I met up with Jon Wadelton at The Foundry a few days ago and we had a chat about what's new in NUKE 6.3. Here's what he had to say.
So what are the new features in NUKE 6.3?
We have loads of new features in NUKE. This is a huge update for us. We’ve divided the release into both updates to existing tools and brand new features.
We’ve added a new Planar tracker to NUKEX which is really exciting. The planar tracker is really great at tracking planar surfaces such as the side of the building or a card or a number plate and so on. It makes jobs like logo inserts, set-extensions etcetera really fast and easy to do. We worked a lot with clients on workflow in this tool too so I think it’s the fastest way get these sorts of jobs done.
Also in NUKEX we now have a new true 3D particle system. It’s all node based and very flexible. The particle system in NUKE is designed to do simple effects in your comp without having to go back to 3D. Stuff like dust hits, fog, volumetric lights, simple broken window sims are all really easy to set up. We’ve bundled a bunch of presets as well to get you going.
We’ve also added displacement map shading. What that does is defer the geometry subdivision to render time and can dynamically adjust the amount of subdivision required. This allows much faster render time. It was added for conversions and environment work. All of that provides for a much lower memory footprint and more artist interactivity.
One of the updates we like to talk about is our spline and grid warpers. Spline and grid warpers have been around for a long time and we’ve just rewritten the code. That was a request from our users. We unified the UI with our roto node as well so all the things you can do there like, attaching points to trackers, viewing points in the curve editor etcetera are there. Again we worked a lot on workflow too, the tools are dramatically quicker to use. It’s a huge update.
Another big update we included was the toolset systems. This allows you to save common nodes. What that means is that if you have common nodes you use all the time, you can put them in the UI and select “save”. Then, you can get the nodes to come back and you can group them and save on a menu for immediate recall. That makes them available for every session of NUKE.
Is there more?
Ah—we should talk about presets. Presets are a set of parameters on one node. So for example, say you are working with a specific camera node and want to save all those settings on that one camera. Then you can add multiple cameras and different settings and everything is still saved on that particular and specific camera.
We also added in Audio Scratch Track. That is a feature that for matching audio to FX. So now you can convert a wave form to an animation curve. That’s useful for any kind of a soundtrack. Say you need to match an image to the sound like particles that bounce to music that is playing. This feature is really useful for commercials because they do a lot of that kind of stuff.
For us having features that are useful to those who develop commercials is about people being generalists. In other words, one guy has to do multiple jobs when he/she is working on a commercial. It’s a little different with films—those artists usually do more specific tasks. One guy might just be a compositor and so forth. With commercials—those guys typically almost do it all. In NUKEX in particular, we made it possible to do a lot of the work without having to go to other packages to do other things. It’s the idea that with our 3D particle system, planer tracker, audio scratch track and all the other stuff built in, they don’t have to go outside of NUKE to other packages. They can do it all in within NUKE.
We'll be posting more from Jon Wadelton about NUKE 6.3 in a few days so stay tuned.