The Foundry has teamed up with Weta Digital to incorporate the New Zealand VFX house’s Mari 3D texture painting software to its compositing system Nuke.

The technology, which allows artists working with CGI material to process and composite images containing multiple opacity or colour samples per pixel at different depths, was developed by Weta during its work on Avatar.

The Foundry chief executive Bill Collis said: “Deep compositing allows ambitious new effects whilst achieving big time savings in production.

“Weta Digital have been leading the promotion of the technique and have now ensured that the tools we provide artists within Nuke are thoroughly battle tested and ready to face production.

“The further announcement of an OpenEXR format to support deep data this week is also being supported by Nuke, enabling greater collaboration.”

The Foundry said that by increasing the amount of useful data available in compositing, the toolset provides greater efficiencies by reducing the amount of re-rendering typically required from CGI departments.

It said the generation of holdout mattes for individual CGI objects or characters can then be performed within Nuke itself, allowing for savings can run into hundreds of hours on large-scale CGI projects. 

Nuke 6.3 is due for release in June.