By pressing Space you can maximise any of the following windows.
The big black rectangle is the viewer. This is where the composition will be displayed – much like any software that deals with moving image. You can use the mousewheel to zoom in and out, or click and hold the middle mouse/ alt+lmb to pan.
Just below the viewer is the timeline which works the same way as any video editing software – letting you move backwards and forwards between frames. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move forward and back between frames.
The big grey box at the bottom centre with “Viewer 1” in the middle is the node graph. Anything plugged into “Viewer 1” will be displayed on the viewer. What is plugged in can be changed by selecting a node in the graph and pressing a number key. By selecting different nodes and assigning them to different numbers, you can swap between them by pressing the corresponding number key. When in the graph, you can press TAB to open the node browser, letting you search for a node and add it to the graph. When creating nodes, one of the most commonly used is the merge node. This has two inputs, A and B. When working with Nuke, everything should feed into the B spine – with the background near the top of it. Everything that feeds into the B spine should ideally be to the left of it. A good way of remembering it is to think of B as ‘background’, so everything should be placed on top of it. By holding Ctrl you can create corner nodes to organise your graph which is a good idea because they will quickly become a mess.
To the right of the screen is the properties bin. This is where extended details of nodes will be placed. For example, if you select a merge node, you will be able to choose what type of merge you would like to use (Add, Multiply, Over etc). This can get densely packed quickly, so it’s a good idea to change the number of contents from 10 to about 3 (located at the top).
Before doing any work at all, you will want to click on the bin and press S to open up the project settings. From here you can change the resolution (Change to 1080p) the framerate (You’ll want to keep that at 24) and the timeline range.
Don’t like the layout? You can click and drag the top of a window to move it to a different place on the screen.