Nuke Enhancements

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pimpinDG.jpgSo I've been using Nuke for close to a year, and I'm getting more and more impressed with it. It took a week or so to get the gist of the interface and the way it wires up nodes and images, but now everything is second nature. From the customizable hotkeys to the almost immediate image viewing and insanely nice script management, this package is everything I want it to be. Say for example, you're comping a shot, and need to bring in a couple of color corrects and rotoshapes.. Hitting C a couple of times brings up the Color Correct Node, and Shift-B brings up a Bezier node. Need a 2D Transform? Hit T. By default, the bezier node defaults to enabling all the layers, but I've set up my Nuke startup so when it brings a Bezier node up, it only enables the alpha. I've also set up a little hotkey for F10 that resets the colors, so if I bring in someone elses script that's totally colored to not how I'm used to working, I hit F10, and all the nodes revert to the colors I want! Sweet. Want to change node colors? Select the ones you want and hit Shift-Ctrl-C and the color you desire. Great for highlighting nodes that you want other artists to focus on.

There is a lot of talk with the IBK, the Image Based Keyer, which is unique to Nuke. Think of it as a difference keyer, on steroids. It's very powerful, and while it doesn't work solely on its own, it can definitely get you 95% there. Some UI changes that I've helped contribute to include the new colorpicker in 4.6. While Gary was here at DD, I casually mentioned to him that Flame and Shake both have a color wheel that allows you to see colors on a wheel and pick one freely. He thought that was a great idea, and suggested that I put in a feature request.. So I did. And now it's in there. I use it religiously. You can enable it by going into your Preferences>Panels, and clicking off Use old colorpicker. Another little UI tweak that was recently added to 4.6 was the ability to view positive and inverted mattes while using any node that allows an embedded matte. By default, even if you choose to invert a matte, it doesn't show you in the DAG. A simple addition to the GUI allows you to visually see whether each node if the matte it's using is inverted or not without opening up the node.

There are a couple more GUI tweaks that I hope will get implemented in time for the next public release. And yes, a bunch of paint additions will hopefully be added! Both Apple (Shake) and Discreet (Toxik) have a lot to change or add to if they want to retain or gain some of the highend desktop compositing market, which itself is a small, yet powerful industry. We'll see what they've got at NAB2007.

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