Objects hierarchy Overview

When running Natron, several important objects are created automatically and interact at different levels of the application.

Natron is separated in 2 internal modules:

NatronEngine and NatronGui.

The latest is only available in GUI mode. You may access globally to the Natron process with either NatronEngine.natron or NatronGui.natron

NatronEngine.natron is of type PyCoreApplication and NatronGui.natron is of type PyGuiApplication. This is a singleton and there is only a single instance of that variable living throughout the execution of the Natron process.

When using with NatronGui.natron you get access to GUI functionalities in addition to the internal functionalities exposed by PyCoreApplication

Basically if using Natron in command-line you may only use NatronEngine.natron.


You may want to use natron directly to avoid prefixing everything with NatronEngine. or NatronGui. by using a from NatronEngine import * statement. Be careful though as it then makes it more confusing for people reading the code as to which version of the natron variable you are using.

It handles all application-wide information about plug-ins, environment, application settings… but also can hold one or multiple application instance which are made available to the global variables via the following variables:

app1 # References the first instance of the application (the first opened project)
app2 # The second project

Note that in background command-line mode, there would always be a single opened project so Natron does the following assignment for you:

app = app1


Note that when running scripts in the Script Editor, the application is running in GUI mode hence the app variable is not declared.

The App object is responsible for managing all information relative to a project. This includes all the nodes, project settings and render controls. See this section to create and control nodes.

Each node can have parameters which are the controls found in the settings panel of the node.

The same Param class is also used for the project settings and the application settings (preferences).