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Merger vs. Smoke vs. Atomic Bomb - -HOME
ADM GARSTONE is reviewing the latest version of the VFX software for Smoke, Nuke and Fusion, especially with regard to Blackmagic Design's current buy-out and price policies. So when Blackmagic Design purchased compositing system designer EYON Software, almost everyone was expecting Fusion to do something weird with its flagship game.
Merger 7 - slightly limited and still in its Windows reincarnation - is now free to be downloaded from the black magic website, and free, at least for its rivals, is quite frightening. To some extent, Autodesk set the pace with Smoke for Mac 2013 by reducing the cost from over 10,000 to 3,300 and streamlining the UI while retaining the same level of agility for hardcore use.
Couple of month ago they launched SMOKKE for Mac 2015 with an annual £1280 (ex VAT) or £160 (ex VAT) per month subscriptions - practically for those who have a fast compositing task but don't need it every single working days. The aim of Smokke for Mac is to simplify compositing and editing.
While Smoke is still a very complicated compositing utility, many jobs can be done via an editable time line - and of course the processing. It is possible to export processing with AAF or EDL, FCP 7 and FCP 7 and EDL and motion effect, resolution, fundamental cloths etc. will be displayed in the selected sequences.
There is an effect pane (the FX ribbon) between the screens and the time line, which is displayed as a flow chart from lefthand to righthand - your rough video is on the lefthand side, the finished video on the right and the between. Smokeless for Mac 2015 has expanded the time line and gives you more options before you need to get into this time-honored and complexity.
The FX ribbon's Axis effect has disappeared and is replacing it with action. Action Knot enables Axis transformations (so you haven't dropped them), as well as objective torches, vision controls and backlight. Additional FX ribbon is a fast 2-D transformation utility and masking. There' s always been a curious omitment from Smoke's abilities - it was weird to have a full 3-D composite that had no kind of built-in 3-D tracing, so now, Smke 2015 contains a point cloud-based 3-D trackers.
To do this, you must leave the convenient timeline display and call up the action schema. It is very easy to use - just pull an'Analyzer Mono' knot into your schematics and run the analyzer. Composing in a traced item is as easy as pressing the icon to create an axis from one of the tracks or a locator from multiple points.
Link your front element (e.g. a 3-D or 2-D model) to the resulting point in the schematics and Bob's your Uncle - well, once you have scaled and rotated a little, and so on. There are optimizations for accelerating the GPS under the bonnet and 2015 felt much quicker than its previous one.
For Smoke 2013, the timeline effect was a different piece of coding than the stronger node-based one. It was streamlined in 2015 so that the impact is the same - which should make the software more robust and the ratio between FX ribbon and knot settings more precise. Blackmagic's first Fusion 7 releases a free and a' Studio' edition for $995.
Free of charge, it is restricted to Ultra HD output (the studio release is resolution-independent) and eliminates generation - a multiartist project management utility with assets tracker, revisioning and assigning tasks. The Avid plugin that enables fusion with the Avid pipeline is also excluded. Further remarkable omitments are visual flux for velocity changes etc, distant rendered and Stereoscopic 3D.
The free release is an ultra-powerful 3-D compositing and rendersolution. Smoke's NLE timeline is missing, so you are immersed directly in the nodebased comp, but the toolset and GUI are clear and relatively instant. At the top of the default screen there are a few reviewers, at the bottom an area for the structure of your nodeplan and on the right an area that displays the control for the currently chosen one.
It is possible to do the same in Smoke, but the deployment of Fusion has a straightforward, hands-on straightforward. Choose a knot and press'1' on the keypad - the display of this knot will appear in the view. Choose another one and press'2' to see its display in the right view. It is ideal for quickly detecting the effect before and after a knot, e.g. during color correction.
If you want to create an effect on a clips, just attach a Loader knot to the SCM sheet and point it to your work. The next step is to insert an effect knot - for example, a fuzziness - and drag a link from the Loader exit to the fuzziness in. You can view the Loader in one observer and the blind knot in the other to see the effect, as described.
In order to print your effect, you need a rendering (if you have created 3-D material) and an editing knot. It is noteworthy that everything in your schematics must be linked to the rendered and generated schematics via merging knots - unlike other compilers, where everything in the schematics is "in" of the scenes.
This may make the circuit diagram appear more complicated, but it does define the order and shows the process of machine vision very clearly. In contrast to Smokeless 2015, Fusion does not contain a point cloud-based 3-D trackers, although it imports it from a third-party monitoring system. There' s a 2-D trackers that works very well, but, like the one in Smke 2013, is a strange omitted 3-D compositing tools.
It is also possible to link the parameter to other parameter by right-clicking, e.g. you can create a square trace of a TV monitor and link the edges of a square pins warm effect to the four traces to replace the monitor immediately. This free release of Fusion has everything you would have expected - particulate system, high-performance 2-D and 3-D text knots and a paint knot, but there are a few knots that are only available in the studio release that I find very useful - all on the basis of IDE.
On the one hand, there is an Optical Flow knot that computes movement vector (forward and backward) for the incoming film. Since this is'compute-intensive' - i.e. very sluggish - it is best to route the Optical Flow nodes directly to an issue nodes and issue an Open EXR files (which saves both the picture and the movement vectors).
Then you can use this data as inputs for any kind of visual flux handling. The Time Speed and Time Stretcher utilities - which re-timing your video clips - use the movement vector to interact with new video images to create new interpolated video images, which generally gives a much better effect than the standard mixes.
Tween is another neat knot that computes iframes between two reference points - restoring a disturbed framed or generating absent iframes, a little like Avid's fluid morph overflow. The Fusion Studio tool set also computes differential cards between right and right hand side camera for processing 3D stereos. The Nuke 9 is available in three different packs.
The Nuke software is the kernel compositing software, Nuke X integrates the good slideshows, like a particulate system, visual fluid handling and 3-D tracing. The Nuke Studio is nearest to the idea of Smoké 2015, with fundamental edit features on a single time line. Similar to smooth, you can apply an effect to the clip on the timeline and then break it down into a full knot diagram when you need more controll.
It also supports customization of timing from other NLE' s, making Nuke Studio a high-performance compositing and finishers. Nukes are available for Windows (7 and 8, 64 bit), Mac (10. 8 and 10. 9) and Linux (CentOS/RHEL 5 and 6). Yosemite's foundry says that Nuke doesn't work - I tried it and it's the same.
Like Nuke Studio has many resemblances to the new version of the product, Nuke X is very similar to Fusion. There is a very similar way in which you integrate your knots into a given net, for example with margins and renders - even many of the knot titles are similar. Again I found the knotpole in Nuke very intuition.
Rauch tends to put a lot of function in every knot - which makes his control very intricate. My preferred method is fusion and nuke - using knots with more specific features, even if this means that the trees to be created are more intricate. Like most things, it's a question of choice, of course, and powerful people will see benefits in both ways, but for a beginner or "casual user," the fusion and nuke trajectory is less steep.
If Nuke really attracts attention, it's the pursuit. A keyframe can simply be added to your tracks to allow occlusion or to allow you to leave the box, and once you have a trace you are satisfied with, the Nodes will output a transformation point with the related transformation coordinate reference into it.
Everything you append to these transformation knots follows your path. Better still, you can print several transformation knots from a unique tracking knot, e.g. one knot could be a plain translat. pinn. Again, this beginning shows clearly, in your knot structure, what is being followed and what follows this trace.
As soon as you have a trace you are satisfied with, print a knot (e.g. a camera knot from the 3-D tracker) and use this knot in your company. Well is £2534 (at the moment of writing), WellX is £4800 and Well Studio is £5600. It' s weird with three similarly specified product lines that appeal to the same markets that Smoke, Fusion and Nuke are so personal.
Smoke's cut-time line is superb and gives you a simple'in' to its visuals - you need to pay 5600 for Nuke Studio to get The Foundry's time-line fix. Merge is amazingly intuitively for such sophisticated and powerful software. Now is the most costly, and the qualitiy sweats - when software can sweat.
It is this quality of client service that has (probably) made Nuke the de facto benchmark for high-end compositing. It is questionable whether the merger will undermine Smoke and Nuke's clientèle. In the long run I suppose it may, but in the near run, a new group of unfamiliar to date, the strength of node-based compositing - will be downloading the free one.
The VFX house Doc & A Sproc used Fusion Studio to build some of the most sophisticated VFX in Matthew Vaughn's latest global theatrical release'Kingsman': BAFTA has twice worked with John Paul Docherty ('Skyfall','The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus' and'The Golden Compass') as a salesman on the cartoon adaption and composed more than a hundred recordings in Fusion Studio.
Because Steve Begg had to move to another project as VFX Survisor, Docherty was hired as an extra VFX Survisor to share the rest of the VFX work with John Bruno, the legendary artist in the game. Merger mastered this with ease," concludes John.