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nemanja_reMAKE says

OK, guys. Can someone that has experience with both programs can tell me what are differences. Are those two programs doing the same thing at the end and only workflow is different ( like Maya, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Softimage that are basically all 3D programs and you can create almost everything the same in all of them ) or there is really some basic difference between Nuke and AE. If there is, which one is better etc. I ask this bcs company where I start to work is requiring from me to learn Nuke to work in it ( my boss actually because he hates AE generaly ). Company where I’m working makes 3D cartoons, commercials, 3D games for android phones and iphones. So in general there is a lot of motion graphics, some effects in production and compositing 3D scenes involved. So is the Nuke really that much better then AE, is it a must to learn program for doing the job we guys do or I can stick with AE ? I work in AE for years and years and I really like it’s workflow so I’m really not interested in learning new software if it does the same as AE.

best, nemanja

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vovkacg says

The difference is in compositing approach. Nuke is a node-based compositing software, After Effects – a layer-based. As it was said a lot of times – these are just tools, the technique is more important than a choice of software. However, I prefer working on difficult and complicated shots in Nuke – a node-based compositing gives your greater control on composition parts, besides it seems that even a complicated node flow in Nuke is much faster than a composition with, let’s say, 100 layers in AE. Another point is that Nuke is a standard software for the majority of studios today. A number of the big studios that are using AE for compositing and working on top level movies is very small. So if you know Nuke and can show your skills there – it’s your ticket to a middle/top compositing studio to work on high level commercials and movies. What is Nuke bad in is motion graphics, this is usually done in AE, but with later compositing in Nuke.

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GhosTeam says

I’m not a Nuke-master, but from my experience in these days After-Effects can achieve anything you can do with Nuke.
However, Nuke is far more powerful than AE. Its workflow is totally different since you work on 1 shot at the time. Its node-based system is much better for compositing than the layer-based system in AE. Also, Nuke works with 3D models & materials.
I know that in the real film industry nobody uses AE for compositing (and they all hate it for some reason) ...there you’d find Nuke/Flame for dealing with VFX.

If the job is worth the money, learn Nuke…for an AE expert like you, it won’t be that hard to adopt Nuke’s system.

But for motion graphics – AE is definitely the winner….

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vovkacg says

Forgot to mention that at some points it’s easier and faster to work in AE than in Nuke – Nuke is hardcore, it is even not so easy to apply a mask to a node, not to mention other more complicated actions. But when it comes to hard compositing shots – Nuke is the choice

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caneration says

I worked in Nuke for a movie project for about 6 months. If you compare both, firstly Nuke is more suit for complex movie works. Of course you can make every project in both, but AE will work hard on complex projects. (When you work with thousands of layers and plugins etc.) Nuke works on node based system, so it is a bit easier to control all workaround. Its keying works amazing, its tracker amazing. It can export import .dpx type cinema files with time-code data inside it.

To sum up, if you will only work on cinema projects, movies etc. Nuke is a good way, otherwise After Effects is a more user friendly for the broadcast, motion graphic works. And AE has also a big plus, it has huge user number so you can easily find millions of scripts, plugins etc.

Hope that helps a bit,

Caner

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Nuke is a node based compositor. After Effects is a timeline based animation, finishing and compositing package.

IIRC Nuke costs around $5000, After Effects around $1000.

Nuke is a highly specialized tool for serious, hardcore compositors; used in film, increasingly used in commercial stuff. After Effects is a versatile moving image solution that covers a lot of bases and is pretty universally used.

You are a compositor and you do compositing with complex comps and set-ups. You receive your input material from camera captured stuff or 3D generated passes. You use Nuke.

You are a motion graphics artist who probably also does some conforming / compositing. You sometimes receive your input material from camera or 3D generated passes, other times you generate your own material from scratch. You use After Effects.

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ToddKopriva says

However, Nuke is far more powerful than AE.

I think that’s a mis-statement. They do different things, and each is better and more powerful than the other in different ways.

See this from the After Effects product manager about the relative strengths of each application (and a statement that we like it when people use both): http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2012/12/comments-on-top-feature-requests-of-2012.html

So, don’t hink of this as an either/or decision. Use the right tool for the job; the right thing for one job my not be the right thing for another.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

I know that in the real film industry nobody uses AE for compositing (and they all hate it for some reason) ...there you’d find Nuke/Flame for dealing with VFX.

Ae is a pretty general tool, so when it comes to highly specialized tasks, there’s usually a tool around that’s more suited to the job. In areas like film, where the production and work flow is very much split out into different disciplines, then naturally people tend to use more specialized tools.

There’s also a kind of snobbery thing in high-end media, that if you use the widely available tool that everybody uses, you’re somehow not as good as the person that uses the very, very expensive box of tricks. At the end of the day, a Flame operator whose suite is being hired out to clients at $1000/hour never did themselves any favours by saying “actually you could do this part pretty easily in After Effects”. There exists a kind of techno-philistinism which has been around at least as long as I’ve been in the industry.

All of this leads to my rule of thumb: Look at the craftsman, not the tool

What can be said of Ae is that it delivers an extraordinary value for money. It can do a lot of stuff for a very reasonable price, in the right hands it can achieve extraordinary results very quickly. For me, and for many small, cool, boutique-studios it is exactly its widespreadness that is interesting.

I can’t speak for film anymore, as it’s a while since I worked on a film, but actually in high-end commercial stuff, After Effects is used way more than you’d think.

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eco_bach says

Its not necessarily true that After Effects can’t be used for feature film work. Just ask Gareth Edwards. http://tv.adobe.com/watch/customer-stories-video-film-and-audio/adobegarethedwards/

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ToddKopriva says

Its not necessarily true that After Effects can’t be used for feature film work. Just ask Gareth Edwards. http://tv.adobe.com/watch/customer-stories-video-film-and-audio/adobegarethedwards/

Yep. And there are far more examples than that. In most movies, there is a mix of tools used, depending on the needs of the specific shot and the skills of the specific artist.

And for cinematic television programs (like House of Cards and Walking Dead) all of the compositing for some shows is done in After Effects.

Again, this is not a slam against Nuke, which is a great tool; I just want to make sure that the over-generalizations about After Effects are refuted.

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