POPULAR -- Autodesk Smoke: The Avid AAF Conforming Workflow

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

Hi Everyone
For those of you who attended the Boston FCPUG Supermeet, I hope you enjoyed Ken's presentation of Autodesk Smoke and you got to see some of the super tools in Smoke.   For those of you who were not in the vicinity, there are more events coming up.  Here are some details…
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 this link
2. London Final Cut Pro SUPERMEET
It's that time of year again for the 2nd annual FCPUG Supermeet in London.  My good friends Michael Horton and Dan Berube are bringing the massive Supermeet to the United Kingdom.  They will be showing all sorts of things and Autodesk's Joe Billington will be showcasing Smoke For Mac.  
Modern finishing is more than just editing. Joe will walk you through exactly how you can take your creative editorial to the next level with the proven all-in-one editorial finishing capabilities of Autodesk Smoke. See exactly how Smoke provides a streamlined finishing environment that is built on proven tools and a familiar workflow. Learn how Smoke's integrated editorial, effects and finishing tools can put editorial finishing at the core of your creative pipeline, whilst reducing complexity in your editorial finishing workflow. Don’t Just Edit. Finish. With a little bit of 3D magic thrown in ….
Go to http://supermeet.com to register
3.  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 is also an editor, 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 Avid Media Composer 5.5

The material used in this presentation was courtesy of Restart – www.re-start.tv.  
Special thanks to Prince Yiadom of Restart.
I hope this has shown you how simple the process of AAF conforming can be.  

CLICK HERE to check the on-line wiki-database to see what Avid AAF effects are supported and translated by Autodesk Smoke.
Next week I will be showing XML conforming from Final Cut Pro 7.
Please keep the feedback and requests coming in….
Take care wherever you are and see you again really soon.
Signing off.




Blaine Maverick

Posted 17 June 2011 9:20 pm

Much help Grant!! Any chance you could do a RED->Avid->Smoke Conform video? Doing an offline with the QT proxies and relink to r3d in Smoke? Or do you have to transcode all the r3d to DNxHD before editing?



Posted 17 June 2011 10:52 pm

AAF also works out of Adobe Premiere without any issues that ive seen. using it to offline footage of my Canon 7D all the time and then bring into Smoke for fx, finishing and grading.



Posted 21 June 2011 11:42 am

Hi Everyone

----- Kyle
I did do a video a while back showing the RED conform with XML in Smoke linking to the R3D media. The issues that you need to watch out for is losing the common metadata between the QT proxies and thr R3D media. This is a common mistake I see all the time. As for working with the R3D media in Smoke., you should be able to work with the original files and not need to trasncode.

----- GaryD
I have not tried it out with Adobe Premiere but its good to hear that it works for you....

----- S5hwan
There is no particles or particle support in Smoke for Mac. You can use the particle tools in AfterFX or another 3rd party programme and import the renders into Smoke for compositing the final.

----- Bhanuteja
Thanks for the feedback. I have already done videos on importing 3D FBX models into Smoke. You need to look through the list of posts. However if you work for a reseller giving Smoke demonstrations than you should speak to your local Autodesk representative. You should be able to get the sales kits that have been designed for demo artists which covers most of the things you are after.

Many thanks everyone!


Blaine Maverick

Posted 21 June 2011 8:57 pm


I've used the RED XML FCP workfow and have no issues with that. My question is in relation to Media Composer natively handling r3d files, or the QT proxies. I'd like to avoid transcoding r3d to DNxHD as losing the metadata renders the Smoke conform damn near impossible.

So my question is, is it better to use Native AMA supported r3d quicktime proxies for the MC edit, or transcode to DNxHD for the edit and relink to r3d on conform in Smoke.


PS. Now that FCPX is out and is missing XML/EDL export, can you put some pressure on Autodesk to release a prosumer based editor to replace FCP in the workflow? I'd love to have a stand alone autodesk editor to have my clients use over FCPX.


Posted 23 June 2011 8:51 am

Hi Kyle, Like yourself I am exploring all the possibilities with AMA and I am far from done. Its a great idea to be able to carry the R3D media through the whole process. The R3D QT proxies should have the same metadata as the R3D files which makes conforming on FCP pretty good. I would anticipate it would be the same through AMA but I have not had the time to test it. I have no idea how the AAF would carry the data as it is binary encoded so this is a guess at best with other manufacturer's products.



Posted 17 August 2011 10:22 am

Hi Jamil, The coordinates generated in the analyzer are based on real-life camera values. When sent to 3D, they will get the same values as flame (or from any 3D tracking package for that matter). I do not understand why the origin value has to be 0.0.0 --- The 3D person would model their work and than snap it into the tracked camera data to match it it to the scene. This can all be passed back to Smoke or Flame as render passes or a 3D model with camera via FBX as well.

Perhaps you can ask on the flame forum if people work any differently but as far as I was aware this should not be an issue for 3D people.



Posted 4 February 2012 10:19 pm

hi Grant

plz tel me how to track gmask of a moving charactor



Posted 6 February 2012 6:36 am

Hi RAJ BANSODE. In the Gmask menu after you have created your mask, you will see two STABILIZER buttons. One button will track the overall shape and the other will track the points of the mask. Depending what you are tracking will influence your decision as to what function to use.

Hope this helps.


Halloween Jack

Posted 22 May 2012 4:28 pm

Hi Grant,

I have got this working importing PAL SD anamorhic from Avid, but when imported into Smoke it becomes 4:3.

So 720x576 in both cases but just the wrong pixel aspect. I can resize the vision, but that needs a render.

When you import a single MXF file it comes in 16:9 so I guess it's not reading the aaf meta data correctly?

Am I missing something here?


Halloween Jack

Posted 22 May 2012 4:29 pm

Oh scrap that about the single file import. Thought it was when I tried it a few weeks ago, but it is bringing it in as 4:3

Halloween Jack

Posted 24 May 2012 5:35 pm

Hi again,

I have used Reformat in the library to get around this, but the media also has a gamma error. I believe Avid exports AAFs as 601 and Smoke imports as RGB. Do you think this might be the case? any idea how to get around it?

It's the same for HD too. We have to consolodate the media as Smoke cannot access outr Isis as it stands.



Posted 16 December 2013 5:00 am


I have watched more tutorials on how to conform in Smoke than I care to admit. I did a stereo 3D project with RED Epic cameras. The film has been edited using DNxHD 36 proxies in AVID Media Composer. I want to online my footage to the native .R3D files in Smoke 2013. And then export 16 bit linear Open EXRs for the entire timeline each as separate clips. On which I could do VFX and color correction. Any help to conform would be greatly appreciated.



Posted 2 January 2014 11:57 am

Hi JamesTR,

Happy New Year… The conforming should work between the Avid Proxies and Red media as long as the metadata is the same. The values you need to verify is typically the tape name and timecode.

So I would import the AAF without media and reformat the entire sequence to match the resolution of the Red material you will use. This ensures that not unnecessary resizes are applied.

Next, you can load the unlinked timeline in the conform tab and set a search directory. Ensure that you set the match to work via timecode and tape name. The filenames will be different as Avid changes the names so disable this option.

Hopefully Smoke will find the matches and than you just need to link the files to the timeline.

Hope this helps!

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