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Some general smoke questions...

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Lau Leck Gee
Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 18, 2011 at 9:45:14 am

Hi guys,

I am very new to smoke and I have some generic questions which I hope you guys can give me advice on...

1. Did anyone try using smoke on a 27'' iMAC? How well does it perform?

2. How important is the graphic card when running smoke for MAC? Does it make a difference when you use a NVidia Quadro or a ATI Radeon?

3. How important are sapphire plugins for smoke for MAC? Do you really need to buy them to work efficiently? Can the build in flame fx do the same thing as sapphire?

Thank you in advance! All advice greatly appreciated :)

Eric.



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Frederic Warren
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 18, 2011 at 11:28:45 am

Hello,

Welcome to the world of Smoke. I hope you will like it!

Here are some answers to your questions:

1. They won't be any User Interface problem. You might have issues with some timing if the monitor doesn't support some refresh rates, but I know some people who are using and don't have any problem. However, you will need to make some custom changes to your xorg file to make this work since it is not a configuration that we certified (which means it is not officially supported)

2. You can have a look at the following web page to have an idea of the Graphic crads that you can use:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?siteID=123112&id=14961350

Please make sure to have a look at the "recommended" graphic cards here:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/cert?siteID=123112&id=16391880

3. The Flame FX tools should reduce your need of Sapphire Sparks. It's up to you to decide if there are some tools that you need in their package. I'll let other users share their experience on this topic.

fred

Frédéric Warren

Product Designer - Creative Finishing
Autodesk Media & Entertainment


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Lau Leck Gee
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 19, 2011 at 1:35:20 am

Hi Warren,

You mentioned making changes to the xorg file. What is a xorg file and how do I change it?

Regards.

Eric.



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Frederic Warren
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 19, 2011 at 1:51:42 pm

You may require to make changes to the xorg file to run a custom configuration. This include using a 27" monitor.

fred

Frédéric Warren

Product Designer - Creative Finishing
Autodesk Media & Entertainment


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Hillary Knox
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:47:20 pm

First of all, I'll say that using Smoke on an iMac will only get you so far because there's no real way to properly monitor what you're doing and no real way to connect external storage that is really fast enough. However...

1. I can/have run the trial version of Smoke on my 2010 27" iMac i7 2.93 - 16 GB RAM - Radeon 5750 1GB. It definitely works, probably better than you would expect, considering the limitations.

I haven't really gone deep into compositing with Smoke yet...so far the biggest (only?) disappointment I've had has been with De-noising footage. Unless I'm very slow, careful, & patient while de-noising, things can get pretty freeze-y and crash-y. As a practical matter, I'd say de-noising 1080p on an iMac is outside the range of reasonable expectations. However, there is every possibility/probability that I'm not doing things 100% properly, although I followed the Grant Kay tutorial pretty much to the letter.

2. Very important. However, this is a lot of assumption on my part since I've never worked with Smoke with anything other than my home iMac. Let's put it this way, although Smoke works surprisingly well on my iMac, it definitely has performance limitations that I can only assume are caused by 2 things: external storage is Firewire 800 and no Quadro card. I'm sure that if you have properly fast storage and a smokin' Quadro card (no pun intended) - on a Mac Pro of course - these limitations would largely disappear. Maybe when/if they get Thunderbolt really happening with external graphics adapters this could change.

3. You can get plenty done without Sapphire plugins, or any 3rd party plugins. I mean, it depends what you want to do of course, but if you're new to Smoke, you're going to have PLENTY of other stuff to get your head around before even thinking about adding or dealing with anything outside of the core application.


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Marc-André Ferguson
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 19, 2011 at 3:52:23 pm

The 2011 27" iMac has a Thunderbolt port, which opens up a realm of interesting storage configurations for Smoke.
At the Atlanta Cutters inaugural meeting, we demonstrated Smoke 2012 running on a MacBookPro with a Promise Pegasus R6. It rocks. Check it out :


Marc-André Ferguson
Smoke Industry Manager
Autodesk Media&Entertainment

Follow me on Twitter : @iluminance
Find out more about Smoke for Mac : autodesk.com/smokeformac


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Hillary Knox
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 20, 2011 at 1:59:37 am

Yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and agree with myself & everybody else that the graphics card is pretty important. Like I said, I'm on a relatively new (2010)/loaded 27" i7 iMac. So far, color correction & noise reduction have resulted in pretty consistent crashes with 1080p ProRes material. Editorial has been fine so far. Haven't tried much compositing yet. I'm pretty sure that this iMac Radeon card isn't supported anyway. Not sure about the 2011 (iMac, not Smoke release).


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Walter Soyka
Re: Some general smoke questions...
on Aug 18, 2011 at 5:18:56 pm

[Lau Leck Gee] "2. How important is the graphic card when running smoke for MAC? Does it make a difference when you use a NVidia Quadro or a ATI Radeon"

The graphics card is very important.

See this recent thread [link] suggesting that the ATI Radeon 5780 vastly outperforms the NVIDIA Quadro 4000.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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