The artists’ guide to Cattery: what is it and what you need to know?
In the Nuke 13 series, we introduced our machine learning toolset. Comprised of CopyCat and the Inference node, the Research team wanted to give artists the ability to harness the power of ML and enable them to create and apply their own high-quality, sequence-specific effects.
In Nuke 13.1, we extended the Inference node so artists could load third-party PyTorch models. These models need to be converted into a format the Inference node can understand—the .cat file. However, this can be a technical process that may require a reasonable amount of work. Machine learning researchers have also been sharing a lot of their models on GitHub, but even though there has been an amazing number of fantastic machine learning models freely shared on GitHub, the ability to run them in Nuke may be limited to those who have a team of engineers to hand.
So, what’s the answer? Ours is Cattery.
‘But I don’t own any cats’
Don’t worry, Cattery doesn’t require you to own any cats to use it (although, they are always welcome). What it does offer you is a free library of machine learning models that can run in Nuke that everyone has access to. It doesn't matter if you’re a large studio or a solo artist, anyone can use the models hosted there.
If you hadn’t already guessed, the name stems from its origin—models made with CopyCat are stored as .cat files. Users will be able to download and share both third-party models converted to .cat files as well as .cat files that have been trained in CopyCat.
Cattery will be a repository of free additional Nuke plug-ins with each model providing different functionality. To start with, Foundry is going to convert an initial set of models and upload them for artists to access but our long-term goal is to open the site up for user submissions. This means that artists will be able to convert or create their own models and submit them to Cattery. The first version of the Cattery will be download only and hosted on the Foundry website.
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With Cattery, we hope to bridge the gap between academia and production so that everyone has the same opportunities. The idea of sharing with each other and making it accessible is a huge part of what Cattery, and Foundry, are about.
And that’s everything you need to know.
Now, it’s time to get stuck in. Use Cattery, find the models you want, and share with other artists. We’re excited to continue building this library with you and to see all the models that you create and share with the community.