NUKE Community Expands

At SIGGRAPH 2006, D2 Software Inc., a subsidiary of Digital Domain, Inc., is announcing strong momentum for its NUKE high-end compositing software with four visual effects companies in the U.S. and Canada purchasing the software in June and July. Mr. X, Image Engine, Furious FX and SpeedShape all selected NUKE to handle high-end compositing work for film, video and animated projects.

Mr. X., the Toronto visual effects studio behind films, including FOUR BROTHERS, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, RESIDENT EVIL, SILENT HILL, HOLLYWOODLAND and SKINWALKERS, added 10 NUKE licenses to its compositing pipeline. The company brought in NUKE specifically to address a large, complex sequence in its current project, New Line Cinemas SHOOT EM UP. The 3D capabilities in NUKE were the deciding factor for us, said David Singer, operations director at Mr. X. The artists have all been charged about learning the software and theyre getting up to speed quickly.

Vancouver-based Image Engine moved to NUKE in June. The studio, which earned VES and Emmy awards for work on STARGATE and Stephen Kings HOSPITAL, is currently using NUKE on shots for two upcoming films, MR. MAGORIUMS WONDER EMPORIUM and WHITE NOISE 2. Managing director Robin Hackl said, Wed been looking at NUKE for months and always thought of it as a very forward-thinking piece of software. When we considered all of the options that could be the foundation of our pipeline for the future, we chose NUKE. More than any compositing package we considered, NUKE seems to embody the best grasp of where things are going.

Los Angeles-based Furious FX, creator of visual effects for MR. & MRS. SMITH, FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, CONSTANTINE and many other film and video projects, did extensive comparative testing before standardizing its compositing on NUKE. In benchmark tests NUKE consistently rendered five to eight times faster than our previous compositor, and the GUI is almost realtime. Its crazy fast compared to what I was used to, said David Lingenfelser, visual effects supervisor. NUKE is also really smart in how it streamlines scripts. Instead of the spaghetti effect you get when you drag lines and duplicate scripts in other compositors, in NUKE you can just reference an earlier node and apply it immediately. Thats a feature conceived by compositors not software developers.

Midwest-headquartered visual effects production company SpeedShape is known for its unique design and imagery in advertising work for automotive companies. The company purchased NUKE as the primary compositing system for its new Los Angeles studio and to give its Michigan pipeline faster throughput and more image fidelity. Robert Nederhorst, vfx supervisor at SpeedShapes Los Angeles studio, said, NUKE is a complete pipeline tool. We created a pipeline for a job within days that would not have been possible with any other software. Within three days of getting our license we generated over 85,000 frames of data that equaled 350 variations for the client. NUKEs support for OpenEXR is so effortless that our renders come in and we just work."

D2 Software director of products and operations, Dominick Spina, said, Changes in the visual effects software market have shined a spotlight on compositing. Companies who normally wouldnt be looking at making any changes are now considering their options. Theyre choosing NUKE for its speed, workflow, and development foundation in production, and for our commitment to support the specific needs of high-end visual effects studios over the long term.

D2 Software also noted that the company recently partnered with several new resellers to serve NUKE customers in Europe: bluegfx (U.K.), Digital Video & Effects (Germany) and Megafront (Scandinavia).

NUKE (www.d2software.com) is the first commercially available, high-end compositing system designed by artists, for artists to solve production issues that all visual effects studios encounter. It began as the in-house compositing and effects application at Digital Domain, where it won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement and has been used to generate effects for more than 45 feature films and hundreds of commercials and music videos. Since its commercial release, more than 35 leading effects houses worldwide including Weta Digital, DNA Prods., ReelFX, Mikros Image, Ascent Media Group, Method Studios and others have made the production-proven NUKE compositor part of their pipelines. Available for the Linux, Irix, Windows and Mac platforms, NUKE delivers unparalleled speed, an extensible 64-channel TCL-based architecture and a powerful feature set that is unrivaled in the desktop market.

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