In release, NXT (Node eXecution Tree) is a new open source python layering and sequential execution tool for animation and VFX. NXT enables visualization of complex scripts and easy cross-department collaboration. It’s code with layers with a nice way to see and change data.
NXT is the first part of an ongoing initiative at Sunrise Productions to release its tools as open source.
The primary function of NXT is to visualize and automate programming tasks related to computer graphics and linear processing. The intent is to bridge the gap between one-off scripting and general-purpose tools through the use of inheritance, layering, and string tokens.
“NXT has allowed us to get a large number of character rigs up and running in record time with layered NXT templates. It has also allowed us to tightly integrate our workflow tools right into NXT,” says Matt Schiller, rigging supervisor.
In the simplest of terms, NXT combines multiple layers of nodes into a single composite layer that is then executable. It is something like Photoshop layers for code. Users are able to mute, solo, override, and extend layers of code. The resulting composite clearly visualizes where attributes and values originated. Colors, node paths, and conveniently placed links allow users to quickly debug code.