Friday, October 9th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Natron 2.0 ships

Natron’s trailer from Siggraph 2015 shows both features introduced in the original release of the open-source compositor and in version 2.0, the first release candidate for which has just become available for download.

Originally posted on 9 October 2015. Scroll down for news of the stable release.

Natron’s development team has just released version 2.0 of the open-source compositor, adding Python support, roto painting and a new dopesheet editor. The first release candidate is available to download now.

A free, pipeline-friendly VFX compositing package
Developed at French public computer science research institution Inria, Natron is intended to provide a VFX-capable node-based compositing tool with a familiar Nuke-like UI.

It includes toolsets for compositing, tracking and rotoscoping, and provides a 32-bit floating-point linear pipeline, supporting the OpenColorIO colour-management and OpenImageIO file import/export frameworks.

Natron is released under an MPL V2 licence, meaning it can be used for commercial work, and supports OpenFX plugins, including GenArts’ Sapphire and The Foundry’s software.

New in Natron 2.0: Python support
The 2.0 release further rounds out Natron’s feature set: most notably through the addition of a Python 2.7 API, enabling users to customise the software or create their own tools.

PySide, the Python binding of popular UI toolkit Qt, has been integrated with the GUI, enabling users to create their own menus and windows; and node groups can be exported as Python plugins for use in other projects.

The SeExpr expression language, originally developed at Disney Animation, has also been integrated as a node, as has the HTML-like markup language Pango.

Rotopainting, a new animation dopesheet, plus new image-processing nodes
Other major new features include a new RotoPaint node with support for Wacom tablets; a new dopesheet editor organising clips and keyframes; and a Text plugin with “many more controls than the previous Text node”.

There are also a new set of nodes based on the ImageMagick library: ReadPSD, ReadSVG, Charcoal, Oilpaint, Sketch, Arc, Polar, Polaroid, Reflection, Roll, Swirl, Tile and Texture.

In addition, there are separate new LensDistortion and TimeBlur nodes, and a set of new merge operators: grain-extract, grain-merge, color, hue, luminosity.

Pipeline and workflow improvements
Workflow improvements include new gamma and gain controls on the viewer, and better support for multi-view workflows, including the option to synchronise projection across multiple viewers.

There is also a new render statistics option in the Render menu intended for debugging complex compositions; and the WriteFFMPEG and ReadFFMPEG nodes have been rewritten to support “most widely used codecs”.

In addition, the node view now supports multi-layered workflows to create cleaner graphs, and there are performance and stability enhancements “across the board”.

Updated 18 March 2016: Natron 2.0 is now an official stable release. The software is available for Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.6+ and a range of common Linux distros. It runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Read a full list of new features in Natron 2.0

Download Natron 2.0