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So, what is HIERO?

HIERO is a desktop application for collaborative VFX workflow - a scriptable timeline tool that conforms edit decision lists and parcels out VFX shots to artists, allows progress to be viewed in context, and liberates your finishing systems and artists for more creative tasks.

HIERO has been built to work with NUKE, and can also be custom-scripted to work with other applications in your facility.

Increase Output

Put more jobs through your facility. Easily offload VFX heavy shots from your finishing system to NUKE, and review and version the resultant VFX shots within the context of the edit.

Use your finishing system to do just that. Deliver your reconformed timeline and completed shots to your tool of choice.

Be More Efficient

Significantly reduce the maintenance required to keep your VFX team up and running with pain free distribution, reviewing and shot management.

Track and manage shots & NUKE scripts on your SAN/NAS without pain, saving disk space in the process.

Create per shot NUKE scripts for easy shot allocation and result management.

Conform on a tool built for the job. Fix common issues across multiple shots with ease using HIERO's session-wide spreadsheet view.


HIERO is an open platform, which can be customised and integrated into your pipeline via templating and industry standard scripting support.

Work Your Way

HIERO can deliver baked timelines in your preferred formats, EDLs/XMLs referencing a mixture of completed VFX footage and source material, plus footage selects and transcodes.

Copy/sym linking of per shot assets into your facility structure.

HIERO provides a collaborative NUKE workflow 'out of the box' so you can produce visual effects shots faster and more efficiently than ever before.



Conform your timeline with intuitive tools

HIERO conforms XML and EDLs into a multi-resolution, multi-track timeline, including audio. Its tools help take the pain out of the conform process, alongside standard editing features.

Make life easy with the sophisticated, session-wide spreadsheet view which can be called upon at any time, a side-by-side comparison of your timeline against an offline and extensive metadata to inspect at any point in the conform process.

Hiero EDL

Playback any media that NUKE can read

HIERO shares image reading functionality with NUKE so both applications can read the same formats in the same way. HIERO has no dedicated frame store, it 'soft imports' all your media. Smoothness of playback is hardware dependent, but given fast enough hardware (which you choose), HIERO will playback your footage including synchronized sound.

Hiero Player

Nissan X Trail courtesy of Unexpected

Send your shots to VFX

Shots in your timeline are exported to VFX artists based on a template you define. Select a master track to guide the break down and export any additional tracks you want from the timeline.

HIERO then follows your timeline and, for each shot, creates sets of folders on disk where it puts the media (with handles). You can tell it where to expect finished shots to be rendered so it can generate a NUKE project all wired up to those inputs and outputs. As part of the export process you can force a transcode of media, a simple copy of it or quick and light symbolic links back to the original files to save export time and disk space.

Reading and writing industry standard image file formats on standard file systems means HIERO can cooperate with any other application you need to get the job done.

Automatically ingest VFX shots

Because your export template tells HIERO where to expect the results from VFX, HIERO can make a new clip per shot pointing to that result. These clips are placed in a new "VFX" track on the timeline. When the results are eventually rendered, and because all shots are soft imported, they immediately appear and can be played back.

Manage your shots

Each clip in HIERO is not a single clip of real media, but rather it can be one of many different clips of real media on disk. We call each of these alternatives "takes". When you place a clip on the timeline, you can quickly and interactively swap between available takes.

HIERO can scan for new iterations of VFX renders and ingest them as different takes on a single clip. This lets you rapidly swap versions in a timeline for review.

Hiero Shots

Manage your timelines

Timelines can be check-pointed as your work progresses, making a complete copy labelled with a timestamp and comment. We call these "snapshots" and you can easily see which snapshots are available, restore your timeline to a previous snapshot, or even put two different snapshots into a viewer, to play them back side by side and examine the differences.

Deliver EDLS, XMLs, selects or entire timelines

When VFX is complete and your work is ready for the next stage, you can deliver it in multiple ways. If you need to send work to an in-house finishing system, you could bake out EDLs or XMLs which point to the finished shots on your network. The painful conform has already been done in HIERO, leading to a very simple re-conform in your finishing system.

If you need to send the shots to be finished elsewhere, HIERO can bake-out EDLs or XMLs plus media selects (with handles) from the timeline. Alternatively, you could simply bake out the entire timeline as a single clip in your required delivery format.

Hiero Timeline

Colour manage your footage

Along with MARI and NUKE, HIERO uses OpenColorIO, the open source colour management framework from Sony Picture Imageworks. It allows you to specify exactly how colour should be managed from file to screen.

Script HIERO any way you want

By providing a comprehensive set of Python APIs that link deep into HIERO, you can make it work in the way that best suits you. We provide a rich set of hooks for each stage so you can execute your own Python code at any point in the conform, ingest or export processes.

If that isn't enough, you can even create your own user interface via the PySide library. The included Python APIs also give you direct access to the projects, timelines and clips in HIERO so you can manipulate shots and timelines however you need.

Hiero Python Scripting

HIERO is a shot management system

Because HIERO has no image processing apart from what is needed to play back a multi-resolution timeline (reformatting, colour management and transitions), it is currently not suited for work as a finishing, grading or visual effects system in it's own right. It is a shot management system for VFX that integrates brilliantly with today's open, collaborative pipelines.


HIERO 1.0 works with MacOS (10.6) and Linux (specific OS details to follow). It needs a recent GPU, but is otherwise hardware independent.

Further details will follow shortly.

Backed by The Foundry

HIERO has an aggressive development schedule. In upcoming releases it will support Microsoft Windows, multi-channel images, localised caching for optimised playback, stereo imagery and more.

A tool for professionals

We built HIERO based on what users told us were the missing tools in their VFX workflow. Drop HIERO and NUKE into your pipeline, and use a tuneable tool designed for day-to-day shot management, versioning and review to significantly improve turnaround.

Liberate your finishing systems! Stop using inappropriate tools, such as finishing systems, for these basic tasks and free them up to do what they do best - finishing.