iNuked - Part Deux (Read & Write Nodes)

iNuked - Part Deux (Read & Write Nodes)

After an incredibly busy couple of months dealing with students' end of courses projects, as well as completing the first shot for my own showreel, I've found the time to work on the next episode of iNuked: my personal project to explore the possibilities of using The Foundry's professional compositing software NUKE, on my MacBook Air.

The topic I've decided to continue with after my first post may seem rather abstract to users within larger pipelines, but fitting if you are someone who has to deal with a multitude of requests: namely converting file formats.

As one of Escape's Studio Assistants, I regularly help students convert footage for their projects, which when comped become shots on their showreel. But when converting movie files into an appropriate image sequence, I'm constantly required to accommodate different CODECs, usually centred around Quicktime. However simple this task may seem, it often proves most frustrating.

For example, we run NUKE on Linux in the studios for our Compositing Courses but provide support for our students who run either Mac OS or Windows on their home PC's. I found that working across these differing operating systems, we never have the same CODEC support out of the box.

As a result we often find ourselves rebooting between OS, hack fixing file extensions or downloading freeware to convert files. Understandably, none of these solutions are ideal, especially when deadlines are tight. This is where the MacBook Air has demonstrated its first strength. For example, it was able to step in with a pre-built script I wrote, loaded with multiple Write Nodes, that was ready to receive each student's sequence, and then write out the footage in the appropriate Quicktime format. Because the MacBook Air is independent from the network and boasts a 250GB Solid State Drive, these renders were adequately fast.

Obviously the situation I've just described only considers my personal requirements, so to try and make this post more objective I will attempt to consider all angles. I understand the MacBook Air has its obvious drawbacks compared to a workstation tower. These include the 11" screen, which often makes navigation a little harder, as well as the ergonomic change from using a track pad as opposed to a Wacom pen and tablet.

So for any freelancer or post house who requires a resource for this particular process, the cost to benefit ratio of having an expensive Mac device on top of an additional NUKE license, makes this solution unfeasible.

Increasingly iDevice Applications are becoming available to download, so a cost effective solution would be if the The Foundry developed a low cost app specifically designed to replicate NUKE's Read & Write Node functionality. This would give users with the full range of rendering capability that Apple have to offer at a more cost effective price.

As an added benefit it may increase The Foundry's market share and make their solutions more accessible to the consumer/prosumer market.

Thanks for embarking on this 'iNuked' journey of discovery with me. Watch this space for part three coming soon and I look forward to reading your comments!

Happy Comping :)

4 Comments Simon  Richardson

Posted by
Simon Richardson
Wed 4 Jan 2012: 12:42pm

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  • Dilyan Aynadzhiev:

    Hi Leandro,

    From my experience Nuke is stable on most of the Linux distributions such as RedHat, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu.

    But I think the best you can do is dual boot Windows 7 64bit and Linux CentOS 64bit, because if you are newbie in Linux and some times maybe you will need some software that runs only on Windows.

    Monday we can chat about this issue together with Simon and other Tutor with more Nuke experience so you can take the decision with OS will give you the best performance for The Foundry products.

    System Engineer
    Escape Studios

  • Leandro Vázquez:

    thanks Simon,

    which version of Linux would you install to run NUke excluding the REDHAt version recommended by The Foundry ?


    see you next week, I will try to find you

  • Simon Richardson:

    No worries bud. Just come and find me on Monday or anytime you are free and we can go over anything you need. Have a good weekend and see you next week :)

  • Leandro Vazquez:

    I start compositing professional course at escape studios on Monday the 9th...I need some help to decide and calibrate my operating system for my laptop, a dell precision m6600. I need to decide between Linux and windows to run and get the best of my computer. It's a powerful machine and I want to get the maximum of it. I hope to meet with you and chat of it.
    Kind regards !

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