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Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac

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Kishore N. Chabria
Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 25, 2009 at 12:44:04 pm

Hello folks,

Warm greetings and Merry Christmas wishes from India. Smoke on Mac suddenly seems a viable option for me mainly becaue Autodesk has finally unshackled it from being hardware locked. I have a few questions and would be delighted to receive answers from those who know more about it.

1) Would Smoke on Mac support dual display and like FCP Preview video on the second monitor?

2) If I work only with compressed Pro-res HQ SD/HD footage will I stil need a Fibre Channel RAID doing 450+ MB/sec or can I get away with my present config of Apple RAID 0 by striping four 1TB SATA 2 drives and booting externally thru a LaCie firewire 800 drive on my MacPro?

Warm regards,

Kishore N. Chabria

Proprietor
Graphtech Studio
51 Radheya 14th. Rd. Khar(W)
Mumbai 400052
India
graphtech@gmail.com
http://www.graphtechstudio.com







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Nigel Thompson
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:20:49 pm

hey Kishore !

1. Smoke will NOT support dual display, they specifically say that in one of the clips i saw from Autodesk. but you are goin to need a 23 inch monitor.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=123112&id=12694141

2. im sure striping those four drives internally will work. But for me, i always say, if you can do it right the first time, DO IT, dont try to cut corners to save money because you will always end up in a jam later on. If you cant afford it and can start that way and step up later on, then by all means yes. But never try to cut corners in this business, you will have to learn the hard way.

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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Kishore N. Chabria
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 29, 2009 at 3:50:12 pm

Thanks Nigel and Alan for your inputs. Yes indeed it is good wisdom to go for what Autodesk recommends but coming from the Media100 and then FCP world where competition is cut throat and budgets are tight I would like to make an economic hassle free jump. Ofcourse if I'm gonna shell out 15K for Smoke I'm definitely going to put a Kona3 and the Quadro 4800 card in my MacPro with atleast 8GB RAM. The RAID part I was contemplating an internal one as I can easily get 400+MB/sec with what I'm suggesting. Sure if there are hiccups I'd go for Fibre Channel and SAS drives but with uncompressed 444 RGB standard def files in PAL world I think I've got the headroom to plunge in.

Best regards,

Kishore Chabria



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Nigel Thompson
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 29, 2009 at 4:30:42 pm

Hey Kishore,

I understand your concerns as i myself did media100/Avid/premiere and even a little flint in my freelance days, and now owning my own facility based on FCS, i know exactly what you mean.
BUT ... Autodesk recommends 500MB+, because remember Smoke renders uncompressed RGB so u are gonna need the speed for those renders. so even if you get a small raid that can give u that throughput.

http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-speed-es.cfm

something like that, BUT the best thing is to speak to your Autodesk dealer where u are, and they will guide you best as per your options.

im definately getting a smoke next year so keep in touch maybe we can trade ideas.

email me ntblkice@gmail.com

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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moody glasgow
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 29, 2009 at 7:11:35 pm

Autodesk reccomends 500mb/s + for a good reason. You can run into all sorts of problems if your storage system can't provide the bandwidth needed by the Smoke. Things will go wrong if you use a substandard storage system, and you will have a hard time getting support from Autodesk when you don't meet the minimum specs.

Honestly, a good RAID 5 (don't rely on RAID 0) is going to cost you around $8k. If you are doing it over eSATA you are looking at a 12 or 16 drive array to achieve 500 mb/s. Maybe someone with more knowledge of storage systems has an idea of a RAID 5 system that can do it for less.



moody glasgow
smoke/flame


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Nigel Thompson
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 30, 2009 at 10:43:35 am

Hey Moody:

Why No RAID 0 ?

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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moody glasgow
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 30, 2009 at 4:58:14 pm

Why no RAID 0? Because hard drives, more than any other piece of computer equipment fail. And in RAID 0 that means everything is gone. RAID 5 gives you protection against that failure, but at a slight speed and size penalty.
Think about this, if any particular HD has a certain chance of failure, you have to multiply that chance of failure by the number of drives in your RAID. So the larger the RAID the more important it becomes to use RAID 5.
With our RAID 5, a drive fails, we poop it out and replace it and go on with zero downtime.

moody glasgow
smoke/flame


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Nigel Thompson
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 30, 2009 at 5:12:35 pm

OK yea

Redundancy i totally understand, but i thought it had something to do with smokes setup.

thanks

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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Kishore N. Chabria
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Jan 2, 2010 at 1:09:43 pm

Hey Nigel,

Yes I'm looking at investing on Mac Smoke early 2010 so I will be in touch for sure.
One more question haunts me. We are all talking about 500MB/sec required. I believe you guys are referring to uncompressed HD 1080/60p going all the way to 500MB/s.
What if I were doing uncompressed SD PAL?
Wouldnt even my 400MB/sec be sufficient?

So atleast I can start with it?

Best regards,

Kishore



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Nigel Thompson
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Jan 3, 2010 at 9:22:25 pm

Cool !

Keep me informed. You got my email address right ?
ntblkice@gmail.com

I strongly suggest getting the system recommendations dude.
I'm hoping to get mine in by middle of this year if all goes well (fingers crossed) but i already have FCS running on another system so im planning on getting this :

http://www.proavio.com/RS16FS.html

B&H has it for just under 7k

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/576421-REG/PROAVIO_RS16FS_12_0TB_12TB...

i think it a great deal, capable of in excess of 600MB per second, which is enough for single stream 2k. ALWAYS have head room, you never know what will pop up.

Especially when word gets out that you have a smoke ..... your client list is going to blow wide open.

Keep me posted. Happy finishing dude

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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Kishore N. Chabria
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Jan 4, 2010 at 1:49:53 pm

Thanks Nigel for the link to the 12TB FC Disk Array. Yes I have your email id and will definitely be in touch. Autodesk is planning a demo sometimes end of Jan or early Feb 2010 and they are talking about selling only turnkey systems as of now so let's see what happens.
So far it sounds damn exciting on paper!!

Will keep in touch.
Thanks

Warm regards

Kishore



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Alan Okey
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:25:23 pm

[Kishore N. Chabria] "1) Would Smoke on Mac support dual display and like FCP Preview video on the second monitor? "

No, the Smoke GUI is only supported on a single monitor. Video preview is only available on the main monitor or on an external broadcast monitor connected to a Kona 3 card.

[Kishore N. Chabria] "2) If I work only with compressed Pro-res HQ SD/HD footage will I stil need a Fibre Channel RAID doing 450+ MB/sec or can I get away with my present config of Apple RAID 0 by striping four 1TB SATA 2 drives and booting externally thru a LaCie firewire 800 drive on my MacPro? "

Autodesk recommends a 500MB/sec. RAID for use with Smoke. Smoke renders all intermediates in uncompressed RGB, so realtime performance is dependent upon fast storage.

Smoke is not designed to run on merely any off-the-shelf Mac at this time. Autodesk has very stringent hardware requirements for Smoke on the Mac:

2009 8-core Mac Pro
6-12GB RAM
nVidia Quadro FX 4800
AJA Kona 3

Any other configuration is currently unsupported by Autodesk.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be willing to take a $15,000 gamble just to see if Smoke worked on an unsupported hardware configuration.

Besides, why would you even want to run Smoke on a substandard system? The benefits of Smoke are its fast workflow and realtime or near-realtime capabilities. Hobbling Smoke by running it on substandard hardware defeats purpose of using Smoke to begin with.


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Nigel Thompson
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:38:59 pm

OK so My question is this.

Since Smoke performs all renders in Uncompressed RGB, It would be wise (for speed sake) to capture or convert your footage (lets say RED R3D files) to uncompressed RGB media instead of something like PRORES, that way the system wont have to go through the hassle of de coding the info (codec) to do the render, therefore making the process faster ?

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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Alan Okey
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:29:14 pm

[Nigel Thompson] "Since Smoke performs all renders in Uncompressed RGB, It would be wise (for speed sake) to capture or convert your footage (lets say RED R3D files) to uncompressed RGB media instead of something like PRORES, that way the system wont have to go through the hassle of de coding the info (codec) to do the render, therefore making the process faster ? "

I asked almost the exact same question in an earlier post. I don't know Autodesk's official position on this, but your statement makes sense in theory. I don't know if just because it sounds good in theory means that the results are measurably beneficial in practice. Certainly uncompressed RGB media will demand more available free space on the RAID!

Really what it boils down to in Autodesk terms is whether there's any performance benefit to doing a hard import vs. a soft import. The on-the-fly transcoding that's required when working with soft imported media may well be the reason that Autodesk specifies a 2009 8-core Mac Pro for Smoke.

Hard imports automatically transcode data to uncompressed RGB. Back in the Discreet days , this was the only available option when using Flame, Smoke, etc., and the only storage option available was the ridiculously expensive Stone disk arrays that used Discreet's proprietary Stone FS filesystem. I suspect this was the case because they needed to squeeze every last bit of performance from the disk array, and there was a lot less available bandwidth in previous generations of disk and disk controller interfaces. Discreet was able to get better throughput performance by writing and implementing its own filesystem than by using SGI's native xfs filesystem. While xfs is no slouch, it may have had too many unneeded features that got in the way of Discreet's goal of maximum throughput with minimum overhead. Autodesk has EOLed Stone FS, most likely because the greater bandwidth afforded by modern disk and disk controller hardware has eliminated the need for proprietary filesystems.


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Rob Lederman
Re: Dual monitor and Pro-res on Smoke on Mac
on Jan 11, 2010 at 5:44:13 pm

Had to chime in. I just finished up a 4-day project, my 1st on SMAC (Smoke on Mac). Ftg loaded from tape, graphics soft imported. System worked great. BTW-We have a 30" monitor, 16 gigs of RAM. Was on Linux 2010, and can not tell any difference so far in speed...

-Rob

Rob Lederman
Sr. Smoke Editor / Compositor
North Avenue Post
rob@northavenuepost.com


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