Nuke 12.1 Updates Nodes, UI and Blink Scripting Across Nuke Software

Nuke12 1 flipbook HieroPlayer

Nuke 12.1 has been released with updates affecting all Nuke software through changes to the UI and a number of tools, workflows and nodes, such as a major update to Blink programming language and BlinkScript. It improves Cara VR node performance and introduces new developer tools. Extended functionality in the timeline-based Heiro applications speeds up artist and team review and makes it more productive.

Nodes and Tools

The new, updated version of Shuffle Node will replace both the earlier Shuffle and the ShuffleCopy nodes. The purpose of the node is to allow artists to rearrange and swap channels from an image or between two separate nodes, create new channels, or replace a channel with black or white. With this 12.1 update, Shuffle Node has a simpler UI and is more stable with consistent channel ordering relative to the previous Shuffle node. Plus, it can now support one or two inputs (A and B) and up to eight channels per layer with consistent channel ordering. You can simply use Copy to channels in the B input with channels from the A input.


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The Lens Distortion node in NukeX is updated to make the workflow and UI more straightforward. Faster, more accurate algorithms and expanded options were introduced in Nuke 11 but this update makes them easier to access. The main tab, for example has been refined to use in setting up the distortion models and has new tools and user experience improvements, such as setting the default output mode set to undistort. The second tab has now been updated to Analysis, and includes all of the controls for the grid detection and line drawing workflows. The advanced tab controls for fine-tuning distortion models or working with fisheye data have also been enhanced.

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Also in NukeX, the Grid Warp Tracker added to Nuke 12.0 has improvements that help control and move data where necessary in a script. Using new export options, users can export tracking data from the GripWarpTracker node to a baked Tracker, a linked Tracker or a Transform node. Users can export tracking data from the entire grid, a selection of grid points or a single grid point only, to determine the exact tracking data needed.

A new behaviour links source clip versions between a project bin item and its corresponding track items. Now, changing the version of a clip on the project bin, or on a sequence, will change all other instances of the same clip that exist in the same sequence or in any other sequences. This makes updating sequences more efficient, for example when propagating changes across 10, 30 and 60-second cuts of a project. Version linking is set to ‘On’ by default and from there is set manually in the timeline, project bin and Preferences.

Nuke12 1 GridwarpTracker

Grid Warp Tracker

Architecture and API

Nuke’s 12.1 architecture for GPU-accelerated nodes and the associated API are now able to store data on the GPU between operations, resulting in marked performance improvements to chains of nodes with GPU caching enabled. This new functionality is available to developers using BlinkScript, along with bug fixes and a debug print out on Linux.

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Blink programming language is designed for rapid image processing, and BlinkScript is a node that runs the Blink framework enabling developers to write their code once and run it on various supported devices through code translation. The changes in 12.1 have resulted in a new ParticleBlinkScript node in NukeX that allows users to write BlinkScripts that operate on particles, and to write their own custom Particle nodes. Foundry has made 14 new gizmos available as a starting point for artists and developers using ParticleBlinkScript to create new particle tools.

The Cara VR nodes in NukeX have been updated to take advantage of the new GPU-caching functionality in Blink, resulting in performance improvements in viewer processing and rendering when using chains of these nodes together, in some cases rendering over twice as fast.

Nuke12 1 caraVR GPU caching

Cara VR GPU caching

Also, the Cara VR versions of the SphericalTransform and Bilateral nodes have been merged with the Nuke versions of these nodes, adding functionality and GPU support in Nuke. SphericalTransform has a new MirrorBall projection method, with access to the standard set of Nuke filter methods. Both nodes take advantage of the GPU performance improvements added in Nuke 12.1 and are now available in Nuke and no longer require a NukeX license.

Nuke12 1 caraVR bilateral node

Cara VR Bilateral node


Multichannel QuickTime audio and Surround Sound support has been added to Nuke Studio, Hiero and HieroPlayer. Artists can now import MOV containers holding audio on Linux and Windows without extracting and importing the audio as a separate Wav file. Multichannel audio patching has been added to the timeline, and the audio output can be set up using monitor out devices of specific audio cards.

New instances of HieroPlayer will now launch faster, making it more agreeable to use as a flipbook and review tool on Windows, macOS and especially Linux. HieroPlayer can also be as a flipbook tool for Nuke and NukeX 12.1, giving more control when comparing different versions of their work. HieroPlayer will auto-detect the OCIO config and viewer colour space coming from the Nuke script and set up the files being reviewed correctly, whether a single script or in multiple scripts are being worked on at one given time. HieroPlayer can be set as the Flipbook in the UI and in the Preferences.

Nuke12 1 Hiero Fast Launch

HieroPlayer fast launch

Nuke 12.1 adds support for ARRI formats including Codex HDE .arx files and ProRes wrapped MXFs, along with support for the Alexa Mini LF, performance gains when debayering footage on CUDA GPUs and a SDK update.

UI scaling when using high-resolution (high DPI) monitors is now available on Windows and Linux. This brings all platforms inline, with high-resolution display support added for macOS in Nuke 12.0v1.