Report on The Foundry's Nuke 9 Live Stream

The Foundry held their Nuke event yesterday.  Nuke 9 was NOT released which makes my blog post yesterday look dumb.  They went through the whole event without mentioning the release date.  I asked in the chat room and they said it should be released before the end of November.  The presentation went over a lot of stuff that they've shown before but was very interesting. 

The first part went over an explanation and demonstration of Nuke Studio.  If you haven't been following what Nuke Studio is, imagine a version of Hiero that had NukeX integrated into it.  It's cool, but it's unlikely that most compers would use it since they have little interaction with editorial.  It definitely will be competing with Flame.

The second part dealt with updates to Nuke.  It included:

  • The new Retimer.  Lots of examples of how this version is superior to the legacy version.
  • The same algorithm that powers the Retimer also drives the improved Motion Blur tool.
  • The new planar tracker.  I've been using Mocha more and more the past few years, I'll be very impressed if Nuke can match Mocha's performance.
  • The Denoise tool is now in regular Nuke, not just NukeX.
  • There's a new flip book in Nuke, replacing FrameCycler.  Same tech that's in Nuke Studio's playback engine.
  • You can now bounce particles with imported geometry.
  • Mipmaping tech in the Scanline Render.  Should lead to better performance with large textures.
  • LookAt inputs have been added to other 3D objects like Axis and Cameras.

The third part of the presentation dealt with performance.  What I got from the presentation is that they spent a lot of time optimizing I/O with reading EXRs and Deep Reads.  The presentation had impressive graphs detailing the speed ups (some of the improvements from Nuke 8 were huge).  They worked on speeding up the Scanline Render and added a very nice Performance Monitor that will create heat maps in your node graph that show which part of your comp is slowing you down.

They announced certified specifications for guaranteed realtime 4K playback with HP and Nvidia hardware.  Some of the new computers coming out from HP had insane specs, like 36 cores and up to 2TB of RAM.  Nuke Studio can take advantage of this by rendering multiple frames at a time while you work.

Then they went into the presentations of companies that used the beta of Nuke Studio in production.  They were all interesting, especially the talk given by Alex Fry.

To wrap up they talked about price. 

  • If you're on NukeX, you can upgrade to Studio for $1650 USD.
  • If you have a Hiero license, you can get a free upgrade to Studio until the end of the year (not sure if this offer is until the end of the year or if the Studio license is until the end of the year)
  • If you bought the Production Collective you get Studio for free.
  • If you're a new customer, $9240 for Studio and a year of maintenance.
  • They introduced a new 12 month payment plan for Nuke, NukeX, Nuke Studio and the Production Collective.
  • They announced a free for non-commercial use version of Nuke, NukeX and Nuke Studio.  Non commercial means:
  • personal learning
  • personal projects
  • experimentation
  • research

You can't use it for profit or in the service of a 3rd party.  I believe it mentioned that projects cannot be opened from a non-commercial license in the commercial version, or in another non-commercial version (so personal use only, can't share your files).

The Foundry released a FAQ that explains the pricing structure and answers many other questions.  They have the event up on their website to watch as well.