Free Open Source Compositing Software For VFX and Motion Graphics



  -  186 MB  -  Open Source
  • Latest Version

    Natron 2.5.0 LATEST

  • Review by

    Sophia Jones

  • Operating System

    Windows 7 64 / Windows 8 64 / Windows 10 64 / Windows 11

  • User Rating

    Click to vote
  • Author / Product

    Natron Team / External Link

  • Filename

Natron is a powerful Digital Compositor that can handle your 2D/2.5D needs. Its robust OIIO file formats and OpenFX architecture is what makes the tool 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. It has a powerful keying, roto/roto paint, 2D tracking tools that staple for all current film production project that requires visual effects.

On the surface, Natron has a powerful GUI interface that is a flexible and intuitive multi-platform node based engine. It may seem to be a simple compositing application but it does have layers of complexity that will allow your creativity to reach new heights. The app has a flexible Roto and Rotopaint tool-set that can generate unlimited layers of masks, mattes, and shapes. It has a powerful 2D and Planar tracker to help reduce hours of rotoscoping to meet personal or client deadlines. It has some strong keying or matte generation tools that have been developed from the main OFX software developers and a plethora of tools from the open-source plugin developing community.

It has some innovative technologies for organizing nodes. All nodes can be grouped and can be shared across all artists, studios, community, and developers as gizmos or "plugin" as well. The program uses easy to understand python scripting language for even tweaking such gizmos or "PYPLUG" in a generic text editor! Creating PyPlug is easy and fun and not to mention, highly productive in the production pipeline.

It trusts in Open Source Community. The collective effort from artists, developers, and researchers are combined in one application to make the difference. A huge collection of well maintained and ever-increasing plugins can be found in the official community plugins repository of Natron.

Multi-layered rotoscoping with stroke capability. Powerful 2D and Planar tracker for tracking jobs. It offers various keying tools for your production needs. Powerful curve and dope-sheet Editor with the fluid interface. GPU and Network rendering capability for faster production. Over 250 and ever-increasing community plugins!

Features and Highlights
  • Intuitive user interface: the app aims not to break habits by providing an intuitive and familiar user interface.  It is possible to separate on any number of screens the graphical user interface. It supports Retina screens on macOS.
  • Performances: Never wait for anything to be rendered, in the software anything you do produces real-time feedback thanks to its optimized multi-threaded rendering pipeline and its support for proxy rendering (i.e: the rendering pipeline can be computed at lower res to speed-up rendering).
  • Multi-task: It can render multiple graphs at the same time and make use of 100% of the computing power of your CPU.
  • Network rendering: It can be used as a command-line tool and can be integrated on a render farm manager such as Afanasy.
  • Renderer: A command-line tool for execution of project files and python scripts. The command-line version is executable from ssh on a computer without any display.
  • Fast & interactive Viewer – Smooth & accurate zooming/panning even for very large image sizes (tested on 27k x 30k images).
  • Real-time playback: It offers a real-time playback with thanks to its RAM/Disk cache technology. Once a frame is rendered, it can be reproduced instantly afterward, even for large image sizes.
  • Low hardware requirements: All you need is an x86 64 bits or 32 bits processor, at least 3 GB of RAM, and a graphic card that supports OpenGL 1.5+ with some extensions.
  • Motion editing: It offers a simple and efficient way to deal with keyframes with a very accurate and intuitive curve editor. You can set expressions on animation curves to create easy and believable motion for objects. It also incorporates a fully featured dope-sheet to quickly edit clips and keyframes in time-space.
  • Multi-view workflow: the program saves time by keeping all the views in the same stream. You can separate the views at any time with the OneView node.
  • Rotoscoping/Rotopainting: Edit your masks and animate them to work with complex shots
  • Tracker node: A point tracker is embedded in the tool to track multiple points. Version 2.1 of the app will incorporate the Tracker from Blender.
  • Presets: Nodes presets can be imported/exported easily with an XML file format
  • Python scripting: It has made available via its Python API most of its functionalities.
  • It embeds a Python 2.7 interpreter that can be used to customize the application.
  • Multi-plane: In all layers read from EXR’s, TIFF’s or PSD’s are available as planes that each node can access. You can also freely create your own custom planes. This allows for cleaner graphs and more efficient work.
Also Available: Download Natron for Mac

  • Natron 2.5.0 Screenshots

    The images below have been resized. Click on them to view the screenshots in full size.

    Natron 2.5.0 Screenshot 1
  • Natron 2.5.0 Screenshot 2
  • Natron 2.5.0 Screenshot 3
  • Natron 2.5.0 Screenshot 4
  • Natron 2.5.0 Screenshot 5

What's new in this version:

- Use Python 3 rather than Python 2 (which is not maintained anymore). This will require very few changes to the Python code (mainly print statements), and most code can be easily adapted to be 2-3 compatible.
- Use QtPy==1.11.2 rather than PySide. QtPy is an abstraction layer for PyQt5/PyQt4/PySide2/PySide (newer versions support PyQt6/PySide6). QtPy uses the Qt5 layout (where the QtGui module has been split into QtGui and QtWidgets). Using QtPy guarantees a higher level of forward-compatibility with future versions of Natron, which may use Qt5 or Qt6. PySide can still be imported explicitly, if required, but the resulting code will not be forward-compatible. Note that 2.4.4 binaries include qtpy, but still import PySide by default.