smartRender for Nuke

  • Compatibility Nuke
    Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below

Author: cragl vfx tools

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Quick Overview

smartRender is a multi-threaded background rendering tool for Nuke. It lets you reduce your rendering times and makes final rendering and preview rendering dramatically faster compared to the standard rendering process. It uses all your hardware resources efficiently to speed up the processing. In addition you can export a detailed render log.



smartRender is a multi-threaded background rendering tool for Nuke. smartRender lets you reduce your rendering times and makes rendering dramatically faster compared to the standard rendering process. It uses all your hardware resources efficiently to speed up the processing.

smartRender supports the ability to speed up preview renderings. While your comp is work in progress where you want to get instant feedback you can use incremental renderings and down scalings to get your previews in seconds instead of waiting for some minutes.

smartRender lets you view a detailed log for the job which lets you also detect rendering errors. All job logs can be exported as text files.

smartRender works out of the box producing fast renderings but if you have some programing experience you can even edit, change and customize smartRender's processing commands so you can fully customize it to your needs.

Main features

• multi threaded background rendering for NUKE
• dramatically speed up your renderings
• batch render multiple jobs
• super fast feedback
• detailed job log information
• customize render commands to your needs

Rendering time comparisons

The following shows some direct 1:1 real time render comparisons between smartRender and Nuke's default rendering method. We tested different nuke scripts of different scale with different machines and different operating systems. Each test is a real time recording of the exact same nukescript on the same machine. In our tests rendering with smartRender was always faster, sometimes even incredibly 4 times faster. As these comparisons are quite long feel free to simply skip through them and have a look at the comparison chart at the end of each video. The brave ones watch the whole video in one go :-D

  • Nuke script size: large
  • MacPro 6,1 3GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5 32GB 1866 MHz DDR3
  • OS: MacOSX 10.9.5, Nuke version: Nuke9.0v5, Node count: 811 nodes
  • A large nuke script containing a lot of 2D and 3D nodes. nodes.
  • smartRender: 11:56
  • Standard rendering: 21:40
  • smartRender used only 54.5% of the standard rendering time.

  • Nuke script size: small
  • MacBook Pro 11,3 2,5GHz i7 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04.4 (trusty tahr), Nuke version: Nuke10.0v1, 68 nodes
  • A small size nuke script containing full cg compositing, inclusive vector blurs with high motion vector samples and a pretty render intensive TVI scale node to upscale the whole image in the end. nodes.
  • smartRender: 08:50
  • Standard rendering: 38:41
  • smartRender used only 22.9% of the standard rendering time.

  • Nuke script size: small
  • MacBook Pro 11,3 2,5GHz i7 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • OS: MacOSX 10.10, Nuke version: Nuke8.0v1, 4 nodes
  • A simple nuke script using motion blur with a high sample rate and a median with a high size. nodes.
  • smartRender: 03:04
  • Standard rendering: 08:04
  • smartRender used only 38% of the standard rendering time.

  • Nuke script size: middle
  • HP Z800 2,67GHz 24 Core 64GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • OS: Windows7, Nuke version: Nuke8.0v7, 383 nodes
  • A mid size nuke script including cg compositing into real shot footage. nodes.
  • smartRender: 07:55
  • Standard rendering: 24:57
  • smartRender used only 31.8% of the standard rendering time.

In Depth Tutorial



supported operating systems: Linux, Mac, Windows

Nuke13, Nuke12, Nuke11, Nuke10, Nuke9, Nuke8


Do I get updates?

Yes. If you buy a license you will always and forever get any update - no matter how small or big the update is. That's what we call a fair deal.


Do cragl tools work on machines that are not connected to the web as well?

Yes. Any tool can be installed and used fully featured with and without inernect connection. If your machine is connected to the web, then installing any cragl product is dead simple and literally takes you just 3 clicks. But installing any cragl product when your machine is not connected to the web is also simple. For more information about offline installation and usage please refer to the faq site on our website:


Which kinds of licenses do you offer?

We offer node locked licenses and site licenses.

Node locked licenses are locked to the machine that you install it to. Licenses can also be transfered to another machine.

Site licenses can be used on an infinite amount of machines and are not locked to the machine. The machines don't need to be connected to the web (this also applies to our node locked licenses!) You can also use site licenses on athera and any other dockerized environment.

 license models


On how many machines can I use my purchased license?

That depends on the type of your license. If you buy one node locked license you can use it on one machine for commercial use plus on a personal computer/laptop for personal use. If you buy more than one node locked license then you can use all of your purchased licenses on your machines for commercial use. If you buy a site license, then you can use this license on any machine on as many machines as you need. The license will then not be node locked and can be used on any machine - even in Foundry's athera and other dockerized environments.



For further information please also checkout the cragl FAQ page

Nuke/NukeX 13.1, 13.0, 12.2, 12.1, 12.0, 11.3, 11.2, 11.1, 11.0, 10.0, 9.0, 8.0
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