In a fast paced industry, where new technologies are being introduced more frequently, it can be difficult to stay on top of which products successfully aid efficiency and quality in our work. It’s great to know that some companies take an opportunity to show off their products and how they are being utilised in the industry. Last Thursday I made a special effort to attend an event for NUKE and MARI software. The torrential down pour that evening made venturing out difficult, so I was glad to see so many people were able to attend. Armed with umbrellas and rain coats well over one hundred of us braved the weather to enjoy an evening with NUKE and MARI, an event hosted by Escape Studios in collaboration with The Foundry and HP.
The event involved a series of demos that walked us through the new features available on NUKE 6.3 and MARI 1.3. I was seeing MARI in action in more detail, in terms of production use, and was introduced to some fantastic new tools. VFX Supervisors and compositors (established and aspiring) made up the majority of the crowd. For the handful of Escape Studio students in the room, the information regarding MARI software was not altogether new. A fellow colleague at Escape – Simon Fenton - had introduced MARI to the Compositing Professional classroom only weeks before. This was a great opportunity to see the next step on how it was being utilised in production houses around Soho, London.
There were five speakers, Matt Brealey and Jack Greasley from The Foundry, Russell Dodgson and Henry South from Framestore and Thomas Dyg from Cinesite. Each speaker presented their own angle on how the software could be customised to suit individual tasks. In fact this was a rare opportunity to see some of the in house tools used by companies like Framestore and Cinesite, to see how NUKE was being used generally in their daily workflow.
Framestore presented two commercials where NUKE was extremely beneficial. The first was the CG heavy Coca-Cola commercial made for the American Super Bowl. If you haven’t seen this ad yet, check it out here. Russell Dodgson, gave an entertaining presentation on the computer generated koala bear in the recently aired Specsavers commercial. He explained how some of the new features in NUKE 6.3 would have been useful to make workflow faster and more interactive, especially when working with clients simultaneously. He demonstrated great tips to make compositing in NUKE faster and more flexible for creating changes in a usable approach for a television pipeline. It was a refreshing approach compared to the expected film use of NUKE.
As for Thomas Dyg, he shared his experience using NUKE while working on the recently released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2; the sequence with the large marble staircase. The customised Cinesite tools he demonstrated were amazing and showed how they configured NUKE so artists could concentrate on creating seamless shots while maintaining continuity across the sequence.
Matt and Jack from the Foundry took the new 6.3 tools further and showed more advanced implications which showed the interactive ease and creative power of MARI, planar tracking, and new particle generator in a workflow. It certainly convinced me that the next project I work on would benefit a lot from this time and creative control.
All in all, an incredibly useful event; not only did I learn lots, I was able to talk and mingle with some top professional talent and enjoy a drink at the same time.
You can check out a selection of photos from the event on our facebook page and if you’d like more information on NUKE or MARI, simply get in touch with our Technology team.