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Activity Forums Commotion Commotion lives ! Within Avid Liquid 7

  • Commotion lives ! Within Avid Liquid 7

    Posted by Hartmut Gau on November 8, 2005 at 7:45 am

    Hi everyone,

    seems that the new version of Liquid (now in hands of Avid) offers almost 30 filters that come from Commotion:
    Has anyone tested it yet ?
    Does anyone know if Liquid supports preview via firewire ? This would be the moment for windows users to use Commotion with Firewire-Preview. 😉
    Unfortunately the Primatte Keyer is not included.


    J Bills replied 18 years, 6 months ago 6 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • J Bills

    November 12, 2005 at 2:25 am

    speaking of Avid – the XSI team is thinking of adding a considerable amt of commotion code to fxtree for their next release. might be something to keep an eye on, because fxtree has a killer set of tools otherwise, basically old avid illusion. I have always loved it’s paint tool, both raster and vector surrounded by a great compositor? this might be big… but then again, there’s a lot of “might be bigs” going around these days.

  • Doug Moody

    November 16, 2005 at 12:15 am

    I think its kind of funny (not in a ha ha way but in an odd way) that one of the greatest tools for doing post has been in our midst for so long and the powers that be haven’t been able to see it value. Namely, Commotion. It was and is still king for some things that can’t be done any other way.

    So what gives? Are those who make these decisions just clueless when it comes to what the people use and like? I am convinced that is the case. The bean counters just can’t wrap their minds around technical gems like Commotion long enough to figure out how to strategically make it a runaway best seller. And teh engineers who are convinced of how good it is can’t seem to talk to the bean counters in language they can understand. If they REALLY understood what they had, Avid would really make lots of money from an updated Commotion. But alas…I am only hoping in vain….

    An LE 6.1 user

  • Charles Roberts

    November 19, 2005 at 3:47 pm

    I’m with you. I just did a short roto project as a test run twice, once with Commotion and then again using Sillhouette (demo admittedly) in FCP. It was still faster, even though I had to go to another app, because of the stuff that Commotion automated and that the Sillhouette demo couldn’t do. Its cool, but it ain’t commotion. For those who say “But you don’t have to leave one app to roto,” I say “you don’t know how to leverage Open In Editor!” I’ve been using Commotion as a plugin inside FCP since like 2001.

    Since this summer I have been screaming in the ear of every contact I have at Avid from ground tech support to marketing guys and coders to invest in it. My assumption is they (still) don’t want it competing with other Pinnacle products like Liquid. But I don’t want Liquid. We’re still using Commotion in Tiger and on Dualies and will continue to do so till it just won’t work anymore. We get the occasional minor crash (I’m assuming it has to do with memory management and cache leveraging which has changed a lot since 2002), but its still a champ. XML Export died (the first of its kind, way before Autoduck mastered the market of metadata), and I miss it. I’m gonna cry now…

    I once tried to start a grass roots campaign to buy Commotion from Pinnacle, (sort of joking, sort of not) in a kind of class action. You know, if enough users kicked in 100 bucks each and offered to buy it lock stock and barrel, they’d know what they were losing and maybe wake up. Funny thing is Avid is more likely to respond to a trick like that. But who’s got time for organizing political stunts like that these days. I’m just hanging on for dear life with 4.1 and hoping some little upstart like Puffin will again storm the market wth a tool as streamlined as Commotion.

    Don’t get me wrong guys, and Sillhouette-Mokey-Curious-God Knows-What-Else users, I’m glad you’re happy with what you got. But between FCP and Commotion and Shake, I need nothing else (on the low-end anyway)

    Kepp the faith and keep letting Avid know we want it, even if its only an updater for new OS’ !

  • Doug Moody

    November 19, 2005 at 9:24 pm

    Well guys, I have to admit now that my eyes have been opened about the reasons Commotion is dead. Today I had a meeting (I can’t tell you where), but the people in the meeting were industry heavyweights. They told me that in private conversations with Avid folks the main reason Commotion is being dropped is an economic one based on a technical issue. It seems the people who wrote the original COmmotion code were poor documenters, and there were also a lot of part-time people who wrote work-arounds, shortcuts, and illogical code just to get Commotion to do the things it does.

    But those folks have come and gone, and the legacy product now would take so much money to re-write (because they would have to start from scratch) that it just isn’t economically feasible. So, Avid is taking the things from Commotion that are easy to port out and leaving the rest to history. Honestly, I understand those reasons, though if a very special person within the Avid organization would take this on as a personal project, and maybe contact the original creators, it is possible (though not probable) that it could get resurrected again.

    So, in short, don’t hold your breath. It is VERY unlikely we will ever see Commotion again. But that doesn’t mean I won’t use it until technology makes it impossible to use effectively. Let’s just hope someone creates something that uses the same tricks Commotion did, because it still has some tricks that are ahead of the pack.

    An LE 6.1 user

  • Matt Silverman

    November 19, 2005 at 10:29 pm

    Your info is partially correct. Commotion was written by Scott Squires, who initially buit it for his own use. Scott is not a run-of-the-mill programmer. He is a traditional film-maker, who learned to code to help him make tools for his own work. So this did not produce the “cleanest” code, but it got the job done. I remember when we wanted multiple undos the “real” programmers said it was impossible due to the architecture. Over the weekend Scott sat down and wrote multiple undos. This is how it became so damn killer. The bit about freelancers is correct too. Puffin would bring in specialists to handle different parts of the code. When we needed AE plug-in support, we brought in Zalmon Stern, the same brain who did the PowerPC port of Photosohop. When they needed b-splines, they hired an expert int this type of mathematics. When we needed a motion tracker they brought in the same guy who wrote the tracker for “a major northern california effects facility”.

    The reality is that Pinnacle was on a buying spree at the same time Puffin was trying to cash in before the bubble burst. Pinnacle thought they were getting an After Effects killer, and dropped their cash before checking out the code (or probably even getting a real demo). Commotion is a dead dog, so get used to Silhoette 😉

  • Doug Moody

    November 19, 2005 at 11:38 pm


    Your name was brought up in this conversation too (in a nice way of course). Thanks for the further info.

    But what is stopping someone like Scott from getting involved again? What’s he up to nowadays? If the old team got together again, it could be a real killer!!!

    An LE 6.1 user

  • Matt Silverman

    November 20, 2005 at 7:00 pm

    Scott sold all the rights to Pinnacle, so there is little he can do with Commotion. Commotion was based on an application Scott wrote called Flipbook, which may or may not have been included in the Pinnacle deal (flipbook had some cool stuff that Commotion never had, like a process tree compositing engine). I doubt that Scott would waste his time re-inventing the wheel though, and as I said there were a lot of other folks involved with Commotion who are now working elsewhere.

    He recently left ILM and I heard through the grapevine that he was working on some independent projects. Scott’s a legend (and a great guy), so it’s about time that he gets to kick back and enjoy life instead of stressing about the next summer blockbuster. He’s probably lurking on this forum, so if you are here say hi. =).

  • Rofflan

    November 26, 2005 at 8:42 am

    Here is an interview with Scott Squires and link to his website:


  • J Bills

    November 26, 2005 at 12:39 pm

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