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Old 01-12-2003, 03:26 PM   #1
xmb
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flame heresy

i was wondering if it's really worth to get a system that cost's as much as a house. what's so much better in flame and what can you do so much more than in combustion, digital-fusion, shake, after-effects...
of course there is much highend stuff in there that you need from time to time for highend compositing, but is it really worth? today's pc's get faster & cheaper. and mid-end software too...

for example

you can do "bicubics" with a 3d program (and with this 3d program you get at least more options for real texturing, animation & modeling)
morphing with elastic reality
2d/3dtracking with boujou
compositing with combustion or shake or digital fusion or after effects
and so on...
and even with all those tools you still are far under flame's price.

maybe you have a combination of, lets say:
3d studio max & combustion, or digital fusion, or shake, or after-effects.
what do you need more? digital fusion has great keying-tools & color-correction too.

i was playing with flame from time to time and i was missing the option to switch between different programs. i love to work between flash, illustrator, photoshop, combustion, digital fusion & 3d and share those possibilities between those tools. but on flame you have only this one system and especially for motion-graphics it's not a such a good choice. the playback in flame is wonderful (especially when you work with film), but it needs to process (render) everything additional you do on your footage (like color-correction, etc...) like in all those other tools. so?

so can any flame-user tell me some more flame-pro's or contra's?
 
Old 01-12-2003, 03:36 PM   #2
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try sitting down with a demanding customer doing some touch-ups on some 2k/HD material with combustion, then ask that question again
 
Old 01-12-2003, 06:37 PM   #3
xmb
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get a good pc with the best available cpu's today (for example 3ghz dual from intel) with quadro graphics card & voodoo hd-video board or something like that and with all the other tools you're still far under flame's price.
 
Old 01-12-2003, 08:16 PM   #4
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Its always interesting to read how non-FFI users see the price point at which FFI is sold at. FFI offers the best "tools" suited to todays client supervised online editing sessions. As a result you can also bill them accordingly which offsets the initial price of purchase. Hourly rates of $800 are not uncommon for a flame suite with a Good operator, try getting that for a combustion "suite". It just doesn't work like that in the real world. When I was doing demo's at discreet for combustion I also had a view of like "whats the big deal about FFI?" One day desktop software is going to trounce these guys... I have since changed my view, I see that various tools are suited to various jobs. The desktop products you mentioned are all great tools in their own right and work together reasonably well, where as a FFI system just works on its "own" and might not offer some of the flexibility a dedicated program does. It does however offer clients a quick turn around for their needs, and a "global" toolset that is unmatched in any product out there today.

Just sit down in a major online session with a tough, demanding client and see what I mean, sure you could do some of the work on a pc, but that same client won't like it when he needs a quick turn around on a major project that demands quick, interactive and high quality results.

After all they're just tools, some work better than others, and will cost to reflect that...

-C-
 
Old 01-13-2003, 12:12 AM   #5
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Years ago when I worked with Henrie for first time, I amazed.It give us a lot of tool to make our dreams comes true.We can realise all the client s demands. The price of the system is approx.. same as todays FFI brothers...
At that old days you can use the PC for only a couples math operation
Todays PC are much faster then old Henrie s. And what is the price?
I agree with Cerebro in some of his words. But today, as a Flame Artist, I only respect to desktop machines and DCC applications.
Thats right, FFI brothers give us a stabile and fast changable world, but for a 300 000 $ (Flame).

There is absolutly nothing you could NOT make with your desktop PC and DCC applications. If you like to create a fantastic world full of your imagination, go buy some PC with a lot of tools (around 10 000$). If you like to make big client connection, ask for FFI brothers.
 
Old 01-13-2003, 06:08 AM   #6
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I've heard this comment several times already and I the guys have answered your question.

I would just like to add that although there are pc/cpus that are really fast, nothing comes close to how sgi and discreet tailored their machines to work in a demanding online environment.

FFI is an software combining all the applications you need to get the job done (you don't have to use other apps) integrated to run on a hardware that discreet itself tailored to run.

The ultimate challenge to those desktop pc's is the I/O system. Of course you can do the job on a cheap machine but how would you get the uncompressed clips to your pc realtime? Can you hook up a HD deck/camera on it or D1 to that pc?

What about maintenance and support? If you use several software, it could be a headache when you have to call several developers when something goes wrong. Does the manufacturerers guarantee that some of you peripherals work flawlessly with other third party products?

With an FFI system, you just have to call Discreet.

Think again.
 
Old 01-13-2003, 02:45 PM   #7
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hi people

i agree with wireFrame i have seen demo of FFI at discereet and these guys have awesome tools and speed i also work on combustion but beleive me its good for broadcast work as soon as you go for Film it screams for harware and more hardware, and you dont have toold like modular keyer, 3d keyer, 3d tracking and other high end stuff in combustion you even dont have timeline warping like afx, and lot of times c2 crashes if you use third party plugins like psuanami, lens flare etc.

regards

Vivek
 
Old 01-14-2003, 02:21 AM   #8
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Sorry about my angry style but who are you guys?
You work for Discreet or you live outside of the world?


Quote:
I would just like to add that although there are pc/cpus that are really fast, nothing comes close to how sgi and discreet tailored their machines to work in a demanding online environment.


Quote:
i agree with wireFrame i have seen demo of FFI at discereet and these guys have awesome tools and speed



I worked with FFI brothers hundreds times... If you think Flint or Flame are two time faster than Intel P4 3 Ghz, think again.
You are thinking that this systems works faster because of an illusion. The illusion is, how you work. Not how they work... When you use Flint or Flame, usually you use one module at time. For example you use modular keyer for keying, you process that. And go to Action module with your footage and matte to animate them, you process that. And you go to Grain Module for make grain, you process that etc etc. If you try to use all modules in action you can see they are not couple times faster than P4 processors.
Try to use Combustion like you use Flame with a RAID array, you will see the differance.

Ok I agree that Inferno is really much faster than desktop systems. But how many times? Please calculate this little equation.
Lets say you give one and a half billion dolars to buy an Inferno system. And you have to make a key in 2k 16 bit footage during
1000 frames. Lets say Inferno calculates one frame of 2k key in half of a second. What is the render time of this process.
Ok you are right 500 seconds.
In the other hand you spend 500 thousands dolars for a PC network that contain 500 P4 (that is possible).
Lets say Inferno is 20 times faster than any P4 (it s not fair but for a second I agree with that). Ok lets back to our
problem with new system. What is the render time for same key process. Each CPU spend 10 seconds for a frame, we have 500 CPU and we have 1000 frames.
Ok you are right 20 seconds.
And now I have 25 times faster system for 1/3 of the price...


Quote:
FFI is an software combining all the applications you need to get the job done (you don't have to use other apps) integrated to run on a hardware that discreet itself tailored to run.


So if you can make all the things in IFF, please try to make a lens flare without a 3rd party plugins...


Quote:
The ultimate challenge to those desktop pc's is the I/O system. Of course you can do the job on a cheap machine but how would you get the uncompressed clips to your pc realtime? Can you hook up a HD deck/camera on it or D1 to that pc?


You ask about I/O solution on desktop system. Do you ever heard an editing system called AVID?
This industry leader of editing software work noncompressly only at desktop PCs. Not on Silicon Graphic, not on Machintosh!
And if you like you can buy Videopump I/O card for PAL DV or HD for only 3000 or 7000 $ each...


Quote:
and lot of times c2 crashes if you use third party plugins like psuanami, lens flare etc.


If you think that FFI does not crash, you are in dream. Please try this, make a new composite on Flint. Capture a footage, it is
not important what was inside. Go to Action Module with this footage. Make some blur or key framed axis anim when your footage is the 1st layer. Process it. Than add this processed footage to Action Module like 2nd layer. Than push the add button on layer tab for 3rd layer and delete the first process that you see in import footage desktop(just push it outside the window). Return to Action Module. Just push the Process button. You will see what is really means crashing.

I like to apologize from all the members of Discreet company for this reply because I really believe that they are working
for a really good objective. They are making a lot of people s dreams comes true.
And I believe that they have some reasons on their price strategy in the market.
But this strategy is not about the speed or "one size fits all"
 
Old 01-14-2003, 06:17 AM   #9
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>>Lets say you give one and a half billion dolars to buy an Inferno system. And you have to make a key in 2k 16 bit footage during
>>In the other hand you spend 500 thousands dolars for a PC network that contain 500 P4 (that is possible).

Where are you getting all these crazy numbers? half a billion dollars? 500 thousand for a pc?

FFI cost brand new between US$100k and $500k. You can get used Flame and inferno systems for $80-100k. I have seen Flints for $20k.

>>You ask about I/O solution on desktop system. Do you ever heard an editing system called AVID? This industry leader of editing software work noncompressly only at desktop PCs. Not on Silicon Graphic, not on Machintosh!

What avid are you talking about, Avid is a company, not a software package. You do know that an uncompressed Avid DS starts at $100k, an avid ds with HD starts at $180k, both of those prices are without storage, add another 25-50k for that. Also do you know that Avid software does run on macintosh, Xpress, Media Composer and Film Composer all run on mac. Avid software only ran on mac and sgi up untill 3-4 years ago. DS runs on pc only because they bought up softimage and got DS along with it.

Avid DS HD system is still pretty pokey because of the limited bandwidth of intel boxes compared to SGI. Most of the inexpensive HD cards that run on windows boxes have to use a lossless codec that compresses the file down small enough so you can get the multiple HD streams over the PCI bus. The way arround this currently has been the systems similar to the HD DDR that 5d Cyborg and NR Tremor systems use, but again, they are expensive (US$50k).
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:23 AM   #10
wireFrame
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Oh, well...

I don't have to argue or peruade you but I understand what you're fighting for, Milo FX.

I'm an artist and maybe the rest of us who you are trying to persuade but we're not the ones who bought those machines that we're using. If I have to buy a new system that I can afford then I would still buy a discreet system 'coz it's built around the integrity of its system and the maintenance support (minus the headaches). We're comfortable using it and it would be very nice if Discreet would lower the price (though it is justifyiable).

FFI is an award winning tool and people who uses it should respect it the way it is. It is the prefered tool by top compositors on earth. Those post houses that can' afford it/them would consult you instead.

All I can say is: To each his own.

PS. By the way, if you know/understand how to use batch processing, you'll understand why FFI is soooo cool to use.

Avid amchines here are just used for offline editing
 
Old 01-14-2003, 11:34 AM   #11
xmb
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the sad thing is that discreet thinks very capitalistic (of course, like many other companies. it's their right to make money)...

they introduced the new dma technology demo some while ago (remember toxik, strata, mezzo) and it looked like a new highend next generation compositing/editing-allinone tool available as a pc-turnkey-system this year. with almost or similiar options as the ffi systems but really amazing performance with no additional hardware-acceleration (only dual p4 & raid with a wildcat-graphics card)

read also here: http://www.fxguide.com/modules.php?...=article&sid=31

and: http://www.digitalproducer.com/2002...reet_strata.htm

now since sony's socratto pc-turnkey system died & 5d (cyborg) too, discreet just stopped the development of their highend pc-system, because now they're out of concurrence in that area (ok maybe avid-ds, but not really) and thus it would only decrease the ffi-sales probably.
the dma technology will be introduced in the existing systems, but i'm not sure how exactly.
one at discreet told me that there will be a very big surprise this year (maybe at nab),

so let's wait & see...
i still hope there will be something for pc like this toxik-thing.
 
Old 01-14-2003, 02:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
now since sony's socratto pc-turnkey system died & 5d (cyborg) too, discreet just stopped the development of their highend pc-system, because now they're out of concurrence in that area (ok maybe avid-ds, but not really) and thus it would only decrease the ffi-sales probably.


Stopped development? Are you sure?
 
Old 01-14-2003, 03:21 PM   #13
xmb
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not the development of dma, but of this pc-system. at least that's what a guy from discreet told me...
i guess it's not really stopped, but "sleeping", until they get real concurrence from outside again.
 
Old 01-14-2003, 03:36 PM   #14
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So they're sitting on a 5-stream realtime 4:4:4 3D/composite system, and waiting for someone to race with?

I wonder why noone at all ever mentions Media100 844x..? it has real decent hardware, but an immature software so far, but who knows what it will be in a year?
 
Old 01-14-2003, 04:13 PM   #15
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Trouble with the 844X is that it only works with D1 right now. Discreet products can go up to HD or film(since they are resolution independant).
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