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IBC: Autodesk's Smoke on Mac Gains Momentum

COW Library : IBC Expo : Debra Kaufman : IBC: Autodesk's Smoke on Mac Gains Momentum
CreativeCOW presents IBC: Autodesk's Smoke on Mac Gains Momentum -- IBC Expo Editorial


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Autodesk Smoke
Autodesk came to IBC 2011 with evidence of the momentum that Smoke for Mac OS X has gained since its release in December 2009. Smoke provides a professional toolset with 3D editing, 3D visual effects and color and look development. "Smoke is becoming an 'all-in-one' solution for peoples' pipelines," says Marc Hamaker, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Creative Finishing, Media & Entertainment. "People ask about editing in Smoke. We don't push it as an editing box, but I'm happy to see that people are exploring ways to use Smoke on Mac."

At the show, Autodesk announced Subscription Advantage Packs for its Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2012 and its portfolio of Digital Entertainment Creation toolsets. An Autodesk Subscription enables customers to get early access to new features and enhancements. "We have a major release every year," explains Hamaker. "The Subscription Advantage Pack lets customers get upgrades in between the big releases, plus a few more tools, all for about $2,000 a year."





The Subscription Advantage Pack for Autodesk Smoke 2012 for Mac OS X software offer new tools and increased digital file format support. New features include additional stereoscopic 3D viewing modes, enabling digital artists to scan for differences between left and right eye clips, stylized graphic effects and more control over relighting, motion blur and recursive operations. Autodesk has also expanded format support for Smoke for Mac, which now includes Apple ProRes QuickTime, IMX and MXF OP-1a export, RED Epic HDRx support, AVCHD codec import, and Avid DNxHD export in a QuickTime wrapper.


Smoke 2012 Sap Blooming





"People asked for increased format support," says Hamaker, who notes that Smoke supports Avid and Adobe pipelines as well as FCP. "The fact that they want export support for ProRes tells us that we're in their pipelines." Autodesk plans to make the Smoke 2012 for Mac OS X Subscription Advantage Pack available for download later this month. There are also Subscription Advantage Packs for Autodesk Maya 2012, Autodesk 3ds Max 2012, Autodesk Softimage 2012, and Autodesk Mudbox 2012.

Part of the momentum created around Smoke on Mac is the variety of ways that customers are using it. At IBC, Autodesk highlighted the creative work of these adventurous Smoke on Mac users. One of them was @radical.media, a transmedia company that develops, produces and distributes content for TV shows, films, commercials, advertising and other markets. The company recently integrated Smoke into its Mac-based pipeline, says CTO Evan Schectman, with the idea that the "rich creative feature set" fits perfectly into the company's "commitment to visual innovation." Similarly, Stockholm-based design boutique Brokendoll used Smoke for station rebranding among other recent jobs, for aggregating dailies, grading, rotoscope, matte painting and grain.



Brokendoll, a Stockholm-based design boutique, used Autodesk Smoke for Mac OS X to create this image for the Nordic television broadcasting company, TV1000. Image courtesy of Brokendoll.


To encourage even more functionality, Autodesk is developing a pipeline for Smoke on Mac to be used on-set, working with Promise and its Pegasus. "We're learning from how our clients are using it," says Hamaker.

Smoke 2012 for Mac OS X is available for a free 30-day trial that includes installation and configuration assistance. For students and teachers, however, Autodesk offers Smoke on Mac as a free 36-month license. That's right, free.

The popularity of Smoke on Mac is understandable seen within the context of more people creating more media, all of who need as much functionality as possible in one box. I'm heartened by the fact that Autodesk is reaching out to students and teachers and really listening to customers and adapting the tool to meet their needs. By NAB 2012 time, I think we'll see even more interesting customer stories. It'll be intriguing to see how Autodesk continues to add functionality.






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