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Forums Creative Community Conversations Flame Unleashed: Flame now available on Mac and by subscription

  • Flame Unleashed: Flame now available on Mac and by subscription

  • Walter Soyka

    November 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Autodesk Flame is opening up.

    Flame used to be available only as a very expensive turnkey solution with HP hardware running Linux, but now it’s also available on the Mac platform, and it’s available by subscription. With Desktop Subscription, you can rent Flame software for $750/month, $2000/quarter, or $6000/year. Flare and Flame Assist are also now available for rental.

    https://area.autodesk.com/flameunleashed

    I know a lot of people are down on the subscription model, but I can’t think of a clearer example that shows how subscription can broaden access to a product while still providing the developers the revenue stream they need to continue making the awesome products we customers are looking for.

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Oliver Peters

    November 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Just to add to this, turnkey (i.e. hardware) sales from Autodesk are being discontinued, so you’ll be able to purchase or subscribe to software-only versions. If you purchase Flame (perpetual will continue as an option), you also need an annual support contract to stay current with updates. The subscription cost is roughly the same cost as just the support contract alone, so this is a pretty good deal. It also applies to Lustre, although that won’t be on Mac OS.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL
    http://www.oliverpeters.com

  • Walter Soyka

    November 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    [Oliver Peters] “If you purchase Flame (perpetual will continue as an option), you also need an annual support contract to stay current with updates. The subscription cost is roughly the same cost as just the support contract alone, so this is a pretty good deal.”

    And software upgrades are being phased out on July 1, 2016.

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Oliver Peters

    November 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    [Walter Soyka] “And software upgrades are being phased out on July 1, 2016.”

    This has also applied to Smoke, which already shifted from perpetual to subscription. So, if I interpret their FAQ correctly, if you own or buy Flame before the cut-off it will still be upgrade-able up to, but not past, that point. IOW, Flame owners would be better off shifting to a Flame subscription in addition to the original unit they already own. Or simply retire it and replace it with subscription.

    FWIW – this general shift also applies to their 3D products like 3dsMAX and Maya.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL
    http://www.oliverpeters.com

  • Bret Williams

    November 5, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    How does flame compare to AE, Fusion, Motion, etc? Back in the 90s I used to see things from a flame session that cost thousands that we could have easily done in AE. I’m sure Flame equates more with Fusion/Nuke but I guess it wasn’t always being used to its potential?

  • Walter Soyka

    November 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    [Bret Williams] “How does flame compare to AE, Fusion, Motion, etc?”

    The short answer? It doesn’t. And I mean that both ways. For some jobs, Flame will be enormous overkill. For others, Flame will lack the most basic tools necessary to do the job efficiently.

    What Flame does offer is a generally good UX with an uncluttered UI that focuses on what’s most important right now, and a high priority on interactive performance.

    Flame is an all-in-one application with a really interesting philosophy: a clip is a timeline is a node graph. It’s got a deep, broad toolset, covering aspects of editorial, compositing and VFX. It’s got a 2D and 3D compositing. Flame had GPU acceleration before GPU acceleration was cool. In the last couple years, Flame has seen a lot of re-development, and it has picked up a few really powerful creative tools.

    Compared to Ae or Motion, Flame lacks some basic motion design tools that you’d take for granted in Ae or Motion. Setting type or importing vector graphics is an exercise in workarounds. Though it has some very cool features, the animation channel editor is painful for managing large numbers of keyframes. The expression language is primitive compared to Ae’s rich Javascript or cascaded behaviors in Motion.

    However, also compared to Ae or Motion, Flame has some really unique and powerful creative tools. Flame’s 3D compositor, Action, approaches 3D from a completely different philosophy than Ae or Motion do. It supports 3D shapes and arbitrary deformation of flat cards. It supports image-based lighting and PBR shaders, including Substance materials. A user community has sprung up around Matchbox, Autodesk’s shader language, developing all kinds of free effects. Autodesk has just introduced Lightbox, which allows the user to project an effect through a light onto 3D geometry.

    Compared to Fusion or Nuke, Flame lacks some hard-core compositing tools. Multiple channels (heck, even alpha channels) can be a hassle to work with. Schematic organization can be dicey — Flame just got elbow connectors this year. Viewport navigation is abysmal, which is all the more puzzling when you consider the expertise Autodesk has in-house with their 3D apps.

    However, Flame’s big advantage over any of these other products is speed. Speed comes from the fact that it has both an editorial timeline and a node-based compositor, the nature of the renderer and the hardware it runs on, and the UX. I might also argue that these have lead to big cultural differences among the the artists specializing in each app, which leads to a self-reinforcing, righteous/vicious circle, depending on your point of view.

    All that said, here’s what really got me interested in Flame for our shop (and started me down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out a business model to afford one):

    https://www.oneframeofwhite.com/2014/

    Those are the 2014 winners of the “One Frame of White” contest, an annual competition where artists show off what they can do on a stock Flame or Smoke, with no third-party plugins and no external sources. The only footage allowed on the framestore is a single frame of white, hence the name.

    Bear in mind watching those entries that Flame does not have dedicated hair or fluids tools — those are effects are hacked together by the artists using boring “technical” tools like position maps and motion vectors. I love that spirit, and I love that the tool makes those things possible.

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Jason Jenkins

    November 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    [Walter Soyka] “https://www.oneframeofwhite.com/2014/

    Those are the 2014 winners of the “One Frame of White” contest, an annual competition where artists show off what they can do on a stock Flame or Smoke, with no third-party plugins and no external sources. The only footage allowed on the framestore is a single frame of white, hence the name. “

    Thanks for sharing that, Walter. Very cool stuff!

    Jason Jenkins
    Flowmotion Media
    Video production… with style!

    Check out my Mormon.org profile.

  • Tero Ahlfors

    November 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    [Walter Soyka] “The short answer? It doesn’t. And I mean that both ways. For some jobs, Flame will be enormous overkill. For others, Flame will lack the most basic tools necessary to do the job efficiently.

    What Flame does offer is a generally good UX with an uncluttered UI that focuses on what’s most important right now, and a high priority on interactive performance.”

    Pretty much this. I really like the reel based desktop. I think that’s still in? The last version I’ve used was the 2012 Flame.

  • Walter Soyka

    November 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    [Tero Ahlfors] “Pretty much this. I really like the reel based desktop. I think that’s still in? The last version I’ve used was the 2012 Flame.”

    The desktop workflow has changed a lot since 2012, but reels are still definitely in:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqfk4mdQn0sWjceCR_WnNLhrdILaSbqL-

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

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  • David Mathis

    November 7, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    I am still waiting for Fusion Studio to come out. Flame is way out of my budget.

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