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Smac + long form

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Don Greening
Smac + long form
on Jun 28, 2012 at 5:01:50 am

I did a search for long form (1 hour or more) editing in this forum but couldn't find anything relevant. How realistic is it to use the new Smoke for editing from start to finish? Are there any caveats to doing this as opposed to continuing to do the basic edit in FCP7 and finish in Smoke? Does Smoke still perform okay with a 2 hour timeline? Since FCP Legacy will soon be consigned to the history e-books I'd like like to know if anyone is actually doing long form stuff in, I guess it would be Smoke for Mac 2012 and earlier. BTW, I'm using the 2013 demo and am loving it.

Cheers,

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Grant Kay
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 28, 2012 at 9:46:37 am

Hi Don,

In the past, editors always viewed Smoke as a finishing system rather than a true editor. Even Smoke's old workflows contributed to this factor. (but there were the few people who use it as their editor daily)

With Smoke 2013 and the re-design, I would be much more confident to say that you could possibly do an entire edit, including longform, in Smoke from beginning to end. Keep in mind that it probably doesn't have all the bells and whistles that AVID or FCP has because it is still early days for Smoke but I am always happy to suggest more features to the team.

I would suggest giving it a try under non-pressurising circumstances and let us know how you get on so that we can try improve the experience in future releases.

Hope this helps!

Regards
Grant

Check out my Smoke blog at http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel - SMOKEHOWTOS
Follow me on Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/discreetuk


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Don Greening
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 28, 2012 at 9:16:54 pm

[Grant Kay] "Hope this helps!"

It does indeed help, as do your excellent tutorials. It's very easy to follow along which is probably why you were asked to do them. My other query is if you have a link to the tutorials you did with Rick Young entitled: "Smoke for FCP Editors." I'm having an awful time trying to find them again @ area.autodesk.com. I saw one and was hooked. TIA

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Grant Kay
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 29, 2012 at 8:59:51 am

Hi Don,

Here is the link to the full series - http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk/autodesk_smoke_for_final_cut_pro_...

Just be aware that it is for Smoke 2012 and not Smoke 2013.... So smoke looks different and works differently however the creative functionality and power is still there....

Many thanks!

Regards
Grant

Check out my Smoke blog at http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel - SMOKEHOWTOS
Follow me on Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/discreetuk


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Hans von Sonntag
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 29, 2012 at 1:37:34 pm

I've done quite a few long form projects with Smoke on Mac. The first ones were edited in FCP/PP and then conformed in Smoke and later re-edited quite heavily. The last one got edited almost entirely in Smoke.

One very important aspect with editing long-form film projects is to break them up into 15min pieces, sort of chapters. I know by testing that Smoke 2012 can handle a 45min TL with tons of CWs and many other soffteffects such as Text, sound effects etc... But you need a fast raid and lots of RAM in your machine. Otherwise things might get sticky. Anyway, you are much better of with say 6 x 15min. than with one 90min. TL.

Also it's important to watch the libraries' size in the usr/discreet/clip/stonef7/YourProject. When they grow much over 16MB be warned. There have been times when massive libraries forced Smoke to take minutes and minutes, and many more minutes to start. I don't know how AD improved this in the last versions but 2010 was quite sensitive in this regard.

You can control the size of the libraries by braking them in a few new libraries. Generally, smoke likes well organized footage, versions and VFX renders all put into single libraries. Please remember that the edit desk is in Smoke's world a library of it's own. Hence, it makes sense not to keep all the versions of your project on the EditDesk. This way you keep the EditDesk's library size relatively small. Keep the different versions/TLs in their own corresponding library and load them onto the Desk only when you need them.

I have no idea how Smoke 2013 will deal with that, the media hub is somewhat different to the legacy library system. I guess I will find out shortly.

All this is of no concern, of course, if you do a "typical" Smoke/Flame project such as 30 sec. TVCs or promos.

Lastly, Smoke is not the only editor that needs a caring hand when it comes to big projects with tons of assets. We all know that FCP, AVID and PP like it a lot when a project is broken up in a few chapters.

Editing on 2013 improved vastly, except the missing drag and drop feature from the source to the TL that was available in 2012 and before. I'm sure it will be back soon.

I don't see any real obstacles to use 2013 as my main NLE, on the contrary - I can't want for the release build.

Hans


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Kevin Johnson
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 29, 2012 at 3:12:25 pm

Jumping into a long form project in beta software probably isn't recommended...you are just asking for trouble.

Lots of good info from Hans. I would argue that Smoke is designed for conforming feature films, so managing a 2 hour timeline shouldn't be a problem. However in an offline environment, with lots of source material, logging, etc, I think Smoke2013 still needs to be tested.

Or you could jump all in, and blog about your experience...and hopefully all goes smoothly!

Kevin Johnson

Autodesk Smoke Artist
FCP Editor
Washington, DC


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Don Greening
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 29, 2012 at 6:35:42 pm

Hans and Kevin, thank you both for your sage advice and recommendations, which is always welcomed. It's a bit of a shame that it isn't September already as I just finished editing (only) a full length feature that was shot in Australia. I used FCP 7.0.3 for this but would have liked to have tried it in Smac 2013.

I'll try to snare another long form project for the fall and will keep a running diary about the experience.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Michael Aranyshev
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 30, 2012 at 6:58:03 pm

[Hans von Sonntag] "We all know that FCP, AVID and PP like it a lot when a project is broken up in a few chapters."

I cannot say anything about Media Composer or Premiere but regarding FCP breaking the project apart is the wrong strategy for longform. The solution is to keep the number of sequences to a minimum. Don't edit scenes in separate sequences and your project would be lean, fast to open and save. I bet with Smoke there must be some better practices to keep the project manageable without breaking it into smaller chunks. The editor needs to see the whole thing while cutting because the audience is most likely to watch the film as a whole piece.


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walter biscardi
Re: Smac + long form
on Jul 1, 2012 at 12:47:34 pm

[Michael Aranyshev] "I cannot say anything about Media Composer or Premiere but regarding FCP breaking the project apart is the wrong strategy for longform. The solution is to keep the number of sequences to a minimum."

Actually that's precisely the strategy we followed with FCP for all our long-form work, mainly documentaries where we would end up with in the neighborhood of 100 cuts before the project was completed. We followed Shane Ross' excellent guide "Getting Organized in Final Cut Pro" here on the Cow.

One project for Capture

One project for audio.

One project for Editing. If the documentary was in clear sections, we would have a project for each section.

Then the Master Project to bring all the final sequences together.

It's a perfect strategy for long form as it lessens the load on the machine, especially when you get to the Master Project which ONLY has the final sequences in it.

When working with a client, there's no real way to "keep sequences to a minimum" as you never know when the client is going to say "remember that section we were working on two days ago? Let's go back to that instead." We always start a brand new sequence with each major change we're making to a timeline.

I haven't quite figured out yet if Smoke is going to work as well as I hope for longform as I have not had the chance to really test that part of the application out.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Michael Aranyshev
Re: Smac + long form
on Jul 2, 2012 at 2:59:04 pm

[walter biscardi] "We always start a brand new sequence with each major change we're making to a timeline."

Saving a project state to be able to go back to is one thing. Keeping Rough Cut, Fine Cut, Finer Cut, Still Finer Cut, Almost Final Cut, Definitely Final Cut, Rainy Afternoon Cut and so on sequences in the same project is completely another.


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Don Greening
Re: Smac + long form
on Jun 29, 2012 at 6:28:39 pm

Grant, thanks very much for the link and yes, I'm aware that the tutorials are based on the 2012 version.

Cheers,

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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