GridIron Software has released Nucleo Pro 2, an upgrade to the productivity enhancement tool that optimizes the workflow for visual effects artists using After Effects. With workflow enhancements like Spec Preview, Spec Render, Commit to Disk, and Background Render, Nucleo Pro is designed to allow creative professional users to harness the full power of their multi-processor or multi-core computer.

With Nucleo Pro 2, motion graphics artists can manage After Effects and 3D renders from one convenient spot, draging projects for any of the supported applications into the Background Render Queue. Then specify the appropriate render settings and allow Nucleo Pro to initiate and manage the render in the background. Support is available for most popular 3D rendering applications, including: Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Maxon Cinema 4D, NewTek LightWave, Softimage XSI, and Apple Shake.

After Effects allows compositions in a timeline to be represented by pre-rendered frames to improve preview performance. This is known as proxying. Nucleo Pro 2's Pre-Composition Proxy feature makes proxying extremely simple by allowing the addition of a proxy with a single keystroke. If a proxied composition is changed, Nucleo Pro 2 re-renders only the modified frames in the background, then updates the composition's proxy automatically. After Effects users now have an easy way to proxy without ever having to worry about a proxy getting out of date, or ever having to manually render and import the proxy frames.

Nucleo Pro 2 supports all versions of Adobe After Effects version 7.0 and the new After Effects CS3 Professional on both Windows and Mac OS X. It costs $395 (£195). Nucleo Pro 1 customers may upgrade to Nucleo Pro 2 for $99 (£49). Nucleo customers may upgrade to Nucleo Pro 2 for $350 (£172).