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Thread: The reason for FCS' untimely death? - Smoke 2013

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Default The reason for FCS' untimely death? - Smoke 2013

    Autodesk has been retooling Smoke for 2013, so it runs on iMacs and MBP's. It will come out for about 3500 bucks in October this year. A free(!) Beta will be available beforehand.

    More info at Larry Jordan's blog.

    What does that have to do with FCS? There are non-sustained rumors that Apple lured Autodesk deeper into the Mac environment, with the promise to not develop FCP to a high-end suite (it never was one in any way).

    Larry Jordan:
    Apple, in fact, highlighted the new Smoke in my meeting with them this morning. Apple stressed how easy it is to edit in FCP X and finish in Smoke
    Last edited by cgbier; 2012 April 16th at 08:43.
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    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    Humph.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    Autodesk has been retooling Smoke for 2013, so it runs on iMacs and MBP's. It will come out for about 3500 bucks in October this year. A free(!) Beta will be available beforehand.

    More info at Larry Jordan's blog.

    What does that have to do with FCS? There are non-sustained rumors that Apple lured Autodesk deeper into the Mac environment, with the promise to not develop FCP to a high-end suite (it never was one in any way).

    Larry Jordan:
    Hah! interesting post.
    When Apple was still just making toys, I was cutting my teeth on Flame on an SGI workstation, then FCP on PowerPC came along and that was he death knell for SGI at least. So now that Apple had to promise not to turn FCS into a broadcast tool, Autodesk (acquired DiscreteLogic authors of Flame, Fire etc) is going to author Smoke for Macs? I'll sign on to that in a heartbeat. But $3500 sounds like DiscreteLogic gouging all right.
    More later, gotta pee

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Zephyrnoid, this is basically the rumored merger of FCP and Shake. Just that it's called Smoke now instead of Phenomenon.
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    ...and don't forget that Smoke 2012 is only $14,995... even though you get it from "OEM Sites" for $149...
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    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    Wow. So, where does Avid come into the picture?
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Avid? $149 from OEM Sites***.

    ***those sites are highly illegal, so don't bother to google for them.
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    I retired at Discrete Logic Flame. Shake etc. is gibberish to me unless they run on MIPS processors in which case...."There are non-sustained rumors that Apple lured Autodesk deeper into the Mac environment" makes sense but does this mean that Apple is about to drop a bomb on us. Are we finally going to see a MIPS base Mac???

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    I doubt that. But when you look at the point that Autodesk has LOWERED the system requirements for Smoke***, we might not even need fancy hardware anymore.

    ***It is supposed to run on my 2010 MBP.
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    One hour introduction to Smoke - the NAB presentation:



    While it Smoke is definitively quite interesting, I'll wait for Apple Phenomenon to come. Together with the G5 Power Book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    I doubt that. But when you look at the point that Autodesk has LOWERED the system requirements for Smoke***, we might not even need fancy hardware anymore.

    ***It is supposed to run on my 2010 MBP.
    SO the issue was FCP had hit a wall on the current architecture but Smoke would run faster on the current architecture? I don't get it but I'll take your word for it.
    Good luck convincing the installed base of FCS users that it's time to abandon what they learned about FCP and LEARN a new software. Who's got time for that other than newbies. Looking at the Intro to Smoke next...

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    I might have expressed myself a bit clumsily. Autodesk themselves mentioned that they have lowered the system requirements for Smoke 2013. The minimum GPU requirements are an nVidia 330M - exactly the one I have in my 2010 MBP. With that MBP I can run FCS2 and FCP X perfectly, but don't have to bother to open up Adobe CS5.5... well it runs, but you don't want to know how.

    So far, we have seen rising hardware requirements from every piece of video software that came out. Smoke is the first one I have seen that actually has lowered the requirements.

    FCS' issue was the fact that it was 32 bit. That alone made it hit the wall. BUT: OTOH, I have the feeling that Motion 3 runs a bit snappier (applying behaviors, not playing the video) exactly because it was only 32 bit.

    Good luck convincing the installed base of FCS users that it's time to abandon what they learned about FCP and LEARN a new software.
    While FCP X has built up a lot of momentum, there are still some folks out there who prefer a track based software, but Premiere and Avid just feels old to them. My old mentor was never too impressed with FCP X, but he didn't want to switch from his trusty FCP6 either. I showed him the Smoke previews this morning. Now he's figuring out how to get the money.
    Smoke has one big advantage: Editing and finishing in one package. No switching between FCP, Motion and Color or Premiere and AE. All in one timeline. That's what I would have liked FCP X (or Phenomenon) to be... but for what I'm doing, FCP X and Motion (with a bit of Resolve if needed) is good enough. I don't have much pressure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    I might have expressed myself a bit clumsily. Autodesk themselves mentioned that they have lowered the system requirements for Smoke 2013. The minimum GPU requirements are an nVidia 330M - exactly the one I have in my 2010 MBP. With that MBP I can run FCS2 and FCP X perfectly, but don't have to bother to open up Adobe CS5.5... well it runs, but you don't want to know how.

    So far, we have seen rising hardware requirements from every piece of video software that came out. Smoke is the first one I have seen that actually has lowered the requirements.

    FCS' issue was the fact that it was 32 bit. That alone made it hit the wall. BUT: OTOH, I have the feeling that Motion 3 runs a bit snappier (applying behaviors, not playing the video) exactly because it was only 32 bit.


    While FCP X has built up a lot of momentum, there are still some folks out there who prefer a track based software, but Premiere and Avid just feels old to them. My old mentor was never too impressed with FCP X, but he didn't want to switch from his trusty FCP6 either. I showed him the Smoke previews this morning. Now he's figuring out how to get the money.
    Smoke has one big advantage: Editing and finishing in one package. No switching between FCP, Motion and Color or Premiere and AE. All in one timeline. That's what I would have liked FCP X (or Phenomenon) to be... but for what I'm doing, FCP X and Motion (with a bit of Resolve if needed) is good enough. I don't have much pressure.
    ------
    Just watched most of the Smoke demo flick. Ugh! So the legacy interface has persisted and let's see here, now price reduced to $3,500 ! Wow that's cheap, until you realize that contrary to what they assert, it is a significant 'relearn curve' from FCP and not necessarily for the better workflow wise. I do sense that the overwhelming benefit is the addition of Realtime 3D efx in one place. So if you are just starting out in serious editing, this is indeed a great upgrade from iMovie 6
    Otherwise, I think Apple may have shot itself in the foot with it's customer base. I know that after the announcement of EOL for FCS, a few of my full-time editor friends have switched from FCS on Mac to Avid on the PC. In fact, All discrete logic /autodesk video editors really look so much like PC interfaces.
    No doubt FULL TIME editors will find this a boon , esp as 2K & 4K become mainstream and yes the 32bit architecture sealed it for Final Cut, but the vast majority of part-time editors will hate this path and UI.

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    I do sense that the overwhelming benefit is the addition of Realtime 3D efx in one place.
    That, indeed, is their marketing argument, and if I would need it, I'd go for Smoke right away. If you know any track-based editor and a bit of 3ds, then the learning curve is not too steep. Sure, it might look like a Windows GUI, but it is a track-based editor. There are not too many variations in GUI design. Even the old FCP would have fit into Windows (and there actually was a Windows version in the pipeline).

    FCP X is really a lovely app (and a lot of the old guns are falling in love with it meanwhile), but Smoke offers the advantage to have everything in one. Turnaround time is king, and it looks like Autodesk is delivering, besides the old fashioned UI.
    I'm wondering how it would look like if Apple had followed up with the old idea of combining FCP and Shake. An FCP X UI with Shake's node based compositing would be the software for the next twenty years.

    On the other hand: Being a one trick pony and only know one app is suicide in the business. That's why there were only little differences (UI wise) between FCP, Avid and Premiere. You know one track-based editor, the others are not complete strangers to you. FCP X has mixed up that game a bit, and Adobe took the one or the other hint.
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    But back to hardware: Nowadays, a tablet computer has the power of a standard home PC from less than ten years ago. I remember to have edited video on a Pentium Celery (or whatever that thing was called). Sure, we have higher resolutions today, but do we really need that fancy Mercury stuff? Motion has had rendering support from the GPU since day one - it was just never really advertised by Apple like Adobe sells their Mercury Engine. FCP X and Motion 5 with OpenCL are absolutely fluent on simple ATI GPU. Heck, they even run on my nearly 5 year old iMac, even though it is officially not supported.

    Adobe, which has always been a resource hog in any way, is just adding hardware requirement after hardware requirement, while Smoke is going the LINUX way: We give you some solid, useable software with the least hardware requirements possible. I like that.

    Back to software: They forced Office 11 on me last week. I haven't used MS Office since 2000. Office 11 has that much fancy stuff built in meanwhile that it is close to unusable. Adobe has been going the same way. Photoshop became that clumsy that I'm gladly keep on working in GIMP. 90% of what AE does, I can do in Motion with much less effort (and with a much less steep learning curve).

    I better quit ranting now.
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    Well, only time will tell. I have to decide weather I need to upgrade FCS2 to FCS3 or just ditch the lot and start over. I'm not a full time editor by a stretch and frankly I can run FCS2into the ground over the next 5 years and 1080p over broadband will still be ubiquitous. For sophisticated 3D EXF I hire out anyway as it's really a specialized job. I'd rather do round trips between FCP and the rest of the suite than give up a clean UI. Shake's gray all over 2bit look will slow folks down. But who listens to a Usability & Human Factors guy anyway? Black is the new White it seems. Saves electricity too

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    I never saw a reason to upgrade from 2 to 3. I nearly completely abandoned FCS once I started using FCP X, and if Encore wouldn't be that much of a crash fest, I'd have deinstalled FCS meanwhile. As dear as a friend it was to me, somewhen you have to let go.

    Usability? Sure, Shakes UI looked a bit 90's, but node based composition is the best invention since sliced cheese. I'm sure that if Apple had developed it further, it would have looked nicer somewhen (how long did it take FCP? - you have been staring at the same lalala for 12 years - thanks to the deities, I've only been using it since FCP3).
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    So I really have to wait for my camera upgrade path before I make a decision on where to go with NLE and thus, edit station HW. if Smoke is real in 2013, then where does that leave FCP-X ? If node based composition is what I think it is then I'll like it. It's just that they refuse to hire Human Factors dudes to fix the UI. It's crazy that 20 years after the Usability revolution began, Apple is at the top....threatening to slide down to PC land!!! Grrrrr! Wish the software engineers would stop doing UI.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    But back to hardware: Nowadays, a tablet computer has the power of a standard home PC from less than ten years ago. I remember to have edited video on a Pentium Celery (or whatever that thing was called). Sure, we have higher resolutions today, but do we really need that fancy Mercury stuff? Motion has had rendering support from the GPU since day one - it was just never really advertised by Apple like Adobe sells their Mercury Engine. FCP X and Motion 5 with OpenCL are absolutely fluent on simple ATI GPU. Heck, they even run on my nearly 5 year old iMac, even though it is officially not supported.

    Adobe, which has always been a resource hog in any way, is just adding hardware requirement after hardware requirement, while Smoke is going the LINUX way: We give you some solid, useable software with the least hardware requirements possible. I like that.

    Back to software: They forced Office 11 on me last week. I haven't used MS Office since 2000. Office 11 has that much fancy stuff built in meanwhile that it is close to unusable. Adobe has been going the same way. Photoshop became that clumsy that I'm gladly keep on working in GIMP. 90% of what AE does, I can do in Motion with much less effort (and with a much less steep learning curve).

    I better quit ranting now.
    I recently ditched Office 08 on my old laptop and am happy to back to 04 !! those software dev idiots. Really.
    "Smoke is going the LINUX way"
    Hardly surprising as the core architecture of all Discrete Logic / Autodesk SW ran on UNIX MIPS boxes. DejaVu all over again !!!

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    LINUX is still pretty strong in that line of business.

    where does that leave FCP-X
    Which software would you think is more successful withe the masses, the one for $300 or the one for $3500?
    Even though the "high end pros" ran off in droves, FCP X has a larger install base than all other FCP versions had combined. I'd think Apple is doing pretty well with it.
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