing- keying and layering

LECTURE 12  (6th week)

Studio etiquette, Feedback & Reviews

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