Just in time for Christmas, promising open-source compositor Natron has hit a stable milestone 1.0 release. The software is intended to provide a VFX-capable node-based compositing tool with a familiar Nuke-like UI.
Developed at French public computer science research institution Inria, Natron is released under an MPL V2 licence, meaning it can be used for commercial work – and used with commercial plugins.
All the essentials for professional-quality VFX work
In its 1.0 release, Natron provides the essential tools for professional-quality compositing, including tracking, rotoscoping, a curve editor, and a command-line tool for rendering projects on a renderfarm.
It provides a 32-bit floating-point linear pipeline, and supports the industry-standard OpenColorIO colour-management and OpenImageIO file import/export frameworks.
It also supports OpenFX plugins – which include the key commercial tools like GenArts’ Sapphire and The Foundry’s software, and Mikros Image’s free TuttleOFX suite of tools.
The obvious missing functionality (deep compositing, rotopainting) is in the roadmap, with Python support and optical flow tools planned for the 1.1 release.
Easy migration path to Nuke
Natron’s UI and workflow are designed to be Nuke-like, making it easy for anyone trained on the software to switch to Nuke, and system requirements are low: 3GB RAM, an OpenGL 2.0 GPU, and any modern CPU.