So I’ve been beta testing Nuke 7 for a little while. It has now gone public so I’m allowed to talk about it.
They really did well, as they usually do. But aside from being a fan boy, lets really talk about what’s in it.
I guess the three big things are the new 2D Tracker, the GPU stuff and RAM Cache.
I saw the 2D Tracker for the first time a few months ago when I was at The Foundry’s offices. I always thought the tracker in Nuke was perfectly fine so I didn’t know why they even thought to re-work it, but when Jon started driving the new Tracker and showing how it turns tracking from a constant human intervention process to a set-it-up-and-have-tea-till-its-done I was amazed. The guys at The Foundry really thought about what it means to track in today’s production and how it can be made better. You no longer need to use more than a single tracking node. You don’t have to sit by the tracker and make sure it doesn’t go off. You can easily tell the tracker where you think things are going. You can help the tracker by setting a few keyframes. It’s really useful. It’s one of these improvements that make Nuke what it is. Really a feature upgrade from people who understand the day to day problems compositors have.
The GPU stuff relies on The Foundry’s Blink high performance computing which utilises the GPU for rendering. This makes certain processes like Kronos and ZDefocus operate heaps faster. The GPU of today has big capabilities and Nuke is starting to harness them now. The nice addition here is that not all machines have modern GPUs (like my old iMac and most render farm machines) so the same nodes can give the exact same output on the CPU instead. This means that you can work very fast with tools that used to make your computer crawl, and still use the render farm for rendering. Superb stuff.
Finally, proper RAM Cache. This means you can have decent playback in the Viewer without the need for Framecycler. For the After Effects users amongst you that means a green line that fills as you play the shot. Once its all green, you get true speed playback. Kick ass.
Besides these highlights there is also support for Alembic and Deep EXR; The image modeller has been extended a great deal so creation of geometry for a whole scene can be done right inside Nuke; Various depth to point cloud, to position, position to points, point cloud generation and all sorts of things relating to the interchangeability of depth, point cloud, and position pass have been added or extended; Primatte 5 is built in; a new relight tool using normals and position; a sped up RotoPaint node; Viewer Guides (there goes my lesson 12 from the book); and many more tweaks.
Now here’s Jon showing off in a quick 2.5 minute demo of Nuke 7: