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Article: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything

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walter biscardiArticle: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:00:03 pm


Autodesk Smoke
Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes EverythingWalter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything

"From the moment I saw Autodesk Smoke 2013, I knew the entire post production world as we knew it had changed." So says Creative COW Contributing Editor Walter Biscardi in an overview that covers Smoke's new editor-centered (and Mac-friendly) interface, ease of use, support for FCP 7 and Avid projects and keyboard mapping, and advanced, integrated effects and color tools -- including several that had previously been available in Autodesk Flame. Oh yeah, a price drop to $3495. See why Walter says, "For the traditional editor, this is completely game-changing."

Feature   04/15/2012
Author: walter biscardi



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Walter SoykaRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:07:08 pm

Wow was right. Looks like the Autodesk booth will be packed at NAB.

Thanks for sharing your first impressions.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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walter biscardi@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:20:04 am

My pleasure Walter. As one person put this today, it's the "Holy Grail" of post production. The all in one solution from editorial to finish.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Steve ConnorRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:07:21 pm

I think you summed it up nicely - "Wow!"

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
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walter biscardi@Steve Connor
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:09:00 am

WOW is more like it. :)

And based on the post demo reaction, it seems wow was the word of the day. :)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Tom DaigonRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:20:04 pm

Looks great. What...no PC version?

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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:20:33 am

No PC version was discussed today.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Marco SolorioRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:21:43 pm

You were right, Wally. The news IS good. Only downer... gotta wait until freaking Fall for this! Urgh! At least our new Symphony upgrades will get used between now and then. ;-)

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Media Batch


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Steve ConnorRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:22:53 pm

Pre-release in June apparently!

Steve Connor
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Marco Solorio@Steve Connor
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:57:52 pm

A June pre-release? I'll take it! =)

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walter biscardi@Marco Solorio
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:21:09 am

Yes, fully operational beta version will be available in June and the license will be valid until the shipping version hits.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Marco Solorio@walter biscardi
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:01:37 am

Yep, ordered our June pre-release a few hours ago. Looking forward to it!

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Media Batch


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walter biscardi@Marco Solorio
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:22:27 am

Marco, I'm still moving ahead with our Symphonies because that cross grade deal is just so good and as you say, Smoke will be here in the Fall.

And keep in mind that $3495 deal is the price. It's not contingent on a cross grade from FCP or Avid. So I would DEFINITELY purchase any good cross grade deal you want today because FCP 7, FCP X, Avid and Adobe Premiere Pro all can talk to Smoke tomorrow.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Dylan Reeve@Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:40:01 pm

I'd really love to look at this as a finishing tool for our show, but I'm unwilling to make an investment in Apple hardware when they seem increasingly uninterested in the "PC" world.

If a Windows (or even Linux) version were available that we could run on our existing HP workstations, then it would be almost a no-brainer. As it is we'll continue with Avid Symphony for most things, and Resolve for things that call for a little more colour finesse.



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Marco Solorio@Dylan Reeve
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:04:48 pm

I can't believe Autodesk would throw all their resources only on the OSX platform when they know well enough the Mac Pro desktops have a death note. I'm betting they have a Windows port in the works. It looks like Smoke 2013 will support a 2008 gen 3 Mac Pro, so it looks like the last Mac Pro (whatever it is) will still be usable for some time with Smoke 2013 (and beyond), but again, I'd bet there's a Windows port in the works. All speculation (and hoping) on my end of course.

Avid Symphony in the mean time for us as well!

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Media Batch


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Tim Wilson@Marco Solorio
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:09:05 pm

Marco, I saw somebody somewhere....heck, it may be on this thread, things are moving pretty fast...speculate that Autodesk's emphasis in the their demo on MacBooks and iMacs suggests that they know something about where this is all headed for Apple.

Me? I know nothing, as any number of people can attest....

Tim Wilson
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walter biscardi@Marco Solorio
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:23:50 am

Obviously Autodesk won't address any questions about the Mac Pro since that's up to Apple to say something. I will say I've seen several Apple folks around already. Maybe they'll say something at the SuperMeet?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Tom Daigon@walter biscardi
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:47:05 am

Lets hope they accomadate early Mac Pros. It will be a cold day in hell before I relegate all my editing to an imac and have that be the replacement for my Mac Pro. I already have a bad taste in my mouth from Apple. That would make me totally nauseous :D

Tom Daigon
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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:06:01 am

I'm pretty sure you'll need a 64 bit capable machine, that removes some of our early Mac Pros but we already found that out in Avid testing so those are all due to be replaced.

Not sure what you have against editing on an iMac, but we're going to adding quite a few to our facility along with some Big Iron machines for heavy lifting, Resolve and ProTools. We've been editing on iMacs with our Small Tree Shared Storage solution for over 5 years now and they're rock solid storytelling machines.

Now with Smoke 2013 suddenly they're incredible storytelling machines with an awesome visual effects engine and color grading along with more tools. It's absolutely insane how much we can do with these smaller machines now, so I'm going to spend my money wisely by putting the Big Iron where it absolutely needs to be in our situation and go iMac all around.

It's funny because some folks thought I had inside knowledge of Smoke 2013 before I wrote that article about considering iMacs. Nope. I was just lucky to have been going down the same path as Smoke.

The Autodesk team has truly listened, REALLY listened to what professional video editors wanted in an NLE from top to bottom. Blown away that they pulled this off without any of us knowing about it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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walter biscardi@Dylan Reeve
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:24:49 am

Excellent plan. I did ask about whether they would consider PC in the future since I'm also looking at PC for all our Big Iron systems. Basically nothing to say in regards to PC. No hint of if / when they might move this version of Smoke to PC.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Chris HarlanRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:45:05 pm

Okay. I think its gonna be a good good day.


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walter biscardi@Chris Harlan
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:59:34 am

It's gonna be a DARN good day! :)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Tom Daigon@Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:03:46 pm

From what little Ive seen, it seems a little light in the motion graphics / text animation department compared to AE.

Tom Daigon
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Jeremy GarchowRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:33:38 pm

I cannot wait to check this out.

Jeremy


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walter biscardi@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:56:01 am

Jeremy, this is just so incredible of a release, really caught me completely off guard as I just found out about it last week.

It's like the tool I've been looking for the past few years but didn't realize it. I was really hoping CS6 was going to get us where we needed to be, but it's just not there yet. Maybe in another year or so, but this release has yet more features that we really didn't need and still needs work on basic core features in audio controls and definitely media management.

Autodesk really did a very smart move here taking a very powerful visual effects tool and adding a very nicely designed editing interface. Media management looks solid, timeline operations are what I expect from an NLE and the effects panel / FX interface just are jaw dropping because they're so simple to use.

Really excited to get this into our shop and start hammering away on this.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Robert BrownRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:57:15 am

[Tom Daigon] "From what little Ive seen, it seems a little light in the motion graphics / text animation department compared to AE.
"


Yeah I use both and still prefer AE for a lot of stuff. I think this is really good news but doesn't change everything. AE is one of the best things out there with tons of reasonably priced plugins. We'll have to see how much the plugins come down for Smoke as they have been a lot more than the AE versions.

So to me it kind of comes down to what you do. You have 3 major players and they all have different advantages and disadvantages. Adobe's disadvantage is for now editing and color correction but we'll see how those have been improved soon I hope.

Avid's disadvantage is in effects and color correction. I'm not sure if they are planning on addressing the color issue but these issues are easy to deal with by sending to AE and Resolve. Avid is great for audio I've found as it will run all of my waves plugins with the full interface.

Smoke's main disadvantage is in motion graphics and plugin prices and we'll see about the editing but the color correction is great, comping is a little kludgy and difficult to learn but tracking and roto are great, and the results can be fantastic.

But for a single package Smoke will be a good deal compared to the Avid/AE/Resolve route because you're looking at $2400 for Avid, around $900 for AE, and $1000 for Resolve.

Adobe Production Premium is $1700 which is a lot of software and a great value in comparison but it kind of depends on how good Premiere gets.

All very interesting though.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

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Tom DaigonRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:25:36 am

Thanks for the wonderful perspective. As someone that had a sneak peak of CS6 for a while, I would say PrP has really stepped up to the plate.And its integration with AE has been solidified.

And if your experience is that AE has more to offer projects with lots of motion graphics, that makes sense to me.

I really miss having an "all in one app" like Avid DS kind of was the 10 years I cut on it. But I still went out to use AE so it really wasnt.
I like nodal options, but the GUI and thought processes look rather obtuse to this editor.

Tom Daigon
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Ben RojasRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:23:51 am

[Robert Brown] "Smoke's main disadvantage is in motion graphics and plugin prices."

You're kidding right? ...main disadvantage motion graphics??? Smoke is AE on steroids. I can't remember the last time I used AE for anything other than opening up someone's project to grab something. Would you also say that Flame's disadvantage is motion graphics? Smoke's toolset is somewhere over 80% of Flames arsenal. Plugin-wise, yes, Genarts has been stickin' to us for years but arguably they are still the best. And really, with everything the Smoke's got, including Flame Fx, take the hit on Genarts and you won't need anything else.

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Tom Daigon@Ben Rojas
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:24:32 am

So Ben, please describe its text animation capabilities.

Tom Daigon
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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:37:08 am

Describe the animation capabilities...... It does everything AE does and more, but a lot faster and with true 3D elements from Maya and 3DS.

It also has a killer Color Warp that rivals any color correction tool on the market.

It also has incredible media management from ingest to archive which Premiere Pro is badly lacking.

As someone said at the event, it's the holy grail of editing. Solid NLE, Incredible visual effects, Solid color grading, Solid media management, Solid output to reference monitor and output to anything you want.

Evan Schechtman both commented that we were giddy when we first saw it. I haven't been this giddy about any software in a very long time.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Tom Daigon@walter biscardi
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:40:31 am

Evan Schechtman that name sounds familiar. Wait a minute,isnt he the guy that raved about FCP X when it first came out last year. That Evan Schechtman ???

Tom Daigon
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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:58:29 am

That Evan Schechtman who showed a nice project for Grey Goose vodka that involved FCP 7, FCP X and finished in Smoke. In fact all their projects have been finished in Smoke for years.

As for him touting FCP X a year ago, none of even knew about Smoke 2013 until just recently. Heck if I had known about this I would have been testing the hell out of this instead of Adobe and Avid quite honestly.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Robert BrownRe: @Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:19:57 am

[walter biscardi] "Describe the animation capabilities...... It does everything AE does and more, but a lot faster and with true 3D elements from Maya and 3DS."

Have you ever actually tried serious text animation in Smoke? I have and I'll take AE any day of the week. And no it's not faster. Try doing something with 50 layers. Yes Smoke is cool but don't get lost in the hype. They've had 3d objects for a while now but with very limited texture control which is really important in 3d. I think it's better now but until it has a full blown texture editor you're better off using a 3d app with ray-tracing and global illumination. Also AE now has made significant improvements to it's 3d capabilities but we'll see how that is. The surfaces in Smoke are really cool though.

I'm just trying to keep it real. Smoke is great but AE ain't no slouch and Autodesk isn't going blow their doors off in every category over night. If CC and comping are big priorities Smoke is hard to beat but IMO nothing flies letters around like AE. But granted also I haven't seen the new Smoke but have years of experience on the older ones and from what I've seen 2013 is a repackaging of the modules they've had for a while.

Robert Brown
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walter biscardiRe: @Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:27:26 am

[Robert Brown] "Have you ever actually tried serious text animation in Smoke? I have and I'll take AE any day of the week. And no it's not faster. "

Obviously you are talking about Smoke 2012 which I was not able to get my head wrapped around. Smoke 2013 makes much more sense. That was the point of today, Smoke 2013 is not 2012. Brian Mulligan who works exclusively in Smoke was the first to say that. It has literally been rebuilt so you will have to download and try Smoke 2013 before you start the true comparisons.

Yes, AE is a killer app and will remain a killer app for some time to come. I've been using it since it was called CoSA in the early 90's and 1000 layer comps are common for me. All of the Good Eats animations for example are all After Effects and range from 500 to 1500 layers per :30 to 2:00 animation. So I know how good AE is and will continue to be.

I also know I could not have created the text overlay with true 3D lighting could not have been created so quickly in AE as it was in Smoke. And Smoke is not the end all product, hence it's integration with other applications. So if there's something Smoke absolutely cannot do or I don't know how to do it, then you have the other apps to lean on.

It's not like we're all going to just ditch Avid and Adobe overnight. Especially Avid in our shop will be around for the long haul as we get into more reality programming, it's really well suited for that when you have 20 or 30 editors working together on multiple series. But Smoke is poised to take center stage as our primary editing and finishing tool in our shop.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Robert BrownRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:35:53 am

[Ben Rojas] "You're kidding right?"

Well maybe I shouldn't say Smoke is not good for MG and maybe you're used to it and I've seen some people come up with some amazing techniques but IMO AE is more flexible than anything out there for animating text and basic MG. Try 5 plugins per layer and then changing layer priority with all of those plugins still attached while mixing in some composite modes and then being able to tweak the setting on any of those plugins. In AE you just drag it up or down. In Smoke I'd want to shoot myself. A layer in AE has media, animation, plugins, masks, timing all together. Want to make a copy cmd-d and I can make 50 copies in under a minute. Slide it left or right to change timing, delete it hit delete. In Smoke uh give me a few minutes.

Smoke has improved on some of this stuff but something as simple as having a composite mode on a layer and wanting to fade it out could be a pain in the ass because some of them aren't affected by transparency. AE doesn't even blink. And AE has IMO the easiest to tweak KF editor out there. Click on a layer, hit U and every animated property comes up. Slide KFs around, hit 0 for ram preview, everything is so easy to adjust.

I'm not saying you can't do MG in Smoke/Flame as obviously people do but I'm just basing my opinion on experience with both systems and the fact that where I work at Fox in LA we dumped our Flames in the GFX dept and went CD4/AE for just about everything we do. So maybe I shouldn't say that Smoke sux at motion graphics but it's far less intuitive than AE and there are far more plugins for AE and yes those plugins cost less for AE. We still have Smokes at Fox but they get used more for compositing and grading while just about every animated graphic comes out of C4D/AE and we do thousands and thousands of graphics a year at Fox. And until today the price to match that kind of volume would be enormously higher.

Also try going into somebody else's project in Smoke to say fix spelling. In Smoke you can build things 50 different ways in and out of various modules that all can have settings saved in different places if at all - except if you use batch or have batch. In AE it all comes up and is all live, find the text layer re-type and re-render done in 5 minutes. In Smoke you can spend 20 mins or more just trying to reverse engineer somebody else's work flow.

I like Smoke but in my world all of the coolest design stuff and the sheer volume comes out of AE and Smoke/Flame gets used more for shot based compositing for features and commercials.

Robert Brown
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walter biscardiRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:45:42 am

In AE you just drag it up or down. In Smoke I'd want to shoot myself.

In Smoke 2013 you have both tracks for changing layer priority and nodes for changing effects order. It's been greatly simplified from Smoke 2012 which was not user friendly at all. That's the point of Smoke 2013, it's been redesigned to make it much more user friendly as you can see in the videos I just linked to.


In Smoke you can build things 50 different ways in and out of various modules that all can have settings saved in different places if at all - except if you use batch or have batch.


Everything in Smoke 2013 starts in the timeline so you should be able to work from project to project, artist to artist much more easily. I have had to fix plenty of badly organized AE projects to know it's just as easy to have folks make it very difficult to share those projects too.


I like Smoke but in my world all of the coolest design stuff and the sheer volume comes out of AE and Smoke/Flame gets used more for shot based compositing for features and commercials.


No doubt AE is the kind of the Motion Graphics world because it's the most widely used tool for that. But with Smoke 2013 it's finally in a price point where more people will start to get their hands on it. As that happens, we'll see the way the tool is used expand.

We saw that happen with FCP and it exploded into the standard for NLEs for a very long time.

We saw that with the Canon 5D that was never designed to shoot film and television projects.

Autodesk has simply put this tool into reach for many more folks to use. What they do with it is purely up to their imagination.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
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Ben RojasRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:16:09 pm

Robert , I'll definetly give this one: "Also try going into somebody else's project in Smoke to say fix spelling". My action setups can get pretty nasty ;0). Many times I've come back to a build a year or two later just to swap out a super and have had to scratch my head and figure what I did. I spent a few years on Avid DS and found that while not as powerful, working on the timeline helped me deal with super swaps much more effectively. When I came back to Smoke in late 2010, the timeline was much more advanced and while slower than working in modules like Action, swapping supers with heavy exf, animations, glows, etc became easier.

Ben Rojas
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Kim Segel@Ben Rojas
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:08:07 am

Unfortunately GenArts Sapphire for Autodesk universal runs $8500 and for Smoke runs $4000






A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. --Emo Philips


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Paul Carlin@Kim Segel
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:16:17 am

Actually, Sapphire for Smoke on Mac is $4,000... but your point is valid. I can only assume that Sapphire will re-evaluate their prices at some point.


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Tim Wilson@Paul Carlin
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:01:45 pm

I'm not sure about a dramatic price drop. CS Production Premium costs $1699, and so does Sapphire for After Effects. Avid Media Composer costs $2495, and Sapphire for Avid costs $2800.

So at $4000 for the $3495 Smoke, a $500 premium isn't that far out of line with pricing for other hosts. We'll see what happens when Smoke actually ships later in the year - maybe a few hundred dollars less?

But that's okay with me. Sapphire is Sapphire and deserves a premium price. When I worked at Boris FX, we had a difficult time at first finding traction with Continuum Complete, even though it was nearly half the price of Sapphire.

Continuum now has plenty of traction of course, but the fact is that I don't know of too many Sapphire sales that Boris displaced. Quite the contrary. I discovered when I started work at Avid that most of the people I know who received Boris Continuum Complete BUNDLED FREE with Media Composer STILL BOUGHT Sapphire.

Thanks to a supremely robust effects architecture, you can DO more with Sapphire in Smoke than most other places....but based on the relative price to other hosts, it's hard to imagine the price coming down much further.

The good news: 5-6 months to start saving before the new Smoke is released!

Tim Wilson
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walter biscardi@Robert Brown
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:34:49 am

Robert, with the new Connect FX, Smoke's full compositing and motion graphics capabilities are just unbelieveable. The speed of the darn thing is amazing and that was just running off an iMac today.

The nodes just make sense and are so much faster than the filter stacks I'm used to in AE and you get instant feedback on all the filters you place. As for third party filters, I believe they are planning to open this up to more third party vendors.

The biggest thing Autodesk got right is this is now a package that my editors can pick up in a matter of hours. For straight editing, they'll literally jump right in. For the rest of the package, they'll just have to figure out what the buttons are and how the order of the nodes affects the final look. So this is a tool I could just put into a finishing room and all of my Avid editors will be able to learn this and jump right into the application as needed.

Beyond that, it's just practicing more to really push the software. But I can definitely see us putting Smoke in all our primary suites as the end to end tool for a lot of our work moving forward.

However, this thing works brilliantly with any NLE you have so you can continue to use what you have and just add Smoke to the toolbox.

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Robert BrownRe: @Robert Brown
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:38:29 am

I'm totally interested in seeing it but I've also banged my head into Smoke for the last few years and it's gotten easier and easier but it's a serious system and it's taken a while to get the nuances and for many projects AE just seems much easier. I'll just have to take a look at it and see if all of the old nuisances are really gone. I don't know how much Smoke experience you've had but it could make some simple things really difficult and do some hard things easily.

Also a big thing to know about Autodesk/Discreet is they change their software more aggressively than any company I've ever seen. A new version will come out and all of the sudden you can't figure out how to insert audio into the timeline. I'm not kidding in 2012 they added stereo tracks and unless you knew what they had done you would sit there and look stupid trying to do one of the most basic functions of editing. And they've been doing this kind of thing for years. This button that used to be here is now over there. They just can't leave stuff alone.

I like Smoke but I still believe there are numerous ways you can achieve the same result. But Smoke has been strong for quite some time as far as having a lot of tools right out of the box. It will be interesting to actually do something with it and see how it all works.

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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:27:55 am

Seriously? "Light in motion graphics compared to After Effects?"

Wow, Smoke was built for finishing which means some ridiculously complex motion graphics can be created with this in a fraction of the time as AE. During the demo today Marc created an absolutely stunning 3D composite of multiple layers of video with text perfect masked out by a golfer and trees. Added to that were true 3D lights that perfectly interact with the layers as a real light source would.

The Connect FX feature comes from Flame so the compositing and visual effects, including motion graphics, is VERY strong with this tool.

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Tom Daigon@walter biscardi
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:32:32 am

Did you see any evidence of text animation capabilities analogous to AE or Proanimator? I use that a lot in the projects I do.

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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:59:07 am

Maybe you should look at the Autodesk show reel.

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Robert BrownRe: @Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:54:19 am

[walter biscardi] "Seriously? "Light in motion graphics compared to After Effects?" "

Well I guess I'll have to see what you've seen. All I can say is AE is much easier in dealing with multiple layers than Smoke but also I have more AE experience so maybe it's easier for me. I haven't seen the new one. Also keep in mind as far as demos, demos are rehearsed over and over to show the strengths of a product not the weaknesses. You don't really know until you try it on a project that you get assigned. I use many apps, Nuke, AE, Smoke, 3ds Max and just more or less believe there is never going to be one app that blows all of the other ones out of the water. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and find I use many apps on some shots. But once again I haven't seen 2013 so...

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Andrew RichardsRe: Article: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:35:42 pm

Time for a new tagline for their ads on the COW:

"Don't just finish. Edit!"

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Andy


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walter biscardi@Andrew Richards
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:11:35 am

That's good, we should pass that along to the Autodesk team.

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Ronald Lindeboom@Andrew Richards
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:19:21 pm

Edit was tired, long in the tooth and was losing Autodesk money. It would have needed a complete rewrite from the ground-up. Hell, it didn't even support DV or any of the then-popular formats that crawled out of the low-end and pushed their way into the market. Autodesk had a tough decision to make on Edit and I think they made the right one. It's what I would have done had I been at the helm of the company. Sales and monies did not justify keeping it alive.

Was it a cool program in its day? By all means. But beyond that it would have been just plain bad business to keep it on life support. Pulling the plug is what it needed and what it got.

The one that really surprised me was Apple closing the door on FCP Legacy. It was profitable and it had a huge audience. Killing it made absolutely no sense to me.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
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Marco Solorio@Ronald Lindeboom
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:26:37 pm

But what makes even less sense to me (regarding Apple killing off FCP legacy) was its killings of Color, Shake, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Server, Cinema Tools, Soundtrack Pro......

Cracks me up when I read people saying Apple still listens/cares about the professional market because they're going to add RED support, multichannel audio, etc., to FCPX. Gimme a break.

But I digress...

Can't wait to start using Shake 2013. I love node-based compositing, I miss Shake and Color, but there was no way in hell I was going to pay $15k+ per seat for Smoke 2012. I'll absolutely still use AE for tasks, but I can see using Smoke 2013 for many involved visual effects, and hopefully its editor as well, if it ends up being better the Symphony for us. All bonuses as I see it, as we'll have many options that we don't have now.

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Jeremy Garchow@Ronald Lindeboom
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:10:43 pm

Ron said:

"The one that really surprised me was Apple closing the door on FCP Legacy. It was profitable and it had a huge audience. Killing it made absolutely no sense to me."

Final Cut Studio was based on a Quicktime architecture that is ceasing to exist. Besides the money part of the equation (profit center) I think that Apple faced a similar decision to what you described for Edit. Final Cut Studio was very long in the tooth. Sure, it had some strengths in its XML architecture, but it certainly needed a massive ground up rewrite. It's too bad they released FCPX in the state that it's in, but it's getting better every release. Once people start to play with these new tools from Autodesk/Adobe and start to experience what a truly modern architecture will feel like, FCS3 will very quickly fall by the wayside. It was time to put the era of FCS3 behind all of us. It had an awesome run.


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Tim Wilson@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:52:12 pm

Ronald: "The one that really surprised me was Apple closing the door on FCP Legacy. It was profitable and it had a huge audience. Killing it made absolutely no sense to me."

Jeremy: "Final Cut Studio was based on a Quicktime architecture that is ceasing to exist....very long in the tooth....it certainly needed a massive ground up rewrite."

I recently posted a link to Apple's 22010 OS X developers docs for media architecture: QuickTime got 2 sentences. That was two years ago. They probably can't do less than 2 sentences, but I doubt they've added any since then.

To me, the immediate EOL of FCP Legacy is the thing Apple did MOST right. FCP had basically been in stasis since 2005 anyway, certainly by 2007, so it's clear that they hadn't been investing meaningfully in its future for half a decade or more. Call it zombieware. At a certain point, you bury a shovel in its skull and move on without a lot of ceremony.

In all seriousness, I think that FCP Legacy was, in practice, more or less a placeholder. There was really not much that was all that revolutionary about it. Actually, 1 thing, ironically enough: that it could do top-quality online work on a laptop. A large part of FCP's audience rarely, if ever, used it on a desktop. The idea that Apple needs to keep towers alive for this market doesn't hold up.

No, love it or hate it, the revolution is in FCPX. This is the first version of FCP that looks even VAGUELY like it was designed by Apple. Before this, it was virtually indistinguishable from what Apple bought from Macromedia 14 years ago.

My guess re: profitability for FCPX is that from last June to today is the most profitable period in its history. Apple shuts down an entire channel, slashes production costs to nearly zero, reduces piracy to precisely zero, adds a zillion new seats and keeps all the money.

What I'm enjoying about everything happening now is all of the ways that you can describe revolutions -- revolutionizing WHAT? Changing WHAT game? The short answer: all of them.

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Ronald Lindeboom@Tim Wilson
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:58:58 pm

I couldn't agree with you more, Tim, that IF YOU ARE DOING VIDEO ONLY a tower does not seem necessary nor advantageous. But for those of us who work in many types of media, there is still an advantage to desktop towers.

Trying to do Creative COW Magazine for example, on a laptop would be a nightmare. Not just because of the screen but because when you deal with 300dpi hi-rex CMYK files you need some ponies under the hood. The new top-of-the-line iMac I bought craps pretty hard when dealing with huge images. It works fine on video. No so fine on 300dpi CMYK files -- especially some of the ones that are PDFs with many layers. That's when I go back to my old tower, the one I have named after Lady & The Tramp's "Old Reliable." ;o)

I'll give up my towers when they pry them from my cold dead fingers.

And while I do indeed understand why FCPX is the future (I especially LOVE the idea of database driven editing), I think that the way that Apple handled its roll-out -- and the ensuing way that the market viewed the messaging -- to be one of the biggest corporate blunders that I have ever seen in my 40 years of marketing.

But hey, that's just my opinion...

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
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Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
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Tim Wilson@Ronald Lindeboom
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:39:52 pm

Ronald: "I couldn't agree with you more, Tim, that IF YOU ARE DOING VIDEO ONLY a tower does not seem necessary nor advantageous. But for those of us who work in many types of media, there is still an advantage to desktop towers"

And on that, *I* couldn't agree with *YOU* more. :-)

I do think that the irony of all this is that, a) FCP was the first NLE to work really, really well on laptops, and b) video editing itself is more pipe intensive than processor intensive, and one cool thing about Thunderbolt is that it extends pipes pretty cheaply. There are a ton of them at the show.

I don't think that Apple is out of the "fastest stuff we can weld together" business. iMacs and Airs aren't enough for what we're talking about with print production and other truly processor intensive tasks -- but it's not like Apple took the lowest road out either.

I look at something like the Z1 that looks like an iMac and has twice as much RAM, internal RAID, user-upgradable components including the GPU -- add some slick IO, and you could be in business for serious-er computing than you can get on an iMac today. COULD be.

But it's quite clear that there's no way you can get very far with print-grade Photoshop and InDesign on an iMac. And to HP's credit, as much as the Z1 is a dramatically more powerful beast than the iMac, they STILL refer to it as for photography and "entry video" only. They have a REAL beast for the rest.
.

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David Lawrence@Tim Wilson
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:57:23 pm

[Tim Wilson] "But it's quite clear that there's no way you can get very far with print-grade Photoshop and InDesign on an iMac. And to HP's credit, as much as the Z1 is a dramatically more powerful beast than the iMac, they STILL refer to it as for photography and "entry video" only. They have a REAL beast for the rest."

iMac Pro. Coming this quarter. I'd put money on it. Not that it'll replace a tower for everyone.

I think Apple's strategy going forward could be summarized as: here's the regular stuff, here's the better stuff. If the better stuff works for you, great. If you need a truck, go somewhere else. This seems to be the plan for both hardware and software.

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Tim Wilson@David Lawrence
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:12:47 pm

Agreed, David.

I think that Apple will also go further down the Air road. If past history is any indication, HP will announce new mobile workstations any day now, but the one currently available has the option to have the internal drive be a 128 or 256MB SSD drive, and yes, a full-bore Dreamcolor display. Timmy like!

It being HP, you can have a second drive if you want it, whether typical eSata or another SSD. I actually like this route a lot for myself, and would probably stick with the single 128gig-er. I'm working with fewer and fewer local files, and this makes a lot of sense. When I need "the rest of my stuff," it's on a 3TB USB2 drive that I got for $189...but I use that maybe once a month.

In fact, I found myself looking at the HP mobile workstation and thinking, why the heck can't I buy one without an internal optical drive? HP makes a nifty bus-powered USB THREE optical drive for $99. My wife has one for her HP consumer dawg (the Folio 13, which kicks ASS), and it kicks ASS.

So I imagine a MacPro Air kinda deal for the desktop, integrated with iCloud, with Thunderbolt for 10gigE and all kinds of storage IO with adapters being shown today. Much more appealing to me than a tower.

Give me internal power, connectivity, upgradeability, and strip the rest of that sh^t out.

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Jeremy Garchow@Tim Wilson
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:25:12 pm

Maybe an iMac Pro, but it might be a headless version, like the mini, but more powerful.

The interesting update to Compressor last week said in the release notes that Compressor can now run on Macs without a monitor. The only Macs without monitors are the mini and the MacPro.

They haven't killed the MacPro yet for a reason. Once they release what they deem to be the replacement, then perhaps they will kill it.

Who knows.


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Andrew KimeryRe: @Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:26:10 am

[Tim Wilson] "
My guess re: profitability for FCPX is that from last June to today is the most profitable period in its history. Apple shuts down an entire channel, slashes production costs to nearly zero, reduces piracy to precisely zero, adds a zillion new seats and keeps all the money."


Unless things have changed since launch FCPX (and Motion and Compressor) are ridiculously easy to pirate. A day or so after the launch I knew a handful of people that had pirated copies. They were curious about FCPX but not $300 curious. Now that I think about it, w/the downloadable demo it might be even easier to crack.

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David CherniackRe: @Andrew Richards
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:56:10 am

[Ronald Lindeboom] "Edit was tired, long in the tooth and was losing Autodesk money. It would have needed a complete rewrite from the ground-up. Hell, it didn't even support DV or any of the then-popular formats that crawled out of the low-end and pushed their way into the market. Autodesk had a tough decision to make on Edit and I think they made the right one. It's what I would have done had I been at the helm of the company. Sales and monies did not justify keeping it alive.

Was it a cool program in its day? By all means. But beyond that it would have been just plain bad business to keep it on life support. Pulling the plug is what it needed and what it got."


Ron, part of the cause of edit losing money was first discrete's and then Autodesk's terrible marketing and over pricing of the product. This was a constant in feedback to them from the community but it had no effect. Whether it was because they were marketing-challenged or didn't wish to cut into the sales of Smoke no one in authority has ever said. Though the private conversations people have had over the years seem to point to both.

Yes, it needed an expensive re-write and I don't fault them so much for killing it, even if it was on account of mismanagement, as much as for what they did before and after: Paul Lypachevsky's standing up in front of 300 or so edit* users at NAB and saying it wasn't even being considered. This, two months before he pulled the plug. I was sitting in the second row and could see him trembling as he made that speech. And I didn't think it was from nervousness about public speaking. Then, after the deed was done, and a small group was talking to them about purchasing the code, drawing out the negotiations until after the next NAB to prevent the negative feelings about discrete from erupting on the NAB floor. It was all very cynical and tawdry.

As Tim has pointed out elsewhere, the people at the company may be completely different today, but companies carry their karma along with their name. Autodesk never attempted to make right with edit users, aside from offering a modest discount on Smoke, I believe, that I don't think anyone ever took them up on.

You are to be commended for carrying the edit users forum for a few years after the fact. It was as lively as the FCPX, The Debate forum, is today, for many of the same reasons: users, cast away by a corporate decision, investigating future possibilities, while venting their collective spleens, and eventually moving on.

David
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Jiggy Gaton Jiggy GatonRe: @Andrew Richards
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:39:50 pm

[David Cherniack] "As Tim has pointed out elsewhere, the people at the company may be completely different today, but companies carry their karma along with their name. Autodesk never attempted to make right with edit users, aside from offering a modest discount on Smoke, I believe, that I don't think anyone ever took them up on."

It's really interesting to see how these huge behemoths have changed their marketing tunes, and their pricing, with the advent of the app store. And I really agree: it's corporate karma coming around...

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Ronald Lindeboom@David Cherniack
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:37:01 pm

I was on the phone arguing with Discreet management and lobbying as best as I could for a change of heart at Discreet. Trust me, I know the inside story on Discreet Edit pretty well, Andy. I even had some of the Discreet brass who are no longer there tell me to kill the Discreet Edit forum in no uncertain terms. I wouldn't. I only did it after it became so ugly a forum that it made no sense to keep it here any longer. The last straw came when my son was killed and not a one of them could offer a kind word. In fact, they had to bust my chops that week and at that point I was done with it all. Discreet made a business decision that was a sound one based on the circumstances. The only bad karma I see in it was guys like Jonathan van Clute who bought one within a few weeks of its demise. That one broke my heart to see. The rest likely amortized out their purchase many times over and that's not bad in business.

You and others may disagree...

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Ronald LindeboomRe: @Andrew Richards
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:58:23 pm

[David Cherniack] "part of the cause of edit losing money was first discrete's and then Autodesk's terrible marketing and over pricing of the product. This was a constant in feedback to them from the community but it had no effect."

When was Discreet (and later Autodesk) EVER the low-priced option? I bought a Media 100 back in 1994 because it not only had the best picture out there but was also something I could afford. I couldn't afford either Discreet or Avid.

People forget that at one point in time, Media 100 sold so many systems and was so flush with dough that they could have bought Avid for cash.

Over at Discreet, their thoughts were always on the high ground. I suspect that Jiggy's comments regarding the App Store and Autodesk's recent success there have taught them a lesson about marketing in the new world.



[David Cherniack] "Yes, it needed an expensive re-write and I don't fault them so much for killing it, even if it was on account of mismanagement, as much as for what they did before and after: Paul Lypachevsky's standing up in front of 300 or so edit* users at NAB and saying it wasn't even being considered. This, two months before he pulled the plug."

I thought that Paul's declaration was just plain stupid -- if they really were talking about killing it. But as I was not a part of the decision making process, I simply do not know the real truth. I can have my thoughts but that is just what they are. If someone were to walk up and put a gun to my head and ask me to bet my life on if Paul were lying, I wouldn't know what to bet. I simply am not that sure. I think he probably lied but I do not really know.



[David Cherniack] "You are to be commended for carrying the edit users forum for a few years after the fact. It was as lively as the FCPX, The Debate forum, is today, for many of the same reasons: users, cast away by a corporate decision, investigating future possibilities, while venting their collective spleens, and eventually moving on."

I would have kept it longer but when my son was killed, not a one of the people in that forum had a kind word. Putting up with the ugliness was often pretty trying but that was the last straw. Especially when one of the leaders there got $12,000 from Kathlyn and I help them survive a cold winter to keep their lights and heat on and get them into a new system. When they couldn't be bothered to say a kind word, we said let's be done with it.

Yeah, karma sucks sometimes, doesn't it?

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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David CherniackRe: @Andrew Richards
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:27:55 pm

[Ronald Lindeboom] "When was Discreet (and later Autodesk) EVER the low-priced option? I bought a Media 100 back in 1994 because it not only had the best picture out there but was also something I could afford. I couldn't afford either Discreet or Avid."

I remember the users who I knew all felt that its poor sales were mostly because it was overpriced by 50-100% and when those who paid for it, and believed in it, felt that it was overpriced, it probably was. I think it was selling for 2.5k in that time frame.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "I thought that Paul's declaration was just plain stupid -- if they really were talking about killing it. But as I was not a part of the decision making process, I simply do not know the real truth. I can have my thoughts but that is just what they are. If someone were to walk up and put a gun to my head and ask me to bet my life on if Paul were lying, I wouldn't know what to bet. I simply am not that sure. I think he probably lied but I do not really know."

I can't say if he was lying either. He just looked like a man with the shakes who couldn't wait to get out of there.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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David LawrenceRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:41:23 pm

Looks great, curious about how well it handles audio. Any gotchas or limitations? If Smoke is really supposed to be a super-all-in-one-uber application, then sound editorial tools deserve to be just as strong as video.

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Richard CardonnaRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:03:11 am

I can see avid ds for less than 2k. poor avid they must be so shaken hope they survive

rc


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walter biscardi@Richard Cardonna
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:39:30 am

I don't think Avid is going anywhere. That Symphony deal is just killer, really everyone should add that to the toolbox while it's so cheap.

They had some great announcements today, according to the twitter feed it was standing room only. I was supposed to go but the Autodesk event ran way over so I didn't make it.

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Richard CardonnaRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:03:15 am

Wonder what this means for the post world.

rc


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walter biscardi@David Lawrence
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:41:33 am

From what we can see the audio controls are pretty standard, certainly on par with other NLEs although I think we can actually adjust our audio BEFORE we place the shots into the timeline. Something Premiere Pro STILL won't let us do.

But honestly, the demo never got into audio so I'll definitely take a look at that on the show floor and see what I can find out.

Smoke 2013 does support OMF output to ProTools though which gives you an easy path to the industry standard sound tool.

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Mike GarrickRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:18:28 am

Hi Walter.

Forgive me, having paid others to use "smoke" whilst sitting on the client lounge sipping lattes it did look very daunting, in between ordering another latte.

Also as a longtime user of FCP 7 & Premier, AE etc. etc.etc. I'm so over "round tripping".

So 3 questions .....
1) Just how big is the that learning curve with mastering effects smoke is known for ?
2) Does this software finally kill "roundtripping" ?
3) I'm still running on a high powered 3 year old Mac Pro handling 64 bit processing will this software run on it ?


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Robert BrownRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:01:55 am

[Mike Garrick] "1) Just how big is the that learning curve with mastering effects smoke is known for ? "

They might have made it easier but Smoke historically has been an advanced box. I'm semi-used to it but it will be interesting to see what 1st time users think of it when it comes out.

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walter biscardi@Mike Garrick
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:46:54 am

So 3 questions .....
1) Just how big is the that learning curve with mastering effects smoke is known for ?


For straight editing, probably 10 minutes. This was designed for FCP / Avid / Adobe editors. It makes sense when you see it. The FX room might take a little getting used to, but if you use After Effects now, you'll pick it up pretty darn quickly. I could not believe how fast he created a pretty complex composite just slapping nodes into place and moving them around to change the appearance.

I'm thinking in a few days you'll be pretty darn comfortable with this. Remember, free beta download in June.

2) Does this software finally kill "roundtripping" ?

Yes and no. All of the tools are in the app to go end to end, start to finish on a project. Not sure on the audio tools as I mentioned in the previous answer.

But Ingest, Edit, Visual Effects, Output, Archive is all handed within the app. And it appears to have a very solid media management system in place. So as long as you stay within Smoke, you stay in one app with several different interfaces to do the individual tasks and everything revolves around your basic timeline UI.

However, it is designed to easily interface with other apps via XML or OMF so you can go to Resolve and ProTools for example.


3) I'm still running on a high powered 3 year old Mac Pro handling 64 bit processing will this software run on it ?

Probably and you'll know for sure when you download the Beta and install it. Today's demo was on an iMac. Specs call for an iMac and MacBook Pro.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Andy MeesRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:28:16 am

Appreciate you're primarily an AJA man Walter, but was there anything noted during the presentation given to you regrading support for other I/O vendors, like BMD etc or was it explicitly AJA only at this time? Obviously a ways between now and Q3 but good to know the starting point.

Thanks for doing this write up, lots of good info.

Cheers
Andy


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walter biscardi@Andy Mees
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:48:26 am

Official word is that Smoke 2013 is supported via AJA Kona 3 and AJA IoXT. Nothing else at this time and they didn't give any word as to future support of any other product.

I guess we'll have to wait through the beta testing process to see if they add any other vendors such as BMD and Matrox. But there was no discussion of that today.

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Ben RojasRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:36:56 am

I can't wait for that damn update! They finally heard us... LOL, me for sure as I've been hounding reps, resellers, any one that would listen for years to make it "creative editorial" friendly! Very excited to demo it tomorrow. Yes, demo it myself as I'm pushing the demo artist out of the drivers seat ;o)

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Jeff HandyRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:52:28 am

I look forward to trying out the new trial version. I muscled my way through the last trial version and got through the editing tutorial Autodesk supplied - but I didn't like it at all. Walter, thanks for validating my hang-ups and giving me something to look forward to. :)

HandyGeek


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walter biscardi@Jeff Handy
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:51:18 am

Jeff I opened up Smoke 2012 maybe four times. And quickly closed it all four times. Honestly didn't make any sense to this editor so I didn't even try.

This completely makes sense and it was designed the way I would have started with a new NLE. I never thought I would like the "all in one design" but like Evan and I were talking about today, there's only just so big you can make a Suite of products before it gets too bulky. And then your editors have to learn so many different tools it becomes harder to do your work to a high level.

Bringing it all together under one roof and keeping the feature set to a manageable size is truly a remarkable thing. The was a very intelligent and elegant way to move the product forward in a way that makes sense for editors.

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Chris BorjisRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 4:58:49 am

wow is right!

*smoke has come a LOOONG way indeed!

we had a *smoke 3.6.1 back in 2000.
it could do truly incredible things back then but we always had to hire a fully trained artist to operate it to full potential. that was quite a sight!

even back then, offlining with Avid then conforming on the smoke was very simple and fast.



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walter biscardi@Chris Borjis
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:07:56 am

That's the beauty of this new system, you don't need a specially trained artist just to run the application. BUT there's no doubt that someone who's been building visual effects for years will still be able to exceed what you can do as a beginner.

So what I figure will happen in our shop is our editors will be able to finish a lot of the work ourselves, but there will be times when we'll just take the finish of the project just so far and then bring in the Smoke artist to take it to that next level.

So now you get the best of both worlds.

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walter biscardiRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:15:56 am

Videos of Smoke 2013 in action are now posted on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8FDC1A0938E54F4E&feature=plcp

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Robert BrownRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:43:35 am

Thanks for the videos but that looks like Smoke to me. The timeline is different and it's great that Batch is more or less in there with Connect FX but if anybody believes they're going to learn this thing over night I have some bad news. Maybe the timeline but if you've never done node based compositing I can tell you it takes a while to get your head around that, and the Action module, and animation editor aren't walks in the park either.

The good news is that they are offering a really great package for $3500. Unthinkable a few years ago and I've felt this day was inevitable as you can't justify $100K boxes anymore except for serious feature work. And more good news at least for me as I've felt for a number of years that FCP de-professionalized by flooding the market pretty crappy software from a basic video point of view in comparison to the non-linear stuff I used to use. Really bad scaling, no pulldown/field tools, mediocre color correction, terrible keying etc. Smoke is top notch at all of that and hopefully this ups the demand for people who know what they are doing.

I'm not trying to be a downer, I think this is awesome but when I hear how easy it will be to learn and how much better it is than everything else I'm afraid my BS detector goes off. This is a great all in one package and maybe the best all in one package available but doesn't necessarily do anything you can't do with other apps.

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Tom MastersRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:17:51 pm

Thank you Robert.

All this talk of it being "easy" to learn and run all of a sudden is BS. Yes, I saw all the videos. And it sure does look like smoke to me. This is a very good thing as the modules themselves dont need re-engineering at all.. they are great, and for the most part the same in smoke Linux and flame. They just did some house cleaning, put things all in the timeline and tied together stuff by putting it in "batch" (combine FX)
This is brilliant and makes it a killer system, but easy to use?
Sit in a client session and see how "easy" it is.

All this said. Totally worth the effort to learn.


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greg gilpatrick@Tom Masters
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:29:39 pm

Yeah, there is no question in my mind, this Smoke 2013 is still Smoke. Besides the changes to the timeline and media management, everything I've seen in the NAB demos looks pretty much the same from Smoke 2012. Action/Axis, Text, Color Corrector, and Color Warper all have the same interface with a few stylistic changes.
Don't get me wrong, I'm excited as hell about this. Both as a Smoke freelancer and because I'll be able to have my own Smoke system with Batch at an affordable price.
But for those of you who found Smoke too difficult to operate before, I don't think you're going to find it easier to do anything besides basic editing.



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walter biscardi@Tom Masters
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:46:09 am

All this talk of it being "easy" to learn and run all of a sudden is BS. Yes, I saw all the videos. And it sure does look like smoke to me.

No, it really IS easy to learn. The editing interface especially you'll just jump in to.

The Connect FX room looks much scarier than it is because it has nodes. But the nodes make sense once you start to play with them.

The Color grading interface might scare some folks, like Apple Color did, but once you get used to the buttons, you'll be good.

I'm thinking 2-3 days and you'll really be up to speed. We are planning a whole series of tutorials for everyone to get y'all up to speed in time for the June Beta release so y'all can hit the ground running.

Walter

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Juan Salvo@walter biscardi
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 6:28:38 am

I don't think you'll think that the first time you want to a secondary color correction with a shape that tracks. :-)

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walter biscardi@Juan Salvo
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:10:55 pm

I don't think you'll think that the first time you want to a secondary color correction with a shape that tracks. :-)

You're talking about the 2013 Color Warper that's in Alpha right now and will release in the fall or the 2012 Color Warper?

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Dimitrios PapagiannisRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:24:08 am

HOLY SMOKE.....RU KIDDIN ME


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Thomas FrankRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:58:56 am

Looks more Shake and any other then After Effects.



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David CherniackRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:24:45 am

Wow is right! I haven't seen so much froth since I last visited a Starbucks....or since I watched the video of Apple presenting the world FCPX at last year's NAB supermeet. Maybe there's something in the Las Vegas water...

The devil is always in the details. Froth after you've actually used it for cutting a big project. Remember, so far no one actually does that with Smoke for very good reasons. Also, before frothing to excess, remember that this company did a dozen years ago to another great NLE what Apple did last year to FCP. Come to think of it, Smoke is now priced similarly to what edit* was when they killed it and in today's market, as edit* was back then, that may be too much to ensure its survival.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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walter biscardiResponse overwhelmingly positive today
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:25:43 am

Well after Day One of the show I can say I was greeted with a LOT of "you were right" "it lives up to the hype" from folks who went and saw the product first hand today and came away impressed. At the Small Tree booth all day, at the Media Motion Ball tonight and the Adobe Event tonight. Everywhere I went, folks wanted to talk to me about Smoke 2013.

Autodesk definitely seems to have lined up a winner here. If you're going to be around tomorrow, Autodesk invited me to participate in a discussion panel with Evan Schechtman at 2:30pm local time, 5:30pm EST. It'll stream on Autodesk's "Area TV" for those who are not at the show. http://area.autodesk.com/nab2012#tv Should be entertaining if nothing else....

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David CherniackRe: Response overwhelmingly positive today
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:19:44 am

[walter biscardi] "Well after Day One of the show I can say I was greeted with a LOT of "you were right" "it lives up to the hype" from folks who went and saw the product first hand today and came away impressed. At the Small Tree booth all day, at the Media Motion Ball tonight and the Adobe Event tonight. Everywhere I went, folks wanted to talk to me about Smoke 2013."

I'm sure. It sounds very exciting and may even merit all the froth and drool. And it should make nice waves over at the other two and a half A's and that can only lead to good things for everyone. But before I wash away the bad taste in my mouth every time I hear the word Autodesk and remember how we edit users were played, especially after the EOL announcement, it will have to prove itself under the fire of actual use.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Response overwhelmingly positive today
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:47:05 pm

[David Cherniack] "I hear the word Autodesk and remember how we edit users were played, especially after the EOL announcement, it will have to prove itself under the fire of actual use."

That is an emotional statement, not one based on sound business. Why? It doesn't take more than a single job for many here to amortize out the cost of this system. Anything you make beyond that is gravy.

Smoke for $3495 is a steal. No emotion about it...except maybe one of smiling glee.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
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David CherniackRe: Response overwhelmingly positive today
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:55:24 pm

[Ronald Lindeboom] "That is an emotional statement, not one based on sound business. Why? It doesn't take more than a single job for many here to amortize out the cost of this system. Anything you make beyond that is gravy."

All very true, but some bitter tastes take a while to wash away.

If the new Smoke proves itself for doing the things that I do, and it makes sense to learn and apply it, I'll revisit my taste buds. Until then I'll locate myself slightly to the left of Herb, who probably won't even bother to look upon this thread.

David
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Enge GrayRe: Article: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:13:58 am

Wow, just ordered my trial version, could this really be what I've been looking for?

From your roundup Walt, it certainly looks like it.

Like you, I too was always a bit wary of Smoke's interface, my last foray into Autodesk products was when they were still called Discreet and it was a product called Combustion, (remember that?), this new Smoke really has got me excited, roll on June.

Thanks Walt.....


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Tom DaigonRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:15:43 am

This heady enthusiasm for Smoke 2013, based solely on Audtodesk PR and no personal hands on experience. seems a bit premature to me. I look forward to a first hand experience in June. I got to say, the folks Ive spoke to who have had experience with Smoke for Mac 2012 found it to be obtuse and problematic.

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Tom Daigon@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:41:50 am

Additionally, if it will run on my 2008 8 core running Lion I will check it out. If it requires me to purchase a Imac, all bets are off and I will pass it by.

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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:46:48 pm

As we saw yesterday, @radicalmedia has been using the tool already in production spots so Evan at least can speak of how the tool works so far.

As for finding Smoke 2012 being obtuse and problematic, that sounds like what we found with Premiere Pro CS 5.5. Completely unuseable during client observed sessions because the support of the AJA Kona was completely terrible. So using your logic, everyone should avoid CS 6 because of our experience in CS 5.5.

But as we found during the CS 6 testing, while the product is very much improved, we still would not use it during client observed sessions, hence our decision to go Avid for now.

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Tom Daigon@walter biscardi
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:07:01 pm

Since you have had such a lot of postings, Im sure you missed a statement I made earlier that more encapsulates my "logic" regarding Smoke. I said...

"Hey, if it rival what AE can do, and it does what all the hype says it does, I will be first in line to get it. :D"

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Ben RojasRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:17:46 pm

Tom, unnecessary that I add more. Many good points others have made, you can check the specs or just watch the latest reel. As the question to Walter about creating animated text... Yes, I do it all the time and have done so since Fire in the 90's. No sense in a pissing match, use what makes you happy but going around saying that Smoke is poor at motion graphics is ridiculous. But hey, congrats are in order as AE finally got 3D text. Better late than never. If you're at NAB, let's grab some cold ones and debate all you want... When we're done with post, we'll get into politics and religion ;0). Cheers from the skies over Texas. Man, gotta love having wifi in planes now!!!

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Tom Daigon@Ben Rojas
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:17:42 pm

Ben, if you are going to quote me, its best not to mangle the quote. To keep the record straight I said..." From what little Ive seen, it seems a little light in the motion graphics / text animation department compared to AE." The operative words here are FROM WHAT IVE SEEN. Obviously that will be augmented by more research at the booth today. Does it follow that since you can do animated text in Fire, that this new untried version of Smoke can do it to? I never assume anything, but I research with much enthusiasm. Hey, if it rival what AE can do, and it does what as the hype says it does, I will be first in line to get it. :D

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Ben Rojas@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:31:09 pm

My apologies, it was Robert that commented on Smoke's disadvantage being motion graphics and I paraphrased.

I expect this new version will be as good if not better than 2012. It better be! Btw, don't get me wrong, I'm not anti AE... Hell, its my tool on the run. That being said, if Smoke runs on an iMac, it'll be jockeying for 1st position on my MBP ;0)

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Tom Daigon@Ben Rojas
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:35:00 pm

No problem.:D If we happen to meet at NAB Id be interested in your Smoke experiences. I was on Avid DS during its hey day for 10 years. Having an "all in one" editor is certainly a dream of mine that wasn't quite attained by the DS.

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Ben Rojas@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:13:53 pm

Absolutely brother. I'm flying in today; hopefully be @ show by noon. Heading straight to Autodesk, followed by Adobe and lastly Avid. I have a private demo setup tomorrow but the reseller was unable to get Smoke 2013. Not the wind out of my sails so hopefully the crowd isn't to crazy at the booth. Yeah right, I'll keep dreamin. ;0)

I Spent 2007-10 on DS; vers. 8.something. Wasn't a bad experience; II didn't care for creating & animating supers on it and found myself using AE,Motion & LiveType and importing as QT w/alpha. Color correction was very good, but that came from the Symphony. I very curious to see what Avid does w/DS. The rumors of it's demise have been around for a ling time but it's held on. I have a feeling they're going to slash it's price to roughly the CS6 price, which is probably not smart, but hey, they're Avid.

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Tom Daigon@Ben Rojas
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:18:09 pm

I will keep my eyes open. A bright yellow shirt will announce my presence. :D Yes, DS became a yearly source of let down here at NAB since it was ignored like a red haired step child by Avid.

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Jeremy Garchow@Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:42:09 pm

If someone thinks about it, can you ask what is required to work on a SAN for Smoke?

Hoping that metaSAN works.

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:25:18 pm

Jeremy, this is on my list to ask on your behalf. I'll report back.

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walter biscardi@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:50:58 pm

Didn't see your reply Walter. Look forward to the report!

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Jeremy Garchow@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:50:46 pm

Awesome.

Thanks, Walter!


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walter biscardi@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:50:13 pm

Very good questions Jeremy, since you're working fully native now, it sounds like we could continue to use the same configurations as what you use with FCP or Avid. I'm planning to use my Small Tree NAS with it.

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Walter SoykaRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:11:24 pm

The demo artist said that Smoke is prtty much storage agnostic, provided your storage is fast enough. He recommended 500-600 MB/s and said it runs nicely on fibre.

You can render ProRes intermediates, so I think that should lower the storage requirements, versus processing to DPX sequences.

Mac Pros will work, provided they are 64-bit capable. That excludes early Mac Pros, but I think it includes the 2008 Mac Pros.

Walter Soyka
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Jeremy Garchow@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:25:06 pm

Thanks, for the update, Walter S. That sounds great.


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Juan Salvo@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:29:53 am

The way it renders prores is actually interesting. It basically creates a series of single frame prores movs. Like a qt image sequence. I'd imagine this won't play well on Xsan. But time, and testing will tell.

online editor | colorist | VFX | BD author

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Walter Soyka@Juan Salvo
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:35:09 am

Thanks, Juan. I was under the impression from my conversations in the show floor that they were regular QuickTime movies, but single-frame movies are obviously more in keeping with the traditional Smoke framestore.

Walter Soyka
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walter biscardi@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:42:22 am

Go to "About This Mac" > More Info > Model Identifier

If that identifier is Mac Pro 3,1 or higher (4,1; 5,1; etc...) it's a 64 bit capable Mac Pro.

1,1 and 2,1 cannot boot to 64 bit.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Tom DaigonRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:12:33 pm

It going to be interesting to see how a wimpy imac will handle native clips (Like Red and AVCHd for example)in Smoke 2013. I hope Autodesk knows that trascoding is not a form of native support. :D

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Ben Rojas@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:19:59 pm

That is my biggest fear! I can really bog down my Smack and it's running on a 12 core. Rumor has it that we'll be able Thunderbolt external cards. A tricked out Mac mini w/ external Nvidia Quadro, Red Rocket & Kona would do the trick just fine ;0). I'm guessing they're playing it by ear as who knows what Apple is going to do.

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Jeremy Garchow@Ben Rojas
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:45:47 pm

Of course we won't know how well it works until we get our hands on it.

That being said, what is interesting about it, is that Autodesk is actually developing towards (perhaps embracing?) a non MacPro future. Speaking only for the shop that employs me, we will probably remain with OSX for as long as we can. While Thunderbolt might not be the end all be all today, it's future is very bright. There's also rumors of a new generation of Thunderbolt coming out on the Ivy Bridge platform. If Autodesk is ok with how this might be going, and if they are actually optimizing for "lower power" (but still fast) CPUs in cheaper hardware, we are alright with that. A potentially new and tricked put MacPro is going to be a lot of money, and the Xeon CPUs aren't any cheaper. So if we need lower cost CPUs, committed to the Mac platform, then a company that understands that need makes me pay attention.

I was also glad to hear that Adobe optimized code for certain Mac laptops. Laptops are an aspect of our editing business.

To me, this is all exciting news. I am not scared about a MacPro-less future as long as I have access to video in and out with fast storage. Aja's ioXT line, recent announcements from ATTO's thunderbolt boxes (which means fibre/10GigE on laptops/iMacs) seems like this could be a reality. We need as much flexibility with our infrastructure and architecture as possible which means that potentially, any computer can be a finishing/workstation no matter what room, state, or country we are sitting in. To my eyes, this is all very possible as long as Smoke 2013 performance is on par and hopefully better than FCS3. FCS3 is not the fastest software, but it was pretty capable. To get the most lot of cs6, it seems a CUDA card and a PC is where the performance happens. With Smoke, it seems they are developing for a lighter weight future on OSX. It's very interesting.

Jeremy


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Richard CardonnaRe: @Tom Daigon
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:06:19 pm

It seems that it will not be such a deal when you start adding periferrals and additional hardware(depends on your work flow)to make it work. You can end up paying over 15k including software, imac and the rest.

rc


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walter biscardi@Tom Daigon
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:35:11 am

Tom, seriously your derision of the iMac is just silly when the entire show floor at NAB is full of them. I get it, you don't like iMacs and you want to tell everyone that we must have Big Iron systems to get the most out of the new software. That's great, go buy the biggest baddest system out there, put 100GB of RAM in there, 5 nVidia cards and go to town.

Smoke 2013 is kicking ass on the 27" iMac in the booth. Adobe CS6 runs great on my two year old 27" iMac at home. Avid Media Composer 6 runs great on my two year old 27" iMac at home.

The point is, the 27" iMac is a GREAT editing workstation and for the price of your one Big Iron system, I'll be able to install at least three iMacs. For my business that means I'm running three suites on an hourly charge earning a return on investment much quicker than three Big Iron systems.

You don't want one. I get it, you don't need to keep repeating that.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Neil Hurwitz@walter biscardi
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:02:33 pm

Hi Walter,
For those of us who were not able to attend this year
Thanks for the good reporting,
However as someone who has been in the industry from
the days when a BVU 800 and the GVG 100 were very big deals
and who saw the first Paintbox and ADO released I get
a kick out of you referring to any tricked out Computerized
NLE as "BIG IRON" Please give us a break and don't get
caught up in your own Hubris.
It is what it is and it ain't "Big Iron"


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Tom MastersRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 1:59:11 pm

Not for the faint of heart, but, build a monster hackintosh for not a lot of $$$ and it will scream.


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Steve ForresterRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:01:05 pm

Alright, let's get down to the meat and bones:
1. Is there camera projection?
2. Are there 3d particles?
3. Roto with motion blur?
4. Full 3d tracking?

SwitchWorks Studios


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John GrilliRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:14:41 pm

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior"
Have all of you forgotten about Discreet Edit? Autodesk just like Apple dropped it at it's peak and left all of it's users in the lurch to find another editing toolset. All this price point says to me is that high end post facilities better start thinking about lowering their rates or getting rid of overhead as this toolset just became available to anyone with an Imac. Good Luck.



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Ben Rojas@John Grilli
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:46:42 pm

That trend started long ago John. I think every year we see the continued evolution, or de-evolution of our industry. I can tell you that S.FL rates have been declining for years and many of us have adapted to a per project rather than per hour basis. In my case, often where per hr comes into play is on revisions, which are always unpredictable. In the end, especially these days, clients could less what we work on, but damn if that attitude doesn't crossover to not caring what they spend for quality work ;0).

One of the big things I'm coming to NAB research is the whole cloud thing. This is going to have a huge impact on our industry... Quite possibly for the bad. I can already hear clients saying, oh but finishing in the US is to expensive... We'll continue doing creative editorial w/you but finish, exf, supers, composites, etc. in India.

The fun never ends in our biz eh gents.

Ben Rojas
Editor|Artist|Dir. of Post Production
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3850 N 28th Ter. Ste. 101
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walter biscardi@John Grilli
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:31:28 am

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior"
Have all of you forgotten about Discreet Edit? Autodesk just like Apple dropped it at it's peak and left all of it's users in the lurch to find another editing toolset. All this price point says to me is that high end post facilities better start thinking about lowering their rates or getting rid of overhead as this toolset just became available to anyone with an Imac. Good Luck.


And have you forgotten how Adobe abandoned the Mac Platform for several years? And how Avid all but abandoned the Mac platform for years?

In other words, we all got burned by something along the way. I got seriously burned by Apple just making a 180 degree turn for no apparent reason other than "they could."

If you want to keep holding a grudge for things that happened years ago, that's definitely your perogative. But as the only constant in life is change, you deal with the here and now. The here and now for me is going to be purchasing four seats of Avid Symphony when I get back to Atlanta and then getting Smoke 2013 into some serious testing as soon as we can get our hands on it. And of course we'll have Adobe CS6 Production Suite installed all around. So in the end, we're going to be covered from all bases no matter what walks in the door.

I'm just excited to have all of these choices and not having to invest a ton of money into "Big Iron" systems just to run them. Running iMacs all around will allow me to maintain my same rate structure while enhancing the clients' overall experience with our facility because we will not be limited by any one tool. Whatever they need, we'll deliver it to them on their budget.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Thomas Frank@walter biscardi
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:36:58 pm

In other words, we all got burned by something along the way. I got seriously burned by Apple just making a 180 degree turn for no apparent reason other than "they could."

actually I feel you got burned by Apple. After listing to you past Podcast the reasons why you where switching did come after months of the release.
Maybe to quick of decision which happens we all have done it.
I agree on the iMac if the iMac can give you the speed why not use it?



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Josh Weiss@Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:44:45 pm

As someone who spent a few months learning and testing smoke 2012, I can say that it seems like Autodesk has really listened. We complained about an unfriendly UI, lack of modern features like copy-paste, in the traditional sense anyway, each module being its own can of worms, with different Preferences, different shortcuts, 1 level of undo in some. If they have really rectified these issues, I think 2013 has a huge amount of potential, but of course, none of us will know till we get deep into it. At the surface it may be great, only to discover problems like these deep in the app. After all, 2012 looked awesome in a demo environment as well.

That said, I don't expect to find the same shortcomings in 2013 from everything I've seen.

So walter, it now take a ton of different formats for native editing. 2012 did that to some extent, but still only rendered to DPX when rendering effects. How does 2013 handle render codecs. And timeline codecs? Is there one, like fcp7. Or is more agnostic like PP?

P.S. Walter, wondering why you are saying you have written off PP CS6 when it still isn't out, nor are the drivers for the capture cards. I know tape was a big concern there, but we've yet to see what the card developers have to offer there.



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Robert BrownRe: @Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:25:53 am

[Josh Weiss] "As someone who spent a few months learning and testing smoke 2012, I can say that it seems like Autodesk has really listened."

Yeah I'm definitely curious and will probably buy this at some point. Not sure why I'm not more exited about it. Maybe I'm burnt out on amazing new software releases or editing in general at the moment. But I'm a free lancer so I have to use what clients buy. If a ton of people buy these then great as I'm sure I'll be right in there since I know the old Smoke. And it also depends on what I'm working on. Right now I'm doing offline on Avid and I don't think anything out there is better than Avid for that. Give me a conform job and I'll take Smoke any day.

But looking at the videos it does look like a lot of the same old modules and I'm curious to see exactly how much of it is "easier". It wouldn't be hard to make the timeline easier. How do you make Action or Batch easier? I could offer some ideas on that. But I hope it's a hit and people buy tons of them. AD already had all of the pieces in place - unlike Adobe - they just had to simplify things.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Paul Carlin@Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:56:27 am

"I expect to transition a lot of our compositing / green screen work over to Smoke especially as third party filter developers start making their products available for the tool."

I can assure you that the Smoke has all the compositing and green screen tools you could possibly need. The Master keyer is recognized as one of the best chroma keyers on the market (and it is just one of the numerous keyers available). Remember, you are using the same compositing tools a Flame artist has.

While sparks are available from third-party vendors such as Sapphire, you don't heavily rely on them like you do with other applications (i.e. After Effects). You already have glows, lens flares, keying, 3D text, etc... inside a true 3D workspace. If you think After Effects is a true 3D workspace, you are in for a big shock.

Despite the less daunting interface, you will still need to have your sharpest people learn these new tools. The learning curve is still there. However, as I've been preaching for the last 15 years, Smoke is the best finishing tool on the market.

- Paul


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Kim SegelRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:35:55 am

I loved the old Smoke (ran one for many years at NBC) and I'm looking forward to seeing 2013.

A few questions...
-Is the $3495 the purchase price, or is that an annual license?
-Does it still have Master Keyer?
-Have they expanded it's texture mapping capabilities for 3D objects?






A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. --Emo Philips


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Jiggy GatonRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:36:00 am

nice review and looks like a great improvement over old smoke... can't wait to try it!

Phoenix Studios Nepal: A small A/V Production House in Kathmandu.


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Jeremy Garchow@Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:29:38 pm

I know this might sound nutty, but can Smoke generate interchange out beyond EDL/OMF?

Basically, once I get everything set and rendered, can send individual rendered
clips plus an XML/AAF to go to other applications?

I know it's meant to be a "finishing" system, but I have a workflow that needs to get a completed edited sequence that is composited in Smoke and rendered individual clips with alpha sent to an After Effects composition (through XML/AAF to Premiere to AE or XML to "Autoduck" AE, something like that). Possible?

Can it render handles for color correction? I know, another goofy question, sorry.

Jeremy


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greg gilpatrick@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:35:22 pm

Yeah, Jeremy you're right. They freshened up the style of the interface but overall, it seems the same. I don't see how people who had trouble learning Smoke before will have it much better now.



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Jeremy Garchow@greg gilpatrick
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:07:40 pm

For me personally, I'm not really scared of learning a new interface. I have been watching old demos of Smoke, and it is certainly different, but it is also very powerful. I will welcome it if it I can get things done in a higher quality/more efficient/better (maybe not faster) way. We've had to do it from the camera side, so the post side will be the same. They are just tools and if it takes a while to get to know them, I am Ok with that, especially if it grows our capability and know-how.

Even though I am not working on feature films, it seems that more and more that clients ask for what ends up being VFX type of work. Removing logos, definite keying, tracking and match moves, and of course there's color correction. I'm mainly an editor, but I have to become more and more a jack of all trades. I am not a colorist, but I do have to grade, I'm not a VFX artist, but I do have to track things every once in a while, and I also have to composite green screen. If Smoke allows me to do that pretty well in one application, I'll be looking at it with a keen eye.

Also, is the gestural/swipe capabilities still in it? That looked pretty sweet, especially since I am 100% Wacom based already. Along with the new Wacom 5 that has hand gestures, it seems like it would be very useful.

Jeremy


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greg gilpatrick@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:34:59 pm

Sorry Jeremy, this new commenting system is confusing me, my comment was meant in response to Nick. As a Smoke and Flame operator, my point was that this new Smoke is pretty similar to the "old" Smoke. So I guess I'm respectfully disagreeing with you. I guess we'll all see in June when it's released.



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Jeremy Garchow@greg gilpatrick
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:46:37 pm

OK, now I'm confused. What is there to disagree about? That I can't learn it?

I'm not the one that said it can be picked up in a few hours. :)


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greg gilpatrick@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:53:24 pm

Haha...sorry. The way this board makes you write a reply at the bottom of the page without the comment you're replying to in sight makes for some misunderstandings.

Anyway, I misread when you wrote "I have been watching old demos of Smoke, and it is certainly different," I thought you meant Smoke 2013 was very different from the previous version, which is what I was saying I disagree about. Perhaps you just meant it is different from other apps altogether. Which would be very true. The Autodesk apps are pretty different everything else.

Either way, I think we're all excited for this new direction for Smoke and we'll all see in a couple months what its like.



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Jeremy Garchow@greg gilpatrick
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:05:15 pm

I love it when we can all find common ground. :)

Color had a node based system in it. I rather liked it.

I'm not saying that Smoke is the same, I'm sure it's different, but I get the concept.

Can't wait to check the demo.


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Josh Weiss@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:50:32 pm

I can't speak for 2013, but 2012, No you couldn't export an EDL or xml (that I know of anyway). That was one of our issues in why we weren't a fan. There was no way to give our project back to our offline guys for recuts.



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Jeremy Garchow@Josh Weiss
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:13:36 pm

Hmm. That changes things.


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Thomas Frank@Josh Weiss
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:14:01 pm

So it was like the FCPX when hit the market so that makes SMOKE 2012 not a Pro tool! lol



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Walter SoykaRe: @greg gilpatrick
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:00:19 pm

It's not just learning a new interface. It's learning a new way of working, too.

Nodal compositing, for example, looks very easy in a good demo, but it does require very different thinking about how to approach a comp for anyone (like me) who came from a layer-based background.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Ronald Lindeboom@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:20:04 pm

Jeremy Garchow said: "For me personally, I'm not really scared of learning a new interface."

Every time I get a new version of Photoshop I say these very words, Jeremy. ;o)

I used to use the term "interface equity" when referring to Adobe products. (Even the Adobe team picked up on the phrase and began using it themselves.) But I stopped using it and I notice they no longer do either as there is no longer any user interface equity, not when menus change, functions change and the short-cuts along with them, and you have to relearn your interface all over again.

Learning new interfaces sucks. But I for one will be learning a new one when it comes to Smoke. (Ever since I stood at SIGGRAPH 1995 and watched Discreet's heavy iron in action for a couple of hours, repeatedly picking my jaw up off the floor as I watched, I have been a fan. Though I was a fan from a distance because as I recall the cheapest system they sold was over $250,000 at the time.)

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Jeremy Garchow@Ronald Lindeboom
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:42:41 pm

Actually, I'm not sure if it sucks. For some, maybe, but for me, I like it, especially if it elevates quality and capability.

I've done it twice this year. Once with FCPX (which really was different, same ideas, but much different) and then an adaptation with Adobe Premiere (which was less different).

I think the big difference is node based compositing, and that certainly takes some getting used to.

The demos I have watched (of Smoke pre 2013) I really like the gestural interface. I hope that remains.

I liked this one, despite the chipmunk voice.







Jeremy


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Ronald Lindeboom@Jeremy Garchow
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:08:02 pm

Like you, Jeremy, I am not afraid of learning new interfaces. I was alluding more to the annoyance that comes from relearning the same interface in programs that arbitrarily change for no good reason.

I personally believe that Adobe, for example, would be better served to develop their programs where features run from modules or plug-ins that could be mapped across the Suite using user prefs. That way I could choose to use AE's keying features as my default and use InDesign's feathering features, etc. I have never understood why I have to have 5 different ways of doing the same thing across my 5 key Adobe programs I use.

But like you, the idea of learning Smoke 2013 doesn't scare me at all. It will take me time but I'm up to the task.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Jeremy Garchow@Ronald Lindeboom
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:36:22 pm

"Like you, Jeremy, I am not afraid of learning new interfaces. I was alluding more to the annoyance that comes from relearning the same interface in programs that arbitrarily change for no good reason.

I personally believe that Adobe, for example, would be better served to develop their programs where features run from modules or plug-ins that could be mapped across the Suite using user prefs. That way I could choose to use AE's keying features as my default and use InDesign's feathering features, etc. I have never understood why I have to have 5 different ways of doing the same thing across my 5 key Adobe programs I use."

I hear you. I imagine those are tough calls to make as you wouldn't be able to please everyone across the entire Adobe line, you know?


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walter biscardi@greg gilpatrick
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:56:03 am

Yeah, Jeremy you're right. They freshened up the style of the interface but overall, it seems the same. I don't see how people who had trouble learning Smoke before will have it much better now.

That's easy, we didn't have a standard NLE interface in the past.

The nodal way of working is similar to what we did in Apple Color so I'm already familiar with building node trees.

The Color Warper is a standard color grading tool, just with the buttons set all about the interface.

It was the editing interface that completely stopped me in my tracks in the past. Is it perfect? Nope, but it's a great step in the right direction.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Nick HassonRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:00:51 pm

I have been a smoke user for almost 7 years now. I work on it everyday. Smoke is a great tool for somethings, but a all in one software it is not.

Its great to see that now you have native file support and a choice to not render dpx. That is a welcome thing. Same with media management.

The color warper is great. But it is not a color grading program. I can color correct 10 times faster in resolve. Wait to you try and do power windows in smoke. IT sucks. Way to complicated.

I find walters reaction to the editor Laughable. Its almost the same thing that smoke 2012 was. It just has a bin view. ALl the other tools are the same. Sounds like you did not learn the last version and now that it looks like FCP you all of a sudden feel at home.

Connect FX or Batch has been around for years in smoke on linux, it can do some powerful stuff. But sometimes working on the desktop is faster. I work in a fast environment that is all online and smoke excels at that. I conform and VFX all day long.

I think for some smoke is gonna be a great addition to a toolset, but it wont replace everything. It will not replace AE for motion gfx work. It will not replace resolve for color. Autodesk is great at demo's, but use the system and see for your self. Its an awesome program, but not a REVOLUTIONARY thing.

Game changer? Only because of the 3500 price tag. Other than that, its the same thing i have been using on features and tv shows for almost a decade. Welcome everybody.

Nick Hasson
Smoke/RESOLVE
http://www.niceedits.com


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Robert BrownRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:56:38 pm

Hey Nick, long time no see. And that's pretty much what I'm trying to say too. When I hear from an experienced Smoke user that it's all different and way better I'll believe it but not until or until I try it myself. And once again I'm not knocking it, it's a great all in one system! But it is also a high learning curve system that you will be still learning years after you start using it. There's a lot in there.

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walter biscardi@Nick Hasson
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:53:48 am

Game changer? Only because of the 3500 price tag. Other than that, its the same thing i have been using on features and tv shows for almost a decade. Welcome everybody.

Didn't get that impression from the Smoke artists who were demo'ing the product, but then as someone who never used Smoke 2012, I can't say with personal experience.

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Nick HassonRe: @Nick Hasson
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 5:47:20 pm

In my experience autodesk's smokes demo guys are the worst. They are usually the guys that could not hang working at facilities. Some of them were my assistants and then they leave to become smoke demo artists, WTF? You never sat in the chair as an editor and now your a demo guy?

Same with smoke certified trainers. Some have very little smoke experience and only passed the test. No real world experience to draw from.

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Juan Salvo@Nick Hasson
by on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:16:43 am

As someone who has also used smoke in the past I 100% agree. The new smoke is a triumph of marketing. Because its the old smoke with some ui tweaks. Once you get past the editing interface, it's still every bit the old smoke. As tough and obscure as it ever was.

Of course many who love smoke would tell you this is what was needed... That everyone just see what it's already capable off. IMHO the change needed in smoke is a philosophic one. From a 'we can do everything best why go anywhere else' attitude, to 'we can try to do everything as well as possible, but realize other tools may sometimes be better, so here is an XML file which referernces your media'.

That would a game changer, and we've yet to see that.

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walter biscardi@Juan Salvo
by on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:51:29 am

As someone who has also used smoke in the past I 100% agree. The new smoke is a triumph of marketing. Because its the old smoke with some ui tweaks. Once you get past the editing interface, it's still every bit the old smoke. As tough and obscure as it ever was.

This was developed by a different team over three years. Some elements of it appear to be the same, but I can tell you that it's not "tough and obscure" as you put it. Took it for a short test drive at the show and it felt like a regular NLE, not the "how do I do this" editing of the old.

Getting Footage into the application is wholly different as is the native support.

Rendering to ProRes now lessens the storage requirements.

Connect FX comes down from Flame and is quite easy to pick up. Tracks on the bottom stack up, nodes show the effects tree and allow you to quickly change effects just like a filter stack in your NLE or After Effects.

The Color Warper has many of the controls right in front of the operator instead of being in a Filter Tree / Multiple Rooms / In a Tab. The controls are right there for adjustment instead of changing / twirling / moving to get to them. Makes it appear much more confusing at first until you actually look at it and realize it's not much different than what we've used in Color for example, just laid out differently.

Bottom line, if you can work an NLE, After Effects and Resolve/Color, you should be able to translate your skill set over to Smoke 2013 in short order. The Editing part will be quite natural for anyone coming from FCP / Premiere Pro / Avid. The compositing / color correction will take a little longer, but it's not nearly as obscure as it once was.

This application feels much more natural, easy to navigate and most importantly, easier to remember than the earlier or Linux versions of Smoke. Now we need to see other third party hardware support and at some point in the future, a PC version.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Anthony HardenRe: Article: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:57:05 pm

As someone who has looked on from the sidelines at Smoke for years and never had a real opportunity to use it in a production environment I am incredibly excited about this news. Is it a perfect program for all things? No. Is it an amazing program for what it does? Absolutely.

One important consideration is that Smoke now feels attainable by those not working at a large facility, or by those who were unwilling to mortgage their home, or take out a loan, to purchase it.

Hearing the news yesterday it consumed my entire day.

All I can really do is echo, "WOW!"

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Winston A. CelyRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:13:39 pm

Looks like Apple now has some catching up to do with FCPX in comparison to Smoke.

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walter biscardi@Winston A. Cely
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:50:43 am

Looks like Apple now has some catching up to do with FCPX in comparison to Smoke.

Not really, they're both tools and you use them for their strengths. For $299 you have FCP X, for $999 you have Avid Symphony, for $3495 you have Smoke and for whatever the CS6 Suite is, you have that. We are going to have Adobe, Avid and Smoke in our shop because each is really well suited for certain projects.

With the price of the tools today, why limit yourself to a slegehammer when you can choose the right tool to complete the task at hand?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Yevgeniy K'banchikRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:16:25 pm

Are desktop tools are gone. Can you apply conecteffect directly to clips on the smoke's desktop and not on the time line?


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Michael NielsenRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 3:14:25 pm

Very good read and splendid discussion, you guys. Im learning all sorts of approaches to your respective workflows. The dealbreaker for me is the (again) lack of proper cross-suite compatibility. I really dont want to spend shop time crossing back and forth, I just want this suite to work when I need it and how I need it.


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walter biscardi@Michael Nielsen
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:47:22 am

Very good read and splendid discussion, you guys. Im learning all sorts of approaches to your respective workflows. The dealbreaker for me is the (again) lack of proper cross-suite compatibility. I really dont want to spend shop time crossing back and forth, I just want this suite to work when I need it and how I need it.

There's no "suite." It's just one app.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Jason PiekarskiRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:51:43 pm

Wow. I recently posted on the Cow about Apple's $98K surplus, and our company taking a "wait and see" attitude about Apple and Post Production. I was met with such dogma and hostility!

We jump like lemmings before we take time to look. When tech is changing exponentially, DON'T JUMP!

Great articles, Walter: from, "WHAT A LONG, STRANGE YEAR..." to "SMOKE CHANGES EVERYTHING"

Thank you for keeping us all in the loop! I think I'm falling for you...

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walter biscardi@Jason Piekarski
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:46:32 am

Thanks for the kind words Jason!

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walter biscardiRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:48:14 am

Are desktop tools are gone. Can you apply conecteffect directly to clips on the smoke's desktop and not on the time line?

You can apply filters / effects to raw clips as well as those in the timeline.

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Josh WeissRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 2:17:40 am

Walter, you say "That's easy, we didn't have a standard NLE interface in the past."

I'm not sure who told you that, but smoke for mac 2011 and 2012 (and probably before) did have a source/record edit interface. It more or less looked just like what i saw in the demo.

That's not saying they didn't improve upon it and give it nice new features, I'm sure they did. But really, editing in smoke 2012 or 2011 was simple and powerful. The hard part was action, and all of the different modules that all seamed like distinct and separate programs. It was also all of the back end, support utilities, IP based back burner, the wiretap gateway that would always lose connection to your networked drives. The modules that only had 1 undo etc.

Editing was never the hard part.



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Walter Soyka@Josh Weiss
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 4:55:31 am

[Josh Weiss] "smoke for mac 2011 and 2012 (and probably before) did have a source/record edit interface. It more or less looked just like what i saw in the demo."

I'll agree with Walter B. here -- the new editorial interface is totally different.

I think it will flatten the initial learning curve substantially.

Think about the first time you opened Smoke on Mac, pre-2013. It was pretty hard to intuit how to even get a clip into the system, let alone onto a timeline. That part of the experience will be completely changed in 2013.

The media browser is a lot more intuitive than the Edit Library / Edit Desk was, and the timeline will feel much more familiar for anyone with NLE experience from FCP, Pr, or MC. You won't need to watch twenty minutes of training on the gateway and the edit desk just to get a clip from an attached hard drive into a sequence. You already know how from using other applications.

The timeline has been overhauled. There are icons. There are right-click context menus. The whole interface is now legitimately mouse-able -- no tablet required. (I'll note here that you can still use a tablet if you prefer, and you can still use Smoke or FCP hotkeys, too.)

The addition of ConnectFX, accessible from clips on the timeline, is another really significant change from previous versions. In 2012, you had to spend a lot of time in the edit desk, and you had to very carefully pre-plan your effects. In 2013, ConnectFX lets you build comps much more simply and fluidly right from the timeline.

The modules (like the keyer, the tracker, Paint, Color Warper, and Action) are all still there. What's new in 2013 is the way you can move through them. Since the workflow is now much more grounded in the timeline instead of the edit desk, it feels a lot more natural or approachable to someone with a desktop NLE background.

At the beginning of my post, I said that I think Smoke 2013 flattens the initial learning curve substantially. I think an editor will be able to jump in and cut pretty quickly, because Autodesk has made Smoke's media and timeline feel more like people expect it to. I think that people will be able to familiarize themselves with the application and its internal workflow much more quickly than with previous releases.

However, I also think that really learning all the modules and tools and truly understanding their subtleties will still take an awful lot of time and practice -- especially for picture editors with no prior effects experience. Even with effects experience, an aspiring Smoke artist will still have to learn how Autodesk thinks about effects (which is certainly different than how, say, Adobe does), as well as which tools are most appropriate for certain kinds of challenges, which options within each tool are best suited for the situation at hand, and how to exploit every option. There's a lot of depth in the product.

I am very much looking forward to the trial in June. I can't wait to give the new version a spin.

Walter Soyka
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Josh Weiss@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 12:40:46 pm

Great response walter s., and yes, I totally agree with pretty much everything you said here. It is certainly friendlier looking from a bringing in media perspective and a right clickable perspective. I agree that these are all big advancements for smoke.

I was just saying that from an editing perspective, of a source record monitor and the actual using of the timeline, it seems pretty similar despite some new icons and menus.

ConnectFX does seem like a big improvement from the desktop/action workflow which drove me crazy. You can composite your shot in action, then you realize you need to add grain to your plate. Wait, there isn't a grain node in action. You have to kick your plate out to desktop, add grain, reimport it into action. A confusing and unnecessary step.

I also agree, I want to download in June and give it a shot. One of my biggest worries is the support and back end. There are three are four support programs to control the gateway, the backburner, etc. etc. that came with prior smokes. We often had trouble connecting to network drives and always had to restart the gateway. I know they improved that in one of the 2012 revs, but it would be great if it is all totally gone from 2013. I was a smoke assistant in 2005, then we eventually switched to FCP and AE workflow. I thought returning to smoke for mac 2011 and 2012 it would finally feel modern and like it made sense. It didn't. Hopefully 2013 will.

I've discussed smoke with long time smoke artists and engineering staff from my previous company. They all said, "oh I love smoke", then you ask what about the inconsistencies and support end. They all more or less say, oh yeah "it is retarted, but powerful as hell" haha. And, "you need a full time engineering staff to troubleshoot it". Again, these are my biggest concerns, not how hard it is to learn. I can learn it if I think it does what I want and in a smart modern way. In 2012 I didn't. It felt just like 10 different apps, just like fcp to ae to mocha to photoshop type workflows do. Maybe less transferring of media, definitely, but different workflows per module that were developed over 20 years and "tacked on".

I have all of the respect for Walter and his integrity,and advice so like others here, I will wait and see what has made him so impressed.



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Jeremy Garchow@Walter Soyka
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:53:47 pm

Walter S-

Do you know if Smoke 2013 has interchange out?


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Neil HurwitzRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 3:49:04 am

Walter Said:
I'm thinking 2-3 days and you'll really be up to speed. We are planning a whole series of tutorials for everyone to get y'all up to speed in time for the June Beta release so y'all can hit the ground running.

Up until now I thought you (Walter) were just an excited fan, techno geek editor and booster. I was trying real hard not listen to the voice on my shoulder. However, judging by the above statement and the use of the word "WE" I must ask you flat out

1.What exactly is your relationship with Autodesk? Consultant? Employee? Contractor?

2.Do you receive any money from them?

3.Do you receive anything from them? (Free software, airplane tickets, hotels and meals)

I have to say that I am a little disappointed here and a little tired of your relentless shilling (for Smoke) and puffing about how many rooms of this and that you have and about how many of this or that you are going to buy. You know what, Most don't care and it doesn't give off a warm and fuzzy feeling. You are hurting yourself here and maybe losing a little hard earned credibility. So give it a rest for awhile.


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Robert BrownRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 4:22:32 am

[Neil Hurwitz] "I'm thinking 2-3 days and you'll really be up to speed. We are planning a whole series of tutorials for everyone to get y'all up to speed in time for the June Beta release so y'all can hit the ground running.
"


I won't speculate on any of the other stuff but I have to say if anybody can get up to speed in Batch in 2 or 3 days then they're in the wrong business because they'd have to be a flat out genius. I learned Nuke last year from FXPHD and it really took months to start getting a rhythm and to where my brain wasn't overheating. I'm not trying to scare anybody but Smoke is a program that takes years to master. You can be efficient way before that but it seems there's always some other module or window that mystifies you.

Robert Brown
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walter biscardi@Neil Hurwitz
by on Apr 21, 2012 at 8:51:24 pm

Up until now I thought you (Walter) were just an excited fan, techno geek editor and booster. I was trying real hard not listen to the voice on my shoulder. However, judging by the above statement and the use of the word "WE" I must ask you flat out

1.What exactly is your relationship with Autodesk? Consultant? Employee? Contractor?


None of the above. They reached out to me as someone who is respected in the Non Linear Editing community. I'm also one of the four founders of Atlanta Cutters and we met with Marc-André, Marc Hammaker and Ken Larue at our very first meeting when they presented Smoke 2012.

In the ensuing time, Marc-André sent me a copy of Smoke 2012 to get me to try it and offer some input. I basically told him the software was too confusing and way too expensive for me to to truly test it out. Over the past year I've given a bunch of input when Marc-André asked.

So call me an editor whom they reached out to for input. I had zero idea that they were completely redesigning Smoke for the 2013 launch until I saw it a week ago Thursday during a video chat with Marc-André


2.Do you receive any money from them?

No. I receive zero money from any company and quite honestly resent the implication.


3.Do you receive anything from them? (Free software, airplane tickets, hotels and meals)

As I already mentioned, I received a copy of Smoke 2012 a year ago after their appearance at the Atlanta Cutters meeting which I installed onto my home iMac and never used.

NO Hotels, NO Airfare, NO money, NO meals. ZERO. Where the heck did you get these ideas? I wasn't even working for Autodesk during NAB.

If you followed my blog and / or twitter feed then you would know that I was working for Small Tree Communications during the show. THEY paid for me to be in the booth just like every other vendor at NAB pays for demo artists and professionals to appear in their booths during the show.

I really resent the implication that I'm somehow being paid to promote Smoke for Autodesk. I've never done that and quite honestly, that would violate everything Ron and Kathlyn have built here with the Creative Cow. My honesty is why folks listen to me in the first place. I'm not going to take money to be a spokesperson just to promote a product. That would be idiotic and damage my reputation.

Sorry my enthusiasm for Smoke 2013 rubs you wrong, but this is a truly exciting thing to see a company totally listen to what folks have been asking for for years.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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walter biscardi@Neil Hurwitz
by on Apr 21, 2012 at 8:56:51 pm

However, judging by the above statement and the use of the word "WE" I must ask you flat out

Oh I totally missed this. "WE" stands for the editing community. I guess I should have typed "WE in the Editing Community...." Does that clear things up?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Patrick FlaschRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 19, 2012 at 9:28:24 pm

I enjoyed reading your evaluation of Smoke 2013!
The "alpha" product they were using on stage had a couple of issues... but hey, it's an Alpha!!

I'll definitely d/l the trail version in June when it's available!

It surely beats your old Media 100 setup that I remember you showing me many years ago... LOL


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Eric SantiagoRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 21, 2012 at 6:45:14 pm

Walter I've been following your posts for a few years now.
What's your take on Symphony?
We we're thinking of upgrading our MC but reading up on what you get doesnt seem to push us hard enough here.
Plus the fact that none of the Avid options are 4K finishers.
Thoughts or maybe rumors of an upgrade in the near future with 4K and higher res workflow?
Please do tell ;)


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walter biscardiRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 21, 2012 at 8:37:54 pm

[Eric Santiago] "What's your take on Symphony?
We we're thinking of upgrading our MC but reading up on what you get doesnt seem to push us hard enough here."


Just ordered 5 Symphony Cross-Grades. This is coming from FCP. We were about to order 5 Media Composers but the price alone makes it worth going to Symphony. Almost $500 cheaper per seat. One of the biggest reasons I love this is the Boris Continuum Complete plug-in pack alone.

When Smoke is ready to release, we'll have an Avid to Smoke for finishing workflow plus we'll have the option to use Smoke start to finish.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Eric SantiagoRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:27:18 am

is there anything other than the bonus add-ons that would help change our minds to go with the upgrade to Symphony?
i know it works with our Nitris DX and it has better CC features but our MC is already sharing a workstation with Resolve and CUBIX.


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walter biscardiRe: Walter Biscardi: Yes, Autodesk Smoke 2013 Changes Everything
by on Apr 22, 2012 at 2:55:42 pm

[Eric Santiago] "is there anything other than the bonus add-ons that would help change our minds to go with the upgrade to Symphony?
i know it works with our Nitris DX and it has better CC features but our MC is already sharing a workstation with Resolve and CUBIX."


If you have Media Composer 6, there's probably no reason for you to upgrade to Symphony unless you want the Boris Continuum Complete package.

In my case, we're cross-grading from FCP to Avid and right now Symphony is $500 less per seat and I just bought 5 seats. So it's a no brainer business decision for me.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Ian Quigley@walter biscardi
by on Jun 3, 2012 at 9:25:09 am

hi walter, I am a flame and smoke user and am purchasing smoke 2013. I am wondering about the future of fcp, will you still use it for editing or are you going fully avid. I will use smoke on a small scale, working from home. from your article it looks very interesting


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walter biscardi@Ian Quigley
by on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:09:29 am

We do still use FCP for some projects along with Avid and CS6. We're phasing out FCP 7 as much as possible because the native editing in both Avid and CS6 are much faster.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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