Nuke 5.2 has a major new feature added to the Read node. It allows the Read node to replace the Frame Hold, Frame Offset and Retime nodes. Let's take a look. It's up here, at the frame field, and they've added this pop-up menu right here. With the pop-up menu set to expression, it becomes identical with Nuke 5.1, where you can add an expression in this field, such as frame/2. Now the frame numbers read from the clip are simply divided by 2.
The next menu item is new, which is a start at. This says we want to start it at frame, let's say 10, in the timeline. What that means is whatever the first frame of the clip is, in this case frame 1, it won't start rolling until we get to frame 10 in the timeline. Let's take a look. We'll set the playhead back to the beginning and as I drag the playhead forward, nothing moves until I get to frame 10, and then it starts incrementing the frame numbers in the timeline.
The next new pop-up is offset and that applies an offset between the frame read off the disk, relative to the timeline. If I set an offset, for example, of 4 and then we go down to the timeline on frame 1, Frame 1 in the timeline is offset by 4 in the clip so I bring in frame 5. And the offset lasts over the whole length of the shot. The way to keep it clear is the Frame range refers to the frame numbers read from the clip, whereas the frame parameter defines the relationship of the incoming frames to the timeline.
While the Nuke 5.2 Read node has several enhancements, if you need variable speed, the TimeWarp tab over the Retime node is the only way to go. We will see that in our next movie.
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