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What's New in Nuke 12.1

What's New in Nuke 12.1

We're breaking down some of Nuke's recent update improvements.

Last fall saw the release of Nuke 12, and there was a huge list of improvements to the Foundry’s industry-leading compositing software. The Foundry recently released version 12.1 of Nuke, and today we’re going to look at a few key enhancements that can help optimize your compositing and VFX review process.

Check out some of the biggest new features found in Nuke 12.1 below!

1. Bin Version Linking

Bin Version Linking is an incredibly helpful and innovative addition for Nuke users. A big focus of Nuke 12.1 is improving review and collaboration, and Bin Version Linking allows users to choose which versions of any given clip they’d like to use across the timeline, or in the bin across projects.

This allows you to retain access to previous versions of a clip and change at any time, while easily maintaining your current favorite selected clip throughout your entire session.

Nuke 12.1 | Bin Version Linking from Foundry on Vimeo.

2. New Shuffle Node

Nuke 12.1’s new Shuffle Node takes the place of the previous Shuffle and Shuffle Copy nodes. It brings a more user-friendly interface that features “noodle” connections to give you a clear understanding of how channels are being copied, along with their copy destinations.

This new Shuffle node system makes it easier to stay organized, and also makes navigating the Shuffle section in Nuke a little less cumbersome. When making several iterations, this is a big time saver!

Nuke 12.1 | New Shuffle Node from Foundry on Vimeo.

3. HieroPlayer as Flipbook

Simplifying artist review and collaboration is a goal for the Foundry, and one of the great ways they’re accomplishing this is by allowing the HieroPlayer to function in Flipbook mode.

Not only does HieroPlayer ensure your Nuke script’s color data is accurately conveyed, but it also gives you the ability to toggle between previous and current versions of your scene for comparison.

There have also been a few other improvements with HieroPlayer as well, such as a much faster launch speed.

Nuke 12.1 | HieroPlayer As Flipbook from Foundry on Vimeo.

4. LensDistortion Node Updates for NukeX 

The LensDistortion node in NukeX is incredibly useful for ensuring your composited elements match the scene. In 12.1 of NukeX, several minor tweaks to the way this node’s controls operate make for a better user interaction when working with features like grid detections.

Nuke 12.1 | LensDistortion from Foundry on Vimeo.

In addition to all these new features in Nuke 12.1, architectural changes were also made on some of the tools included in Nuke 12, such as GPU-accelerated increases (up to 2.4x times faster rendering) in Cara VR. Another one is BlinkScript GPU-acceleration, allowing for much faster performance to node chains when GPU caching is enabled.

Lastly, here are some of the key features you may have missed in Nuke 12’s initial release from the Foundry’s website:

UI Interactivity and script loading - This release includes a variety of optimizations throughout the software, to improve performance, especially when working at scale. One key improvement offers a much smoother experience and noticeably maintains UI interactivity and reduced loading times when working in large scripts.

Read and Write performance - Nuke 12.0 includes focused improvement to OpenEXR Read and Write performance, including optimisations for several popular compression types, improving render times and interactivity in scripts. RED and Sony camera formats also see additional GPU support.

Inpaint & EdgeExtend - These GPU accelerated nodes provide faster and more intuitive workflows for common tasks, with fine detail controls and contextual paint strokes.

Grid Warp Tracker - Extending the Smart Vector toolset in NukeX, this node uses Smart Vectors to drive grids for match moving, warping and morphing images. 

Cara VR Node Integration - The majority of Cara VR’s nodes are now integrated into NukeX. This includes a suite of GPU-enabled tools for VR and stereo workflows, as well as enhancing traditional camera solving and clean up workflows.

Nuke Studio, Hiero & HieroPlayer Playback - The timeline-based tools in the Nuke family see dramatic improvements in playback stability and performance as a result of a rebuilt playback engine, optimized for the heavy I/O demands of color managed workflows with multichannel EXRs.

Industry Standards - Nuke 12.0 includes core libraries updates in line with VFX Reference Platform 2019, along with SDKs for camera file formats and monitor out cards updated to current versions and extended OCIO workflows.

Source: The Foundry

Nuke Learning Resources 

To learn more about Nuke as a VFX artist, be sure to check out Nukepedia, a huge knowledge base of tutorials, plugins, and references to help you get the most out of Nuke. A good friend of ours, Hugo Guerra, has awesome Nuke resources on his channel Hugo's Desk you can learn from, as well!

Also, you can check out Nuke tutorials as they’re posted on the ActionVFX blog!

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