Choosing your next editing and finishing system


Are you thinking at changing your workflow? Are you looking at another NLE? And if so, why chose just one new application? Why not take this opportunity to think beyond your editing pipeline?

Knowledge is Power

For the past six months, I’ve been closely monitoring the NLE storm that has been rocking the industry. The release of FCP X triggered a chain reaction that lead postproduction pros and broadcasters to consider changes to their tried and true workflows. Some editors looked to Adobe and Avid for an alternative while others took the plunge and moved forward with FCP X. I smile and reminisce about a time ten years ago when I was a trainer helping Avid editors as they considered switching to the brand new FCP. I had made the switch myself with FCP 1, and was blown away with the ability to edit on a laptop.

Industry veteran Walter Biscardi has been chronicling his facility’s pipeline evaluation on Creative Cow and on his personal blog. And he sums up the need to be open minded in his latest blog post:

“What we found as we went through the testing is that there are positives and negatives to both systems so it’s really hard to just choose one… So why limit ourselves to JUST one or the other. Put both tools in the toolbox and utilize the most efficient tool for the job at hand.”

I’ve always been a believer that knowledge is power, and having multiple apps in your toolbox is a sure way to get the most amount of paying gigs. If you’re already an FCP user, check out some of the alternatives. If you’re an Avid veteran, give FCP X a trial run. Regardless, give Smoke a try. It’s a great finishing tool, and as our friend Brian Mulligan is quick to remind us, Smoke is also a great editor!

So what if you look at these editing applications, but find that they lack certain features that you need to take your project from end-to-end, offline to finishing? This is why we use the tagline “Don’t Just Edit. Finish.” with Smoke. When your projects demand more than just storytelling – the best quality, the most professional-looking results and that cachet that your clients expect of you – this is why you should consider Smoke. Start with your base knowledge as an editor, and take it to the next level with Autodesk Smoke.

Top 5 things you might not realize about editing in Smoke:

  1. It’s fast and highly interactive
  2. It’s got native tapeless media support means – no scratch disk and no Log & Transfer
  3. It’s got a traditional multi-track timeline you already know how to use
  4. It’s got all the finishing capabilities you need built in
  5. It’s got in-depth, comprehensive true 3D compositing

Don’t Just Edit. Finish.

The reality of modern post-production is that budgets rarely get bigger even as client expectations grow and project deadlines shrink. You need tools that will let you do your job quickly, efficiently, and without compromise. If your workflow involves editing first, then jumping to another application for graphics and effects, and a third for colour correction, it will cost you time preparing your timeline for all those jumps through all those various hoops. When we talk to people about the biggest challenges in their workflow, they rarely cite creative problems above time – time to finish, time wasted moving between applications, time vs. budget. The key to efficiency is having instant access to all the tools you need for finishing, and that is precisely what Smoke offers.

So as you look at various options for editing in your pipeline, why not give Smoke a try for editing and finishing? It’s never been easier to take Smoke for a spin, with a free, fully-functional 30-day trial, a 36-month trial for students, and a variety of Macs that Smoke can now be installed on.


Marc-Andre Ferguson

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