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So how is Smoke 2013 then?

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Steve Connor
So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:12:26 pm

Has anyone had a chance to try it yet and if so what do you think?

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Lance Bachelder
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:20:43 pm

Tried it briefly - pretty slow on my old Mac Pro. 1 to 4 seconds after hitting play delay. Too deep for a quick test or opinion but that may be the issue - too deep for my work anyways...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Bret Williams
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:54:00 am

We're you using H264? It was night and day between that and ProRes. But if it can't handle native H264, then I might as well use FCP 7 until it doesn't work anymore.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 5:06:42 am

Yes some DSLR clips - very slow. ProRES MUCH better.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Curtis Schmidt
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:34:31 pm

Got a chance to play around with it yesterday. I love it. I still have a lot to figure out but I think it is going to be a solution in a post world of problems. Thanks Autodesk!


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Jason Bernagozzi
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:48:24 pm

Not crazy about the interface. It has some major issues ingesting 1080p60 AVCHD footage on my older Macbook Pro (intel core duo 2, 8 gigs ram, Nvidia 9400M), but that's not surprising. I have to play with it more to be able to judge it better, but first impressions are "meh".


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Bret Williams
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 1:01:09 am

Well, first it has a big button right there on the timeline to turn magnetics (ripple) on or off. It's actually pretty smart. Instead of having a zillion tools, they only have a few and the ripple modifier button.

But I'm using the exact system they demo it on and native h264 is sluggish as hell. Useless really. ProRes is better, but still scrubbing ans miving around the interface seems like it should be snapppier. Lots of click and wait to see if it did something. They have a long way to go, but it's obviously a professional app. Settings for everything. The deeper you dig the more it becomes that horrendous interface we all knew of. Someone really needs to teach them a little about UI design. The same was always true of avid. So unorganized (I thought) with their UI that it was really a skill to use it. But as FCP 7 showed, there was a better way. If you leave the timeline or the media hub main interfaces, you're back to the stone age. Hopefully they'll be cleaning up as the software progresses.

It's limited to the editing right now. I can't find any scopes. Or an audio meter. No multicam. But I'll bet there's a drop shadow effect.

It doesn't work with my blackmagic intensity extreme or my mxo2. If that's not in the works I won't be ever purchasing it for my use. I think a subscription would be a better plan.

Overall it's overly complicated for even the simplest of tasks. And I guess that's the whole point of them redoing the software.


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Walter Soyka
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:50:46 pm

[Bret Williams] "The deeper you dig the more it becomes that horrendous interface we all knew of. Someone really needs to teach them a little about UI design. The same was always true of avid. So unorganized (I thought) with their UI that it was really a skill to use it. But as FCP 7 showed, there was a better way. If you leave the timeline or the media hub main interfaces, you're back to the stone age. Hopefully they'll be cleaning up as the software progresses. "

I kinda like the UI. I've talked before about the difference between an app that's easy to learn and easy to use. I think that Autodesk's UI is hard to learn (because it is so different than anything else we're used to), but once you learn it, it's easy to use (because it's both highly contextual to the task at hand, and highly consistent).

It feels very natural for me with a tablet -- almost like the way you'd work with physical tools in your hands -- but I'd agree it seems a bit less fluid with a mouse.

That said, Frederic Warren is the Flame/Smoke Senior User Experience Designer, and he's pretty active on the COW's Smoke 2013 forum [link]. I've had the opportunity to speak with him a little about the UI and its visual cues, and he is very open to constructive input. I'm sure he'd be very interested in any specific feedback you could offer there.

You might mention your H.264 issues, too, so that engineering can know to take a look.

Smoke 2013 is still pre-release software, and Autodesk is actively looking for feedback to make the product better before the production release.

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:17:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "It feels very natural for me with a tablet -- almost like the way you'd work with physical tools in your hands -- but I'd agree it seems a bit less fluid with a mouse."

Do you usually use your pen in "pen" mode? I always use mouse mode. This is taking some getting used to, plus it seem the buttons aren't mapped, and the wacom control panel seems to be ignored.

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 3:39:30 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Do you usually use your pen in "pen" mode? I always use mouse mode. This is taking some getting used to, plus it seem the buttons aren't mapped, and the wacom control panel seems to be ignored."

Yes, I always use pen mode. I think mouse mode with a pen would drive me mad.

I stopped using a mouse on my daily machine 5 or 6 years ago, switching to a trackball full-time. It took me about 2 weeks to get used to it. When I added the Wacom tablet to my workstation maybe 3 or 4 years ago, it took another week or two of near full-time use before it became my preferred input device.

I think prior versions of Smoke on Mac have ignored Wacom control panel settings and handled pen input directly, too.

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 3:52:22 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Yes, I always use pen mode. I think mouse mode with a pen would drive me mad."

I am the direct opposite! ;). I jumped on the Wacom bandwagon about 6ish years ago put of pure necessity.

I can't adjust my hand without adjusting the position of the pointer in pen mode, drives me bonkers especially when transiting from pen to keyboard. You also have to move your hands more, the bigger the Wacom the more movement. With mouse mode, I control the speed, and there's less movement (I have RSL issues).

A trackball would grind my arm to a halt, as does using a mouse for editing. The pen in mouse mode allows me to have the most control over movement, so it's hyper practical for my editing health! ;)

I see the value of pen in pen mode, but it is less efficient for me.

I hope they can fix it.


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Walter Soyka
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 4:25:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "With mouse mode, I control the speed, and there's less movement (I have RSL issues)."

If we're both talking about repetitive stress injury, it's funny how we can have two different solutions to the same problem. More movement (bigger, different motions) was helpful for me. Itty-bitty wrist movements with a mouse were what gave me trouble in the first place. Pen mode on a decent-sized surface forces you to use your elbow in addition to your wrist, and I've found it easier to use for longer periods of time. For me, I still have to switch input devices a bit over the course of the day -- hence, the trackball. Too many non-stop hours on the tablet gives me what I affectionately call "The Claw" from gripping the pen too hard.

Out of curiosity, what size tablet do you have? How much of its surface do you tend to cover in mouse mode?

Back to Smoke and pen mode, this means that those big clickable buttons on the bottom all have a real physical place -- they are on the same point on your tablet every time. That's part of what I think makes the interface feel different on a tablet than with a mouse.

Since you're a Wacom fan, you need a PenMoto [link]. It's a little magnetic ring that lets you flick your pen back and forth over your finger to get it out of the way for the keyboard and back in place for the tablet surface. It also took a little getting used to, but now I don't want to go back. (The habit became engrained enough that, without thinking, I tried to flick a soup spoon over my hand to go from eating to typing. Hilarity ensued.)

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 4:47:59 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Out of curiosity, what size tablet do you have? How much of its surface do you tend to cover in mouse mode?"

I had a huge one last time, then I upgraded to the intous4 and I think it's the medium size one.

What I like about the mouse mode is that I can firmly plant the heel of my hand on the tablet, set the speed of the tablet way up, and by not much movement I can cover the entire space of a 30" and 20" dual monitor setup without moving my wrist and hand too much. It's the hovering of the wrist/fingers that hurts me, the heel support is awesome. Then, if I do need to move my hand, I can pickup and set down without the mouse pointer moving.

[Walter Soyka] "Back to Smoke and pen mode, this means that those big clickable buttons on the bottom all have a real physical place -- they are on the same point on your tablet every time. That's part of what I think makes the interface feel different on a tablet than with a mouse."

Totally, I get it, and I do see the value. I like the Smoke interface, but I just need the mouse mode option. The pen mode option is too slow (meaning the pointer moves too slow) I am used to much faster, but that's my personal preference. Pen mode drives me bonkers as I find it less exact, actually. Again, it's just me.

I want to upgrade to the 5 as I like the touch features in Lion (yep, I'm more weird) but if Smoke doesn't allow me access to the Wacom control panel, it seems rather limiting as I can't customize to my liking.

[Walter Soyka] "Since you're a Wacom fan, you need a PenMoto [link]. It's a little magnetic ring that lets you flick your pen back and forth over your finger to get it out of the way for the keyboard and back in place for the tablet surface. It also took a little getting used to, but now I don't want to go back. (The habit became engrained enough that, without thinking, I tried to flick a soup spoon over my hand to go from eating to typing. Hilarity ensued.)"

That, my friend, is hilarious!


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Walter Soyka
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 4:54:50 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I want to upgrade to the 5 as I like the touch features in Lion (yep, I'm more weird) but if Smoke doesn't allow me access to the Wacom control panel, it seems rather limiting as I can't customize to my liking."

Have you used a 5 yet? I'm thinking about upgrading, too, but I'm a little nervous about accidental gesturing with the heel of my palm. Does the panel ignore accidental input like that intelligently?

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 4:54:56 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Have you used a 5 yet? I'm thinking about upgrading, too, but I'm a little nervous about accidental gesturing with the heel of my palm. Does the panel ignore accidental input like that intelligently?"

I haven't used one yet. I'd really like to see one in action.


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Gustavo Bermudas
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:15:21 am

I played a bit with it, I like it, but we have blackmagic cards on our machines, so for now it's not use, unless they incorporate Lustre for color correction we're sticking with DaVinci Resolve at the moment.


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Robert Brown
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:38:48 am

[Gustavo Bermudas] "
I played a bit with it, I like it, but we have blackmagic cards on our machines, so for now it's not use, unless they incorporate Lustre for color correction we're sticking with DaVinci Resolve at the moment.

"


Yeah this whole I/O card war was something I didn't see coming. A few years ago it didn't matter much what you had. Now it does big time.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Bret Williams
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 7:19:46 am

What about the GPU card war? Even more annoying.


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Eric Santiago
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:33:02 pm

I am not surprised some of you are finding the GUI a bit off.
I thought by this version it would have been overhauled but it hasn't.
Part of the problem with some users and Autodesk or anything that lingered from the old SGI days.
When I find time, Ill check it out again.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 7:36:37 pm

For those that want a "professional" application, here it is.

I am still making my way through it, and will continue to do that for a long time, I'm sure.

There are many tools, but I find the interface approachable. It is obvious that it's setup for shorter form work at this point. There's no doubt that Autodesk has been working hard at this, trying to make it a more edit freindly app but keep the Smoke artists happy as well.

I am not a node baased expert, but I do like what can be done in Color. This will be even more fun, I can already see that.

It will be interesting to watch this development.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Smith
Re: So how is Smoke 2013 then?
on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:40:45 pm

I haven't had too much time to try it out but like my counterpart said I have found it pretty approachable. I've never used nodes before but found it pretty easy to get the basics. I'm looking forward to getting into it alot more. There are just 2 lingering issues for me and I hope Autodesk has them cooking quietly.. one of course is the card issue. I really want to move to Resolve for CC but the i/o card war is ridiculous. And of course the elephant in the room... are they looking at a PC version. This is huge as Apple made it pretty clear a couple weeks ago our workstations are done. We're looking to future proof and Apple has left us guessing after they killed our X-Serves. Although I hate to say it....PC compatibility will be a must.



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