Blender Node Editor vs Natron



I’ve used the Blender node editor for some simple compositing. It works. And I’ve looked over a few Natron Youtube tuts. I admit I’m not experienced with either Natron or Nuke.

My question is simple: What benefit does Natron provide over the internal node compositor in Blender? I see a lot of people compositing blender output with Natron here, and I’m simply curious. No insult to the project or community intended.

Thank you,


the belender node graph is indeed very nice. it’s even quite powerful in may ways (e.g.animation nodes – capabilities, that can by used to create even complex node graphs itself in a generative way – something, that’s also possible in pd/gem :slight_smile: ), but it also has to be seen as a very proprietary solution with obvious idiosyncrasies, that do not fit very well into other applications. in this respect it looks closer to one of those other arbitrary node graph image processing interfaces, as found in applications, like lightworks and similar.

natron and nuke on the other hand, are really well designed node based compositing environments, which allow you to utilize all the power of an openfx based modular framework in a very appropriate manner. i really like it! it’s so much better, than all this other superficial GUI extensions, full of compromises.

but openfx also doesn’t come without limitations. it’s extremely specialized and doesn’t work for anything beside pure image processing (e.g. audio and timecode preserving…). in this respect i still think, that flame and it’s sparks plugins show some interesting advantages. it’s probably the only system, where no strict line of demarcation is dividing the time line based interaction and node graph based access. both kinds of GUI representation are simple processed by same reactor engine. that’s really impressive! – and i think, it’s the way, i would like to see it done in natron just as well.


For me blender is still the way to go if you want to make a quick compositing for your 3D renders, like color grading, quick effects like glow , vignette…
The cool thing is being able to do everything in the same application, so it’s much faster and you don’t need to export many layers, just the final result. As long as you’re not putting a lot of nodes it’s still quite fast.

Natron in the other hand , show it’s true power when things gets complicated. The cache and proxy render (low res version that compute more faster) makes heavy computation faster. Also it’s far easier to animate effects as you can play and see the result. Complex node graph are also much cleaner because of the design that’s shared with Nuke.
And I found also that effects have more parameters and let you go more into the details.

Finally, if you want to mix real footage and CG (or simply add a stock footage to your render) , you’ll find the operation quite simpler in Natron. And if you work professionally you can buy some cool OpenFX plugins like realsmart motion blur , lenscare and use state of the art effects in your comp.

It’s just a balance between project complexity and how far you need to go with compositing.


Thank you all for your responses. They were very helpful.