Editing Promos in Stereo 3D and More with DC Collective

Posted by Marc-Andre Ferguson, 30 September 2011 8:00 pm

DC Collective logo

A conversation with Adam Corey | DC Collective, Silver Spring, Maryland.

DC Collective was started in May 2010 by partners Adam Corey and Thuy Dinh, both veterans of post who wanted to run their own show, so they opened a nice creative boutique. DC Collective specializes in short form, mostly for broadcast clients like Discovery, ESPN, National Geographic, TLC and the Travel Channel. Some advertisement work rounds out their portfolio, like a recent series of commercials for Rosetta Stone.

When the time came to select a finishing suite, Adam and Thuy decided they wanted the least amount of IT problems as possible and opted for the Mac platform to build their business. They had seen Smoke on the Mac and decided to investigate. Now, DC Collective has four edit suites, two for offline with Final Cut Pro 7, and two finishing suites with Smoke, as well as FCP and the Adobe Creative Suite.

"Having Smoke allows us to be open", says Corey. "It reads XML, ProRes, Avid files... We didn't pigeon-hole ourselves. We're also less reliant on other motion graphics apps; we can take a client's graphics package and enhance it with Smoke's toolset. It's fun to work with."

Longtime former Avid DS artist, Adam compares Smoke favourably to it, saying that both applications have similar toolsets, with Smoke having a better 3D compositing engine.

After initial implementation hurdles, as often happens when you migrate from one extensive set of tools to another one, DC Collective was up and running. "Autodesk really stepped up to the plate and offered an unmatched level of support to get my facility up and running."

Shot and edited in 3D using Autodesk Smoke on Mac


Shooting in stereo at the LLWSRecently, DC Collective was involved in a major ESPN project, the broadcast of the Little League World Series in 3D Stereo, and Smoke was integral part of the workflow. Game teasers and promos were constructed live, during the broadcast of the games, using an ingenious workflow. The multicamera shoot was ingested with an EVS system, a powerful system used in sports broadcasting, selecting Apple ProRes Quicktime as the recording format. The footage was made available to DC Collective's editing stations, accessible in real time. Some editing was done on Avid Media Composer, and Smoke was used to build the commercial break teasers and promos in stereo.

"We started cutting the teasers together in Avid in 2D, because you can't sacrifice the 2D for broadcast. Once we got the ball rolling, though, we ended up doing everything in Smoke, it was just faster."

Once a piece was finished, it was output live to the EVS system, just like outputting to tape, except the stereo output from Smoke was ingested by the EVS, since it didn't accept a stereo file as a source and used a proprietary 3D stereo file format on ingest. 

Adam Corey in front of the Smoke workstation

"Smoke on Mac has got a lot coming, it's exciting!"
- Adam Corey, DC Collective

Adam Corey thanks Scott Meglemre, Kristen Gruca and Noah Gusdorff, EVS engineers, as well as Dean Schirm, Application Engineer at Autodesk, for their help in setting up the workflow. 

Find out more about DC Collective by visiting their website, and check out their work on Vimeo.


Smoke for Mac


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