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Flame is turning 20

We invite you to share your memories of this amazing journey. This year Autodesk® Flame® software turns 20. In the coming months we'll revisit some the most memorable product developments, celebrate the hundreds of film and television visual effects projects that you and Flame have helped bring to life, and honor a visual effects software that's been setting the standard for the last twenty years - and counting.

Thanks for 20 years of creative inspiration, and here's to the future!
This anniversary is all about you – our Flame community. Your passion and absolute commitment to creativity have driven Flame in ways that we couldn't have imagined. We invite you to share your favorite Flame memories directly on this site – send us photos of you in your favorite Flame t-shirt, your Flame suite, your best projects, or anything else you associate with Flame. We'd love to see them and share them with the community: email us at flame20@autodesk.com.

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20 years of Flame

1992
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Gary Tregaskis creates Flame (original name Flash). First demoed at NAB in a Discreet suite, Flame officially launches at Siggraph. Flame is used on Super Mario Brothers movie.

1992
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3D compositing is invented via 3D Effects module: for the 1st time, artists can composite one layer in 3D that includes lights, displacement mapping, 3D camera and more.

1993

Flame is 1st computer-based system to support real-time uncompressed video i/o via the Sirius video board. The Stabilizer, the fastest 2D tracker in the industry, is debuted.

1994
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Action, the 1st multi-layer 3D compositing system comes to life. The premiere issue of "Logik, a magazine for the digitally correct" comes out.

1995
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Action makes its real entrance by integrating the Compositor and the 3D Effects Module: single-layer 2D and 3D compositing are merged in a multi-layer 3D compositing environment.

1995

Action can import 3D OBJ geometries making it the first compositing application to mix 2D images and 3D geometry. Displacement mapping and Stabilizer are also integrated.

1995

The Batch rendering module debuts enabling artists to work on multiple setups and render in one go.

1996

First showing of Autodesk® Inferno® software at NAB. Features in the upcoming Flame release (version 5) are showcased at the user group to much acclaim.

1997
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Flame is the first compositing application to feature a 3D particle system fully integrated into a 3D compositing environment. GMasks redesigned with an Action-like schematic.

1997

Dramatic performance improvements are made to the Stabilizer and 2D tracking achieves new levels of speed and interactivity. Trackable AutoPaint is introduced.

1998

A huge year, Flame is used in the making of major blockbusters: Titanic and Armageddon. 2D tracking gets noticed with industry awards.

1998

The fast transfer of images between Flame stations is enabled via Wire, a dedicated high-speed network (over 80 MB/sec via hippi).

1998

The foundation is laid to transform the Batch rendering module into the procedural compositor we know today.

1998
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The Modular Keyer and Color Warper first appear, bringing 3D flow-graph-based keying and selective color correction to Flame. Extended bicubics are introduced in Action.

1999
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1998 Scientific and Technical Academy Award® goes to Gary Tregaskis, Dominique Boisvert, Phillippe Panzini and Andre LeBlanc for design and development of Flame and Inferno.

1999

Autodesk acquires Discreet Logic Inc. Discreet Logic becomes the division known as Discreet.

2000

The 3D tracker is introduced - and Flame is the first compositing application to integrate 3D tracking directly into its 3D compositing environment.

2000

Tracer and advanced gradients introduced so artists can key using GMask vertices. Flame is the first compositing application to support HD uncompressed video I/O.

2000
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Projection mapping in Action enables artists to project textures, images, etc. onto surfaces and geometry.

2003

Mixed resolution project support lets artists import different resolution shots into a project and convert from one res to another.

2003
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The Batch workflow is greatly advanced – with a new editing timeline, an integrated Action module, and proxy processing.

2003

Burn background rendering debuts, enabling artists to offload rendering tasks to a render farm.

2004
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Flame is improved with soft importing and proxy-based workflows as well as 3D LUT support. Master Keyer is introduced for 1-click keying.

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2006

In April, Flame transitions from SGI to the Linux operating system. Flame renders complex 3D composites more than 20 times faster than on previous SGI-based workstations.

2006
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Interoperability is enabled between Flame and Lustre via Wiretap

2007

100% clip compatibility between Flame and Smoke enables lossless round-tripping between the applications. Flame UI transitions to 16 by 9 and Action gets the look we know today.

2007
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Collaborative SAN-based workflows are enabled by the introduction of StandardFS support.

2008

Batch features an integrated multi-layer timeline with soft effects enabling 100% timeline compatibility between Flame and Smoke, making it easier to switch between products.

2008
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Batch is integrated into the Flame timeline with BFX. 3D tracking is redesigned around a new high-speed 3D tracking algorithm. Object tracking is introduced.

2009
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3D text capabilities are greatly enhanced with the new 3D path for text and character-based animation. Flame supports 16-bit float workflows and rendering.

2009

Flare, the fully compatible Batch-centric creative companion to Flame, is launched at NAB. Multi-layer timeline exchange between Flame and Lustre is introduced.

2010

End-to-end Stereoscopic 3D finishing workflow is introduced with a full S3D timeline, compositing, and effects toolset.

2010

Pixel shader rendering pipeline and procedural texture presets are introduced in Action. Lighting and photorealistic texturing of surfaces (map support) can now be done in Flame.

2010

Flame Premium released to address the convergence of color grading and visual effects in high-end post. Flame FX first appears in an extension release, a sign of things to come.

2011
2011 NAB

Groundbreaking relighting tools let artists dramatically change the look of images using light types, shading, shadow casting, rays, lens flares, blooming, and ambient occlusion.

2011

GMasks are integrated into Action with shape tracking capabilities, enabling artists to mask objects directly within the 3D environment.

2011

Significant additions are made to Flame FX with tools like Pixel Spread, Depth of Field, Denoise, Damage and Stylize.

2012
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Flame celebrates 20 years of industry leading visual effects – and counting!

2012
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Video Gallery

Cedric Lejeune
Power of Flame
Jason Farrow
Power of Flame
Electric Theatre
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Philippe Soeiro
Power of Flame
Empire Design
Power of Flame
Flame can do that!
Power of Flame
Power of Flame
Power of Flame
Community
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Flame Career
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First Flame
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Flame Turns 20!
First Flame
Flame Developers
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20 Years of Flame
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In Search of 1st Flame
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Sometimes the user interface wants to take part
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Customer Images

For 20 years, Flame customers have created some of the most compelling images out there. We thank each and every one of our customers for their creativity, talent and dedication, without which Flame would not be what it is today.

Flame 20th Anniversary Event

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Flame Memories

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share your flame memories

Send us your favorite Flame photo: email us at flame20@autodesk.com.

Image courtesy of Mike Parsons

Mike Parsons

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Autodesk thanks its strategic partners.

HP Z1 Workstation