Is there any hope for flame in the future for compositing?

Hey hive, I ve been a subscriber of this amazing group for a long time but this is my first post. Time to vent. Is there any hope for flame in the future for compositing?

I have been using flame for more than 15 years and nuke for the last 7 years. Lately, I had a couple of massive and highly challenging projects and I felt totally disappointed with flame, to the point that I will never use or recommend flame for compositing if nuke is available unless the project is really simple. Full disclosure, I was using flame 2021.

My biggest problem is how difficult is to work using plates from cg or anything related to cg( cg scene , cameras , geos, etc). Working with multilayered exr is painful and slow. The 3d environment is a nightmare and very prone to simple errors . You need an st map for the camera distortion and even with it, you need to spend a while to make it work properly.

I am not saying that it can’t be done, just that it takes way more time and work than nuke to get a good result.

The scripts tend to be overcomplicated because there is no embedded layers in the nodes. That and the individuality of every flame artist ( something that I see as the strongest quality except for this) makes very difficult to take over and continue other’s flame’s artists scripts.

Another thing that I don’t understand ( or maybe I don’t know how to do it) is when you render your batch , why there isn’t an internal open Clip? So you render an it gets directly into the edit without having to export the shot? I saw some function in the literature but I wasn’t able to make it work( again I’m using 2021) and every time I ask, no one knows.

As I said at the beginning I am only complaining about the compositing part, I ve using flame for a long time and I love it, especially all the editorial, color and how flexible it is but let me know if there is some hope for the future because it looks very bad for flame compositors.


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Just because I have Sriracha in my fridge doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to use and love Cholula.

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…who are doing extensive CG shots.

I would not damn the software because Nuke does something better; Nuke has had that specific market locked down for fifteen years.

Flame could definitely be better with Multi-channel stuff.

I used to think flame should have an internal open clip system, but I’ve been working off a server for two years now and it’s so much better. Sharing setups is faster, moving media is instant, archives are tiny, and renders are human-readable and organized. Keep the framestore for timeline renders for playback and that’s it.


Lens distortion

Publishing clips

Here are a couple of posts that might be useful. There is no multi layer pipeline as you know. This is useful and in some cases, annoying. I think this may be a separate discussion.

The 3d environment isn’t a nightmare IMHO but it is ripe for some improvement like navigation. I do like Nike’s approach which seems a bit easier to find things in action schematics. Nuke X’s lens analysis is pretty great and it would be helpful to have something more like this rather than the current lens distort node which is too in accurate for these days. However Nuke X is far more expensive than flame these days.

Internal open clip is possible to set up. @cnoellert explains a method above. Alternatively, Shotgrid does this out of the box. I admit it’s frustrating not to have this out of the box but I don’t think it’s out of the box with nuke either. You have to build the pipeline to support it too.

Individuality of flame artists will always be a thing. It’s what we are encouraged to do. Nuke ops are more used to doing what they’re told in a pipeline.

Ultimately, they both do similar tasks differently and are used mostly in differently scenarios. I do think flame could benefit from some more love in 3d renders, camera, geo and lens analysis.

But even on a nuke job I will always finish in flame. Squeezing that last 10% into a comp with paint etc is much more pleasurable and feasible in flame as opposed to nuke IMHO.

Given the large user base of nuke and ease of collaboration, it does seem to be eroding the take up of flame.


In Nuke you don’t have to deal with the concept of OpenClip at all. If you want to up version an imported element you just press the up arrow key I believe. It kind of has a built-in zero intervention “pattern browse” functionality. Flame missed the mark so hard on this one.


As you say, it’s built in pattern browsing. But it’s also setup by Nuke Studio when it publishes a conform. In my head, the integration of Shotgrid with flame gives this same functionality.

I wonder if it would be fun to ship with flame. I wonder how possible that would be in the corporate world of Autodesk.

That would be very attractive if every flame subscription had Shotgrid for free. It would also make sense, not as free additional software but part of experience.


That would be great, but it wouldn’t be for “free.” See a commiserate bump the next time your subs $ go up.

Why stop at effortless versioning. Paths strings can benefit from more flexibility. Regular expressions substitutions would be awesome. The ability to live script the paths is something that always come handy in apps like Nuke and Fusion.

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Yeah, you can do it now, rent flame and shotgrit idividualy, but it would more cooler and made flame real central hub. This is wery powerful app and shotgrit elegantly extent flame abbilities.


Still wouldn’t be as expensive as nuke x!

Agree, I was very surprised that Nuke is more expensive then flame, with Foundry bullshit maintenance policy and subscription options.

Hey, welcome to the posting side of the community! I totally get your frustration. I’ve dabbled in both Flame and Nuke, and I can say that when it comes to compositing, especially with CG elements, Nuke is just smoother and more intuitive. Flame has its merits for sure, but it seems like they’re falling behind in the compositing game.

I’ve also struggled with the multi-layered EXR handling and the 3D environment in Flame. You’re right—it feels like you have to jump through hoops to get things right, which wastes valuable time.

I can’t speak to the future of Flame in compositing, but like you, I’m hoping they take user feedback seriously and make the necessary improvements. Otherwise, I also see a grim future for Flame compositors.

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Hey everyone!

Great discussion going on here, and it’s clear we all have our own takes. When it comes to Nuke vs. Flame, I honestly see merits in both.

Nuke excels when you’re dealing with CG elements, no doubt about it. It’s a powerhouse in big studio pipelines, especially for feature films where meticulous compositing is key. If you’re aiming to be part of a large-scale project or team, Nuke is probably your go-to.

But let’s not overlook what brings us all to Flame in the first place. Flame’s real-time capabilities make it incredibly fast and responsive, offering an experience that’s more immediate and collaborative. It’s you, fellow artists, and the director, all working in a dynamic environment. And when it comes to industries that are heavy on 2D task like beauty and TV spots Flame really shines.

So yes, both tools can be compared, but they’re built for different scenarios.

Cheers to all the artists out there, no matter your tool of choice! :art::fire:


Well I don’t get it, I have no issues comping CG in Flame and multichannel is much better now.

I’ve never used Nuke on a job only use the commercial version occasionally, to test the multichhanels from flame for deliveries, as the receivers always test stuff on Nuke, before the shots go to baselight or whatever,… which is very annoying… and makes no sense to me, its only becos its the most common compositor, that all the juniors learn at University

To me they both do the same shit., … I once comped a load of CG on Shake many many years ago as you can imagine, …and to me again its still all the same,…and I’ve worked closely with Nuke ops comping CG, whilst I’m comping CG, and its like were all doing the same stuff, techniques etc,…

I always hear Nuke is better for CG, but nobody has actually explained why to me???

Surely there must be some good stuff there in Nuke but probably won’t use it, and a Nuke op probably less likely to use it too, …

I’m sure there’s something I don’t know so please explain it.,… and before anybody does I’m sure there is a work around in flame, its just bit of give and take, just like everything else.

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Challenge accepted. :grinning:
Probably a matter of context. I think Flame is great and above any other software (including Nuke) in many aspects. But I do have to agree Nuke’s Deep Compositing and Multilayer paradigm are simple reasons to choose it over any other comp software for CG work.

I have worked with CG passes and multilayer EXRs in Flame and found the amount of steps to do the same basic operation are greater in Flame. If you have just a few layers is fine, but when bringing in hundreds, progress gets slow.

I bet Deeps are not a big deal for many of the work gals and folks here do on a daily basis (and thats ok) , but I use them all the time for the type of work I do. Comping without them just doesnt make sense. Not because I cant do the work otherwise, but because it so much easier and faster.

Don’t ask me to comp this shot in Flame please (2:50)

Dont ask me to use Shake either :wink:

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Here is a link to some CG renders with multilayers and deeps:
We can use these to enhance this discussion.

I new it, Deep Compositing, my Nuke friend always boasts about it, yes not something I know much about or used but have heard alot about, but is that it?, and can you play back your passes in realtime? I think multichannel is not that different anymore flame’s has improved, I don’t get what you mean about more steps in flame, are you primarily a Nuke Compositor? also from what I hear Deep pass is too heavy and slow feature to have in flame…, who knows this may change in the future. I understand Nuke has sub channels in multilayer passes which is crazy if you ask me ,its the only software that uses them… I think.

Anyhow these two reason for me don’t warrant anyone saying enthusiastically, “Nuke is better for CG” I just think this comment I hear so often is biased .But I see your point. Its debatable.

I do believe that more Nuke ops know more about what to do with their 3d passes than Flame ops. I’ve seen it first hand, my Nuke friends bitch about how the flame op lets the nuke op do the CG comping because the Flame op doesnt get it and is sitting with clients. Which intern people start saying Nuke is better at it.

I actually think you have a better 3d tracker than flame, but I use PFtrack if flames one fails. Hey ho…………flame on…

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I would recommend to take @milanesa’s word. He is understated but has the experience to back it up. I believe that shot he showed you actually is from his reel.

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There are also other features. Flame still is on crutches for grain management, does not support geo and face trackers, and I’m sure a list of other things we can come up with.

They are similar tools, but have significant differences in the nuances that matter to certain artists. I wouldn’t want to do beauty in Nuke, just as some compositing is better in Nuke.

And it would be useless to have full equivalence as it’s wasted dev time. Let each focus on specific niches.

A few others: Nuke has better keyers. CopyCat comes to mind too. And Windows support :slight_smile:

Nuke has a single node tree not the Russian Doll of Batch and Action. Sometimes that is actually easier.

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