FAQ: Autodesk Smoke 2013

Thanks to everyone who made it to our Smoke 2013: A look under the hood webinar last week. We hope you found it helpful! In case we didn’t manage to get to your question within the hour, and for the benefit of those poor unfortunate souls who couldn’t attend, we’ve rounded up the questions and answers below.
If you have anything else to ask, you can always drop the team a line at Smoke@Jigsaw24.com, and one of them will get back to you sharpish. But for now, why not revisit the 54 glorious minutes Jean Pierre spent demoing the latest features by rewatching the webinar?

How do you import/export AAF from Avid?
It’s as easy as exporting your project from Avid as .AAF, and importing into Smoke. You can use the same method with Premiere Pro. Smoke 2013 will also read FCP XML, FCPXML and EDL, making it pretty compatible with any workflow.

Will Smoke 2013 work with Blackmagic Design cards?

At the moment, no. But remember this is the start of big re-write/new release, and it’s only just out of the starting blocks.

How do you manage the Frame Store and what is the best practice for managing projects?

The Frame Store is still managed by Wiretap Gateway. If you’d like specific advice on managing projects it’s best to contact Smoke@Jigsaw24.com and we can give you more detailed feedback.

How does it work with DaVinci Resolve?

Both apps will accept XML, EDL and AAF. But if you mean running both apps on the same machine – the system requirements for each program are very different, so your system can’t be ‘qualified’ for both.

Smoke is very slow on my 2008 Mac Pro tower. What is the most effective hardware I can invest in to get the most out of Smoke? Do you feel a new iMac is the fastest system currently available for Smoke?

Definitely a Quadro 4000, and loads of RAM (how much depends on if you’ve got a Quad-Core or 8-Core 2008 Mac). Thunderbolt isn’t an option on 2008 Mac Pros. Please do call us regarding this because it’s hard to answer specifics about your Mac or workflow without more information. We’d be more than happy to help.

What do I get with an Autodesk Subscription?  Is this the only way software upgrades are available? Also, can I buy an Autodesk Subscription later or do I need to buy this when I buy Smoke?

With an Autodesk product subscription (‘Subs’), you get:

– Online tech support from Autodesk

– Subscription Advantage Packs (new features from the next version of software not currently released/available to current users)

– All new software version updates, including point releases, bug fixes and full releases. Bug fixes are obviously made available to non-subscription users, too.

You can buy a subscription after your initial purchase, as long as the version of Smoke you have (e.g. 2013) is the current version. If not, you’d have to buy an upgrade, then buy the subscription for you new version. However, your subscription will be backdated to whenever you bought your latest software, so if you buy a year’s subscription nine months after buying Smoke 2013, you’ll have to renew three months later. There’s also a late payment fee. For this reason, we recommend picking up a subscription when you first buy your software.

Which GPU cards are people using with their Smoke 2013 systems?

For qualified GPUs, see: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=123112&id=19565204

And specifically this page: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?id=18844534&siteID=123112

Can Smoke actually work with/edit multiple formats spread out on multiple volumes extremely quickly, like Premiere Pro CS6, with minimal render time?

Smoke will happily work with many formats, and volumes. But if you mean how does it compare to the Mercury Engine in any specific situation, it’s a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’ The only way to find out is download the trial for yourself and compare it in your own environment – I appreciate this is dependent on you having the correct configuration to run Smoke. There will no doubt be loads of online comparisons once the dust has settled.

How much will it cost to install Smoke 2013 on university-owned computers?

Smoke 2013 now costs £125 ex VAT per Mac seat for universities. Free versions of the software have always been available for students, and from the 2013 version, students are allowed to bring those computers into the classroom and work on the free version at university, and their work won’t have to carry an Autodesk watermark.

I know Mac Pro/Quadro FX4000 is the best config, but will Smoke 2013 work pretty well with a new 2013 iMac?

A 12-Core Mac Pro with a Quadro 4000 is the fastest config. But the most recent iMacs (late 2012 models) are really fast and yes, Smoke will run well on them. A Quad-Core i7 with Thunderbolt storage is an awesome Smoke machine!

Do Jigsaw24 run a training program for Smoke 2013? 

At the moment, Jigsaw24 aren’t running any training courses, but this is something we are looking into. If you subscribe to our newsletters, you’ll hear about training there.

Are network licences available?

Yes, network licences are available for Smoke 2013. If you already have a standalone licence, you can purchase a network activation code to convert your existing licence into a network copy.

Can a single licence be used on a Mac Pro and MacBook Pro so I can edit on the road? How do you switch from one machine to the other? What if I’m working outside the UK? 

As long as you have an Autodesk Subscription, yes, a single licence can be used on both a Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, provided they’re not on at the same time. You don’t need to switch it from one machine to the other, Autodesk handle that for you, and you can use your copy of Smoke anywhere within the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa). Artists with an Autodesk Subscription can use their copy outside the EMEA for up to 90 days of the year.

Got any more burning questions? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email Smoke@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, reviews and more, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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