The Foundry has announced Nuke 7.0: a major update to its industry-standard compositing package.
The headline feature of the Nuke 7.0 product line is GPU-acceleration – or at least, a range of GPU-accelerated nodes within NukeX, the top-of-the-range edition of the software.
Nodes supported include formerly “expensive 2D operators” like MotionBlur, Kronos, Denoise, VectorGenerator, Convolve and ZDefocus: the latter a rewrite of ZBlur.
The Foundry says that GPU support makes these operations “an [order of] magnitude faster”.
The announcement also eliminates a point of distinction between Nuke and its chief competitor, eyeon Software’s Fusion: one of the first VFX tools to embrace the OpenCL API. The Foundry’s own GPU support is CUDA-based.
Tracking, modelling and relighting
Roto workflow has also been enhanced, with a new 2D tracker and an update of keying tool Primatte to version 5.
The relighting tool has been updated, and is now a “fully supported node”, while NukeX users get ModelBuilder: a new toolset designed to “create 3D models of sets and props quickly and easily”.
According to product manager Jon Wadelton, ModelBuilder “can even do extrusions and cut 3D faces into the model”, eliminating the need to round trip back to a dedicated modelling package for simple tasks.
The public beta of Nuke 7.0 is available now for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. No date has been announced for the commercial release yet.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
Leading visual effects software developer, The Foundry is pleased to announce NUKE 7.0, a revolutionary version of its industry leading compositor.
The highly anticipated release of NUKE 7.0 is packed with a wide range of new features and substantial improvements. The updated version will be available to purchase this Autumn. Based on feedback from NUKE’s wide user base, this version of NUKE is faster and more user-optimised than ever before.
As well as some very exciting new additions, the focus of this release has been to really increase performance as well as adding support for Alembic and OpenEXR 2.0 Deep Data.
NUKE 7.0 introduces RAM cache, a sought after feature that will give users real-time playback. Also debuting in this major release are a variety of GPU accelerated nodes for NUKEX including MotionBlur, Kronos, Denoise, VectorGenerator, Convolve and ZDefocus. This is a fundamental change that will allow users to utilise the power of their GPUs to speed up interactive image processing times. When the GPU is available NUKEX will now take full advantage of that power. If however it’s unavailable, the software simply reverts back to the CPU without any need to adjust settings.
Jon Wadelton, NUKE Product Manager at The Foundry comments:
“This is the one people have been waiting for. It’s our biggest ever update to NUKE and one that’s going to keep a lot of VFX people happy. Core tools have been improved, brand new functionality has been added and NUKE is now faster than ever. We are really proud of it and can’t wait to get the release out later this year.”
Blurring the line between 2D and 3D
NUKE 7.0 also brings with it a number of options that allow artists to do more within NUKE. Users are now able to perform lighting tasks in a comp using the ReLight node and even model using NUKEX’s new ModelBuilder. Both of these additions reduce the need for artists to jump in and out of other programs or hand work off to other departments.
The roto tools in NUKE have also been entirely redefined to enhance performance and improve stereo support, giving artists more control than ever before. Support for new camera raw formats has been added including Alexa ARRIRAW and the latest R3D SDK. NUKE 7.0 includes Primatte 5 and a brand new 2D tracker with big updates to the workflow and speed. The SplineWarp node and Dope Sheet have also benefited from major improvements.
NUKE and NUKEX defined
NUKEX features the core NUKE toolset complimented with a range of exclusive cutting edge tools. Additional NUKEX features include GPU accelerated nodes, 3D camera tracker, modelling and point cloud generation as well as the FURNACECORE plug-in set.