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The Top Smoke 2013 Questions from NAB Part 2

From a Demo Artist's point of view.

By Brian Mulligan | April 26, 2012

5. So does this mean I don't need plugins? Smoke and the ConnectFX workflow has a lot of built in effects and effects tools built right in. So no, you may not need plugins depending on your needs. Smoke contains one of the best chroma keyers in any software, the Master Keyer, and even has a node based keyer for more advanced keying. Effects like Blurs, Glows, Depth of Field, Stylize Pen/Ink/Sketch looks, Recursive & Timewarp tools, Customizable 3D lens flares with occlusion and 3D text, and a host of other tools are built right in. {C}


So unless you need something very specific, Smoke has enough tools for most tasks. But if you do want plugins, then you are limited to a few vendors. Genarts is the main developer for plugins or Sparks as they are called in Smoke. Genarts makes Sapphire and Monster GT plugins that complement the tools already in Smoke.

6. What formats can I Import/Exports? Many options like this are still being decided and implemented as Smoke 2013 isn't due to be final until Fall. But most, if not all, of the standard production codecs are there in Quicktime or MXF inputs and/or outputs, including Prores, DNxHD, XDCAM, R3D, Arri, P2, DVCPROHD, AVC-Intra, DPX, Uncompressed, AVCHD, layered PSDs, OpenEXR, and more.

7. Can I conform from Avid and FCP? Smoke has always been a high-end finishing system. So nothing has changed here. Just because you can edit easily and more comfortably doesn't mean that you can't still conform from other systems. Conforming a timeline is a simple as dragging and dropping the .xml/aaf file into your Media Library. Smoke will find and relink the media. Smoke will conform from FCP7 and FCPX XMLs, as well as Avid AMA managed AAFs, and transcoded DNxHD AAFs. You can even bring in an Adobe Premiere AAF sequence.
If this is how you workflow is working… Smoke can handle it.

By this time in the demo the people I was talking to really started to get what Smoke was all about. They could really see the benefit of Smoke's All-In-One Workflow. They could see how importing, editing, color, and effects all based in the timeline, and all quickly and easily accessible and integrated could enhance their productions and end the round tripping from one program to another.

Smoke will be available as a public beta starting in June. Go to and register to be one of the first to get your hands on it. Smoke will run on almost any new Mac hardware or current MacPro. I was demoing it on a standard, new iMac, and it was also being shown running on a MacbookPro.

Click here for Part 1


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Rob: | April, 26, 2012

Since Apple may be dropping the Mac Pro line, can I run Smoke in Windows 7 64 bit?

Brian Mulligan: | April, 27, 2012

Smoke is built for the Mac Platform and runs quite well on the current iMac and MacbookPros.  You can also still use it with the current MacPros. Thunderbolt storage is also and advantage when using iMacs and MBPs, and you can work in a prores intermediate codec.

Rob: | April, 27, 2012

I’m not comfortable with single source solutions. If they bring Thunderbolt or it’s equivalent to the PC world then I might consider using it.

The strategy Apple is using is similar to many other companies before it; lock your customers into your hardware and software. IBM used it quite effectively until it got hammered by anti-trust actions.

Don’t get me wrong, Apple makes the finest OS and computer hardware bar none. But I don’t like their attempts to keep me isolated in their pocked. I use a Mac Pro for my video editing and Windows for business and Linux for software development and web hosting.

I wish all of the companies making creative software would support some open version of Unix and form a consortium to be cross-compatible. But of course many of those same companies are trying to lock me into their world as well.

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