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How does this change anything?

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Joseph OwensHow does this change anything?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:24:14 pm

Maybe in the Autodesk world?

If you look at the Adobe Creative suite, you could consider it to be just as holistic.

If you look at FCPX, maybe the Apple app would be analogically those "candy cigarettes" we could buy as kids, as compared to a Cohiba Robusto (that's a Cuban cigar, illegal for my American colleagues), but its still an all-in-one, although its a Franken-baby made out of scavenged parts of Final Cut, COLOR, Motion, Shake, Compressor, LiveType.... any number of grave-robbed donor organs.

Symphony?

I've been watching the streaming demos and as regurgitated as they are, I'm still admittedly curious, but underwhelmed. Pretty simple editing -- I can hear the FCP7 aficionados screaming "where's my Multicam? and etc., etc.," and it has a fatally limited external I/O as far as the Blackmagic Resolve crowd is concerned as Autodesk has placed their bets on AJA. So if you have joined with "the world's leading color correction" software, what Autodesk offers is.... what? a pretty much laughable stylus/graphic interface? So, I've got $20,000 in obsolete Tangent 200-series panels that I bought for "Final Touch", which became "COLOR", which was given away for free, and then Resolve can't use them, so I bought a Wave, which you can't use for Smoke.... and its the voyage of the damned. Or is there an exception to the "its all in the box" rule that says, well... for that, you should really buy Lustre, because this really caters to the FX/Online crowd when push comes to shove... and where do those lovely 3D objects come from? Don't think there's a module for that in Smoke?

I dunno, I hit one job last year where I could have used it, and the client fully expected the all-in price to be around... oh... $3495. Oh, well, I would have broken even, instead of fronting the $15K or whatever it was, for the former version seat and taking another bath, or is that haircut? Whatever... my complete new wardrobe is a barrel with suspenders, anyway.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Ryan HolmesRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:19:12 pm

I agree that Adobe is just as complete in what it offers (maybe more in some areas) as what Smoke offers. However, the advantage for some editors is that you never have to do the "round-trip" or "send to..." BS that Adobe and formerly FCP were all about. And the "Send To..." links work pretty good, but they can be buggy (costing more time).

FCPX is a bad comparison to Smoke, in my opinion. While FCPX does seem to be made for a more particular one-man-band approach there are so many things it doesn't do in comparison to Smoke. The depth of color correction being one of the many (or tracking, 3D text, 3D camera environments, garbage masks, etc.). There are ways to do many of the things if you want to open up Motion and create a template and publish it back to FCPX and then apply that template to your clip and then tweak the parameters, but Smoke allows you to do it all in one app and just back forth pretty seamlessly. Maybe it only saves you 15 minutes overall on that one FX, but if you do that 10 or 15 times in a day...well maybe Smoke is worth it.

It seems like Smoke is trying to appeal to a broader audience, especially with what they are certifying the new Smoke to run on - Mac Mini 2010 or later, MacBook Pro and iMac. Even if the Mac Pro is discontinued Autodesk seems committed to staying on the Mac. So I would expect Autodesk to continue to attempt to press in on the Avid/Adobe/Apple space in the years to come.

P.S. - If you'd have bought the Euphonix color panel, now the Avid MC Color panel, you wouldn't be complaining as much about obsolete hardware. ;-) It works with DaVinci, Speedgrade, Smoke, and Avid.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Aaron NeitzRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:07:23 pm

1) this is solid code. Autodesk makes good stuff that has a deep history and understanding of video. Remember all the stupid gotchas we had in FCP trying to interface with decks and TV's? Smoke always lays off on frame 1. Today, tomorrow, and years ago. (well, at least on Linux...)

2) imagine having a robust node based compositing system available in your timeline. You click on a clip and get a Flame-like compositing system within the clip. This changes EVERYTHING. You can rapidly and deeply work on a shot. Graphics, roto, keying, CC, cleanup, etc..... No renders to keep track of on a system drive

3) it really DOES do everything. For 90% of everyday editing and effects Smoke has it covered. If you're working on more complicated stuff you already have a CG department and Nuke/Flame so it's not an issue.

4) for the price you can't do any better. whatsoever.

My only thought right now: I don't like Smoke purely as an editing system. FCP was so much more intuitive and quick. Smoke is a little more regimented - sorta like Avid. I hope they've smoothed it out for MacSmoke.



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Hans von SonntagRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:06:38 pm

It hasn't changed a lot. They just made Smoke more attractive to a greater audience. The new price point put Smoke more in the realm of Autodesk's 3D applications and away from their classic finishing systems. The "modernized" interface has been created to make the initial access easier for freshmen. However, all these measures don't bring Smoke in line with Adobe PremierPro, FCP, or any other NLE except Avid DS, let alone whole suites.

From what you are saying (writing) I have the feeling that you never had the opportunity to learn Smoke thoroughly and gave it a ride in real projects. Smoke is not for everyone, not for every type of projects, it never was and it won't be. The learning curve won't be less steep, only the entrance is easier.

Smoke is very good at handling VFX intensive projects with demanding clients that sit behind your neck and need tons of versions. It's not foremost made for fast editing with features such as multi-cam. We use Smoke in connection with Red and Alexa originated footage, high quality GS work, things like sky-replacement, complex 3-D text animations and classic roto-work. For TVCs that need more VFX work than Smoke and our knowledge can tackle we go to a post house with a very talented Flame artist.

For other projects that require less quality, less VFX, less anything, that are more budget conscious we use Adobe's Production Suite which we like a lot. BTW, there are tasks where PP and AE can feed Smoke very well.

Regarding the price-drop plague. It has me haunted since I purchased Shake. Retail prices dropped from 3.5k to 500 EUR. The next big thing was FinalTouch (over10k lost if I recall correctly). Next case was SpeedGrade, now part of Adobe's suite, loss: 15k. Now Smoke. The loss is about 10k. Fortunately I had enough time to make a meaningful ROI out of all these applications. I don't mind really. If your want to stay ahead you have to risk something. Lets move on.

Hans


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Joseph OwensRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:59:16 pm

[Hans von Sonntag] "I have the feeling that you never had the opportunity to learn Smoke thoroughly and gave it a ride in real projects. "

Never been exposed to the application until now. For me, up to this point, editing has been in FCP plus some Media Composer, grading in FT2K, then COLOR, now Resolve (as I am more familiarly identified as a colorist), FX in SHAKE, roto/tracking in MochaPro.... round tripping is not a mystery to me, or maybe I've just gotten used to it over the past 6 years or so that I have been tormented with it. Yes, very often under deadline and with someone breathing in the background.

Understand that I am playing devil's advocate a little bit in this discussion, wondering if the admittedly low price point (which I could likely make back in a week) is all that is holding me back from simply consolidating what I'm used to anyway; node-based, or not is not an issue for me. Makes more sense than "layering up" effects in some ways, but that may be down to individual thought process.

I will definitely have a play with it, I'm glad I have a spare Quadro4000 hanging around, and a Kona3 -- seems like my #2 system might have some life left in it, after all, instead of being an ingest/output/compressor droid.

How will it be license controlled? Dongle? MAC address? I'd be thrilled if it were portable.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Hans von SonntagRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:33:05 pm

"...I'm glad I have a spare Quadro4000 hanging around, and a Kona3 -- seems like my #2 system might have some life left in it, after all..."

Seem that your date with Smoke is well-omed.

If round-tripping is your daily fun you will be amazed how dull you life will be without entertaining gamma-shifts and amusing VFX folders no one can track in a later project restore.

Licensing is currently MAC address based with a interesting lock to the hardware recognition of the HD. In the past is was a real mess and lately changed much to the better. I have the license installed on one machine and can use Smoke via the network on other machines. Hope they keep that.

Hans


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dermot shaneRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 12:50:28 am

how does smack change anything?

- it's missing 3D trackers making camera solves a round trip to somewhere, so much for "VXF intensive projects" and "keeping it in the same system" seems a bit of a joke really

- it's missing a worakable gradeing toolset.. render every change to disk to see it... no masks in context... makeing the "keeping it in the same system" even more of a joke...

Round trips to Resolve sound like a good idea, but that means a second machine as they don't share I/O cards.. so maybe round trips to SpeedGrade or Scratch are the options, add yet more cash to the table.

You want a system that is whole and complete? look at DS, Mystika, Pablo, or fluster.

Don't mind round tripping? PP+AE+SpeedGrade, a real gradeing toolset, and 3D trackers...
-OR-
Media Composer+Digital Fusion+Baselight... all those run on the same timeline - that's bringing best in class tools to the table.. Baselight is reported to be running real time in MC... DF comps are lighting fast.. all are far, far, FAAAAAR better comp & grade tools than smack. and more interactive.

Even at 3.5K smack it's got a fair ways to go to come close to any of the above...

How funny the jokes is depends who the joke is on i guess...


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Hans von SonntagRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:55:11 am

Seems like Smoke did some harm to you. Sorry to hear that.

Hans


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Tom MastersRe: How does this change anything?
by on May 4, 2012 at 9:24:28 pm

"- it's missing 3D trackers making camera solves .... seems a bit of a joke really"

-- camera solves are not always nailed by any one tracker. Plenty of flame solves fail and need to go to boujou, pf, etc.. AND vice versa.
Even some 2D tracking is better done in mocha.. not much to open an app, save the data (no renders) and enter it into smoke/flame.

"- it's missing a worakable gradeing toolset.. no masks in context.."

-- uh, yea. add gmask node to color correct node in connect FX (batch).
work 2-up in batch and it is very much in context. add in all the great controls of gmasks.. NO JOKE!


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chris northRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:33:09 am

IMHO, I don't think Smoke can compete with other compositing systems such as After Effects etc so long as Autodesk insist on cutting out most of what makes Flame so powerful. I can understand that they need to differentiate the products, but to suggest that Smoke is an "all-in-one" replacement for Afx/Pshop etc just isn't true at the moment. It's missing too many Action nodes, features, and Batch. Fingers crossed for 2013, but from a purely business standpoint I cannot see Autodesk allowing Smoke to impinge on Flames territory too much. This leaves them in a rather challenging situation!


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Hans von SonntagRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 12:29:22 pm

[chris north] "IMHO, I don't think Smoke can compete with other compositing systems such as After Effects etc so long as Autodesk insist on cutting out most of what makes Flame so powerful. I"

Yes, true.

But Smoke is not foremost a compositor. It's an NLE. It's actually Autodesk's only NLE. But it wouldn't be Autodesk if their NLE would miss a powerful 3D compositor inside the application.

It's the wrong perspective to see Smoke as a small Flame or a competitor to AE, Nuke and whatnot. You can compare its to FCP, to PP, or to Avid Mediacomposer. They have their straights and Smoke has it's strengths.

BTW, Smoke is pretty powerful when it comes to Sound Design.


Hans


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dermot shaneRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 3:10:30 pm

a 3D compositor that's missing 3D camera solves?

Good for dog-n-pony shows but not much else tho

smack is far to limited to even be seen as more than a joke in 2013, and AD seems even further out of touch

yea... protecting AD's access to the wallets of fluster owners was prolly not a great idea in the long term


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Ryan HolmesRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 3:44:35 pm

Smoke doesn't work in your workflow - we get it. Move on.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Anhtu VuRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:57:43 am

[Hans von Sonntag] "BTW, Smoke is pretty powerful when it comes to Sound Design."

I hope you are kidding right ?? I work as a mixer/sound designer and on-line editor and would never consider Smoke a sound design tool but i would love for you to prove me wrong.


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Hans von SonntagRe: How does this change anything?
by on Apr 20, 2012 at 7:28:03 am

[Anhtu Vu] "I hope you are kidding right ?? I work as a mixer/sound designer and on-line editor and would never consider Smoke a sound design tool but i would love for you to prove me wrong."

At the risk of outing me as an hopeless amateur, I must admit that I've done quite a few projects that got their sound design assembled in Smoke. No, not shorts for festivals, TVCs, promos, etc..

As other NLEs Smoke can edit Sound as expected. Smoke has all the tools other NLEs have such as Gain, EQ, Reverb etc.. For an NLE the tools are good. For creative sound editing Smoke's capability is complete enough, IMHO (at least for me).

Smoke has OMF I/O and EDL I/O. Exporting your sound edits is as easy as it gets. If Smoke would support Wave plugins I would see no reason to finish sound design elsewhere.

BTW, the line-out limiter is very good.

Hans


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