Nuke (software)

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Nuke7 screenshot.png
Stable release
12.0v1 / 27 September 2019; 3 months ago (2019-09-27)
Written inC++,[1] Python
Operating systemLinux, OS X, 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 Microsoft Windows 7, OS X 10.9, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and newer versions of these operating systems.[2] The 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 made available to the public for the first time under the banner of D2 Software.[14][15] In December 2005, D2 Software released NUKE 4.5,[16] which introduced a new 3D subsystem developed by Jonathan Egstad.[17]

In 2007, The Foundry, a London-based plug-in development house, 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).

Similar products[edit]

While not dedicated to compositing, the open source software Blender contains a limited node-based compositing feature which, among other things is capable of basic keying and blurring effects.[22]


  1. ^ "Information for NUKE developers". The Foundry. Archived from the original on 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  2. ^ "System Requirements | Nuke". Foundry. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "NUKE is the purrfect partner for DreamWorks Animation". The 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".
  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.
  22. ^ "Blender features page". Retrieved March 19, 2011.

External links[edit]