Visual editing software Smoke may now be in the clear for prosumer or indie filmmakers.
Autodesk’s latest version of Smoke will cost $3,495 and you can run it on your MacBook Pro. While that same wad of cash may still be enough to get you a cruddy used car, that’s about one-third the $15,000 price the California-based multinational was asking for the previous version of the software released just last year. The more affordable price may put cool effects like green screens and 3D within reach.
Autodesk will be showing off the new version at NAB in Las Vegas, you can check out the virtual demos here.
The company is pitching Smoke 2013 for professional editors who want a one-stop shop for editing and effects – you can create special effects tools in the timeline – but the price drop and lower system requirements will make it appealing to prosumer types or small indie outfits who want to use a track-based editorial workflow with professional tools for color correction and 3D visual effects.
Designed for editors familiar with Final Cut and Avid, Smoke will help them get through the seven or so routine operations needed for projects much more quickly. It’s easy to see how a studio might whip through changing the locations or prices on a national ad or make small changes to legal disclaimers for 30-to 60-second spots if they can do it from the timeline.
The lower system requirements have appeal even for the pros – if you don’t want to be holed up in an editing suite with your iMac over the weekend, you can sit in your favorite recliner and edit with your MacBook Pro.
Matt Silverman of Bonfire Labs, a creative motion design agency, clapped when he saw Smoke preview at the Autodesk offices in San Francisco.
Calling Final Cut Pro X a “huge flop in the professional community,” Silverman says Bonfire was looking for other solutions – and believes that the new Smoke may be it.
“We were leaning toward Premiere Pro, which we currently have in our Adobe Master Collections, or moving back to Avid which we used prior to FCP,” said Silverman, the creative director of Bonfire. “The reality is that only a few of our folks use FCP, as the majority of artists work in After Effects, Maya, Cinema4D, Houdini, and other design apps…Now that the price point is competitive, it is a no-brainer for us to push all editorial through Smoke on Mac.”
Although Bonfire already lost a client who bought the previous edition of Smoke and did the work in-house, he doesn’t anticipate the comparatively lower price tag will translate into a loss of business.
“I personally believe that a tool is a tool, and it is the artist that makes the difference,” he said. “We have always sold brains not boxes at our shop.”
Look out for Smoke’s public beta in mid-summer and the final version to ship fall 2012.