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NAB: Autodesk debuts Flame and Smoke 2015

Las Vegas —At NAB 2014, Autodesk debuted Flame 2015 – the latest iteration of its visual effects and creative finishing system, which offers new creative tools, faster performance, and an end-to-end 4K workflow. Autodesk also unveiled the latest version of its video editing software Smoke 2015, but more on that later. First Flame…

Flame 2015 allows artists to work interactively in 4K resolution and offers industry standard 4K formats: 4K/UHD color management supporting ACES and Rec-2020 color spaces; realtime monitoring and playback via SDI of 4K/UHD material at 50p and 60p; timeline effects and batch nodes performance optimization and 4K capable substance textures; and 16Gb Fiber Channel controllers in high-performance storage for realtime throughput of high-resolution images.

Flame 2015 also now supports the addition of a second GPU card in the Flame workstation. Background Reactor helps accelerate rendering by allowing artists to send their shot, sequence, or batch setup to the second GPU for rendering while continuing to work interactively on other tasks in the foreground. Background Reactor requires two Nvidia Quadro K6000 GPUs (for HP Z820 workstations) or two Nvidia Quadro 6000 GPUs (for HP Z800 and Z820 workstations).

New tools include:
– 3D Shape: as easy to use as Gmask, 3D Shape enables workflows such as quick modeling, projection mapping, logo design, motion graphics and relighting.
– Replica: a new creative tool in Action allows artists to easily and interactively create, manipulate and animate cascading effects using a single cloned object.
– Matchbox enhancements: the ability to add Matchbox effects directly to shots and transitions in the timeline and the ability to protect shader code with packaging and encryption.

Flame Premium offers Flame and Lustre together, and now the 2015 release expands the offering with two additional companion products that are completely compatible with the Flame Premium workflow: Flare and Flame Assist. Flare is a shot-based visual effects app used to help augment the creative capabilities of Flame Premium workflows. Flame Assist is a Mac-based, timeline-centric assistant station that can be used to take on a variety of tasks related to starting and completing Flame Premium projects.

Both Flare and Flame Assist are available as part of the new Desktop Subscription flexible payment model. Available exclusively to Flame and Flame Premium customers, pay-as-you-go pricing for Flare and Flame Assist software is available on a quarterly or annual basis.

Autodesk’s 2015 version of its editing and effects app Smoke was introduced at the show, offering new creative tools and performance enhancements. Smoke 2015 will soon be available as a Desktop Subscription, so customers can access the software on a pay-as-you-go basis for the first time.

Smoke 2015 now features 3D Tracker, a new Timeline FX workflow, added hardware support and optimization for the new Mac Pro running OS X Mavericks and better interoperability with Final Cut Pro X.

Key Features include:
– New re-architected Timeline FX offers new effects capabilities for editors – such as direct access to the Action 3D compositing environment as a segment-based effect
– New timeline-integrated 3D tracker allows editors to match original camera movements in a clip in order to realistically add new elements: video layers, text or 3D objects
– Improved support for Blackmagic DesignLink card and UltraStudio for Thunderbolt devices and extended video IO support for AJA Video Systems to offer dual stream stereoscopic output
– Improved integration with Final Cut Pro X that supports more timeline and effects metadata for a fast, high fidelity project transfer between the apps. In addition, Smoke sequences can be exported as XML with accompanying QuickTime media files.

See Autodesk’s Marc Hamaker discuss the upgrades to both products:

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