Thursday, November 29th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

The Foundry ships Nuke 7.0

Nuke 7.0 improves the performance of The Foundry’s compositing system, including partial support for GPU acceleration. See more videos showing off the software’s new features on the developer’s Vimeo channel.

The Foundry has released Nuke 7.0: a major update to its industry-standard compositing system that the developer describes as having “taken things people love about [the software] and supercharged them”.

We wrote about the new features in Nuke 7.0 – of which the most significant is probably partial support for GPU acceleration – when it was first announced in September.

Nothing major seems to have been added since then, although the full features list includes a few Easter eggs, such as improvements to the particle system.

However, the developer has now posted a number of videos of the new features; and you can read an enthusiastic user quote from VFX supervisor – and former CG Channel interviewee – Rob Nederhorst in the official press release below.

Nuke 7.0 is out now for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The standard edition of the software costs $4,900 and NukeX costs $8,000.

Press release (Excerpts)
Leading visual effects software developer The Foundry is pleased to announce that it has launched 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 is available to purchase now. 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.

Speed improvements
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: “7.0 is literally our biggest ever update to NUKE and one that’s going to please a lot of industry people. Core tools have been improved, brand new functionality has been added and NUKE is now faster than ever. We’ve taken all the things that people love about NUKE and supercharged them.”

Robert Nederhorst, VFX Supervisor, Svengali Visual Effects: “The NUKE team has put a lot of soul into this release. It’s chocked so full of goodness that you want to have it sold at a donut shop. With full-on RAM caching, Alembic support, a completely revamped tracking system, and a whole new modeling toolset you’d figure that the team would be tired. Not true. They have added so much more on top of this, while striving to reduce RAM issues, crashing, and much more. I think someone is putting some special sauce in the water there in London.”

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.

Streamlined compositing
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.

Read a full list of features in Nuke 7.0