Autodesk Smoke For Final Cut Pro Users - Overview Video Series

By - - Flame , Smoke
105 mins
Last modification: 16 Sep, 2017


Hi Everyone,

I have compiled a single blog post which contains all the videos from the "Autodesk Smoke for Final Cut Users" Video Series. 

Remember that if you have missed any videos or you would like to see what has been done, you can visit the TABLE OF CONTENTS for my blog.

For Autodesk Smoke webinars this month, check out the Smoke & Dagger blog.

If you would like to attend the Official Autodesk Smoke Training Classes, you can visit the Autodesk Training Schedule for dates and your nearest authorised training centre.


Conforming an Apple ProRes timeline and Performing Colour Correction

The first video in the ten part series looks at how a Final Cut Pro 7 user can bring their timeline into Autodesk Smoke with minimal fuss and begin the process of finishing. We also take a close look at grading and colour correction to tweak your images to perfection.

During this video series, I am joined by Rick Young, director, producer, Final Cut Pro Editor and author. (

PLEASE NOTE: This video series is intended as an overview of Autodesk Smoke. For step by step instruction, please visit

During this series, Smoke 2012 was used for the presentation.

Conforming an Apple ProRes Timeline & performing colour correction


The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7


Keying & Garbage Masking


The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7

Basic Editing & Transitions


The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7



The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7

Change Speed

The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7


Creating Text & Titling


The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7

3D Lighting


The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7

Working With Audio


The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7

3D Text & 3D Models 

The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7


PART 10:
Print to Tape, Exporting & Archiving

The features shown are current to Autodesk Smoke 2012 and Final Cut Pro 7

Well that wraps up this video series but I’ll be back soon with more videos on the blog!

Please keep the feedback and blog requests coming in as I am taking note of everything.

Please take care wherever you are.

Signing off for now.


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| 8 years ago
@grant-kay. wish u a very happy n prosperous new year . i wanted ask some doubt about smoke.. so letme know how can i contactu. u had mentioned in some tutorial that we can do wire removal using pixel spread. so wanted to know how is it possible.??
Edited by OpsLZFMe 8 years ago
| 9 years ago
hi newbie here, may i know what is the shortcut key that you do in 09:25 of part1 video , to split the screen . thank you very much.
Edited by gbhxxMrP 9 years ago
| 9 years ago
Hi Grant, Thank-you so much. I'll go and try these suggestions ASAP. I'll master the baby steps first before i run on Brain's method of transition ;P It would be great to perhaps do a video on Smoke speed editing tips via the timeline using the tools? Like Selecting (Highlight) a clip and nudge +/- 20 frames down the timeline or move it to a particular time-code point by punching it on the SRC recorder T/C menu, instead of manually lifting clip it and dragging it down the timeline, zooming in then accurately snapping to that place? Thanks again Sensai Grant
| 9 years ago
Hi Deelan, 1) to create Luma dissolves, there is an option in the dissolve menus to choose to between a regular dissolve, additive dissolve and non-additive dissolve. The last two will transition a dissolve based on the image luminance from white to black or black to white. As for the swish pans, you could use the AXIS transition or the CUSTOM transition and the action compositor. As for data supported by the XML import, most generic effects come across fine but anything that is Apple specific coding will not translate. Not because Smoke does not have the ability to do the effect but more to do with the translations provided in the XML. For a list of supported features through XML import, you can see the information on the Autodesk Wiki at 2) I am not sure why the load and save buttons in the transition editors are not working for you. However there is a much more gestural way of saving effects and you can get a similar workflow to the "FAVs" bin like FCP7. Once you have created a transition effect between two clips, you should be able to copy the transition off the timeline and drop it onto the Source area. Once you have done this, you can simply drag copies of the transition onto cuts and that will apply your saved effects. By saving them in source areas, you can save the source areas into the libraries and use them as and when you need them. I have watched Brian's video on transitions and clip history. What I have to say is once you get to that level where a transition consists of multiple processes and elements, it is not something as simply as rescaling or resizing duration. I would say to you to build a library of durations. At first its slow but once you have your effects built, it's as easy as Brian shows. Hope this helps. Regards Grant
| 9 years ago
Hi Grant. I’ve just recently done a 3 day SMAC 2012 – course @ Soho editors with Rory. Unfortunately I couldn’t get all my questions answered by the instructor on this, so I was wondering if you could help out on this? Keeping in subject to transitions – Coming from FCP 7 workflow 1) How do i create simple Transitions like luma dissolves / push – swish pan wipes etc? (common occurrences in trailers & tvspots editing environment) I’ve exported XML data from FCP with various internal plugin transitions and most did not come thru, excluding your average cross dissolve and dip 2 color. 2) How cam you save the preset transition and load on another shot like FCP FAVs browser in the EFFECTS Bin? In SMOKE there is a Load / Save option under the Dissolve / Wipe EDIT tab. However the setting I save does not come thru when i apply a load to another shot? I've come across this tutorial , which is some what helpful: But can you one like how a TRANSITION would work, not like the above method whereby your limited to not refine the length of the transition instantly, unless you build it in various durations? Please? could you record a tutorial for this or reply back either way you insight will be helpful? thank-you kindly Deelan
| 9 years ago
***Problem Solved*** It was my Firewall. I had my OSX Firewall cranked up to only allow nessesary internet communications. I thought this would block only external communications. I did not think this would ever block an internal program. Nonetheless, it was blocking a few important tasks from the Autodesk suite. So I have allowed those programs to get through the firewall. Now, the Gateway works in either 32, or 64 bit mode. As far as DHCP goes, yes, your hunch was right. I am using a DHCP server. I noticed, however, that the service module seems to work this out on it's own after a few minutes of uptime. Thank you for helping me work this out. I'm a little embarrassed that it was my fault all along. My apologies for clogging up your blog. Chris
| 9 years ago
Hi Chris, Can you go into the Autodesk/Smoke folder and launch the SERVICE MANAGER. You will get a pop-up of the services. All of the options should be green. If the gateway is RED than the service is down and needs restarting. Secondly, the gateway services is reliant on a network connection. Are you using a static or DHCP server? If you are using a DHCP server, the wiretap gateway server needs to be restarted through the SERVICE MANAGER because it could be holding onto the old IP address from your last assignment. Once you have restarted the gateway through the service manager, start Smoke again and see if that gets the gateway running. Last ly in the clip library, if you click on the blue pop up and choose BROWSE, you are taken to the network panel, is your gateway visible there? Can you navigate it? If it is there but says connection refused, double-click on it to wake it up. Once it is up, select the path you would like to be than exit the network panel. The gateway should now appear in the blue pop up list. I hope this helps. Regards Grant
| 9 years ago
Grant, Thank you for your series. This has been a huge help getting up and running on Smoke. The way you teach is brilliant. I am very excited about the Smoke program and I am stunned how well it works. Wiretap Central (The Gateway), however, is not showing as an option on my system. It sometimes works fine when I am in 64bit (twice). But usually, 64bit or not, the Gateway does not show up as an option when I start the program. And there does not to seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. I have read the five or so blogs about this issue and have followed the recommendations. Nothing has fixed the problem so far. I am at a complete loss. Is there something that I have missed that needs to be set up, or not be set up, for the Gateway to consistently appear as an option. As of now, I cannot follow the import XML exercise because I cannot get the Gateway to appear. I am having to import clips in one at a time to work with them. Thank for any help or advise in this. Chris
| 9 years ago
Hi Caroline, There are a few things I can think of. Firstly the resolution of the XML does not much the resolution of the footage. I have seen in the past than even if you set FCP to use ProRes 444, the XML still thinks it's 8 bit. In Smoke, if you import your ProRess media into the timeline, it should link, however all the material will be resized to 8 bit which is unnecessary. To fix this in Smoke, double-click o the XML in the Gateway window. You will have two options - Click the METADATA options. Change the clip resolution setting from "FROM FILE" to "SELECT RESOLUTION". Select anyone of your ProRes clips and press COPY FROM SELECTED CLIP. This means that when you drag and drop your XML, the resolution of the footage should match the metadata and there will be no resizes applied. Secondly, if you have any effects on the clip which are unrendered, they will appear as UNRENDERED text in the thumbnail. This is normal. Thirdly, select your clip and press "LOAD TO DESK". Drag your clip from the Source area to the Record area at the bottom of the screen. Press F5 on your keyboard to expand the timeline. Also press ESC to bring up the Standard viewer. To the left of the standard viewer you will see a collection of button. On the top row you will find a button called REALTIME. Change this to PREVIEWFX. You should now be able to see your footage when the cursor is parked on a specific frame. If you press play and the playback is black, it means you need to render the clip. Finally, the playback performance is dependant on the speed of your storage. This varies from system to system. I hope this helps. Regards Grant
| 9 years ago
Hello Grant, Thank you so much for this series. I can't wait to dive in - but alas I'm getting the dreaded 'unrendered' text on my media and so far have not been able to import any clips that, once in the timeline, do not simply play black. Here's what I'm doing: - exporting xml from fcp 7 (settings are 1920, 16:9, 24p, pro-res 4444, 16-bit) - saved to same folder as all media in that sequence. - creating new project in Smoke (1920, 16:9, 24, progressive, 12-bit color depth) - navigating to xml location in gateway - selecting and dragging the xml in. It does import but the thumbnail shows up black with 'unrendered' written on it. - If I open that project file in the smoke timeline, still black. - I DO have a red rocket card installed. Does that make a difference? - Also, what are the minimum system requirements for running smoke? Mine is a Quad-Core Intel G5 running on V10.6.3 OS X with 16GB memory and 2 times 2.8 processors. Thank you!!