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Nuke Optimization Tips

 ·   ·  ☕ 2 min read

Nuke is a very powerful VFX tool in the industry. But at the time of learning, people often don’t pay attention to the optimization. Which leaves them with relatively longer render times.

Note: Not every point can be followed. Do whatever is possible.

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Get Two Hard Drive

When you read footage from the hard drive, and write/render to the same hard drive, you actually make hard drive do double the work. Keep another drive (maybe a small one?) to render/write stuff.

Cache Management

This one is not for rendering; also not only applies for Nuke. Caching can make working in Nuke faster, by fasting up previews. It basically writes out files to disk and reads again without involving CPU or GPU again and again. This is the universal point of caching. It is preferred to change cache location to the _write _drive as said above.

Disk caching in another drive for better performance.
Disk caching in another drive for better performance.

Node Graph Best Practices

Bounding Box (bbox)

Bounding Box is a virtual area which is calculated by render engine. bbox is not necessarily the resolution of the scene/project.

Although Smaller is the bbox, faster CPU calculates the scene.

There’s node called CurveTool which we can export Auto Crop data to crop node. Which I’ll discuss in a later post. And why it’s important.

Avoid Multiple Read Nodes

Read identical footages will just make the comp heavy. If there is need of reading the same file multiple times, pipe and branch out files with dot node. Dot node usually appears when Ctrl key is pressed over Node Graph.

Avoid multiple read node.
Avoid multiple read node.


Use roto node instead of rotopaint for masking (making bezier), there was a dedicated bezier node which became deprecated and later combined into roto node.

Blur Instead of Defocus

Simply because Blur does less of the calculation than defocus, the same science involved in optics.

Remove Channels after Use

There’s a Remove node specifically for this. Keeping channels can bog up the processing time. At least this is how Nuke works. There’s a Remove and Keep operation within this node. Keep will keep specified channels and delete all. Use it wisely.

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Santosh Kumar
Santosh Kumar
Santosh is a Software Developer currently working with NuNet as a Full Stack Developer.