I've been using Avid DS quite happily for 10 years now doing everything from broadcast promotions, show opens, and daily news graphics. The current system, DS 7.6 Nitris, is quite long in the tooth. If Avid had kept up with the times and done CREATIVE development with the DS rather than only adding technical developments (bug fixes, adding codecs) they might have a viable modern product, and we would happily upgrade. There seems to be no development in DS for several years now. I guess DS is dead.
Which leads me to search for an alternative.
I'm researching Smoke for a Mac now. (Smack!) I've heard good things in general, but bad things in specifics:
The Trees in DS are apparently similar to "Batch" in Smoke, but I'm reading there is NO batch in Smoke on a Mac. Does this really mean there is no tree-style compositing in Smack? I'd hate to take that step backwards!
I've also read that the clips in Smoke do not carry alpha information. This has been my bread and butter in DS, and, again, it seems like a step backwards to have to manage alpha clips separately. Am I misunderstanding this, or is this not really an issue in practice?
I shall likely have many, many more questions about Smack in the future, as I'm really just researching to determine if this is indeed the product we need to go the job.