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by PVC Experts

Written by a collection of the best writers in the industry and covering topics ranging from editing to motion graphics to live production. This channel features an incredibly diverse collection of authors and articles. Find out more about each of them...

In third grade, Richard Wirth was already reading anything he could find about television while dreaming of becoming a professional in the world of television and film production. Stops on the life timeline at American Forces Television, the Motion Picture Association, several mid-western pr...

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autoesk nab 2012 smoke

The Top Smoke 2013 Questions from NAB Part 1

From a Demo Artist's point of view.

By Brian Mulligan | April 26, 2012

NAB 2012 just ended but it feels like a lifetime ago. I had the pleasure of being one of the Smoke Experts demonstrating the New Smoke 2013 on Mac to the show public. I talked to people from Utah to Singapore to India, and content creators from one system editorial boutiques to large universities to multi-system, large scale post facilities. They were all interested in Smoke 2013 and here are the top things I was asked to explain. Read More

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autodesk maya nab 2012 smoke

Autodesk Smoke is Changing. Everything.

Big Changes… Big News at NAB 2012

By Brian Mulligan | April 10, 2012

The annual National Association of Broadcasters or NAB is just a few days away. Rumors have been spreading across the internet like wildfire. The first was the Supermeet.com and CPUG announcement that showed Marc-Andre Ferguson was going to show a "super secret" presentation at the Supermeet. This was later titled "Smoke is changing. Everything." The rest of the description said we could be the first to see "new technology that connects effects and editing like never before." Read More

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The Top 10 things you miss about Final Cut are in Autodesk Smoke Part II

By Brian Mulligan | April 02, 2012

6. Simple compositing on the timeline: Even though Shane likes the vertical compositing in FCP and Premiere, and feels that Avid is lacking, I have to say that Smoke beats them all. This is where Smoke moves from being and editor to being a finishing tool. So all of the tools you need to composite on the timeline are there. And they are easily accessible as soft effects. So they can be easily changed and copied from clip to clip via drag and drop. Smoke has advanced Color Correcting with secondaries, and multiple keying tools including freehand drawn garbage masking tools (Gmask) and blurs. You can also put clips in Containers which act like Nested timelines or like precomps. If you need more, then there is Smoke's true 3D compositor called Action, that you can easily take your timeline shots into. Text is also available as an easy timeline tool. Not only can you composite with effects on clips. But you can also use effects on empty areas of the timeline called Gaps. When you place an effect there, it will act like an adjustment layer through all the clips below. And when it comes to keyframing, nothing beats the Keyframe channel editor in Smoke with its ease of adjusting keyframes via realtime animation curves.{C} Read More

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The Top 10 things you miss about Final Cut are in Autodesk Smoke Part I

By Brian Mulligan | April 02, 2012

Recently, Shane Ross wrote a post on his Little Frog in High Def Blog about the 10 things he missed from Final Cut Pro 7. Shane is a well-respected freelance broadcast editor in Los Angeles. He has edited numerous programs for The History Channel, the Discovery Channel, SYFY, and more. Since the reboot of Final Cut as FCPX, Shane, like so many others has had to find other more reliable tools for the type of work that he does. So Shane's list of things he misses from FCP is compared and contrasted with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5(.5) and Avid Media Composer 6. As I read through his list, I compared them to the editing features in Smoke 2012. Here is how Smoke fairs with the others in terms of the features that Shane misses in the same order that he presented.{C} Read More

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AutoStabilize In Autodesk Smoke

Steady your timelapse camera moves quickly & easily

By Brian Mulligan | March 27, 2012

We recently purchased a Canon 5D MarkII at WTHR-TV. Our photographer wanted to do some cool timelapes of the Indianapolis, but wanted to make them more dynamic and generate some large camera moves. He wanted more than the standard DSLR sliders and discovered this example on the web. Read More

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Editing on Smoke for Mac

An introductory video blog.

By Brian Mulligan | March 19, 2012

Smoke is known as a finishing system, but it's a great editor in it's own right. Many people are looking for options with their editing tool of choice and I think that Autodesk Smoke needs to be looked at as one of those choices. It is just as powerful and editor as FCP 7. Adobe Premiere, or Avid Media Composer. I have been editing on Smoke for over 6 years. Read More

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autodesk clint milby mac nle osx postproduction smoke

Autodesk Offers All-In-One Solution with NLE Suites Part II

Smoke 2012 for Mac offers an all in one solution to save you time and money

By Clint Milby | March 16, 2012

Basic TrainingNow that I steeled myself to learn Smoke, I was ready and determined to get down to business. Fortunately, Autodesk has provided several step by step tutorials which through the most basic aspects of her in the software which helped me on my way. Again, Smoke doesn't look or feel like any other OS app I've ever used, so I started from the beginning: importing clips into the project. Start by loading the folder that contains your clips. Select clips you want to import into the project window. Then you just highlight a clip and using the 'Source Layout' and select the 'standard screen'. Read More

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autodesk clint milby mac nle osx postproduction smoke

Autodesk Offers All-In-One Solution with NLE Suites Part I

Smoke 2012 for Mac offers an all in one solution to save you time and money

By Clint Milby | March 16, 2012

Recently I've had a chance to visit with some of the brightest minds in post production today. These gentlemen arrived at this point in their careers from various paths, but they all arrived at the same place, which was at the door of Autodesk's Smoke. Read More

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Autodesk Smoke: Under the Hood Part II

Understanding what Smoke is doing in the background

By Brian Mulligan | March 05, 2012

Backburner: Backburner handles all of the background processing of clips. These processes include creating frames on the framestore via Store Local Copy, and proxy generation to clips if your project has proxies enabled. There are 2 components. The Manager and the Server. In a single Smoke system environment, the Manager and the Server get installed on the same system. In a multiple system environment, you can also install a standalone Manager that will take care of managing the background processes for several systems. Maya and 3D Studio Max also use Backburner and the Manager can be configured to work for all of these installations. Read More

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autodesk smoke

Autodesk Smoke: Under the Hood Part I

Understanding what Smoke is doing in the background

By Brian Mulligan | March 05, 2012

When you install Smoke either from the 30-Day Trial, the Educational version or even the retail, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and under the hood. Read More

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Customizing Lens Flares Inside Smoke Part II

Using VideoCopilot's Optical Flares for After Effects

By Brian Mulligan | February 24, 2012

What's a lens flare without the lens? The other texture you can add to the lens flare object, is a lens texture. The lens texture allows you to simulate flaws in the camera lens like dirt, fingerprints, and scratches. This enables a further depth of realism.{C} Read More

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Customizing Lens Flares Inside Smoke Part I

Using VideoCopilot's Optical Flares for After Effects

By Brian Mulligan | February 22, 2012

Lens flares are the new lens flares. Lens flares have made a comeback of late, largely due to recent developments in software that allows lens flares to behave in a more realistic manner with border adjustments and occlusions. Long are the days when all we had was a stock 35mm default flare. Now there are many good plug-in options. Red Giant's Knoll Light Factory is a classic but is feeling a bit aged, even with its new 3D Flare add on, currently in beta. Genarts Sapphire v6 has a new reworked lens flare option, which is much improved over previous versions, and Optical Flares from Video Copilot is quite spectacular. More on Optical Flares in a minute… First you need to know how lens flares work inside Smoke.{C} Read More

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The Metadata Magic of Smoke’s Clip History Part II

I never liked history in school, but I love History in Autodesk Smoke.

By Brian Mulligan | February 16, 2012

In Preferences, you can choose if your clips are saved with History automatically or on-demand. You can also choose if you want to keep your intermediate renders, or have Smoke just remember the setup data and delete the intermediate frames after it processes them. Keep Sources can free up space on your framestore. Read More

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autodesk history metadata smoke

The Metadata Magic of Smoke’s Clip History Part I

I never liked history in school, but I love History in Autodesk Smoke.

By Brian Mulligan | February 16, 2012

History is a feature in Smoke that keeps track of the operations that you perform on a clip, so that it can be recalled and revised later. It not only keeps track of the setups and keyframing, but also the clips used in making the final result. This is what I find really special. Read More

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Why Smoke is Ideal for Broadcast Part II

With Smoke you have a complete set of tools at your fingertips

By Brian Mulligan | February 13, 2012

So at the end of the day when your spot is being reviewed, and changes are needed, Smoke can handle that with ease. The processing of effects is very fast on Smoke with its combination of CPU and GPU rendering. Adjustments to even the most complex of effects will render in the single digits of minutes. And this processing is done at uncompressed quality. Read More

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Why Smoke is Ideal for Broadcast Part I

With Smoke you have a complete set of tools at your fingertips

By Brian Mulligan | February 13, 2012

For anyone who has ever worked in a broadcast environment, you know the unique challenges that are involved in post production. Deadlines are tight and resources are often slim. Often you are creating something from nothing. When projects are due in hours instead of days, graphics and design have to be created on the fly, and you need to be flexible and responsive to last minute changes… you don't have time for complex workflows or long render times. As someone who has been a broadcast editor for almost 2 decades at a local station, I believe that Autodesk Smoke is the ideal tool for editors to overcome the challenges that are inherent to broadcast television.{C} Read More

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camera editing production red

Revisiting the RED workflow, Smoke 2012 style

By Marc-Andre Ferguson | February 03, 2012

My love affair with RED Digital Cinema began in 2007, when my brief stint as demo artist in the NAB RED booth turned into a regular gig at events and trade shows. When I joined Autodesk as Product Designer to help bring Smoke to the Mac, I was quickly assigned to construct our first RED workflow. Back then, building a RED workflow meant exploring unchartered territory, but since then things changed rather quickly in the last couple years. Read More

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Evan Schechtman’s Digital ‘Smoke’ House

Digital Trailblazer Tells Post Professionals, "It's time to up your game..."

By Clint Milby | January 31, 2012

With a mind of a genius and the spirit of a rebel, Evan Schechtman is one of the most accomplished post professionals in the business. Through his thirst for knowledge and contempt for establishment, Schechtman has transcended his career from owning his own post facility to becoming one of the most sought after minds in the industry. I was able to catch up with Schechtman recently who talked about how he started Outpost Digital , his partnership with Radical Media and why Autodesk's Smoke is the answer to the question, "What's next? Read More

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business color color correction edit editing effects graphics hardware mac software

From start to finish - an arsenal of tools

Finishing options from mobile workstations to pimped out desktops.

By Marc-Andre Ferguson | January 25, 2012

How important is the hardware behind your editing rig? The proper configuration is key in making sure you have the right machine to meet your client's finishing demands. Read More

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Smoke Scene

Smoke Scene

South Carolina's Skyline Post uses Autodesk Smoke to help it be more things to more clients.

By Michael Abraham | January 23, 2012

Based in Greenville, South Carolina, Skyline Post is many things to many people. Founded by ad agency and post-production veteran - and current Skyline CEO - Randall Owens six years ago, Skyline combines qualities of an ad agency, a post facility, a boutique production house, and a branding consulting group into a unique blend that has attracted a wide variety of customers. Read More

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