Autodesk Smoke: Timeline 101 – Match & Replace

Posted by Ultimate_Smoker*, 10 June 2011 1:00 am

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you enjoyed my stereoscopic series. It’s still available to view through this blog and my CREATIVEFINISHING YouTube Channels

Before I get started on this week’s topic, I would just like to highlight a few events happening over the coming weeks!


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 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 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…

Timeline 101
Match & Replace

In this post I will be cover the timeline match and replace workflow.

In Smoke, the workflow revolves around a timeline surrounded by loads of creative visual effects tools such as Action, the FlameFX tools, Paint and much more!  Many are accessed directly from the timeline but there are also many other tools on the creative desktop! The idea behind Match and Replace is that it allows you to use your desktop tools for visual effects while still maintaining a connection to the timeline.

For instance, when you match a shot from the timeline you can keep the same in and out points on the matched source. These markers can be used throughout the entire creative process on the desktop - when your final result is ready, it will still have the same in and out points. This means you can replace the clip on the timeline without compromising the frame timing and sync.

It’s a very cool workflow that definitely beats copying clips from a timeline for visual effects work and then reinserting them and having to figure out what is your start and end frames to use.  This also includes enough frames for transitons too!.

Check it out!

This video is best viewed at Full Screen HD

The features shown are applicable to Smoke 2012 for Mac

Please keep the feedback and comments coming in.

I look forward to returning next week with more videos for you to learn and enjoy.

Take care where ever you are!

Signing off


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Hans von Sonntag

Posted 10 June 2011 3:11 pm

While I enjoyed the S3D tutorials a lot, S3D is not my construction area - yet. But simple workflow tips such a match & replace are valuable fundamentals. Thanks!



Posted 12 June 2011 4:36 am

can't see video,why?


Posted 13 June 2011 1:14 am

Thanks a lot. Very quick and clear for me to use Smoke with this way.



Posted 13 June 2011 1:33 pm

Hi Yzhichen... The videos I embed in my blog are YouTube based. They might work for you if you go to my YouTube channel - CREATIVEFINISHING -

Hi V, ... The multi-track functions were added a very long time ago as a workflow from the timeline to action. I have never been a fan of it because of the way it abuses video tracks and layers... long story. However it is not matching back the sources like match and replace. As for preserving the timewarps, the motion effect takes place ontop of the footage so matching might not work. In this case it would be good to copy the clips out of the timeline to the desktop which will keep the timewarp with the clip. You could than drop this clip into a record area as a new timeline and stretch out the handles as needed before loading into action or another desktop tool.



Posted 15 June 2011 6:05 am

Hi iam Bhanu from India plz keep some tutorial on conforming


Posted 15 June 2011 6:06 am

Hi iam Bhanu from India plz keep some tutorial on conforming


Posted 17 June 2011 4:37 am

Hi Grant

This is Bhanu From india iam working on smoke i need some help from u please keep some tutorial on Expoting in a good quality it wood b help for me.


Posted 17 June 2011 11:50 am

Hi Bhanu... This week I have uploaded a video about conforming an Avid AAF in Autodesk Smoke. Next week I will do the same for Final Cut Pro XML ... As for exporting media from Autodesk Smoke, there is already a blog post on that....



Posted 27 June 2011 8:56 pm

super helpful.
this has improved my offline/online workflow by leaps and bounds!!!



Posted 18 November 2011 3:50 am

Hi Nervous.Suffering

Yes you can do a replacement in the timeline with an updated clip. You can either access the REPALCE button through the Source/Record Viewer or F11 Shortcut on the keyboard.

What you need to ensure is that there are in and out markers on the updated clip. The duration of the in and out marks must match the duration of the clip being replaced in the timeline. For example, if the shot in the timeline is 2 seconds, than the in and out marks on the updated clip must also be 2 seconds.

The reason for this is if the length of the updated clips are different lengths to the shots they need to replace, you will need to ensure that the in and out markers match the duration otherwise smoke will time warp the updated clip to fit into the timeline.

Hope this helps.


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