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Nuke Command Line Rendering

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Rendering via command line is a handy way to render Nuke scripts in the background or remotely in the absence of a render farm/manager such as Deadline. This method also allows you to leverage your gpu(s) for rendering which is not currently supported when rendering with Frame Server.

Here's a few tips, examples and references to get started along with some bonus flags to debug the Frame Server as well.

* This guide was performed in Windows and there are slight differences for the system environment variables if you are using MacOS/Linux shell documented in the Nuke user guide.

  • Open a command line/terminal shell prompt and change directory to Nuke.exe path

cd C:\Program Files\Nuke13.2v3\
  • I recommend adding the Nuke.exe path to your system environment variables to avoid having to type/cd into that path each time.

  • Alternatively, you can set a doskey to point to Nuke and then you can launch Nuke from any directory:

doskey nuke="C:\Program Files\Nuke13.2v2\Nuke13.2.exe"
  • If you want to doskey NukeX, enter:

doskey NukeX="C:\Program Files\Nuke13.2v2\Nuke13.2.exe" --nukex
  • If you want to doskey Nuke Studio, enter:

doskey nukes="C:\Program Files\Nuke13.2v2\Nuke13.2.exe" --studio

Nuke Command Line render flags:

# Launch Nuke Studio


# Launch NukeX


# Launch in safe mode


# Enable Interactive License


# Enable GPU Rendering


# Display version info


# Verbose mode low/med/high: (0/1/2)

-V 1

# Pause viewers


# Measure Performance


# Open script(s) at proxy resolution


# Measure your nodes performance metrics and write them to an XML file at render

time. See Using Script Profiling for more information.

-Pf <filename>

# Set render range frame '1-100'

-F 1-100

# Open Nuke script at full resolution


# Continue on errors


# Background mode


# Anamorphic format


# Open script without Postage stamp nodes


# Nuke priority specifiy: (low/medium/high)

--priority p

# Quite mode


# Limit the cache memory usage, where size equals a number in bytes. You can specify a

different unit by appending k (kilobytes), M (megabytes), or G (gigabytes) after size.

-c size (k, M, or G)


  • Run NukeX in interactive mode (-i) and render 'Write_EXR' node with frame range '1-240' with gpu acceleration and verbose level 2

Nuke13.2.exe --nukex -i -F 1-240 -gpu -V 2 -X Write_EXR --pause S:\PROJECTS\path_to_my_nuke_script_v01.nk
  • You can also have multiple terminal/shell instances running without the overhead of the Nuke gui saving you precious memory and VRAM.

  • Using a StickyNote or Backdrop node you can grab the Nuke script path easily and append it to a command line render with this TCL snippet:

Nuke13.2.exe --nukex -i -F 1-240 -gpu -V 2 -X Write_EXR --pause [join [lrange [split [file dirname [knob]] "/"] 0 end-1] "/"]/[lindex [split [value] /] end]

Frame Server debugging commands (useful for troubleshooting Frame Server issues):

# Frame Server Debug Log

--frameserver-loglevel DEBUG

# Manually launch Frame Server with 3 workers and 6 threads each, 48gb max memory

python.exe pythonextensions\site-packages\foundry\frameserver\nuke\ --numworkers=3 --nukeworkerthreads=6 --nukeworkermemory=48192 --workerconnecturl tcp://hostip:5560 --nukepath=Nuke13.2.exe --useInteractiveLicense

# Check Frame Server connection (Nuke/NukeX)

from hiero.ui.nuke_bridge.FnNsFrameServer import frameServer
print([worker.address for worker in frameServer.getStatus(1).workerStatus])

# Check Frame Server connection (Nuke Studio)

from hiero.ui.nuke_bridge.nukestudio import frameServer
print([worker.address for worker in frameServer.getStatus(1).workerStatus])

# Disable Frame Server Nuke

"C:\Program Files\Nuke13.1v1\Nuke13.1.exe" --disable-nuke-frameserver

# Disable Frame Server Nuke Studio

"C:\Program Files\Nuke13.1v1\Nuke13.1.exe" --studio --disable-nuke-frameserver

# Disable Frame Server Hiero

"C:\Program Files\Nuke13.1v1\Nuke13.1.exe" --hiero --disable-nuke-frameserver


How to Render Using the GPU in Nuke (macOS):

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