Autodesk Flame, the Rolls Royce of the post-production finishing that can handle the whole of the post-production process from Editing to VFX and Motion Graphics, is now affordable, subscription based, available on OSX and Linux and FREE to download for students.
I can’t emphasize enough how incredible this is as Flame used to be hardware based and accessible mainly to the large post-production facilities (Technicolor owns more than 1000 Flames spread across its facilities that include, among others The Mill and The Moving Picture Company), which needed high end real time tools for interactive post-production sessions with commercials and film clients.
What’s more, Flame Artists were trained within the facilities and Flame became like a dark arts and quite impossible to learn unless one was employed in a post-production facility. Being a Flame Artist was like being part of an exclusive boys club.
I remember moving from Flame to Shake, as I wanted to use the software I could own and literally crying as it was worse than moving from an automatic car to a manual car. And I remember Agencies TV Producers crying and screaming as they only wanted to work on Flame.
And they were, partly, right as being able to control all aspects of the post-production in one real time finishing software, and not constantly move between different applications and different Artists enables clients to make instant and last minute changes. This also creates Artists that are involved creatively and have a view of the bigger picture and a deeper understanding of the project as they work closely with the Directors and Agencies Creatives from the pre-production to the delivery.
As for working in film the last time I met a film Director was on Gladiator when I was part of a team of Flame Artists. We had a privilege to feel we were part of the creative process of making a film as Ridley Scott would come in and sit with the individual Artists to work out the layout and the look of the VFX shots. In the last 10 – 15 years the whole generation of film VFX artists has missed out on this experience of working directly with the Director or seeing a bigger picture as they work their way through the individual shots not being able to see them in context until the editorial drops them in, and a long line of people between them and the Director.
Now that Flame has been Unleashed, the new generation of Artists will be able to regain the creative control of the finishing of the moving image projects, and also regain the ability to work in the same room as clients too.