By Neil Bennett | on October 25, 2006
Pros: Delivers a great productivity boost to After Effects. Offers timesaving functions not found in AE.
Cons: Some users will only need lower-cost standard version.
As the name suggests, Nucleo Pro is an expanded version of GridIron’s Best Buy-winning Nucleo plug-in for After Effects (AE) which was reviewed in Digit 103. Nucleo boosts AE’s preview and rendering performance notably on dual-processor or dual-core Macs and Windows PCs, and hugely on DDC (dual dual-core) units.
Nucleo Pro pushes rendering into the background, giving you a big productivity boost. AE’s own rendering system locks down the application, but using Nucleo Pro’s background rendering you can set one project to render and get on with the next one. You’ll see a performance drop and rendering will take longer, but it’ll still be faster than a vanilla AE.
Background rendering performance is a hard thing to test – as it depends on how much power you use up as you use the application while it’s rendering. We created two HD five-second projects with some heavy-duty effects work and rendered one to disk while modifying the other and regular previewing. Rendering on a DDC Xeon-based system took just over six minutes, compared to almost nine in AE alone. Nucleo Pro’s standard rendering tore through it in just over three minutes.