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AE vs Smoke

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Richard Cardonna
AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 4:33:14 pm

Can someone list the features in smoke that are not in AE?

Richard C


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Dave LaRonde
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 4:50:32 pm

Ummmm, is this question in reaction to the big post-NAB buzz about the new Smoke?
Unless Autodesk has a comparison posted someplace, I don't know of one.

And you also should know that when it comes to anything other than the company's big-ticket items -- Smoke isn't one of them, but AutoCAD, Flame, Maya and 3DS Max are -- Autodesk doesn't have what you'd call a stellar track record of sticking by people who adopt their software.

Autodesk used to make an NLE called :Edit, people loved it, and then one black day Autodesk just EOL'd it. Left everybody high & dry. It was on a far smaller scale than the FCP / FCPX debacle, but even more hurtful to those involved. So proceed with caution.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Richard Cardonna
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:15:32 pm

Tell me about it, I had edit and combustion and less than a year the prices went down (plus paint & Effects)and then eol, combustion sometime latter. So I am very weary of Autodesk much more using an Imac (how long will any of these be around)

But since A/E now haw a great 3d traker and 3d extrusion I percive that they are going after smoke. And would want to know how far they got to go to at least match it.

Richard C


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 25, 2012 at 1:25:58 am

I know a lot of folks are questioning Autodesk's commitment to Smoke and are comparing it with the Edit* EOL, but I don't think that's a direct comparison. Autodesk has been committed to Smoke since they acquired Discreet, and have been delivering consistent, strong updates on the Mac since its launch -- to say nothing of all the work put into the 2013 release. I know there's a lot of distrust for Autodesk after the Edit* fiasco, but that was 10 years ago, and if Autodesk were to EOL Smoke out of the blue, they would be giving up their only NLE and that could actually threaten their Flame and Lustre franchises.

Of course, there's no way of knowing what a company will do in the future, but there are no perfect records among any of the major NLE vendors, so you have to trust someone. Companies like Adobe and Autodesk at least seem interested in earning my business.

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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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:15:17 pm

You heard the word of the wise from Dave, here's my 2 cents:

If you want a nodal compositing/fx software go with Nuke (unless you plan to train on Flame later on... even then I would think twice).

Otherwise stick with AE - look at Adobe's track record: not the fastest developer, but steady growth, plus you can't beat the third party developers of plugins, scripts and custom projects. No fx software out there has that at the scale AE has it.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Richard Cardonna
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:19:04 pm

No I don't like nodes they confuse me. Just hope that AE is on track to overtake smoke.

Richard C


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Andrew Somers
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:51:54 pm

There is one, and only one, feature of Smoke that After Effects does not handle well:


SMOKE has a unique daemon that reaches deep into your pocket and takes *all your money*, then injects you with Serum 114 and makes you think you actually got something "special".


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Petros Kolyvas
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 8:36:12 pm

As someone who transitioned (poorly) to AE from Shake, I think node-based compositing has a serious place in any workflow requiring compositing once you begin to grasp the power of nodes and connections as opposed to layers.

It comes down to how you like working really. Some reason there seems to be a cost-premium if you like working with Nodes.

Irrespective of the "Autodesk will, one day, stick it to you" reality - there will be a trial of smoke 2013 in early summer (actually an open beta I believe) and anyone can try it for themselves. I plan on doing so and I am hopefully it really will be the holy grail for integrating a node-based compositor and a timeline.

While Nuke remains a remarkable compositor, it's $5k to start for a single-eye pipeline (2D) and $8K for a stereoscopic pipeline.

It doesn't mean we should all just buy into the Smoke hype and it would be nice to see some kind of long-term committment from Autodesk, but I fear we won't get one.

--
There is no intuitive interface, not even the nipple. It's all learned. - Bruce Ediger


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 9:33:20 pm

The big Smoke features not present in AE are a non-linear editor and a 3D nodal compositor.

In my mind, Smoke and AE are more complementary than they are competitive. I have been training on the prior version of Smoke, and I do plan on purchasing Smoke 2013, but I see them being used in different stages of my workflow, and I don't necessarily see myself using both on every project.

AE plus Premiere Pro with Dynamic Link, especially with the upcoming improvements in 3D and the global performance cache in CS6, will cover quite a bit of wha Smoke can do, albeit with a different workflow.

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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Richard Cardonna
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:57:18 pm

so basicaly A/e can do most of what Smoke does except the node thing.
(editing through PPro)

RC


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 25, 2012 at 1:00:17 am

Smoke is not special because it has unique features that aren't available in any other application. It's special because it has all those features within one app, and all within the context of your edit. This eliminates the render-export-import-process-render-export-import process inherent in multi-application workflows. Smoke is especially targeted at client-supervised sessions and tight turnarounds.

Adobe takes a different approach. Rather than offering a single application, they offer a tightly integrated suite of applications, each with their own speciality. You can cut with Premiere Pro, add effects and compositing with After Effects, sweeten with Audition, and color with SpeedGrade.

They are two different philosophies toward production, and they are both valid for different circumstances.

If you're trying to figure out if Smoke is the right choice for you, I'd turn the question around -- what is your current workflow like, and what are your specific production needs?

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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Richard Cardonna
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 25, 2012 at 2:15:13 am

I am just curious and in a speculative mood. Smoke is not right for me I don't do 3d comps.

But I do consider that the combination of PP,PS,A/E & Audition through dynamic link are for all intent and purpose 1 app.

With Wesplate at adobe who knows if they will even be more tight intergration.

It would not be to far off to think that autodesk has seen this relation and now with a 3d tracker 3d extrution in A/E what is to stop Adobe from including more 3d stuff like 3dcomp all they got to do is add PS vanishing point to A/E and you got a few notches over smoke just there.

Can you imagine A/E with smoke capabilities on a highend HP/Promax it would really smoke.

So I ask what else besides this would a/e need to qualify as a smoke killer?

Am I reading to much into this?

RC


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Todd Kopriva
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 25, 2012 at 5:57:30 am

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I'm reading this and taking notes. ;-)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
product manager, professional video software
After Effects team blog
Premiere Pro team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 25, 2012 at 9:24:51 pm

[Richard Cardonna] "It would not be to far off to think that autodesk has seen this relation and now with a 3d tracker 3d extrution in A/E what is to stop Adobe from including more 3d stuff like 3dcomp all they got to do is add PS vanishing point to A/E and you got a few notches over smoke just there."

Even with the addition of the 3D renderer in CS6, the AE ecosystem has a way to go before it matches Smoke's 3D compositing. There are many effects for AE that focus on simulating 3D in a 2.5D system. These ought to be rewritten to actually work in 3D space. Imagine an effect like Shatter or Particular. These plugins include their own 3D renderer that matches the camera comp but does not actually allow you to integrate true geometry or depth in the scene. In 3D compositing, you shouldn't have to worry about occlusion layers or clipping paths to integrate two objects into a scene.


[Richard Cardonna] "Can you imagine A/E with smoke capabilities on a highend HP/Promax it would really smoke."

I don't have to imagine it. I use AE on a high-end HP every day. It does smoke (no pun intended).

The global performance cache feature in the upcoming CS6 release is a big deal, and I think it will be a huge performance boost for most heavy AE users.


[Richard Cardonna] "So I ask what else besides this would a/e need to qualify as a smoke killer? Am I reading to much into this? "

I don't think you're comparing the right products. AE will never be a Smoke killer by itself -- but Production Premium might be. Aside from the compositing differences I have already mentioned, I think the big differences between Production Premium and Smoke are philosophical and stem from the histories of the products.

In a way, though, with Smoke 2013, Autodesk is actually taking a page out of the Adobe Production Premium playbook. Production Premium puts Premiere Pro as the hub in the center of the workflow, flowing back and forth with Pl, Ps, Ai, Ae, Au, and Sg. Smoke 2013 moves the context for effects away from the Edit Desk as it had been in previous versions, and right into the timeline itself. There's still the difference of the super-app versus the suite, and the historical focus on finishing versus the historical focus on creating, but the new timeline-centric model will be more familiar for anyone with desktop NLE experience.

Premiere Pro has made huge strides in usability and performance. If Adobe keeps tightening integration and improving performance as they have been doing over the last few releases, and if they pay attention to offline/online interchange, media management, color management, and perhaps native DI codec support, I think that Production Premium will be a viable contender for high-end finishing work.

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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Richard Cardonna
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 26, 2012 at 4:20:47 pm

Thanks Walter I have a clearer picture now. I will wait till Adobe makes A/E more super than its now.

Richard


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Shawn Miller
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 26, 2012 at 6:47:28 pm

[Walter Soyka] "If Adobe keeps tightening integration and improving performance as they have been doing over the last few releases, and if they pay attention to offline/online interchange, media management, color management, and perhaps native DI codec support, I think that Production Premium will be a viable contender for high-end finishing work."

This statement reminded me of a 2008 blog post from Stu Maschwitz.

http://prolost.com/blog/2008/10/1/what-should-adobe-do-with-premiere-pro.ht...

Very interesting in the context of this discussion, and the upcoming CS6 and Smoke 2012 release. :-)

Shawn



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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:44:51 pm

Paradoxically, how the related Adobe apps work together is going to be crucial in determining the adoption rate, hence success, of the individual products.

Here's a very good video from Karl Le Soule - Dynamic Linking in CS6 apps./

While the ease with which DL is invoked is a huge step in the right direction, the fact that AE and PPro do not share the same render engine is a huge bottleneck. There is also no clear indication as to how best to work between AE and PPro. While this may be a good idea, for the majority of users, this may actually lead to unproductive practices to creep into their workflow and lead to unhappiness with using the products. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of online tutorials/courses that cover this subject thoroughly.

While I've not had hands-on use on Smoke, I've spent close to 100 hours, providing AE training to two groups of Smoke users. It was largely unanimous, from the students' POV, that AE's feature-set (including 3rd party plugins) surpasses what Smoke offers.

Smoke's prowess is in its speed as well as all-in-one package. Its 3D capabilities are not as powerful as AE's. Add in Expressions and the amount of online as well as classroom training available for Adobe products, it's actually not difficult to see that AE+PPro should be ahead of the curve for intricate work. I, off course, have major issues with how easy it is to obtain an Adobe certification these days - so I cannot vouch for individual trainers nor training centers.

However, for mid-end, quality type of work, Smoke's features, speed and all-in-one design should give it the edge.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Richard Cardonna
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 28, 2012 at 9:43:15 pm

Thanks for the info. It looks like ppro is aiming for fcp/avid and A/E to autodesk. Kinda makes you wish CS7.0 was here

Richard C


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dermot shane
Re: AE vs Smoke
on Apr 29, 2012 at 4:18:30 pm

smack is missing;

1) a real world color toolset whole and complete.... there's nothing to come close to SpeedGrade
2) 3D trackers, making it's 3D comp tools more a talking point than a real tool


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