POPULAR -- Autodesk Smoke: Conforming Final Cut Pro 7 XML Timelines

Posted by Ultimate_Smoker*, 17 March 2012 12:00 am

 Hi Everyone

I hope that you all have a had a great week!

I was at the FCPUG Supermeet in London last night and it was loads of fun and very interesting. Great to meet people and put faces to the names.

As always, here is a list of details which might interest you.

1. EMEA Webinars

Autodesk will be hosting a series of webinars for all based in Europe, Middle-East and Africa. The webinars focus on a whole range of Autodesk products including Smoke for Mac and it is definitely worth booking a viewing slot! To register, click here

2. Autodesk Creative Finishing Software Training in the USA and Canada

We are running various course for Autodesk Creative Finishing software. You can view the courses and dates by CLICKING HERE


This week's blog…


Autodesk Smoke works on the Mac platform so you can run it with other Mac-based applications. If you are using editors like Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro 7, Smoke is designed to work with the same media and metadata as these editors.

This means that you don’t have to redo all your work when you move from an off-line stage to an on-line finishing stage.

I would also like to mention that because Smoke has editing capabilities, you can do both editing and finishing in Smoke.

This video presentation is best viewed at Full Screen HD

The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7.0

The material used in this presentation was courtesy of Restart – www.re-start.tv. Special thanks to Prince Yiadom of Restart.

CLICK HERE to check our documentation or the on-line wiki-database to see what Final Cut Pro 7.0 effects are supported and translated by Autodesk Smoke.

I hope this has shown you how simple the process of XML conforming can be.

Take care wherever you are and see you again really soon.

Signing off.




Posted 24 June 2011 7:56 pm

Great... just in time as FCP7 has been shot dead in the head and no more XML from Apple. Not your fault, I'm slamming Apple not you. (Although if I was AD I would really be looking at making Smoke on a Mac to Smoke on a Win because Mac Pro's will be the next shoe to drop from Apple.)


Posted 25 June 2011 7:52 pm

Hi Serge, have you tried slipping the footage in the media list? You can't put action in negative cranes but slipping footage does the same thing. If you want have motion blur on the animation from frame 1 than set the curve extrapolation to linear and it will give the movement before the first frame which in turn creates the motion blur from frame 1 of the composite. Hope this helps, regards Grant.


Posted 29 June 2011 10:24 am


As side form creative features and performance, Smoke for Mac and Smoke Advanced can output the exact same level of image quality which is ultimately... uncompressed. In terms of compressed media formats, Smoke for Mac can handle ProRes natively whereas a linux system would require a networked Mac gateway to work with ProRes...

Please be aware that if you have any questions that are not related to the blog posting, please post on the AREA forums... The AREA forums will get more exposure than a comment in a blog post.



Posted 30 June 2011 6:00 pm

Great blog as always.
But I'd like to see the relinking XML with other higher resolution clips, such as Red or ARRIRAW.


Posted 30 June 2011 6:48 pm


--- Jamil
The issues that you might be having could be down to the way you set your colour setting when interpreting RED footage. It does not matter if you transcode using a red application, the wiretap gateway or wiretap central. You need to get your colour settings right and hopefully you will get a good key.

As for the question, to use DPX or not... that's entirely down to you.

The RED grey icon at the bottom right of a clip tells you that smoke accessed that media from a RED file. If you had pulled in DPX files instead of RED material than the icon would say DPX. The icon is light grey when you link to the material on the network. The icon goes dark grey when it is stored as a local copy. The local copy is in fact a DPX sequence but the icon will still say RED because Smoke remembers the import history and it traces the metadata back to the original RED file.

--- Eui-Hwan
The interlaced/progressive option in axis is the render output setting of the axis effect. Your media loaded will always be set to its default dominance. So if the clip is tagged as interlaced, it is pulled in interlaced. So the only option you really need is to set the render output dominance.

In Action, if you go to the media menu, you will see the media list. When you load in media into the media list and select it, you will see a blue button to the left of the list and by default it is labelled "AS INPUT" This option is reading the dominance assigned to that selected clip. You can change the dominance for that media if you want. You can set the dominance for every media loaded into action thus allowing you to mix dominanced correctly. In the action setup menu is the output dominance for the final render.

--- Snuki
Thanks for the compliment. To answer your question about relinking to RED and ARI RAW files, the good news is that I had already made a vlog that shows you how to conform a XML using R3D media. It was for 2011 but it is still valid for 2012. The same idea would be applied to ARI file as well.

You can view it at: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk/workflow_xml_red_conforming_2011_style



Posted 1 July 2011 8:23 am

Hi Jamil,

You might be better off contacting RED directly or asking these questions on their user forums - http://reduser.net/

There will be enough people who can talk you through the sciences and settings to get an optimized result from your RED media.



Posted 2 July 2011 6:14 am

Thanks for another great post Grant.
However, I still have a small issue with Red conform and it all has to do with the resolution. Let me give you an example.
I just tested the conform with epic material. The material was shot at 5k. Red recommends doing debayer always at full quality. So, copying the resolution in FCP XML/AAF is not going to work, as the material will be 5k and that is not the resolution, that is needed. I wanted to conform it at 1920x810 (2.35). I had tried to enter that size as a custom size, but all I'm getting is cropped 5k material. Any suggestion?


Posted 21 July 2011 10:39 am

Hi JimR,

Im a word... Yes ... however there is a difference when capturing off HDCAM SR or using DPX.

If you want to capture directly off HDCAM SR ... than prior to drag and dropping your file, you would turn off SEARCH AND IMPORT FILES. When you drag and drop the XML/AAF, the timeline si built with UNLINKED MEDIA. You can proceed to the Video I/O menu and press RECAPTURE. Provided the tape name and timecode are good, you should have no problems capturing from tape.

As for DPX files, if you Off-lined with QT files and you want to relink to DPX files,, tape and name and timecode should be consistent between the DPX and QT files. In the MEDIA OPTIONS for the XML/AAF import, set the search criteria to filter DPX and USE TIMECODE and USE TAPE. Turn off USE FILE NAME and Smoke should relink to the DPX files instead during the search..



Posted 25 July 2011 2:56 pm

Hi Jim,

If the DPXs are already imported into your Library than you will have to perform the conform in 2 steps.

1. Import the the XML with unlinked media. In the media options, disable import and search
2. Once the "unlinked XML" is imported, go to the tools menu and choose relink... You can relink to media in the CLip library or reel instead of the ateway and the XML should relink to the media in the library.

AS long as tape name and time code is consisten it should work.

Hope this helps.



Posted 25 July 2011 4:43 pm

Hi Grant,
I've tried this and am not having luck. I'll keep at it though and may stumble on it !! The clip Tape Name and time code may not be matching the XML---although I CAN make the conform happen if I do it all through Gateway via the FCP/AAF Search and Link.

Just not working through Tools Relink to Library or Reel Files.

Appreciate you help,

Jim R


Posted 25 July 2011 5:26 pm

An update Grant. It seems to have something to do with the fact that I've brought in short selects of the footage. If I make the unlinked XML with CONSOLIDATE and try different #s of tails, I can do the Relink to the Library.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Jim R


Posted 10 September 2011 2:39 am

Hi Guru,

The sony XDcam is interesting format because FCP 7 can't read the native mp4 files off the camera but Smoke can.

So Sony created this converter which does something as the files are wrapped in QT to work in FCP 7.

There is a chance that you could get it to work if the metadata from the MP4 file is preserved in the QT conversion. If the tape name and timecode is preserved than you can off-line in FCP with the Quicktimes and on-line in Smoke with the original MP4 files. You would do this by conforming off tape-name and timecode.

Good luck!



Posted 10 July 2012 1:27 am

smoke problem: i am using smoke 2012, i try to export xml from fcp and import in smoke,but my smoke is an error while import the xml file..,i see step by step of the video but still not working..,need help,thanks^ ^


Posted 13 October 2012 12:05 pm

how to handle the cine (.cin) in smoke...



Posted 15 October 2012 8:29 am


Smoke does handle the cineon format for import and export.


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