We run a facility with various macs as well as a DS all fibre attached to Avid Unity.
We are considering adding an extra suite to ease the finishing bottleneck and I have been interested in the Smoke for Mac. I watched some of the tech demo videos and it looks like there could be a unity workflow. I noticed it supports DNxHD media, I am wondering if it would support MXF 2:1 SD or MPEG50i?
Presumably we could attach with a fibre card the mac to Unity and pass an aaf from the avids to conform to the MXF media?
Will this work?
Also is anyone clear on what is and isn't available with the mac version. By all accounts I gather sparks (plugins to a DS user) and Batch (or tree compositing to a DS user) are not on the mac version, I guess they will come at some point. What kind of compositing is there without batch? Is it more layer type compositing?
Sorry for all the questions, but last ones.... As well as a highly spec'ed mac, we will need an AJA Kona (any particular card version) for capture and output and a raid array for storage. What do people recommend and what rough costs are they?
Thanks for help!!
P.S. what kind of support is available, especially if I was to put together a turnkey system?
[Max Burgess]"What kind of compositing is there without batch? Is it more layer type compositing?"
Exactly, it's layer-based. Fortunately, the Modular Keyer is included in Smoke for Mac, which allows you to create and tweak your own keyers in almost the same way that you can in node-based compositing apps.
There's an outstanding demo of the Modular Keyer pipeline here:
[Max Burgess]"As well as a highly spec'ed mac, we will need an AJA Kona (any particular card version) for capture and output and a raid array for storage. What do people recommend and what rough costs are they? "
The currently publicized system hardware requirements specify the following:
8-Core Mac Pro
12GB RAM (preferred)
AJA Kona 3
nVidia Quadro FX 4800 or 5600
RAID capable of 500MB/sec. sustained throughput (dual-stream HD)
Smoke Advanced and Smoke Mac need very fast RAID systems t become interesting tools, particularly in HD. The ISIS 5000 cannot deliver the data rates that are needed for uncompressed HD DPX files, which is what the smoke natively works in. I have a Terrablock that can do the trick but when you invest in this sort of money, you are best off getting a dedicated high performance raid system. On the other hand, the unity or ISIS could be used to access media. Also, the AvidFS id not to all apps liking, but my tests as a near side server solution have been pretty positive.