April 16, 2015
NAB 2015

Nuke, the Powerful Node-Based Compositing Software, Is Now Available to Everyone

For some time, we've known that The Foundry, the company behind many of today's high-end VFX softwares, would be releasing a free non-commercial version of Nuke, its flagship compositing software that is a bonafide juggernaut in the world of Hollywood visual effects, but we were never quite sure when it would officially be released. Well No Film Schoolers, the time is now.

David Plummer recently caught up with Chris Kenessey of The Foundry to learn more.

And here's a little more information about Nuke and its new non-commercial license, and why learning this software is beneficial for those who aspire to work in the VFX industry.

For the most part, everything that you can do in the full paid versions of Nuke, you can also do with the non-commercial version as well. However, there are a few key limitations.

  • Licenses are not valid for commercial work at home or in a company, or for use in a commercial environment when completing work or in an educational institution.
  • Licenses cannot be used in the same pipeline as commercial versions of NUKE or in clusters of non-commercial licenses.
    • If you’re looking to evaluate the full commercial version, try the free 15-day trial here.
    • If you’re an educational institution, find out more about educational licenses here.
  • Key feature differences:
    • Output resolution up to HD (1920 x 1080).
    • Some nodes disabled including: the WriteGeo node, Ultimatte node, Primatte node, BlinkScript node, and GenerateLUT node.
    • 2D format support disabled for MPEG4 and h264.
    • Encrypted data storage and limited python scripting.

If you're interested in learning more about non-commercial Nuke, head on over to The Foundry's site to get started. Also, they have a handy step-by-step video guide to getting started here, and their Vimeo page is full of great tutorials. Now go forth and create!

No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2015 is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock.

No Film School's coverage of NAB is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock

Your Comment


can I drink a coffee when I use the non-commercial version or it is disabled?

April 16, 2015 at 5:21PM, Edited April 16, 5:21PM


I come to NFS when I need a good chuckle.

April 16, 2015 at 7:41PM

Jonesy Jones

lol! Now that's funny.

April 17, 2015 at 8:10AM

Dantly Wyatt
Writer, Director, Content Creator.

The Foundry are an excellent company in many ways. Modo 901 will also be out soon, with a price freeze if you buy 801 right now to get upgraded free. My problem with Foundry is their general licencing models. With the exception of the Modo individual licence, it is not pain free to simply uninstall from one machine to install on another - they want to also register your machine ID first and tie the software to that.

Some CGI software which genuinely gives you freedom after acquisition are Lightwave, Cinema 4D, Silo, Hexagon (still just about going), Messiah Studio, and Modo (specify individual licence). Not sure on the deal with ZBrush and 3DCoat.

With special mention and a standing ovation to Blackmagic Fusion and Blender, great professional grade software in active design and absolutely free to download. Fusion 8 is just about to be released, so the plot definitely thickens in the bear pit with Blackmagic vs Foundry.

Feel free to piss on any software by any company beginning with AUTO and ending with DESK. They have just put Softimage to death for no reason whatsoever and now 3D Max users are sweating - their other software is mutating into subscription only, so it's the middle finger to you if you had any other ideas, and there is an administrative arse-spanking procedure if you wish to switch machines for the Maya, Motionbuilder or 3DMax software which you will never own anyway.

April 16, 2015 at 5:54PM, Edited April 16, 5:54PM

Saied M.

Re: put Softimage to death... Not to worry. Former XSI users like myself having already been enacting procedural revenge against AD by migrating over to Houdini.

April 16, 2015 at 6:16PM

VFX Colorist

Houdini also has a compositing context...it's not Nuke, but it will get the job done.

April 17, 2015 at 10:00AM, Edited April 17, 10:00AM

Michael Goldfarb
Senior Technical Director - Side Effects

Every time I see a "composing software demo" I check out because the backgrounds / components are way over my budget.

So, does anyone have "simple" use-cases / samples where this type of software was used for say an incredible sunset love scene or say a subway fight?

April 16, 2015 at 6:24PM, Edited April 16, 6:24PM

Alex Zakrividoroga

Only yesterday, I was at a presentation by compositor Ken Turner, who uses Fusion a lot and does a lot of shots just by himself. Here's some stuff:-

April 17, 2015 at 3:50AM, Edited April 17, 3:50AM

Saied M.

No WriteGeo? Damn dude :(

April 17, 2015 at 6:53AM