Natron UI (Re-)Design Proposal

You can adjust with the mouse wheel in the numeric field.

Does not seem to work on the Linux version…

Works fine on Linux here.

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A, I got it, the value must be highlighted first… Thanks!
it works now.

also note that ctrl-click (cmd-click on mac) on the slider gives you access to a finer scale

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UPDATE: I’ve created a redesign of my design, shown below:

Check out the full overview here.


I like the theme but there’s a lot of space being wasted around buttons, tabs and things like that.
Also, the UI doesn’t represent any sort of standard UI format. Why would there be a Quit option in the left sidebar?
I like how you’ve made the nodes but pretty much nothing other than that (in terms of layout) makes sense to me. It looks like you don’t have a good idea of how compositing software should look and work.

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Take a look at Blender 2.8x User Interface and see how tightly packed the elements are and yet they’re fairly easily distinguishable and readable.

In compositing software, don’t be liberal with space you give to UI elements that don’t make sense to have that space. That precious space is better used for the important parts like the Viewer or Nodegraph.


Compositing software don’t really need to look good. They just need to work properly.
By making the software look good, that also steals performance that the software can use to do other important things like process renders.
In my opinion, you should just take the current UI and make improvements to it instead of designing an entirely new one from scratch.

@El_Artista Thank you for the advice. I will be creating a third design (3.0) and that will be much more similar to Natron’s original (something like Blackmagic’s Fusion 16 redesign). If you have time, please visit the Github page of the project, where I’ll be putting the designs.

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Hi all, this is interesting to see UI needs update. Natron AFIK was targeted to be flexible enough for Nuke users and it makes a lot of sense. Because nuke is hands down the de facto in compositing industry and the interface was designed by research and there are good reasons behind nuke looks like this.

  • The WORST layout possible for a compositing node grid is a horizontal button based layout like Blender. Because it blocks the noodles and confuses the connections. Blender devs and users are also agreed on this point.
  • For UI, OFX standard must be maintained.
  • I personally have not found any flaw in the current layout design.
  • There are more important rooms in UI rather than an overhaul. Like: Roto animation glitches, pyside updates, pyside documentation and QT library updates overall.

I would suggest, if you folks are investing time then bug fix should be the first priority NOT an overhaul layout design. This will destroy the whole user community and will be a pure waste of time at the end. Thanks.



BTW these long thread should be considered for PR and DEV for QT5 and QT for python (pyside) if someone interested. The way QT is forwarding should be a concern for older dependent apps and should be patched with updates ASAP. KDE is also chopping these jobs first. QT movement is kinda unpredictable for now due to COVID.

Also VFX Platform has released CY2020. Which should be maintained for cross compatibility:

Best Wishes Folks!


@cgvirus I would be interested in doing so, especially during the summer. And I will be learning Qt over the summer holiday anyway. I understand the lesser importance of design compared to issues with the code base/Qt. But I believe that a redesigned UI is really important for Natron to be seen as a professional tool (much like Blender with 2.8, the updated UI was an important reason for a lot of people to switch).

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Hi @Songtech-0912 Glad to hear someone is engaging in QT.

  • Natron is already a goto tool for Nuke users as a free alternative. Blender is now shifting towards that as a Max/Maya alternative. It’s quite clear why Blender had to change their UI to a standard.

  • I myself work in Blender compositor bugsquad team and I can say Blender compositing UI is going to be reconsidered soon due to it’s limited old UI paradigm. There are some discussion already going on in phabricator to make it as much vertical as possible and other crucial fixes.

  • It’s not only the layout/style but also there are certain OFX standard compatibility issues in account when it comes to Natron/Vinci/Fusion (OFX Hosts) etc. Fusion has suffered a lot from not considering that from it’s very beginning (apple-shake era). Also Natron as a OFX host supports mostly all Nuke OFX which is a balance between studio tools.

  • Redesigning UI is only important when it is not effective with current input and output devices.
    Yes, when VR will become standard we may need to but not actually have to (Thanks to QT) may consider some new paradigm.

  • Currently the density of Natron UI is productive and efficient enough from our research sample of 200 actually.

Hope it clears the logic.


Its good to hear that Blender’s compositor will be getting a redesign. Is there any planned roadmap for that or any devtalk thread where I can read about it?

Natron also has the ability to “imitate” other OFX hosts in the preferences so in theory, it should also be able to work with OFX tools that are native for other software but I haven’t tested this so can’t say for sure.

About the Natron UI redesign part, I think there are some areas where the UI could be improved for better user experience and efficiency, but I think a new detailed post about that would be better so I can just get into the nitty-gritty where I think improvement is needed and so others can also easily find/reply to the post

Its good to hear that Blender’s compositor will be getting a redesign. Is there any planned roadmap for that or any devtalk thread where I can read about it?

Currently scattered in devtalk and job boards.

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We need a nice cross-platform ffmpeg GUI to extract image sequences (.png, .tiff, .exr)
with and without alpha channels and also able to remux audio into an existing video.

This would be a very useful project for a lot of people…

You could take this as a basis: GitHub - swl-x/MystiQ: Qt5/C++ FFmpeg Media Converter

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@all After extensive work, I’ve created an improved variant of my two previous designs. Here it is:

For more details, visit the github repo.
In addition, I’ve also made a redesign of Natron’s website:

You can check out a demo here.
Please tell me about any improvements I can make. I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

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@all I’ve created a survey for gathering feedback about my design. I would greatly appreciate it if you could do the survey.

Survey link:

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