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Jean-Marc Laurin
Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 14, 2010 at 4:50:02 pm

I am currently testing smoke on a 2.93GHz macBookPro It seems to be working fine, but when I upgraded my finalcutstudio to version 3, conflicts seem to arise. I have an eSATA ProAvio 4x diskdrive running with an addonics XpressCard/34, and I can get 24fps HD playback if cropped at 2:35. FullRez HD drops frames after a few seconds. Will upgrade to sonnet xpresscard soon. They claim I can get 200Mbs out of the expresscard slot so I will give this a try since 24fps8bitHD requires between 180/190 Mbs.

I can access a remote stone on a ip network so that when working in my linux suite, i can actually use my laptop as a remote working station side-by-side, or on any table with an ethernet connection nearby. Sort of like a killer backdraft/burn/precomp station. I actually completed a whole national commercial spot with comp/tracking/paint using media on a remote stone running another live session with clients while I was upstairs in another room. When those clients left, my clients walked right in and i did my presentation as if I had been in my suite all day.

Conforming a red XML from final Cut is a snap with the integrated wiretap import tools built in, or html app. You can actually use any GUID partitioned disk through diskutil as a stone. Archiving material to USB disk is easy (albeit slow - probably faster to wire from the linux-stone to the usb disk), and I actually finished my HD session on the train with a 350G usb drive powered by my MacBook battery. I did everything in 720x405 proxy rez since no HD RTplayback and refresh was slow, but still managed to get an hours' work done without power supply. Almost missed my stop. Tweaked everything after my kids went to bed and presented to clients the next morning in studio.

Seemed to render soft FX just fine, but again, updating FinalCutStudio2 to FinalCutStudio3 may create some conflicts. 10bit HD multilayered SoftFX renders crash after a few minutes. (Remote stone via Ethernet) Probably has to do with the NVIDIA 9600G memory allocation limits. Local stone renders through eSATA seem fine. SmokeMac Crashes when i load an action with several different resolutions in the source clips, but had no problem with my old FinalCutStudio2 setup. Console now gives me an adobelivetype conflict message.

After testing extensively with actual HD production footage in a real studio environment, I would'nt recommend using smoke/mac on a laptop as a main production tool, unless you have FinalCutStudio for IO and audio playback and presentation using the publish/DPXtoQT workflow and an AJAioHD module. (Which works fantastic by the way). But for precomps, rotos, keys, paint, dusting, stabilising, archiving, FinalCut RED XML conforming and parallel session work, it is a fabulous idea, and has saved me from doing any overtime (!). Would actually consider it as a ProxyRez offline/pre-finishing station. Can't wait for CORE Audio support.

Flare on mac mid 2011 perhaps ? I hope i hope i hope ! Things will definitely change. When expensive flame-based studios are bleeding all over the place because of rapidly adaptable nuke/afterfx based houses, things will definitely have to change in a more flexible direction for post houses. Autodesk knows this, but we can't ask a long-standing company to completely revolve itself around in the space of a year or two. Smoke on Mac is definitely a move in the right direction.

Have fun !


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Barry Goch
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:20:31 am

Great Post. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I just had a few questions if you don't mind. How much RAM are you running on your laptop. I'm assuming that you're using a 17", no?

Barry


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Jean-Marc Laurin
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:21:35 pm

Here are my specs

-MacBook Pro 17" Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93 GHz, 350G boot drive
-8 GB RAM
-NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT - 512 MB vRAM
-4x1TB eSATA ProAvio RAID 0 via addonics xpresscard/34 (120 mb/s)
-AJA ioHD 10bit hd portable io module via FinalCutStudio3 using firewire800 port

voilĂ 


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Philip Ohler
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:01:11 pm

Just for a hoot I tried to install on my 15" 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with 4 gigs of RAM. Get hung up on the startup with a failed Stone+Wire connection. Not sure if there's a way around this. Hey Barry long time!



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Jean-Marc Laurin
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:20:56 pm

I hope CORE audio gets support soon. At this rate, it won't be hard to choose between a portable smoke licence or renting a condo downtown.


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Jean-Marc Laurin
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 15, 2010 at 5:12:31 pm

Have you tried formatting your drive as a GUID partition and then using the smoke setup utility to mount the drive ? The user interface works great. Be sure to have a manually programmed ip address in your network sharing preferences, as the stone media folder is located via an IP address. If you change your IP address to automatic, chances are you will lose your connection next time you start smoke.

JM


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Barry Goch
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:14:12 am

JM,

Thanks for the tip about the static IP address. I've heard about that before too.

Barry


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Philip Ohler
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:49:03 pm

Yeah I've run into the IP issue. Turns out my MBP isn't booting into 64bit kernel. That could be a problem.



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Barry Goch
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:12:23 am

Too long...are you in LA or still in NY?


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Philip Ohler
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:44:09 pm

In NYC. Looking to Smoke for a career shift. What about you? I'm on Twitter follow me! Username is themacdaddy.


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Jean-Marc Laurin
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:44:08 am

Solved the crash in action with multiple rez sources files. Your stone has to be fast enough to create A different media partition for each file with a different Rez. (remember the days). I tried using a USB drive = crash. My ProAvio eSata stone works fine.


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Albert Fortgang
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:31:25 pm

damn you have to make a blog about this !!!!!



Albert Fortgang
Smoke Artist
albert@newartmiami.com


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Jean-Marc Laurin
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Mar 17, 2010 at 3:13:17 pm

Can also remotely render a batch fx created with a smoke advanced on a linux. Render speed is IDENTICAL (a few seconds faster) to main linux version running on HP xw9400.

OK so how much is a burn licence ?

JM


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Barry Goch
Re: Smoke on a MacBookPro.... It Works !!! A Few workable bugs.
on Apr 25, 2010 at 3:57:42 pm

Burn Licenses are now free, from what I understand.

Barry


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