Foundry's Nuke 12.1 release features UI & tool improvements
February 25, 2020

Foundry's Nuke 12.1 release features UI & tool improvements

LONDON — Creative software developer Foundry ( has released Nuke 12.1, the latest version of its compositing tool. Nuke 12.1 brings updates across the entire Nuke family, with an emphasis on enhancing the artist experience through UI and tool improvements. The release features the largest update to Blink and BlinkScript in recent years, improves Cara VR node performance and introduces new tools for developers. In addition, extended functionality in the timeline-based applications speeds up and enriches artist and team review. 

“This next release, Nuke 12.1, is a broad and varied one responding to many user requests,” notes Foundry’s director of product, Christy Anzelmo. “I’m excited that we’ve been able to focus on enhancing the day-to-day work of artists and developers, including improvements to some areas that have been dormant for a while, such as key updates and extensions to BlinkScript and Particles, a new Shuffle workflow, and support for high DPI monitors and popular codecs and cameras. These long-awaited improvements in core systems will improve the experience of our users and extend what’s possible in the Nuke family. “

A new shuffle node updates the classic checkboxes with an artist-friendly node-based UI. Lens distortion workflow improvements include an updated to have a more intuitive workflow and UI, making it easier and quicker to access the faster and more accurate algorithms and expanded options introduced in Nuke 11.

Nuke’s architecture for GPU-accelerated nodes and the associated API receive significant improvements in Nuke 12.1, with the ability to store data on the GPU between operations, resulting in dramatic performance improvements to chains of nodes with GPU caching enabled. This new functionality is available to developers using BlinkScript, along with bug fixes and a debug print out on Linux.

The Cara VR nodes in NukeX have been updated to take advantage of the new GPU-caching functionality in Blink, resulting in dramatic performance improvements in viewer processing and rendering when using chains of these nodes together. Tests on production projects have shown up to a 2.4x faster rendering time. 

The Cara VR versions of the SphericalTransform and Bilateral nodes have been merged with the Nuke versions of these nodes, adding increased functionality and GPU support in Nuke. Both nodes take advantage of the GPU performance improvements added in Nuke 12.1 and are now available in Nuke and no longer require a NukeX license. 

NukeX now includes a new ParticleBlinkScript node allowing developers to write BlinkScripts, which operate on particles. Nuke 12.1 ships with more than 15 new gizmos offering a starting point for artists working with particle effects and developers looking to use BlinkScript.
Multichannel audio support has now been added to Nuke Studio, Hiero and HieroPlayer. Artists can now import .mov containers holding audio on Linux and Windows without the need to extract and import the audio as a separate .wav file.  

Improving the experience for artists using HieroPlayer for review, new instances of HieroPlayer launch 1.2x faster on Windows and up to 1.5x on Linux in internal tests. Nuke 12.1 also includes the ability to use HieroPlayer as the Flipbook tool for Nuke and NukeX, giving artists more control when comparing different versions of their work in progress. 

Nuke 12.1 adds support for Arri formats, including Codex HDE .arx files and ProRes MXFs, along with support for the popular Alexa Mini LF. There are also performance gains when debayering footage on CUDA GPUs and a SDK update.