The Foundry has released version 6 of its Nuke visual effects compositing software, which sees the debut of the expanded NukeX software too. As before, the software runs across Linux, Mac and Windows.

Nuke 6.0 incorporates a completely new shape rotoscope and paint toolset based on a rewritten core curve library and new RotoPaint node. This release introduces a flexible, non-destructive, layer based paint hierarchy integrated with Nuke’s animation and tracking capabilities and supporting per-object attributes such as blending modes and motion blur.

The Foundry’s highly acclaimed Keylight keyer is now a standard feature included with Nuke 6.0.

NukeX 6.0 extends the range of tools usually found in the compositing environment adding an integrated 3D camera tracker, automated and manual lens distortion tools, FurnaceCore -- The Foundry’s re-engineered set of Furnace plug-ins -- and a DepthGenerator plug-in.

The Foundry says that offering VFX users two different Nuke products enables facilities of all sizes to implement a Nuke solution to fit a range of artist and customer needs. Nuke and NukeX are fully script compatible, with Nuke capable of editing supported parts of projects created in Nuke X -- ie all nodes except those found only in NukeX.

The company says that the key new capabilities in Nuke 6.0 include:

RotoPaint
• Any number of shapes and paint strokes with a flexible layer/group hierarchy
• Per-point and global feather
• Per-shape motion blur
• Individual shape, stroke and group attributes and transformations
• Animation key frame and tracker support
• Recursive clone and other brush effects
• Blending modes and layer operations

Keylight
• Now included as a standard feature, Keylight is a widely-used blue/green screen keyer (and bundled with tools such as Adobe After Effects). It is designed to be simple to use and is particularly good at tackling reflections, semi-transparent areas and hair.