NATRON – Digital Compositor / VFX

Cross platform & open source compositor for visual effects and motion graphics industry.

Natron is a free and open-source node-based compositing software application. It has been influenced by digital compositing software such as Avid Media Illusion, Apple Shake, Blackmagic Fusion, Autodesk Flameand Nuke, from which its user interface and many of its concepts are derived.

Natron is a powerful Digital Compositor that can handle of your 2D/2.5D needs. Its robust OIIO file formats and OpenFX architecture is what make Natron the most flexible open source compositor for the visual effects community. Its interface and functionally are the same across all platforms such as MacOS, Linux and Windows. Natron has a powerful keying, roto/rotopaint, 2D tracking tools that are staple for all current film production project that requires visual effects.

Natron supports plugins following the OpenFX 1.4 API. Most open-source and commercial OpenFX plug-ins are supported.


  • Low hardware requirements: a 64 bits or 32 bits processor, at least 3 GiB of RAM.
  • A graphic card that supports OpenGL 2.0 or OpenGL 1.5 with a few commonly available extensions (ARB_texture_non_power_of_two, ARB_shader_objects, ARB_vertex_buffer_object, ARB_pixel_buffer_object).

Render Engine

  • 32 bits floating point linear color processing pipeline : all frames are represented as floating-point RGBA samples with premultiplied alpha,[9] permitting the use of alpha compositing operators defined by Thomas Porter and Tom Duff.[10]
  • Support for multi-core architectures: all processing is multithreaded using a thread pool pattern.
  • Color management is handled by the OpenColorIO library, including support for the ACES color encoding system proposed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • Support for many image formats, using OpenImageIO, including multi-layer OpenEXR. Additional image layers can be used to store several color layers, or for non-color information such as depth, optical flow, binocular disparity, or masks.
  • Support for reading and writing video files through the FFmpeg library, including digital intermediate formats such as DNxHD and Apple ProRes.
  • Full support of the OpenFX 1.4 API, enabling use of open source or commercial plug-ins.
  • Support for low-resolution rendering for previewing the output of computing-intensive visual effects.


  • Image transform (position, rotation, scale, skew).
  • Video tracking functionalities.
  • Keying : Keyer, Chroma Keyer, Difference Keyer, Hue Keyer, PIK Keyer.
  • Paint : Solid, Pencil, Eraser, Clone, Reveal, Blur, Smear, Dodge, Burn.
  • Manual rotoscoping, using Bézier curves.
  • A wide range of additional effects (color transforms, geometric transforms, image generators…) are available.
  • Key frame-based parameter animation, using Bernstein polynomials (the polynomial basis behind Bézier curves) for interpolation.
  • Animation curves editing : Curve Editor.
  • Keyframes editing : Dope Sheet.
  • Support for stereoscopic 3D and multi-view processing.


  • Support for batch-mode rendering through a command-line tool, allowing the final render to be processed on a render farm.
  • A project format written in XML and easily human editable.
  • Node presets can be imported/exported easily via XML.
  • Python script language (Python 2.7).
  • SeExpr script language (Walt Disney Animation Studios).
  • WebGL 1.0 script language (Shadertoy) for hardware accelerated 2D/3D visual effects development.
  • Customisable UI.
  • PyPlug system (equivalent to Nuke Gizmos).

NATRON – official website


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s