Nuke 9 Is Here & Free Licenses Are Soon to Follow: VFX Artists Rejoice
For years, The Foundry's Nuke has been the pinnacle of high-end compositing software.
Earlier this week, the good folks over at The Foundry released Nuke and Nukex 9, as well as Nuke Studio, a trio of applications that fill a variety of needs in the world of high-end post production. While Nuke has largely been considered a tool reserved for those working in the highest levels of the industry, a recent announcement that The Foundry will soon be offering non-commercial licenses free of charge means that this extremely powerful software will soon find its way into the hands of far more people.
Before we get to what is new in the Nuke 9 lineup of tools, here's a brief overview of what Nuke is all about:
And here's what you can expect from Nuke and Nukex 9, as well as Nuke Studio:
It's important to note that the non-commercial licenses that The Foundry will begin offering in early 2015 are not all-access passes to use the full versions of the software in any way that you want. First and foremost, the functionality of the Nuke line will be somewhat limited for non-commercial users, with output limited to HD resolution and no support for OFX plugins being the most significant restrictions. Minor limitations aside, the non-commercial versions of the software are still fully featured and incredibly powerful.
Additionally, when they say non-commercial, that's exactly what they mean. You can use the software to your heart's content for learning, experimentation, personal projects, etc. However, if you're a freelance VFX artist, you can bet your ass that you'll be buying or leasing the software. Here are a few circumstances that are not allowed under the non-commercial license:
- Use while doing commercial work, either at home or in a company
- Use for the provision of services to 3rd parties, whether paid or not
- Use in the same pipeline as commercial versions of NUKE
- Use in clusters of non-commercial NUKE STUDIO licenses
- Instructional use or installation or use in a classroom or lab
When you look at the combination of the upcoming release of non-commercial Nuke and free release of Blackmagic Fusion 7, another professional node-based compositing and 3D animation software, it seems clear that we're on the precipice of a new age for visual effects. Incredibly powerful VFX tools are now within reach of anybody with a computer fast enough to use them, which in time, will breed an entirely new generation of highly-skilled VFX artists who are already trained on industry standard tools. Not only that, but the level of visual effects quality now achievable for independent and low budget filmmakers is promising, and it will be exciting what this newly-democratized technology will allow in the years to come.