Foundry’s new Nuke Indie

The Foundry has formally released Nuke 12.2, the next feature release for Nuke, which has been in successful beta for some time, and also a new Nuke Indie. This newest version of Nuke is aimed at remote working, independent or freelance professionals.

Nuke Indie

A functionally restricted version of Nuke Studio that solo and freelance artists can use on commercial projects. Nuke Indie is limited to 1 seat per user/organisation per year. Nuke Indie combines the standard node-based compositing toolset of NukeX with the conform, editorial and review capabilities found in Nuke Studio, making Nuke Indie a great option for a number of different types of projects.

Nuke Indie cannot be used in a pipeline with any other Nuke licenses (commercial or indie). It is available as an annual subscription priced at $499/£399/EUR449 per year.

Nuke Indie sits between the Non-commercial Nuke and the full commercial version.  It does support monitor outputs and importantly it has Primatte and Ultimatte included but you can not save setups from Indie or gizmos and open them in the Commercial version. This is to stop it being used as a cheaper TD station that might develop templates for a major pipeline. But with the significantly cheaper entry-level Indie is ideal for an artist who finds themselves no longer at a studio due to COVID-19 and doing their own freelance work. Unlike the Non-commercial version with is locked at a low 1920×1080 output format, Indie can output 4K work ( precisely: 12,746,752 pixels, which is slightly bigger than DCI 4K cinema standard).

There is one slightly odd restriction, Indie does not support H.264 AVC variant import. Although the Foundry admitted that based on user feedback they may look at this in the future. There is also no AAC audio import support but this should prove much less of an issue to most VFX artists. What is important is that the Indie version has both LUT and EDL/XML, something missing in the non-commercial version. It also supports Nuke Studio’s conform and editorial functions, and it can read commercial Nuke and Hiero scripts that one might have from prior tests or projects and use BlinkScript in the timeline and node graph. The software can be used offline, it only needs online activation every 30days, but it does force version upgrades to reduce support issues.

Nuke Indie supports all Nuke and NukeX nodes, including WriteGeo, so it will be a great option for individuals who know Nuke and want to work from home, something the Foundry is keen to do. The product team is very aware of the struggles facing many artists as facilities spread out remotely and hold off renewing contracts until production starts back up post-COVID.

Nuke 12.2

As already announced Nuke 12.2 is the third release of Nuke 12, starting from Nuke 12.0 in September 2019. Key themes and highlights of Nuke 12:

  • Artist experience and keeping artists’ eyes on images
  • UI interactivity, High DPI monitor support, new Shuffle ○Streamlining data into comp
  • Additional format support and EXR performance ○Multiple shots in context
  • Rebuilt playback engine in Nuke Studio
USD readGEO node

What is significant about 12.2 is the introduction of native support for USD in Nuke.  Nuke 12.2 introduces the ability to read USD data using Nuke’s ReadGeo node, enabling artists to work with USD in much the same way as other 3D formats. It is not full or final USD support but this with initial support, studios can more easily experiment with using USD in Nuke and those already using USD can adapt this node to create a more integrated pipeline. The Foundry’s adoption and support of USD will no doubt prove to be pivotal in wider scale adoption of USD. It is hard to find people who doubt USD will be a major force, but practically speaking it is not widely adopted yet and many facilities are still experimenting with it.

Sync Review

12.2 is also the first implementation of Sync Review which allows users of Nuke Studio, Hiero, and HieroPlayer in multiple locations to review and annotate footage collaboratively. Each user has access to the playback controls, annotations, and version system, letting participants run collaborative review sessions. Footage needs to be available for all participants either locally or through a central server. While Foundry have plans to extend this further, they are releasing SyncReview now to support teams working remotely in the current COVID environment. For exactly the same pandemic reasons, Foundry now allows users to “check-out” licenses from a floating licence server for use remotely for up to 30 days at a time.

Sync Review new in NUKE 12.2