Nuke (software)

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Developer(s) The Foundry
Stable release 8.0v5
Operating system Linux, Windows, Mac OS X
Type Compositing software
License Proprietary
Website NUKE

NUKE is a node-based digital compositing software produced and distributed by The Foundry, and used for film and television post-production. NUKE is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. NUKE's users include Digital Domain, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation,[1] Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation, Framestore,[2] Weta Digital[3] and Industrial Light & Magic.[4] NUKE has been used on productions such as Avatar,[5] Mr. Nobody, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, King Kong, Jumper, I, Robot, Resident Evil: Extinction, Tron: Legacy,Alice in Wonderland, Black Swan and The Hobbit.[citation needed]


NUKE (the name deriving from 'New compositor')[6] was originally developed by software engineer Bill Spitzak for in-house use at Digital Domain beginning in 1993. NUKE was initially used to render higher-resolution versions of composites from Autodesk Flame.[7]

NUKE version 2 introduced a GUI built with FLTK - an in-house GUI toolkit developed at Digital Domain that was subsequently released under the GNU LGPL in 1998.[8]

NUKE won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2001.[9]

In 2002, NUKE was made available to the public for the first time under the banner of D2 Software.[10][11] In December 2005, D2 Software released NUKE 4.5,[12] which introduced a new 3D subsystem.

In 2007, The Foundry, a London-based plug-in development house, took over development and marketing of NUKE from D2.[13] The Foundry released NUKE 4.7 in June 2007,[14] and NUKE 5 was released in early 2008, which replaced the interface with Qt and added Python scripting, and support for a stereoscopic workflow.[15] NUKE supports use of The Foundry plug-ins via its support for the OpenFX standard (several built in nodes such as Keylight are OpenFX plugins)


  1. ^ "NUKE is the purrfect partner for DreamWorks Animation". 
  2. ^ "Framestore Buys NUKE". 
  3. ^ "Weta Digital Purchases Site License Of Nuke". 
  4. ^ "Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) Purchases Nuke Site Licence". 
  5. ^ "NUKE and OCULA Deliver Stellar Performances on Avatar". 
  6. ^ "D2 Software: Company Profile". Computer Graphics World. August 1, 2004. 
  7. ^ "Interview Bill Spitzak". 
  8. ^ Spitzak, Bill (January 19, 1998). "fltk-0.98 (C++ gui toolkit)". 
  9. ^ "2001 Scientific and Technical Awards". March 2002. 
  10. ^ "Digital Domain Nukes market". Hollywood Reporter. July 12, 2002. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Digital Domain launches software unit". 2002-10-10. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  12. ^ "D2 ships Nuke v4.5 Compositor with image-based Keyer and new Interface.". December 1, 2005. 
  13. ^ "D2 Software's Nuke Acquired by The Foundry". March 10, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Nuke Version 4.7 Released". October 4, 2007. 
  15. ^ "3D stereo workflow, new UI & Python scripting are the highlights". Digital Producer Magazine. 14 September 2007. 

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