Price: 195 . 49 . 175
Pros: Boosts your workflow in AE. New version makes proxies easy. Renders 3D.
Cons: Rendered 3D scenes aren’t imported.
Nucleo Pro is the big-brother of Nucleo, the must-have plug-in for After Effects 7.0 that allowed you to take advantage of multi-core and multi-processor systems for previews and renders.
The Pro version isn’t as essential, but adds some very useful functions, including the ability to render in the background and ‘speculatively’ create previews and renders – building them in the background whenever your After Effects is idle. Add up the seconds you spend every day drinking tea, talking to colleagues and Facebooking, and there’s lot of time that Nucleo Pro can utilize to help you work faster.
Version 2.0 of Nucleo Pro adds pre-composition proxies and the ability to manage the rendering of projects from 3D suites including Maya, Cinema 4D, LightWave, 3DS Max and Softimage|XSI.
3D rendering fits well into the workflow of motion-graphics artists who need to go out to 3D suites to create custom elements while working on a project in AE, as you can then set the scene rendering and then go back to work in AE.
We tested this with using Maya 8.5 on an eight-core Mac Pro with 4GB RAM, and the process was smooth enough. AE was responsive while rendering – though we do wish it could automatically import rendered files into AE when it’s finished.
Pre-composition proxies makes AE’s arcane proxy system easier to use. It’ll render nested compositions in the background so that performance in your main comp is improved. As all it requires to turn a nested comp into a proxy file is selecting a single menu item (or a keyboard shortcut), its workflow is much easier.
With multi-processing support now added to AE CS3, the standard version of Nucleo 2.0 is no longer available – but the ability to render scenes in the background, use proxies and create 3D scenes makes Nucleo Pro 2.0 a winner.