Autodesk Smoke Editor's Review
Autodesk is the company well known for making some of the most feature rich and versatile tools for 3D modeling, animation and engineering design related work. Its Smoke is a Mac OS specific app that is aimed at professionals involved in post-production workflows. It packs in production-level creative finishing toolset within a unified timeline- based UI. From editing projects from scratch or lending finishing touches to a project made in another nonlinear editor, Smoke can fulfill your needs. The end result is time saving and addition of finer nuances to the end product. The newest edition is compatible with Apple tools like Final Cut Pro X. New features include integrated 3D tracker, enhanced Timeline FX workflow and UltraStudio Thunderbolt device support etc.
Autodesk has made efforts to make Smoke accessible to a wider user base with its various subscription based packages. Smoke’s new version is compatible with OS X Mavericks and you can use it on new Mac Pro. The minimum requirements are 8GB of RAM, 64-bit Intel CPUs, and display resolution of 1440 x 900. The app will gobble more than 3GB of disk space. The only glaring omission is lack of multiple display support.
Smoke retains the clean user interface of its previous version and aesthetic graphics. As a matter of fact, majority of changes lie under the hood. You will explore them while working with the app. The new version builds upon software stability, feature set and hardware compatibility of its predecessor. The app offered support for popular high end video formats like AVCHD, mov and mp4 earlier. The additional supported formats are Sony RAW and uncompressed Apple QuickTime. Smoke can handle resolutions starting from 480p to a staggering 8K.
While Smoke is not exactly a replacement for established players like Final Cut Pro or Avid Studio, Autodesk has packed in enough editing tools and features. However, its forte is in VFX, finishing and color grading. Working in collaboration with these apps is simpler for Smoke users now. Adding Smoke to FCP X workflow has become easier owing to the app’s enhanced XML support. Aspects like transparency, speed changes and such timeline effects are translated more accurately.
When it comes to most prominent new features in Smoke, 3D scene tracking deserves a special mention. It is now simpler to add a 3D model or figure in scenes. You can analyze a source video footage to replicate original camera movements now. Apart from adding text and objects to live action scenes convincingly Smoke’s 3D Tracker tool is also great for blending green screen backgrounds with CG worlds. The rendering tool has also been spruced up.
Another big improvement is in the Timeline FX feature. You can add effects to clips directly in the timeline now. It saves a lot of time you apply effects like color corrections, Time Warp without leaving the timeline at all. After adding effects to a clip, you can perform basic edits on it right there on the timeline. Of course, you can open the editor to tweak the effects in detail. There is no reason to think you will lose control over precise detail by using Timeline FX. Nodes still get generated in the background and they can be accessed later through ConnectFX.
The Batch environment of Smoke, namely ConnectFX is not as powerful and versatile as that of Flame but it is no slouch either. During effects application and rendering, the app runs steadily, rarely showing signs of sluggishness or crash in systems with recommended hardware.
• Familiar, intuitive UI.
• Enhanced FCP X compatibility.
• Impressive format and codec support.
• Improved Timeline FX.
• No multiple display support.
• Extremely resource hungry.
Autodesk has unleashed a winner in the latest iteration of Smoke. The app continues to be an impressive and feature loaded VFX composition tool that also doubles up as a competent editor. The speed and functionality of the app is exemplary and enhanced compatibility with FCP X makes things easier for professional users. New features like 3D scene tracking will appeal to seasoned users as will its excellent Timeline FX feature. The biggest downer in such a powerful and versatile app is lack of multi monitor display support.
Autodesk Smoke Publisher's Description
Powerful video effects software more accessible than ever
Smoke® video effects software brings editing and effects together like never before. With the effects tools you need integrated within a standard, easy-to-use timeline environment, Smoke helps you to increase your productivity.
Free download from Shareware Connection - Powerful video effects software more accessible than ever.
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