Natron version1.0 - imitation Nuke?


I believe patents are why there are no true competitors to photoshop, though there are about 3 alternatives that are very close in their own specific way.

I believe there are many patents around the concept & workings of the ‘modifier stack’, which is why 3ds Max is the only software that has it. Correct me if I am wrong!

I remember the original 3ds max devs were questioned as to why not make a competitor, and they responded by saying the modifier stack was patented. Many apps have procedural workflows, SOPs, histories, but nothing quite the same as the modifier stack in its execution.


There is a fine line with patents…

On one hand if you come up with something cool you deserve to be rewarded for it and not have it instantly ripped off… At the same time there are things which are very generic and obvious which you shouldn’t be able to patent…

I’m curious how max history stacked is patented cause a lot of CAD applications have a history/modifier stack very similar to Max but they exist today without any problems.


It’s actually the exact opposite. Adobe worked very hard to get digital painting and compositing into the public domain in a lawsuit against Quantel Ltd in 1997.

Quantel claimed they had patents covering digital painting and image manipulation and Adobe took them to court, pulling in people like Alvay Ray Smith who had helped write Superpaint back in the 70s to prove prior art.

Gives some background.

But thanks to Adobe we’re able to have packages like Krita.


A patent search for the US shows nothing of major consequence (, and a UK one shows no current patents. I think that’s because from what I’ve read its hard to patent anything that’s only software based in the UK, although I can’t be sure as its a bit confusing. Not to mention that a lot of what goes on under the hood in Nuke isn’t necessarily new ideas.

On the other hand, if you can be bothered filtering through the billion and one documents Adobe does have a lot of patents regarding their technology in photoshop which would severely restrict anybody making something that works quite like it."Adobe+Systems%2C+Inc."&safe=off&hl=en&tbm=pts&start=80


They may be held under a different business entity…


The Foundry announced new Nuke 9 ,
you can get BETA version and see the features for NUKE 9, NUKEX 9, NUKE STUDIO 9
link below:

I wonder why they moved release date NUKE STUDIO - from late 2014 to 2015. Maybe because of New Autodesk Flame Premium which premiere is planned on 2015 and news about Fusion.

NUKE for non-commercial is very non-commercial :))))

link below:


Non-commercial NUKE STUDIO is available to anyone working non-commercially who wants to learn and experiment with NUKE at home, with the following restrictions:

Not available to education institutions teaching NUKE
Not available for instructional use or installation or use in a classroom or lab
Not available for use in the same pipeline as commercial versions of NUKE
Not available for use on the premises of a for-profit company during its normal working hours
Not available for use in the provision of a service to 3rd parties, whether paid or not
Not available for use during the user’s normal working hours
Not available for use in a cluster of non-commercial NUKE STUDIO licenses

That one is a weird restriction :surprised


It makes sense if you’re a commercial compositor already, or using a work computer to learn Nuke to change artist/creative jobs or something, but for me (software engineer) it’s pretty senseless. :shrug:


Thanks Jack, I was not aware of the history at all.

So, there are no Adobe patents that have to be navigated around with Mari?

I am not a Mari user (one day!! i hope) but hear a lot of people in the industry saying they want Mari to completely replace Photoshop in the CG pipeline, and until now was thinking it might have been patents blocking certain features or something!

This thread has branched to include a lot of discussion about Patents related to CG software, which is very interesting!

I remember reading that Master Zap had patented certain ‘ideas’ with Mental Ray. For example, when two 3d objects intersect, he made a map for mental ray shaders that would give the objects the appearance as if they were one object. The map would smooth the 3D objects only where they intersected at render time.

And because this technique was Patented it could not be put into Vray. But Vray users can do the exact same effect themselves using a combination of existing Vray maps.

This way Vray is not breaching any patents, and it’s in the user’s hands if they want to infringe a patent and add a bit of render-time Boolean/smoothing to their Geometry!


Since the subject is about Natron, It’s a great way to learn about nodal compositing, and it may even become something useful and production ready in the future, but at the current stage, it’s still very limited and a very long shot from being even competition to any commercial compositing app.

It doesn’t even have a 3D environment to start with as far as I can see. So in the meantime, you’re much better off learning with Nuke “non-commercial” or stay with AE, Hitfilm or MAMBA FX for cheap commercial-ready compositing app.


Release Candidate 3 has been released. Many new features, bug fixes and workflow enhancements. Getting close to a v1 release!


funny i was playing around with Natron the other day and I noticed that all of the dialog fields (attribute panels i guess) look like Composite and the interface looks like Nuke. I’ve never gotten used to Composite’s layout (too cluttered), so Im not a big fan of it, but I can see how these two themes are being used together to pull in the massive base of users…


So with release 1 now firmly behind us and the current version being 1.2.1 released in Feb this year, a version 2 release is imminent with a new 3D workspace. Well they planned to release version 2 in May this year and we’re almost in August. Should that in itself tell us something? Probably not really much as a lot of great software packages has delays, although 2 months seem a bit steep.

  1. Anyways, are any of you using Natron in production? How does it it hold up?

  2. Apparently a lot of plugins etc that work with Nuke, is suppose to work in Natron. When they do finally have a workable 3D workspace, what’s the chances of something like VRay for Nuke would work in Natron?


Chances are zero. Natron does not support any native Nuke plugins. It only supports OpenFX plugins.



“[b]We plan to release Natron 2.0 in May 2015”

[/b]I don’t think that’s going to happen.


I created an account just to reply to this comment.

I for one, disagree with this notion

Blender was never made to be an alternative to Max.
It was made as it’s own software,

Just as modo has a different UI than max
Just as Cinema 4D has a different UI than Maya

I don’t see anyone complaining about these other apps who dare go against the standard

Why does this double standard exist?

And no, we in the Blender community are not going to relearn blender because it makes learning the software more convenient for some professionals.

No one in the blender community wants it to be like Max(granted that some do want it to be like Modo)


Just as modo has a different UI than max
Just as Cinema 4D has a different UI than Maya
I don’t see anyone complaining about these other apps who dare go against the standard

All of those apps actually share a lot more standards than you think, and it’s much easier to go from Maya to C4D or C4D to Modo than any of them to Blender.

The one exception is Zbrush for instance, but this one is so unique in what it does that most people are happy to put up with the strange interface (those tiny little sliders, endless scrolling, and obscure 2 letters abreviations)

Blender interface is as alien as Zbrush to many people, but unlike Zbrush, it’s not really unique in what it does, so people do complain with some reason : why try and do it so differently if it’s not really so much better?

Similarly, nothing Natron does is really unique, so it makes sense to stick to common and proven standards (I don’t know if it had to be SO similar, Fusion is great too and it’s not a carbon copy.), because why even bother otherwise choosing what is still currently an inferior product ? At the very least, what they learn won’t be lost if they switch package later or work in a studio with nuke.

If you want to be different, you have to be better.


Whatever the intent behind blender’s original design, once released developers should respond to user criticism. Blender has consistently been criticized for enforcing its way of working on all users.

Blender doesn’t simply go against standards by having its own key commands, but in lacking the means for users to work effectively prior to learning them. It forces all users to adopt to mouse/keyboard input, when the purpose of a GUI is to minimize keyboard dependency. Additionally, its usage of the mouse isn’t just at odds with other 3D tools, but practically all software in that it selects with right click versus left click rather than using RMB to view options. Blender can be configured to notify the user before closing, but this is not enforced when closing the console window which, for some reason, closes the entire program. It uses the Z axis for height, but still refers to the Z-pass when dealing with depth. It is well documented that blender isn’t simply inconsistent with other programs but inconsistent within its own design.

There is no double standard. Blender’s steep learning curve is the result of arbitrary design choices, the most egregious of which is enforcing a two-handed method of working. It rewards familiarity while simultaneously discouraging experimentation. No one is seriously suggesting that the manner in which you use blender as an experienced user should change, but rather that blender should not enforce adoption of this manner of interaction on all users with no regard to their preference. For example, I prefer one hand on the mouse and another free to use shortcuts for commonly used functions. Blender forces users to learn key-commands, and as many of these would more comfortably be entered with two hands this encourages, if not requires, interruption of mouse control. The benefit of saving time by using key-commands over mouse selection is negligible for artists who prefer mouse selection for its similarity in feel to working on actual objects in the real world. A key-command is only a shortcut when there is an alternate method of performing the corresponding action.


the nice thing about blender however is that it can be made to work like these other tools - and then some. it’s a massive upfront time investment but on my end i think it paid off. i now have a solution that integrates some of my UX favourites from max, maya, softimage under one hood and in a consistent manner without requiring an army of scripts. don’t think any other program is this flexible when it comes to end-user customization (ruling out being a maya technut who spends their day scripting here).

i wish they would have followed standards from the beginning though, just makes sense.

on the subject of natron - i keep that around - not the least to stay familiar with the nuke interface - but is it just me or is the program rather slow as far as compositors are concerned? i came from shake originally and am now somewhere between fusion and natron.



Well alright
I suppose there’s no harm in what Loe Wald is suggesting(In fact, after the release of 2.8, the default selection will be left click, so there’s one problem out of the way.)

Andrew Price’s though… it feels like he wants to turn blender into Cinema 4D,

And that’s great, because I used C4D prior to using Blender and I can tell you that C4D has one of the best UI’s in the 3D world

But I don’t know,

Some(if not most) blender users are already used to the way blender works,
whilst I have no problem with Andrew’s suggestions, I can’t say the same for other people in the blender community.

And yes I admit there have been a bunch of arbitrary design choices that could be ironed out

However I much rather prefer the current way blender forces you to use key commands over having to use the mouse, once you get used to it you’ll get things done faster, a lot faster.

But I guess it does sort of discourage experimentation.