Jon Wadelton at The Foundry was kind enough to keep giving us more information about NUKE 6.3. You can read what he had to say about the future of NUKE when he spoke to me last week.
So what is this 'deep compositing' that I keep hearing about?
At the moment it’s in the domain of film guys. It will be more widespread as we come into next year. So here’s what it is… When you render CG elements you render holdouts. Holdouts create a hole in an image where another/different image will be inserted. Say you create a forest with a hole for the character that is going to appear in the forest later. When you are compositing you put that together so it looks real. Like the person was in the forest all along.
With deep compositing you don’t have to create the hole when rendering out of 3D. It’s much simpler. You insert the person into the scene directly in NUKE and you can move that person around in the scene without having to re-render the forest. It is going be a revolution in CG compositing I believe.
What have artists been requesting that is updated in 6.3?
A lot of the features that I’ve mentioned were requested by users. Warpers were on the list to be rewritten for a while. So, we’ve rewritten those.
We have added occlusion detection in our project 3D node too, so now artists can detect occlusions and shadows. Users have been asking for that for quite a while. This is useful when you have multiple projections coming from multiple cameras.
NUKEX has a new Denoise algorithm. This is an update from 6.2. Previously we had a Denoise in Furnace, but this is a brand new algorithm that the research team has been working on. This one produces much higher quality results and allows for more detail in the imagery.
Let’s talk about Denoise in a bit more detail. When you shoot film, it is grainy. Typically if you need to mix film with CG elements, CG doesn’t have the grain. You can remove the grain with Denoise and then put the grain back on again so everything looks continuous. It’s kind of like film restoration but for CG.
Tell us something about new technologies that you see coming up on the horizon.
Okay. At the moment we only support the Pixar RenderMan file format for Deep image compositing. There will be a new format, part of Open EXR 2.0, that will allow other renderers to be supported. We also see GPU rendering coming to the fore and we expect to see the first NUKE GPU rendering nodes in the next release.
Is there a future release already planned then? If so, what will it include?
I’m staying focused on today for now. I really want to stick to talking about what we’ve just done. We are really proud of this new release. It’s the best we’ve ever done. Having said that, we do updates approximately every six month. So stay tuned.