Foundry unveils Nuke 11.2 with exciting UI updates, deep compositing toolset improvements and more

Latest instalment of the cutting-edge Nuke series offers improved user experience, pipeline benefits and faster script building capabilities

Nuke 11.2 is out

Creative software developer, Foundry, today launches Nuke 11.2, bringing a range of exciting new features and updates to the industry-leading compositing toolkit. The latest instalment of this cutting-edge series will let artists work quicker than ever before through upgraded UI features and performance capabilities, alongside a new API for deep compositing that can increase the speed of script processing.

Jeff Ranasinghe, VFX Supervisor, commented: "The Nuke team has clearly been very industrious! Faster playback performance, UI updates such as drag and drop user knobs, and masks on Smart Vectors, all come together to make the experience far more gratifying and productive. With Nuke Studio, it’s great to see what was always an inspired concept become even more complete as the workhorse for production projects."

Key features for Nuke 11.2 include:

New API for deep compositing

Foundry tests have delivered 1.5x faster processing with a new API for deep compositing which manages memory efficiently. Larger scripts have scope for even faster processing speeds. Nuke 11.2 also includes updates to the DeepExpression node and the ability to use Nuke’s metadata nodes within a deep stream.

Faster node and user parameter creation

In this instalment, the Nuke Tab menu and UI for creating user knobs have been enhanced to improve user experience for some of the most common tasks: adding nodes and creating Gizmos.

The updated Tab menu allows artists to find nodes using partial words, set ‘favorite’ nodes and organize them via a weighting system. These improvements add up to substantial time savings when building scripts with a large number of nodes. 

A new UI allows user knobs to be linked between nodes by simply dragging and dropping. Artists can add, rearrange or remove user parameters using the same interface. This replaces the drop-down menus for picking user knobs, dramatically speeding up the setup of Live Groups and Gizmos and reducing the average number of clicks required from seven to three.

Smart Vector live output and mask input

The Smart Vector toolset is now even faster to use and more effective in shots with occluding objects. Smart Vector and Vector Distort have been optimized for the GPU, allowing users to generate Smart Vectors on the fly and preview the result without needing to pre-render the vectors.

A new mask input allows artists to identify areas of motion to ignore when generating the Smart Vectors and warping the paint or texture. As a result, the Smart Vector toolset can now be used on shots with occluding objects with less laborious manual clean-up, speeding up the use of the toolset in more complex cases.

Upgrades for Nuke Studio

Nuke Studio now benefits from an updated project panel UI, providing the artist with new visual controls for managing and organizing complex projects. For quick visual reference, artists can assign colors to items in the project bin and the timeline, based on file type and other parameters accessible via the UI and python API.

Artists can also set the poster frame for single or multiple clips in the bin or from the viewer: useful when working with clips that have black frames or slates at the start. These improvements will help artists to visually distinguish between different file types in a far easier way.

Nuke 11.2 brings improved sorting and searching features to Nuke Studio, allowing artists to easily arrange project bins in custom orders. Artists can also search through project items using multiple keyword and file metadata with keywords, or through all metadata. This improved functionality of the project panel will aid artists managing larger projects.

Christy Anzelmo, Senior Commercial Product Manager at Foundry, commented: “With Nuke 11.2, we’ve listened to our customers and built on the features introduced in previous Nuke 11 releases. Our focus has been on improving artists’ day-to-day experience and speeding up time-intensive tasks like deep compositing. This release will help teams tackle complex VFX work faster.”

Nuke 11.2 goes live today and will be available for purchase – alongside full release details – on Foundry’s website and via accredited resellers.