Wed 30th Nov 2005 | News
D2 Software Inc. is now shipping Nuke 4.5, its new compositing system. Already offering the industry’s most robust 3D workspace with .obj support and 3D camera projection, Nuke now incorporates an image-based keyer and tools for additional creative flexibility when working in 3D. The newest release also introduces a new UI mode, support for Mac OSX and broader support for Open FX, and a new pricing structure. D2 Software is a wholly owned subsidiary of Digital Domain.
Nuke artists will find a brand new image-based keyer (IBK) in v4.5, which can be used for pulling high-quality keys. In traditional keyers, algorithms are based on the weighted relationship between the color channels involved in creating a key, locking them together so that as artists adjust one color channel, another color channel is proportionally adjusted. By contrast, the IBK’s algorithm enables artists to work on each color channel individually, for greater creative flexibility. It also includes specialized tools to deal with matte edges and the halo effect (or ‘fringes’) common in blue and green screen footage. The IBK, uniquely available in Nuke, delivers substantial timesavings when producing high quality composites, and is especially good at keying uneven blue/greenscreens.
Already providing capabilities for environment creation and contextual manipulation of 3D elements not found in any other desktop system, Nuke lets users get even further into the 3D toolset in v4.5. Now, 3D objects are more like 2D elements in that they are no longer unchangeable objects -- users can apply multiple independent transforms and can have shaders and materials applied directly within Nuke's 3D environment. Not only does this architectural change give artists greater flexibility in manipulating elements in 3D, it also makes the 3D workspace a more responsive and solid platform that will result in accelerated development and integration of new features in the future.
The newest Nuke release is based on a core UI update. V4.5 adds the ability to save UI layouts and introduces a new UI workflow that maximizes efficiency for experienced and new users alike. Updated default settings and a new control panel bin enable new users to manage windows and property dialog boxes using conventions familiar to desktop software users, while long-time Nuke users can opt to work in the ‘traditional’ Nuke mode, to suit a variety of compositing styles. Also, as a result of the core UI update, users can now take any parameter, including range curve displays and dropdown menus, from a ‘group’ of nodes, and include them in a Nuke Gizmo, or custom effect; which gives greater flexibility to technical directors and artists alike. Nuke now supports OSX, as well as providing full support for the OpenFX plug-in architecture, enabling artists to use the full range of effects plug-ins from The Foundry, Primatte, and other providers.
Nuke is available for Linux, Irix, Windows and Mac platforms. V4.5 is a free upgrade for customers under current support contracts and available through D2 Software and authorized resellers for US$4,995 (software license), with annual maintenance at US$999 per year. Additional render nodes are priced at US$745 per seat, with annual maintenance at US$149 per year. With v4.5, D2 Software now offers new quarterly lease options and volume discounts beginning at five seats, enabling customers who purchase/lease multiple licenses to save significantly on their software license/render node costs per seat.