I’m finding Nuke quite interesting

loocas | opinions,software | Friday, May 8th, 2009


As I’d mentioned, this year is a year of changes and expansion for me, so, naturally, I’m looking for ways of expanding my postproduction pipeline, namely, compositing. I’ve been using Eyeon’s Fusion for a few years now and I find it very powerful, fast and realiable. However, I’ve been looking into other areas as well.

While I own a copy of After Effects CS4, I don’t find it that flexible and suited for my particular needs. I certainly want to go the “node-based” way. Don’t get me wrong, After Effects is a great package with a huge userbase which means tons of plugins and tutorials are available for it, but, as I said, I don’t want to go this, linear, route. So, I have a few options that are within my financial reach: Fusion, Nuke or Toxik. I certailny don’t want to invest in a brand new product on the market with dubious future, especially when owned by Autodesk, which potentially rules out Toxik, however, I’ll see how well it plays with 3ds Max and Maya (downloading the trial as I’m typing). I’ve been using Fusion for some years and I love it, so that certainly makes it a hot candidate. However, I’m always open to new possibilities, better, smareter or quicker workflows. Basically, anything that helps to improve my work in any way, ultimately in quality, will be on my highest priorities list.

Nuke 5.1v5 PLE

So I downloaded Nuke PLE, which is great and much easier to obtain than Eyeon’s educational edition of Fusion, even more comfortable than getting a trial of Toxik (this is certainly a very positive move from The Foundry). I’ve installed it and played with it for a few hours, exploring the navigation and features (essentially very similar to Fusion’s). So far, I’m finding Nuke a little bit faster on certain composites than Fusion. On the other hand I’m missing the timeline from Fusion a lot! But, it all comes down to what these packages were ever aimed at. Fusion is meant to be this all-purpose compositor with tools for TV, Broadcast and motion graphics applications, while Nuke was always meant to be a shot-by-shot high-end compositor, which explains the logic behind the individual paradigms.

One feature that really puts Nuke atop Fusion, for my needs that is, is the full support of Python scripting. This is very important as I’m at the begining of building a solid postproduction pipeline for many artists revolved around 3ds Max, MAXScript, Maya, Python and [insert compositor here] :)

Fusion 5.2

Another advantage is the price. Nuke is a bit cheaper, or I should say, less expensive, than Fusion. Fusion currently runs at $5,390.00 (incl. subscription) and a single render node license costs $595.00, while Nuke can be purchased for $4,500.00 (incl subscription) and a single render node license costs $250.00. Toxik from Autodesk costs $3,495.00 (without subscription), but I think the real price will differ based on user location, which sucks! (All prices exl. VAT, of course). Plugins that I’d need like RSMB or perhaps, in the future, Furnace are available for the same cost for both of the apps. Fusion has a bit of an advantage in this regard, since studios like Blur and Frantic Films use it and release their plugins for others as well.

Toxik 2009

Still, it’ll all come down to how well either of the two will play with the pipeline tools I’m developing right now. I suppose I can always wrap Fusion Script in Python, but it’d be a bit more work and effort than necessary, besides, I still need to implement a seamless bridge between my 3d apps (3ds Max and Maya), the renderers (finalRender and 3delight) and the compositors as well as figure out a way how to merge all this seamlessly together in one, homogenous, work environment based on Windows and Linux. You see, there’s nothing worse than a studio with an enormous potential completely wrapped up and knotted in a pipeline-less environment. I’m talking from a personal experience, which is why I’m heavily investing in this process right now.

But that’s a different story. Right now, Nuke looks very promising and stands right next to, beloved, Fusion. Toxik seems to be a bit too close to Flame or Inferno with a whole collaborative compositing environment in mind, which I don’t find particularly favourable. Nevertheless, I’ll try to use Nuke on the next project I’ll be a part of, this will most likely decide the winner.


  1. I checked out the Nuke booth and the eyeon booth at this years NAB show. I currently use fusion but they really did make nuke look tempting with the demos they had. Not to mention they had the best packet hand outs out of the whole show! :)

    btw great blog but were is your rss feed!?

    Comment by tmaitland — May 8, 2009 @ 19:31

  2. Hey, thanks :)

    Here’s the feed: http://blog.duber.cz/feed

    Comment by loocas — May 8, 2009 @ 19:52

  3. Don’t forget that eyeon just relised Generation, wich is must-have tool to node-based compositing ;)
    Check this out:

    Comment by DeKo — May 10, 2009 @ 12:43

  4. Heya, DeKo,

    thanks for the tip. Yeah, I know about Generation, just haven’t given it any thought yet :) Will do something about it ;)


    Comment by loocas — May 10, 2009 @ 14:28

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