Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

The Foundry details new features of Nuke 9, NukeX 9

The Foundry has announced more details of the new features in Nuke 9 and NukeX 9, the forthcoming updates to its industry-standard compositing tools – including some hard numbers for the promised speed boosts.

The announcements were made a live event held last night in London, alongside details of new VFX, editorial and finishing system Nuke Studio, and a new free non-commercial edition of the software.

New native flipbook, better 2D format support
New tools in both editions of the software include a new native flipbook panel (shown above), replacing FrameCycler, the third-party tool previously bundled with Nuke.

Support for 2D formats has also been extended, with support for “MXF files, including read from MXF for DNxHD, MPEG2, Sony RAW (F55 and F65), AVCI and DV image files”.

Speed increases, particularly for particles and reading EXR files
Aside from that, it’s largely speed boosts, with Nuke product manager Jon Wadelton citing an average performance increase of 2.4 times over the previous release.

However, some feature sets have been optimised far more: particles are 3.7 times faster, and reading scanline-compressed EXR, Deep EXR and tiled EXR files is 4.8, 13.5 or 25.0 times faster, respectively.

As Wadelton noted of tiled EXRs: “you might be able to use them [in production] now”.

NukeX users also get Kronos, a new GPU-accelerated retiming system based in part on The Foundry’s research for its Ocula stereoscopic toolset, shown in the video above.

The planar tracker has also been overhauled with a new pattern-matching algorithm. It’s integrated into the roto node, and is described as being better for noisy or blurry objects, as well as more stable.

Pricing and availability
Nuke 9 and NukeX 9 are due to ship by the end of November for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X – including support for the new Mac Pro.

Pricing wasn’t mentioned at the live event, but The Foundry’s website is listing a new price of $7,920 for NukeX from 1 November, down slightly from $8,070 on the release of NukeX 8.0.

There is also a new one-year payment plan, which enables new users to spread the cost of their first seat of any Nuke product across 12 monthly payments, leading to a permanent licence at the end.

Read more about the Nuke 9 product family on The Foundry’s website

Watch videos of the new features in the Nuke 9 family on Vimeo
(Note: some apply only to Nuke Studio)