Foundry has released Nuke 13.2, the next version of its node-based compositing software.
In all three editions of the software – Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio – the update speeds up rendering of Nuke scripts, further reworks the 3D UI, and adds support for the NDI network protocol.
Both NukeX and Nuke Studio get further updates to the new AI toolset and Unreal Engine live link, while Nuke Studio gets support for OpenTimelineIO (OTIO), Pixar’s new open standard for editorial cut data.
Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio 13.2: Top-down rendering speeds up node graph processing
The big structural change in all three editions of the software is the way that Nuke’s node graph is rendered: now done node-by-node from the top down, rather than scanline-by-scanline on demand.
As a result, the image in the Viewer updates in one go, rather than line by line.
But more importantly, Nuke scripts should render much faster: Foundry says that in its internal testing, scripts rendered 20% faster on average, with some rendering 150% faster.
Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio 13.2: More improvements to the 3D user experience
The overhaul of Nuke’s on-screen 3D manipulators, begun in Nuke 13.1, continues in the new release.
Users can now set the pivot point of a 3D object to the vertex selected, making it easier to position precisely; and can rotate the pivot point both in the Properties panel and directly in the Viewer.
The update also introduces a new free rotate algorithm – a “long-standing feature request” – making rotation of 3D objects in the viewer more intuitive.
Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio 13.2: Support for the NDI network protocol
All three editions of the software now support NewTek’s NDI network protocol for sharing video across a local area network.
The change is backed up by changes to the Monitor Out system – now available as a tab in the Viewer – making it possible to use multiple floating windows or NDI streams simultaneously.
NukeX and Nuke Studio 13.2 only: Better handling of ID mattes in Unreal Reader
Introduced in Nuke 13.1, the UnrealReader node creates a live link to Unreal Engine, letting users build composites from render passes generated in the game engine, now increasingly also used for VFX work.
Although it officially remains in beta in Nuke 13.2, tbe update adds new options for handling matte IDs.
When using Cryptomatte, users can now segment a scene by actor, by folder, and by material.
When using Unreal Engine’s native Stencil Layers, users can now pick elements visually, as with Cryptomatte, as well as from a list; and can use the same wildcard selection syntax as Cryptomatte.
NukeX and Nuke Studio 13.2 only: multi-GPU support in AIR
The 13.2 update also further extends AIR, Nuke’s machine learning framework, intended to enable users to train their own neural networks to automate repetive tasks like roto and marker removal.
The CopyCat node, used to train a neural network, now runs “up to 30%” faster on one GPU, and can now run on multiple GPUs: either to run one training session on many GPUs, or different sessions on each GPU.
In addition, Foundry has removed the cap on the number of training images used: CopyCat now supports more than four input channels, making it possible to train networks for more complex use cases.
Nuke Studio 13.2 only: support for OpenTimelineIO
Nuke Studio, which combines NukeX’s compositing toolset with editorial and shot review tools, gets support for OpenTimelineIO.
Developed at Pixar, and now gradually being adopted by off-the-shelf shot review and management tools, OTIO is an open API and interchange format for editorial cut data: a kind of souped-up Edit Decision List.
OTIO 1.0 still hasn’t been released, so the feature is still officially in beta, but the initial implementation supports import and export of clips, tracks and transitions, and linear retimes in OTIO edits.
Nuke Studio 13.2 only: other new features
Other new features in Nuke Studio 13.2 include support for non-linear dissolves in the Timeline.
Performance has been further improved, with the average time to load a project in .hrox format cut to 60% of that in Nuke Studio 13.0; and support introduced for ARRI Image SDK 7.0 and Blackmagic RAW SDK 2.2.
Pricing and system requirements
Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio 13.2 are available for Windows 10+, CentOS 7.4-7.6 Linux, and macOS 11+.
Pricing has risen since the release of Nuke 13.1, with the price of node-locked and floating licences of Nuke up $270 to $5,518; NukeX licences up $500 to $10,268; and Nuke Studio licences up $570 to $11,868.
Artists with revenue under $100,000/year can use Nuke Indie, which provides the same toolset as Nuke Studio, but which has a number of other restrictions. It’s rental-only, and is priced at $499/year.
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