Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

The Foundry to launch free edition of Nuke Studio


During last night’s live stream unveiling Nuke 9, NukeX 9 and the new Nuke Studio, by far the most popular user question in chat was: ‘Is there going to be a freelance/student/low-price licence?’

So after the upcoming releases had been demonstrated, The Foundry’s final announcement of the night came as a welcome surprise: there is indeed going to be a new, free, non-commercial edition of the Nuke products.

The release will be a non-commercial edition of Nuke Studio, and will therefore contain all of the toolsets of Nuke itself – and, for the first time, NukeX.

Fewer limitations than Nuke PLE
Better still, unlike the existing Nuke PLE, it won’t be watermarked. “Frankly, the watermark is annoying,” said product marketing manager Philippa Carroll.

Some of the other functional restrictions of the PLE edition, such as the omission of FrameCycler – due to be replaced in Nuke 9 with a new flipbook tool – have also been lifted.

However, some restrictions remain: data – including Nuke scripts and gizmos – is encrypted on export, so only the non-commercial edition can read the files; and Python scripting is limited.

Output resolution will also be limited to HD, and “2D format support disabled for DNxHD, MPEG”.

For non-profit use, but not for teaching
For the purposes of the new licence, The Foundry regards non-commercial use as ‘personal learning, personal projects, experimentation and research’.

Use of the software to provide any kind of service to a third party is prohibited, including teachiing, for which the existing educational licences will be retained.

Good news for new users, then, if not as an aggressive promotional policy as Autodesk, which offers completely unrestricted versions of its tools to students – and, since earlier this month, schools and colleges as well.

The new non-commercial edition of Nuke Studio is due for release early next year as a 30-day rolling licence.

Updated: You can find an official list of feature restrictions and use conditions for the non-commercial edition on The Foundry’s website. The line about ‘not available for use during the user’s normal working hours’ has caused a lot of comment on forums: you can read a clarification from The Foundry in this thread.

Read more about the new features in the Nuke 9 product family