Thoughts on Nuke 9

Nuke 9 was released yesterday. I’ve been using the beta on and off for the past few months, I have a few thoughts on it.

Once change that drives me crazy is that the O hotkey no longer turns overlays on and off, it’s now the ‘out’ hotkey to set your playback range. Muscle memory dies hard, and I constantly hit O to turn off overlays instead of the new hotkey Q. It’s annoying but I understand that having I and O be the hotkeys for In and Out makes more sense.

If you use regular Nuke, I suspect you’ll likely think that it’s just an evolutionary bump. The UI has been cleaned up a bit. You have speed ups for the read nodes and scanline renderer. Nuke finally has it’s own native flip book which brings back full screen playback. Lots of nice little things like ‘Look At’ pipes for cameras and axis, but hardly anything that would fundamentally change your workflow.

If you use NukeX, then things get interesting. The update to Kronos is very, very nice. Shots that previously would get mangled into heat haze hell are now actually retimed with very few artifacts. Challenging shots still get artifacting, but it’s much, much less than before. They propagated this tech into the Motion Blur node as well which works great too.

Over the past few years I’ve been using Mocha more and more for challenging tracks where I haven’t been able to get a 3D track on the footage. I would sometimes try Nuke’s Planar Tracker and was always disappointed with it. It seemed like you needed the ideal footage for it to work. It’s much better (and faster) now, and I’ll be much more inclined to try Nuke’s tracker first before I go out to Mocha.

For me, improving these two tools are huge improvements to Nuke’s toolset. All the other stuff is nice, but improving tools that I use every day is a big, big deal.

Looking back, it’s pretty amazing the complete overhaul that Nuke has had since The Foundry has taken it over. Compare Nuke 4 to where it is now and pretty much everything about it has been improved. I’m hoping that the 3D system will get a performance update for Nuke 10. Whenever I bring in large geometry Nuke slows to a crawl.

As for Nuke Studio...  I'm sure people who need it will love it.  I doubt I'll ever have the chance to use it much.