Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

3D/2D CGI and the tools used in their creation (Maya, Photoshop, Blender, GIMP, etc.).
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PABER
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Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby PABER » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:10 pm

Hi I'm very interested in getting in to these tools, the problem is that I don't know what is the best way to start learning , these applications. I have seen that getting training for these applications can be very expensive.

Any advice on hardware and software?

jdboyd
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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby jdboyd » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:39 pm

PABER wrote:Hi I'm very interested in getting in to these tools, the problem is that I don't know what is the best way to start learning , these applications. I have seen that getting training for these applications can be very expensive.

Any advice on hardware and software?


I suspect that the best way is to get a very old flint (or effect Option whatever from the years that flint was renamed to that) and learn on that. The manuals are now online somewhere on the autodesk web site, even for very old versions.

winchester
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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby winchester » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:46 am

If you can get your hands on a system, or rent time, Autodesk has a number of free flame courses available on their web site. Very useful stuff.

By the way, Flint is the name of the package on the Octane(2), Effect is the same package but then for the Indigo2/O2.

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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby jdboyd » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:51 am

winchester wrote:If you can get your hands on a system, or rent time, Autodesk has a number of free flame courses available on their web site. Very useful stuff.

By the way, Flint is the name of the package on the Octane(2), Effect is the same package but then for the Indigo2/O2.


Autodesk has documentation that talks about Flint for both the O2 and Flint for the Indigo2. I wish I had mirrored the site since they appear to be removing older documentation now, for instance they've removed their documentation about the Flint RT (Flint attached to a special DDR), or their old Onyx1 and Octane documentation, or particularly relevant, the effect documentation.

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luchford
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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby luchford » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:34 am

You should check out the courses from http://www.fxphd.com, from what I've seen and heard they are great! (Approx $150 per course or so - but compared to official Autodesk training I believe it's a bargain).

There were some older training DVDs from cmivfx.com, but I don't think they were as well regarded...

As for hardware/software; see the creativecow.net forums, or just search ebay. I've seen complete IRIX Octane2 flame systems (with dm2 ++) go for approx 5000-6000$ and a complete Flint 9.2 linux system for 6000$ or so. Not "cheap", but compared to what they were sold for originally (and the price of turnkey systems in general), it is! I have not seen any legal restrictions on buying/selling the software, though you might be limited wrt reduced pricing on upgrades e.g.

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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby QuicksilverG4 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:03 am

Would someone please add some more details to the wiki on these various Discreet/Autodesk products like names, versions, and general descriptions? Off the top of my head I can think of Flint (Indigo2/O2), Flame (Octane), Smoke (Octane), Fire (?), Inferneo (Onyx, Onyx2). That list is probably not complete or even totally correct. Differences between the programs and hardware they supported would also be cool.

And do they work without SGI video devices installed - if digital video is brought to the SGI from another source? I've had a few systems with legit (or maybe not) installs pass through my hands at various points. I think I've got an I2 with Flint, an Octane with Backdraft (one I forgot above), and the PCI riser and disk from an O2 are hanging around for some reason I can't remember.

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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby bplaa.yai » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:37 am

Fire is also Onyx2 specific and, as far as I know, video input is DIVO only. These apps looks very hardware bound, and not only with video hardware (for example Fire displays messages about nodes detection at startup).
:Onyx2: :O2: :O3x0: :O3x0:

winchester
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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby winchester » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:22 pm

It is perfectly well possible to run Discreet editing/effects apps without video hardware. Strictly speaking all you need the video hardware for is to do video I/O. If you don't need or want to do video I/O, there is no need for the video hardware thus you can just omit those keywords from the config file.

Actually, if you use the apps (mostly Fire and Inferno on Onyx though) for film resolution work, the video gear is not very useful anyways.

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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby jdboyd » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:47 pm

QuicksilverG4 wrote:Would someone please add some more details to the wiki on these various Discreet/Autodesk products like names, versions, and general descriptions? Off the top of my head I can think of Flint (Indigo2/O2), Flame (Octane), Smoke (Octane), Fire (?), Inferneo (Onyx, Onyx2). That list is probably not complete or even totally correct. Differences between the programs and hardware they supported would also be cool.


There are two families there. Flint/Flame/Inferno are effects oriented, Smoke and Fire are video editing systems. You can edit in FFI, but it is reportedly painful. Likewise, you can do effects in Smoke/Fire, but you are limited. However, the borders between FFI and Smoke/Fire are fading.

Flint, Flame, and Inferno are basically different levels of basically the same program. The hardware relationships have shifted and changes over the years. Flame came first. It ran first on the Crimson, then the Onyx, then the Octane, then the Tezro, then the PC. Inferno ran first on the Onyx, then the Onyx2, then the Onyx 350, then the PC. Flint ran first on the Indigo2, then the O2 and Octane, then the PC. For awhile some versions of Flint were called Effect option 3. I think that effected only O2 versions of Flint, but I'm not certain. Certainly some versions of Flint on the O2 were called Flint. At this point with all of FFI running on PCs, I believe there is no core difference in hardware. I believe there is a lot end video option only supported by Flint, but otherwise the differences between the hardware is approximately none. Software feature wise, the differences were constantly changing as they moved closer together. I think at this point the big differences are that Inferno supports 3D tracking, and Flint won't go above HD resolutions.

Smoke ran on the Octanes then Tezros, then PCs. Actually I think the initial PC version came before the Tezro version. Initially the PC version of Smoke was limited to SD 8 bit video. Fire was originally for the Onyx, then the Onyx2, then the Onyx350, and it didn't make the transition to PC. I believe the main software difference between Fire and Smoke was originally Smoke was SD only, while Fire was HD and higher. Also, Fire would support 32 tracks of audio instead of just 8. I don't know if there were any further feature differences between the two.

There were also various things that came and went like Burn (background rendering on linux PCs), backdraft (I believe that just means that another machine can use the disk in the background), or wire (high speed file transfer).

QuicksilverG4 wrote:And do they work without SGI video devices installed - if digital video is brought to the SGI from another source? I've had a few systems with legit (or maybe not) installs pass through my hands at various points. I think I've got an I2 with Flint, an Octane with Backdraft (one I forgot above), and the PCI riser and disk from an O2 are hanging around for some reason I can't remember.


On SGI hardware, the video boards were bog standard SGI video boards. The only thing special was the disk arrays. On PC hardware, I believe that the video boards are still bog standard, but I could be mistaken.

I would love to get an I2 or O2 with flint cheaply one of these days.

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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby Richtom1 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:25 pm

I would love to get an I2 or O2 with flint cheaply one of these days.


I would too.....but seems that I never have enough $$$ at the right time when I see or hear of one for sale
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PABER
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Re: Best way to learn Flame / Smoke

Unread postby PABER » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:36 pm

luchford wrote:You should check out the courses from http://www.fxphd.com, from what I've seen and heard they are great! (Approx $150 per course or so - but compared to official Autodesk training I believe it's a bargain).

There were some older training DVDs from cmivfx.com, but I don't think they were as well regarded...



THanks for all the tips, I have checked fxphd.com and they have really valuable stuff, I really think they are doing a serious job there.


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