Top 5 Plugins and Gizmos for Nuke to Speed-Up Your Workflow

Working in post-production one common problem that I have encountered is companies not having the right tools for their post-production teams, causing them to go over their deadlines and budgets. 

Compositing/VFX is an essential part of any production and just like editorial or sound it can either make or break your project. Having the right tools is crucial for your team to work efficiently and be able to deliver quality results on time.

I made a small list of the tools that I use in my pipeline on a daily basis. While this list is for Nuke, some of these plugins are available for After Effects too.

With that being said, let’s check these guys out!

1. Mocha Pro for Nuke

If you're struggling with planar tracking in Nuke or don’t have access to it at all, with Mocha GPU-accelerated planar tracker you will be able to solve even the most challenging shots. 

Mocha is arguably the best planar tracker application out there but it's so much more than just that. It's basically a Swiss army knife and I really can’t imagine any prep or beauty work without it. 

Tired of tedious paint work and projecting dozens of patches? Don’t have access to expensive FurnaceCore plugins? Then Mocha Remove Module is what you need. 

If you are doing roto work and finding Nuke roto tools flimsy and unresponsive, Mocha offers more flexibility when it comes to roto, as well as some advanced tools (magnetic splines with edge snapping, area brush) to speed up your roto routine.   

While it may not be the cheapest plugin (priced at $695), it can save you hours or even days worth of work, which will save you money in the long run.

2. KeenTools (FaceTracker, FaceBuilder, GeoTracker)

If you do beauty work you probably know how challenging it is to track complex face movements with partial and full occlusion. Planar tracker might not work if you have a lot of secondary motion and using Smart Vectors might not give you consistent results. 

That’s were Keentools come in. Basically, it allows you to perform real object tracking inside Nuke, including facial gestures and expressions, as well as create a 3D face or a head model based on a few reference pictures. This is extremely useful for beauty and clean-up work.

3. Das Grain Gizmo

When it comes to clean-up work we all know how frustrating it can be to properly match grain your comp.

Das Grain is here to fix this problem and make your re-graining routine as straightforward as possible. While it might not be exactly a plug-n-play solution (but hey, we’re talking about Nuke after all), it's relatively simple to understand how it works. 

4. NeatVideo Reduce Noise

A properly de-noised plate is a first step to a successful comp and there is no better tool than NeatVideo when it comes to the de-noising process. It’s fast (GPU-accelerated), flexible and gives you great results even in full auto mode, and combined with Das Grain it makes a killer-combo for your clean-up/prep work.

5. MochaImport+ for Nuke

While regular Mocha Pro for Nuke will get you through most of your comp days, adding MochaImport+ to your pipeline gives you additional options to work with your Mocha data and saves you time in most of your compositing tasks. It is especially useful for clean-up and beauty work. 

BONUS:

Something that you should look out for in the near future.

Kognat Rotobot

Working on complex roto-shots is usually very tedious and time consuming, but outsourcing your roto can be even more frustrating, as finding and negotiating with the right vendors is not as simple as it may seem. 

Is there an alternative option? Well, yes! Yes, there is. Kognat Rotobot is a deep learning tool for Nuke that lets you automate your rotoscopy tasks.  

While it’s still very fresh, it's already capable of delivering production quality results. Yes, it might not be perfect, and there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement, but this is something that I would love to use in the near future. 

© 2020 Erik Pain