The massive price drop Autodesk introduced on Smoke for Mac 2013 seems to have sparked a trend: GenArts have reduced the price of Sapphire for Smoke, bringing it more in line with Sapphire for Final Cut, After Effects and Nuke.
What does Sapphire for Smoke give you?
Sapphire for Smoke lets you supplement Autodesk Smoke for Mac’s own effects library with over 200 additional, highly customisable effects. The latest additions include redesigned versions of Lens Flare and Flare Designer, so you can take full control of the size, spacing, thickness, intensity and colour of each flare element. There’s also a new 3D lens flare that can manipulate flares within your 3D compositing environment for added realism.
Fittingly, Sapphire for Smoke v6 has added six new effects, including Flashbulbs, Caustics, LaserBeam, and MuzzleFlash, along with nine transitions and access to the GenArts FXCentral portal, so you always have access to the latest looks, and can download them without leaving the application.
Floating or locked licence?
It depends how many artists you think you’ll have working simultaneously. A floating licence can be transferred between Autodesk Smoke for Mac seats, so multiple artists can share a single copy of Sapphire for Smoke, provided they don’t have to use it at the same time. A locked licence, like the name suggests, is installed on a single machine, has its serial number registered with GenArts as being on that machine, and won’t work on any other. If you’ve got multiple effects artists who’ll all require access to the Sapphire plug-ins simultaneously, we’d recommend getting them their own locked licences, rather than hoping you can get away with a floating one.
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