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Smoke pretty much describes it.

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David Ghast
Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 13, 2008 at 6:01:26 pm

I've been in search of a editor + compositor hybrid program and the only thing that exists to my knowledge is smoke. However short of flying across the country to take a 5 day course and magically being hired to a posthouse without any real experience with the program whatsoever, or shelling out $100k for the system, theres no way for me to learn smoke.

So this is my question for those of you who have somehow found your way onto a smoke system, how? Am i mistaken in thinking smoke is the only hybrid program out there, is there something else that might suit my needs?



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moody glasgow
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 14, 2008 at 7:14:52 am

A few years ago I convinced the owners of my company to buy a Smoke. Before we bought a Smoke we were strictly an offline Avid house, and we did our finishing elsewhere. They had faith in me to learn the Smoke, and turn it into a money maker for the company. Back when we bought our system, Autodesk threw in some training with the system.
Realistically, I dont think a 5 day training class is enough to land you a Smoke job. I think your best bet is to find out what companies have a Smoke, and try and get your foot in the door there.
As far as other programs that are like the Smoke... Maybe the Symphony Nitris would come close, but I'm not too familiar with Avid's current offerings.

moody glasgow
editing.compositing.design
My Demo Reel


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David Ghast
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 14, 2008 at 10:38:02 pm

Hm, nitris seems to be a turnkey system too. Damn turnkey systems dont allow for demo's or anything to let people try before they buy. Oh well, ill just have to make do with bouncing files back and forth between premiere and AE.

Moody, Im in the process of creating my demoreel and i checked out yours and noticed you used muse's music. I want to use copyrighted music too, but dont know if im going to get sued if for putting it on a demoreel, is it ok to do or did you get muse's permission?



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chee keong hiu
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 15, 2008 at 7:11:23 am

avid nitris, quantel eq, but both of them are pretty expensive.

fcp + Shake + motion + after effect, work quite well, and cost are very low compare to nitris, eQ, smoke.

http://mysmoke.blogspot.com
autodesk smoke tips & tricks

Thanks
Ckeong


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moody glasgow
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 15, 2008 at 5:25:53 pm

Yeah those are good low cost options, but I think he is looking for an all in one package...
Final Cut Suite, is a suite of programs that you have to go back and forth from...

moody glasgow
editing.compositing.design


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chee keong hiu
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 16, 2008 at 7:42:18 am

from,ckeong
autodesk smoke tips & tricks
http://mysmoke.blogspot.com


yes, final cut studio you need to go back and forth from...
but is not that bad after all if you get familiar with it, instead of think about it as different products (motion, fcp, livetype..), think of it as different modules. In smoke, you need to enter different module too.

one thing hard about eQ and smoke is, is hard for outsider to get in, even if you manage to get the training, but if don't get to touch the machine, you will back to zero after awhile.

anyway, smoke & eQ is a good all in one (actually not all in one, you still need to buy some plug in)if you got the budget. And if you got extra money buy apple motion (is cheap), is a very powerful machine, even smoke and eQ can't do what motion do.

I suggest whoever want to get a piece of quantel eQ, and autodesk smoke, you can go to the website, and download the pdf operation manual to study first. I used to do this, and before even my eQ and smoke came, i already know how to operate it.


autodesk smoke tips & tricks
http://mysmoke.blogspot.com






Thanks
Ckeong


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moody glasgow
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 16, 2008 at 3:03:45 pm

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=7932003&linkID=...

Here are some videos from the Autodesk website that will give you a good overview of the Smoke.



moody glasgow
editing.compositing.design


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David Ghast
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 16, 2008 at 10:20:10 pm

Yeah, you pretty much get my point. While most films typically can deal with compositing, then transferring those composites to be edited, my projects are a logistical nightmare trying to synchronize composites on a frame resolution, and theres really no way for me to do it short of having a hybrid program.

So what sort of companies buy smoke machines? And short of calling every one of these types up and asking them, how can i figure which ones have it (like would autodesk tell me what companies have bought their machines)?



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chee keong hiu
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 17, 2008 at 6:42:13 am

We got 4 smokes here, we used to have 2 eQ.

We use smoke to do short form porgramme like promo. the long form format like programme which whatever over 2 minutues, will go to FCP studio suite.

and if anyone just want some fancy effect, type fly around, smoke, explossion, lights, then is better to go FCP studio with motion.

if anyone want a detail, quality, touch up, lot of roto, key, then go smoke.

autodesk smoke tips & trick
http://mysmoke.blogspot.com




Thanks
Ckeong


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David Ghast
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 17, 2008 at 7:14:40 am

Wow, going from smoke to FCP is like going from a porsche to a cadillac. I wish someone would explain the mac obsession thats been going around, never before in my life have i worked on a more malicious machine than i did when i was on a mac G5.



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chee keong hiu
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 17, 2008 at 10:02:50 am

i'm using smoke2008 currently, i used FCP, Shake, eQ before.
I think just because something is expensive, doesn't mean it's better in everyway. let not forget about Apple Shake, cost around US499, but it's a very powerful compositing tools,...but very slow...

i really recommend user of big brother eQ and Smoke, get to know apple Motion, Color, and Shake. You will "WOW", i wish my big brother smoke can do some of what Motion, Shake can do. Since there are so cheap, it doesn't hurt to have motion side by side with smoke.
Even smoke with plug in, still can't match motion in term of flying type around, particles.

The big brother is better in term of picture quality, key, and roto.

of course if you got the big budget, smoke, eQ, nitris would be a good choice.


Thanks
ckeong
autodesk smoke tips & tricks
http://mysmoke.blogspot.com


Thanks
Ckeong


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Del Holford
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:51:50 pm

All good comments. smoke is awesome but requires constant infusions of cash to upgrade versions and hardware. High end post and FX houses can handle this and finish their projects fast and at very high quality. We are a community licensed Public TV station and our cash infusions ended about 3 years ago.

We are county funded for capital spending and they cut our budget so when hardware went end of life we started to hold our breath. We're two years past EOL on storage - 1 year EOL on fire and 6 months EOL on smoke (storage also 2 years EOL). So if you don't work for a high end operation you can't afford to buy it on your own and training gives you a good start but as one poster said, if you don't use it you forget it. It took me about 1.5 years to get up to speed from a Sony 9000 linear system because all the dialog with the system is brand new. I learned Discreet edit in a couple weeks and did 5 half hour programs in the first 6 months with Boris FX and Inscriber CG. Then I went to fire and smoke full time and love them but will go to FCStudio2 in the next month or so as I can't hold my breath any longer.

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


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John Watts
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 26, 2008 at 8:09:49 pm

The combination of AE, FCP or AVID, etc.. is very cost effective and does a lot. There just has to be quite of bit of patience for the rendering.
I believe what you get out of Smoke for the money is speed. It's the fastest compositor I've every worked with. But it is expensive and the plug-in's, service contracts and upgrades are all ridiculously overpriced.
You also get one of the best video signals, clean keys, and great color correction that is pretty much unmatched by any Avid or FCP video card.
As far as learning Smoke...it does have a tough learning curve and takes time and patience at first. I was hired to learn a new system years ago and now do freelance Smoke editing in the market. There are not that many systems out there compared to Avids and FCP's.

John Watts


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Chris Ruckert
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Sep 30, 2008 at 8:42:01 pm

my story:
I flew up to Montreal, took a 5 day course back in 2003 (smoke version 5)
I paid $2500 plus expenses, but then again, Montreal is a great city.

I though aliens had invented the system and the first day of class. It was mind boggling and unlike anything else I had touched. Confusing.
Others in the class already had experience, and access to smokes before the class.

As I watched snow blowing by a window in Discreet headquarters I thought that was like my $$$ blowing out the window.
I grabbed the manual, read the first 200 pages that night after class on the system. Did the same the second night.
In the end I did not get too much out of the class, but a start.
Discreet was nice enough to invite me to their Christmas party friday, after the last day of class.

I freelanced almost for free and took my lumps (for sure)
Begged and borrowed time.

today I am doing finishing on commercials. The $2500+ paid for itself many times over.

just my story, hope it helps.







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Brian Holter
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Feb 20, 2009 at 7:24:38 pm

I am demoing Smoke right now, so I dont know much about it, but i do know that it is in the hybrid range you are asking for. Its probably the best system out there that can do both high end compositing and online editing, but dont forget about Avid DS. The learning curve is much lower on DS than it is on Smoke if you have a background in anything like FCP, Media Composer, Premiere, etc. You can also get a free version of DS from Avid's website to download and try out the software (http://www.avid.com/forms/info.asp?iTrackingID=DSTRIALDL), something that to my knowledge is impossible on smoke. I believe a turnkey system from Avid for DS is around $70k, which is much more palatable for management than the $100,000+ you have to spend for Smoke (which ends up being virtually identical hardware - hp xw8600, aja Xena/Kona K3 card, hard drive array, etc.)

If you find yourself having a difficult time locating a smoke to learn on, give the free version of DS a look. It has had node based compositing since the earliest version and would be way ahead of Smoke in both compositing and editing if Avid had ANY idea of what type of system they actually have. But sadly, Avid doesnt have a clue which has become all too obvious in the pro world because you never hear a young professional come in to an online house looking to learn DS, but as soon as I announced that I was demoing a smoke system i was flooded with emails.



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David Ghast
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Feb 20, 2009 at 8:58:23 pm

Thanks for the link brian, it looks like they are giving away the entire program for free!!! well,it cant do 4:4:4, and whatever IO and machine control is, but thats not a big deal for anyone outside of film.



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Brian Holter
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Feb 20, 2009 at 9:42:38 pm

It has no machine control, which means that you cannot control any deck to capture or output to. Basically, they give you the software for free so that you can learn it, but it has all of its I/O disabled. I dont know if it has saving disabled, but even still you can see all of the features on there. You wouldn't need 4:4:4 for learning software anyway, when training, video is video.


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David Ghast
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:42:08 pm

Meh, forget it then if i cant even output to see what my final product will look like. As far as im concerned, smoke and nitris are all overrated, even if they can process film in real time. Its essentially a powerful desktop, which anyone can build for a fraction of the price, with a nuke frontend and an editor attached to it, which really is its only redeeming quality.



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Brian Holter
Re: Smoke pretty much describes it.
on Feb 20, 2009 at 11:46:16 pm

The flexibility that you are allowed when working in a system where you can both edit and composite within the same interface is not something that should be considered overrated, especially if you are working in a high paced professional atmosphere. Creating new media to pass between software can lead to problems organizing and overrun hard drives if you are not proactive about cleaning out unnecessary media.

Whether or not those issues are worth avoiding by spending tens of thousands of dollars more for equipment is really what is up for debate.

Good luck.
-Brian


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