Nuke (software)

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Stable release
Written inC++,[1] Python
Operating systemLinux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
TypeCompositing software

Nuke is a node-based digital compositing and visual effects application first developed by Digital Domain and used for television and film post-production. Nuke is available for Windows, macOS (up to Monterey natively), and RHEL/CentOS.[2] Foundry has further developed the software since Nuke was sold in 2007.

Nuke's users include Digital Domain, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Blizzard Entertainment,[3] DreamWorks Animation,[4] Illumination Mac Guff,[5] Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation, Framestore,[6] Weta Digital,[7] Double Negative,[8] and Industrial Light & Magic.[9]


Nuke (the name deriving from 'New compositor')[10] was originally developed by software engineer Phil Beffrey and later Bill Spitzak for in-house use at Digital Domain beginning in 1993. In addition to standard compositing, Nuke was used to render higher-resolution versions of composites from Autodesk Flame.[11]

Nuke version 2 introduced a GUI in 1994, built with FLTK – an in-house GUI toolkit developed at Digital Domain. FLTK was subsequently released under the GNU LGPL in 1998.[12]

Nuke won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2001.[13]

In 2002, Nuke was publicly released by D2 Software.[14][15] In 2005, Nuke 4.5[16] introduced a new 3D subsystem developed by Jonathan Egstad.[17]

In 2007, The Foundry, a London-based plug-in development company, took over development and marketing of Nuke from D2.[18] The Foundry released Nuke 4.7 in June 2007,[19] and Nuke 5 was released in early 2008, which replaced the interface with Qt and added Python scripting, and support for a stereoscopic workflow.[20] In 2015, The Foundry released Nuke Non-commercial with some basic limitations.[21] 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. ^ "Information for NUKE developers". The Foundry. Archived from the original on 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  2. ^ "System Requirements | Nuke | Foundry". Foundry. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  3. ^ "BlizzCon 2015 World of Warcraft Cinematics: The Road to Legion panel transcript". 8 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Blur Studio use Nuke on Deadpool". Foundry.
  5. ^ Moltenbrey, Karen (13 December 2018). "Spoiler Alert". In Focus. Computer Graphics World.
  6. ^ "NUKE helps Framestore make history on Oscar winning Lincoln". The Foundry. Archived from the original on 2016-11-11.
  7. ^ "Weta Digital Purchases Site License Of Nuke". 6 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Double Negative Procures Nuke Site License". AWN.
  9. ^ "Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) Purchases Nuke Site Licence". Archived from the original on 2013-05-13.
  10. ^ "D2 Software: Company Profile". Computer Graphics World. August 1, 2004.
  11. ^ "Interview Bill Spitzak".
  12. ^ Spitzak, Bill (January 19, 1998). "fltk-0.98 (C++ gui toolkit)".
  13. ^ "2001 Scientific and Technical Awards". March 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13.
  14. ^ "Digital Domain Nukes market". Hollywood Reporter. July 12, 2002.[dead link]
  15. ^ "Digital Domain launches software unit". 2002-10-10. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  16. ^ "D2 ships Nuke v4.5 Compositor with image-based Keyer and new Interface". December 1, 2005. Archived from the original on June 7, 2007.
  17. ^ "Interview Jonathan Egstad". Nukepedia.
  18. ^ "D2 Software's Nuke Acquired by The Foundry". March 10, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "Nuke Version 4.7 Released". October 4, 2007.
  20. ^ "3D stereo workflow, new UI & Python scripting are the highlights". Digital Producer Magazine. 14 September 2007. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011.
  21. ^ "The Foundry releases NUKE Non-commercial". Evermotion. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2016.

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