Tag: discreet

Autodesk has released the trial version of Smoke 2013 for Mac today. You can download the free trial from their website, and they’ve also kindly put up several demo videos showing of its new features and interface.

The how to videos are a must, as it’s been a long time since I’ve fired up the old SGI Octane and run Smoke, and the interface has completely changed with this release. I remember back in 1999 when I was working for Warner Brothers and our promo department bought a smoke*  (somewhere along the way they lost the asterisk and gained a capital letter) from discreet logic. It ran on a maxed out SGI Octane, required customized fibre channel storage called “stone” that had 18 hard disks in it, and cost around $300,000. It’s blend of effects compositing and video editing pretty much rocked my world, and there was nothing else like it at the time.

Smoke for Mac 2013, runs on an iMac, using an external hard drive, costs $3,000 (not including the computer), and it’s blend of effects compositing and video editing still rocks my world, and I’ll be damned if there’s still nothing else like it now.

Blog Computers Post Smoke

Once upon a time in Canada, there was a company called Discreet Logic. They were a bold people, who developed high-end visual effects software on SGI computers called flame*, inferno*, and smoke*,for major Hollywood releases and broadcasters. They also liked to write things in only lower case and add asterisks* after* words* for* no* apparent* reason*. Looking to branch out into the industrial and lower end video markets they brought out a new NLE in the late 90’s, designed to work on PC’s and Windows NT, and they called it: edit*.

edit* quickly gained a rabid following in its market. It ran on PC workstations with a Matrox Digisuite, or Pinnacle Targa 2000 card, for a ridiculously low price of only around $10,000. The simplicity and workflow that discreet brought to the NLE interface won many converts, including myself, and for the time it was the by far the best bang-for-the-buck editor out there. You got to have a small, capable real-time, dual stream, uncompressed video system, with the cachet of the discreet name, that felt like running your video on the “big iron” systems. As someone who was trained in flame* and smoke* back in the SGI days, this was the big clincher. Combined with discreet’s combustion* motion graphics app, you could have your own mini-flame* for a fraction of the price. It was an unstoppable combination, that died a quick and pointless death.

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