Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Foundry ships Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio 11.0

Foundry has released its Nuke 11.0 family of software – compositing, finishing and editorial products Nuke 11.0, NukeX 11.0 and Nuke Studio 11.0 – after three months in public beta.

The update introduces Live Groups, a new collaboration feature; updates Nuke to the VFX Reference Platform 2017 standard; and increases support for GPU acceleration on non-Nvidia GPUs via OpenCL.

New Live Groups system lets multiple artists work on shots simultaneously
The biggest new feature in Nuke 11.0 is Live Groups (below). The new collaboration system creates external scripts that can be referenced in other Nuke scripts, updating automatically every time they are loaded.

The system makes it possible for several artists to work on the same scene simultaneously, rather than completing their part of the work, rendering out, and passing the results on to the next artist.

The workflow should be familiar to anyone who uses external file referencing or live linking in 3D software.

Support for selected AMD GPUs via OpenCL
The other key changes in Nuke 11.0 are under the hood, one of the biggest being support for OpenCL on Windows and Linux. Previously, Nuke only supported the open GPU computing framework on Mac Pros.

The work means that operations that were previously only GPU-accelerated on Nvidia graphics cards – including timeline playback, and many key nodes – are now also accelerated on AMD and Intel hardware.

Updated 27 July: Foundry tells us that no Intel GPUs are officially supported with Nuke 11.0.

That can make a big difference to the speed of common workflow tasks: Foundry tells us that nodes like ZDefocus and MotionBlur run 200-300% faster when GPU support is enabled than on the CPU alone.

So far, only five AMD GPUs are officially supported – the new Radeon Pro WX 7100, the older FirePro W8100 and W9100, and the Radeon R9 Fury X and RX 480 games cards – but AMD says it expects the list to grow.

Support for VFX Reference Platform 2017
The other big structural change in Nuke 11.0 is support for VFX Reference Platform 2017.

Overseen by the Visual Effects Society’s technology committee, the platform specifies key tools and programming libraries for use in VFX software in order to minimise support issues in Linux-based pipelines.

The list includes core Linux components like gcc and glibc; programming language Python; GUI toolkit Qt and its bindings; open graphics standards like OpenEXR, OpenSubdiv, OpenVDB, Alembic, OpenColorIO and ACES; and key proprietary formats like FBX.

New in Nuke 11.0: improved Denoise and background rendering, Truelight is deprecated
Other new features in Nuke 11.0 itself include a new temporal processing option, which averages noise reduction over several frames instead of applying it on a per-frame basis, helping improve results.

Frame Server, Nuke Studio’s background rendering system, is now also part of Nuke and NukeX, the extended edition of the base compositing software.

In addition, Truelight, FilmLight’s colour-management system, is no longer bundled with Nuke.

Foundry says that the old Truelight node has been “superseded by the free version of Baselight for Nuke”, which can import Truelight strips, along with the OpenColorIO colour-management standard.

New in NukeX and Nuke Studio: better lens distortion and disk caching
Outside the base edition, NukeX gets a revamped – and GPU-enabled – LensDistortion node (above), with support for fisheye and wide-angle lenses, and better import of data from other lens estimation packages.

The Smart Vector toolset for paint and clean-up work introduced in Nuke 10.0 can also now calculate vectors in the background, enabling users to get on with other tasks.

Editorial and finishing suite Nuke Studio gets Timeline Disk Cache, a new GPU-accelerated local disk caching system “for smoother playback of sequences where you don’t want to localise footage”.

Nuke Studio can also now import nonlinear retimes imported from Avid Media Composer in .aaf format.

Pricing and availability
Nuke 11.0, NukeX 11.0 and Nuke Studio 11.0 are available for 64-bit Windows 7 and 10, CentOS 6+ Linux, and Mac OS X 10.11+.

New node-locked and floating licences both cost $4,324 for Nuke 11.0, $8,060 for NukeX 11.0 and $9,331 for Nuke Studio, including one year’s maintenance. Render licences cost $489. Rental pricing is also available.

Read a full list of new features in Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio 11.0 in the release notes

Visit the Nuke product website

Full disclosure: in my work as a freelance writer, I helped Foundry and AMD prepare some of the marketing material for Nuke 11.0. CG Channel has no financial relationship with either company.