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Optimise Your Workflow Pt.1. - Modify the Node menu

Create your Toolset manually


Let's start with the Toolsets on the Node menu.

This is a 100% manual way ( = no python ) to keep your favourite tools & setups always at reach

when you need them!

Here's how it works:

  1. Select the node/nodes that you would like to be saved.

  2. Click on Toolsets / Create

3. In the pop up window name the new Menu item and click Create

4. Magic! Your node/nodes is already on the list!

This is great, but let's try to be more organised this time!


First, Delete the created item.


When saving the item again use some forward slashes ( / ) to create sub directories!


This way you can find more easily what you are looking for later!


Also, next time you will see the directories in a dropdown when clicking on the root.


You will be able to recognize these items when searching on the Tab search bar

as they will have the [ToolSets] label.


One great thing about the ToolSets is that it is basically just a bunch of .nk files

in a folder named ToolSets in your .nuke folder which means that technically 

you can just easily copy and paste over when working on a new Nuke!

Here is an easy way to locate your .nuke folder!

Also, here is a list of the useful set ups that are already under the Toolsets.

Create a custom menu on the Node menu


This is good start if you want to make your own plug-in containing your gizmos.
For this part we inavitably travelling into Python Land!

Let's carry on at the .nuke folder.


We will need a following ingredients:

Two folders named gizmos and icons - these technically could be called anything but let's keep it simple.

Two python files named and

If you don't have these files, create a new text document and rename it including the extension.

Here is a little guide on what are these python files and why are they SO USEFUL.

Let's break it down what you will need in each places:


1 - gizmos folder

This is a folder where you need to save the actual files that Nuke will load in.

The file format has to be .gizmo and NOT .nk.


Little tip on how to save the gizmos:

The default way is to go to the "export as gizmo..." button on the Group node.

This will save a .gizmo file on your drive however in the long run it makes it more likely to cause issues if being shared and not handled properly.

To fix it you need to do two things:
- Change the "Gizmo{" line to "Group{" as a result it will remain a Group node and can be easily shared because "Gizmo{" expects to be called via the

- Make sure your node has a name, the "Gizmo{" doesn't add a name tag as it will inherit the name of the command that creates the node from the You can manually type back the line under the "inputs..." starting with "name ....".

Technically, you can also just create a .txt file and rename a file, changing the file type to .gizmo too. And then copy paste the Group node from the NodeGraph.


2 - icons folder

This is a folder where you need to save the custom icons that appear on the toolbar

or next to the nodes. Technically, these files can be anywhere in the .nuke folder but just to keep things organised let's save them to a specific folder.

For the sake of showing the possibilities I am only adding a custom icon to the toolbar but the nodes are getting native icons so only needed to save a single file here.

The file you save here has to be a 24*24 or 48*48 file in PNG format.


If you need some inspiration you can find the original icons at:
<your nuke file>/plugins/icons

You can also check them using Erwan Leroy's super useful snippet from

this forum thread.

If you are interested in more serious icon designing I recommend

Ben McEwan's Icon Design Toolkit.

3 -

This is a file

Hope you will find it useful! 

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