What's New in Nuke, Nuke Studio and Hiero 12.1

This page provides an overview of the updates included in Nuke, Nuke Studio, and Hiero 12.1.

Note:  See the navigation bar on the left for links to specific release notes by version.

Blink Particles

For Nuke 12.1 we have added the ParticleBlinkScript node. This node works in a similar way to the BlinkScript node but allows you to write Blink scripts which operate on particles. This enables you to write your own Particle nodes, to create the specific behavior you need.

Additionally, we are providing some example particle gizmos, all of which have been written with ParticleBlinkScript. This adds new behavior and functionality to the Particle system, and each node has the ParticleBlinkScript script available as a teaching tool.

DDImage Update

Nuke 12.1 contain an update to DDImage to separate the codec knobs from the container knobs. This update breaks binary compatibility for any and all plug-ins built against previous versions of DDImage.

FFMpeg Update

The FFmpeg libraries have been updated to version 4.2. The main benefits are related to file I/O, but in general use, we do not expect you to see any difference. You may experience problems with different system versions if they override our library path or if your system contains mismatching dependencies from the original CentOS 7.4 packages.

GPU Caching

For Nuke 12.1 we have made improvements to Nuke’s GPU processing, enabling images to be cached on the GPU between nodes for faster execution of chains of GPU nodes. This behavior is available for Bilateral2, SphericalTransform2, and all CaraVR nodes and BlinkScript in NukeX. Scripts with chains of these nodes keep data on the GPU, rather than transferring to and from the CPU in between nodes. We expect significant performance improvements for chains of these nodes processed on GPU.

Additional updates include:

Improvements to the overall Blink infrastructure resulting in performance improvements to all GPU accelerated nodes.

The code in the BlinkScript node can now be translated into CUDA for GPUs in addition to the normal C++ or SIMD code for the CPU, or OpenCL for the GPU.

SphericalTransform2 has a new MirrorBall projection method and access to the standard set of Nuke filter methods. SphericalTransform2 replaces Nuke’s existing SphericalTransform node.

Note:  Backwards compatibility for scripts using C_SphericalTransform is provided.

Bilateral2 has a new Median filter method. Bilateral2 replaces Nuke’s existing Bilateral node.

Note:  Backwards compatibility for scripts using C_Bilateral is provided.

C_Blur options added to blur in latlong or rectilinear space to match Nuke’s native Blur node.

C_STMap now includes the standard set of Nuke filter methods.


You can now export tracking data from GridWarpTracker to Nuke's regular Tracker node by right-clicking in the Viewer and selecting Export to and selecting the export type.

HieroPlayer Flipbook and Fast Launch

Nuke 12.1 includes the ability to use HieroPlayer as a flipbook tool for Nuke and NukeX, giving artists more control when comparing different versions of their work. HieroPlayer auto-detects the OCIO config and Viewer colorspace coming from the Nuke script and sets up the files being reviewed correctly, whether you are working on a single script or in multiple scripts at one given time. HieroPlayer can be set as the Flipbook in the UI and in the Preferences.

The launch speed of HieroPlayer has also been improved across all operating systems to improve the overall experience of using HieroPlayer as a flipbook tool.

High DPI Support

Nuke supports high definition displays, automatically scaling the interface using the operating system's scaling settings. On Linux operating systems, scaling is currently disabled by default. You can enable automatic scaling by setting the QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR environment variable to 1.

Note:  Auto-scaling in some multi-screen setups causes the interface to scale incorrectly when moving from lower resolution screens to higher resolution screens. This is possibly a symptom of the way Qt calculates screen scale.
To avoid this issue, we recommend always placing your physical screens with the highest resolution on the far left-hand side of the setup.

Alternatively, you can set the screen scaling factor manually using the QT_SCALE_FACTOR environment variable to force scaling to 1, 1.5, or 2. The recommended scaling factor is 1.5.

In multi-monitor setups, you can manually scale the interface independently by screen using the QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS variable. Scaling uses the same recommended factors, separated by ; (semicolon). For example, QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS="1.5;1" where the first monitor is higher resolution than the second.


This release includes a new user-friendly UI redesign for streamlined workflow, with improved automatic bounding box detection and improved viewer interaction.

QuickTime Audio

Native support of .mov files containing audio has been expanded to include Linux and Windows. You can now import these .mov files directly into Nuke Studio, Hiero, and HieroPlayer without the need to extract and import the audio as a separate .wav file.


Nuke 12.1 introduces an updated Shuffle2 node, which replaces both the Shuffle and ShuffleCopy nodes. It has an updated, more user-friendly UI, supports one or two inputs, and up to eight channels per layer. The new user interface features a node-like visual indicator of which channels are being copied. Connections are made by dragging sockets between layers. Inputs can have multiple outgoing connections, but outputs can only have one incoming channel. Channels can be set to solid black or solid white, by selecting the black or white button in the Output Layer.

Input and output channel layers can be set individually, using the channels dropdown. The source of the selected layer’s channel data can be set using the dropdown on the respective Input Layer. When connections have been made, but the Shuffle’s input pipe becomes disconnected, the connections from Input to Output are represented with dotted lines.

Surround Sound Support

This release includes multi-channel audio support in NukeStudio, Hiero, and HieroPlayer. When you import 5.1 and 7.1 or individual audio files and place them on your timeline, the audio tracks can now be patched to different output speakers, such as LFE or Center. Audio output is configurable using monitor out devices or specific audio cards.

See Audio and the Timeline for more information.

Version Linking

Version Linking allows linking and unlinking of source clip versions between project bin clips and shots in a sequence that reference a clip. You can define if a shot is linked to its source clip or not, and we've introduced three new states to bin clips: Linked, Unlinked and Mixed. Two new states govern shots: Linked or Unlinked.

These states are indicated by an icon on the clips that have been unlinked and there is a new column in the Project bin and spreadsheet view for Version and Link Status. Bin clips can be set as Linked or Unlinked on import using the Preferences > Project Defaults > General > Link bin and track item version.

See Version Linking for more information.

File Format Updates

DNxHR MXF Writer for Nuke (Video only)

MXF format added to Write Node - File Type

DNxHR codec support

OP-1a and OP-Atom Patterns


4:4:4 12-bit

HQX 4:2:2 12-bit

HQ 4:2:2 8-bit

SQ 4:2:2 8-bit

LB 4:2:2 8-bit

Improvements to Reading .mxf and .mov Files

Nuke now uses file metadata to set the colorspace in Nuke for .mov and .mxf ProRes files. If no metadata exists, Nuke parses frame header information to retrieve transfer characteristics.

Note:  Legacy scripts may not work as expected as a result of this update.

Additional support includes:

Motion JPEG B - Reader using mov64

Motion JPEG B - Writer using mov64 (Nuke only)

Avid DNx Codec 2.3.1 Update

Nuke can now read DNxHR .mov files and additional SDK info is now displayed in Read node's Properties panel.

ArriRAW Update

Nuke can now read Arri Codex HDE .arx and Alexa Mini LF files and additional SDK info is now displayed in Read node's Properties panel. CUDA GPU debayering is now available for NVIDIA cards.

ARRI Apple ProRes Update

Nuke now supports ARRI Apple ProRes wrapped in .mxf files.