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Selling a Smoke - don't know starting price

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Rick Sebeck
Selling a Smoke - don't know starting price
on Jul 22, 2008 at 8:30:00 pm

I work at a facility, which has an older smoke/flame running on an Octane2 that never gets used because a) we use FCP/AE on newer Quad Mac Pro machines and b) none who is employed here knows how to use it.

I remember being a young aspiring editor and dreaming of the day I could sit in front of a smoke, but now, 8 years into my career, I've been doing fine with HD FCP systems and after effects. I've always been an FCP guy and have always been resented by AVID guys - but again - I've had a very successful career with FCP.

Anyway - like I've said we are thinking about selling the smoke/flame but honestly none of us know how much it's worth. We've been told it's an older system and to upgrade it would cost a ton, and also that they are non transferable, so whoever would buy it couldn't upgrade it if they wanted to.

So below are the specs. I'd be interested if anyone has any ideas as to what we could get for it, or perhaps some words of wisdom to inspire us to learn how to use it and incorporate it into our workflow. Again, I have not found any limitations to our HD FCP systems - what am I missing?


SGI Octane 2 - dual 400 mHz IP30 Proccessors

CPU MIPS R12000 Proc Chip Rev: 3.5
FPU MIPS R12010 Floating Point Chip Rev: 6.0
Main Memory Size 2048 mBytes
Xban ASIC Rev: 1.4
Instructional Cache Size 32 kBytes
Data Cache Size 32 kBytes
2nd United Instructional Cache 2 kBytes
Integral SCSI controller 0 VersionQL1040B(rev2), single ended

Fibre Channel
30 disk array

10 C3ROC4 serial parity 1
10 C3ROC4 serial parity 2
10 C3 parellel port = plp 1

Graphics board V12
Integral Fast Eithernet efo, version 1, pci slot 2
Gigabit Ethernet ego, pci slot , firmware v 12.4.10
Iris Audio Processor version CAD revision 12.0 number 1
Multi-Standard Digital Video XT-DIGVID : controller 0
Unit 0 version 0x0 Dual Channel Display

Lucid AbA 8824
Sgi: b Media Pro

Wacom Tablet

Autodesk Smoke 6.7.5
Autodesk Flame 9.2.5

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moody glasgow
Re: Selling a Smoke - don't know starting price
on Jul 22, 2008 at 9:34:12 pm

I think it could still be a usable system, as the Flame has features like particles, 3D tracking, batch (I confirmed this on the official flame boards), and I think a real 3D compositing environment. Pretty much all the things that made it the premiere compositing system that it is.
But, since you don't have anyone who knows how to run it, or would have to hire or train someone to run it, it probably would be more trouble then its worth.
So, if you are going to sell it, I would start by checking with used gear vendors near you. The real value in this system is the Flame license. The problem is that the license is non-transferable and not upgradeable. That really would kill the value of it... I would guess you could get maybe $30k to $50k for it... but then again, I'm not in the market of buying or selling these things, so I could be way off...

Good Luck...

moody glasgow
smoke artist / editor

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Del Holford
Re: Selling a Smoke - don't know starting price
on Jul 23, 2008 at 6:02:53 pm

Our community licensed Public Television station has smoke on Octane 2 with v7.0.14. The storage went end of life 2 years ago and the hardware went end of life last year. Same for fire on Onyx2. Trading up with the license to Linux based systems would cost in the neighborhood of $70 - 80K. I doubt you'd want to go there.

We got some capital for new equipment due to EOL issues and are installing 6 FC Studio2 workstations later this year. We recently received a donation from a New York post house of an Octane 2, Lucid, and IR73 stones. The storage will keep our smoke going with twice the current storage and will ensure that fire has spares for the R36 series stones it uses. We valued the fair market donation at around $9000 based on what our reseller told us.

XS International in Atlanta buys SGI equipment so you might call Russ Watson and see if he's interested. They do our tech support.

Rick, your Hot Dog and Ice Cream shows are great. Keep 'em coming!

fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television
del underscore edits at wtvi dot org

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