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$999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer

Posted by Sprocketz 
$999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 11, 2012 05:37PM
Saw this offer. Are they discontinuing Symphony?

That's a really good deal.

[shop.avid.com]

Read the note under the "add to cart" button.
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 11, 2012 07:59PM
So funny, someone at Autodesk started that on Twitter. "They must be canceling Symphony." Wonder why nobody thought Avid was canceling Media Composer last year when they dropped the price. smiling smiley

The answer I'm getting is "No." This is a two month, one time only, take it or leave it offer. I'm already planning to change my order of four Media Composers to four Symphonies if for no other reason than the Boris Continuum Complete in each package and the awesome color grading tool.

I'll definitely be adding the Baselight for Avid to at least one of our systems too!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
biscardicreative.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 11, 2012 08:03PM
No. Not going to happen as far as anyone at Avid has told me. One would think MC would be dead sooner than later and all would go to Symphony, not the other way around.

Michael Horton
-------------------
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 13, 2012 02:42PM
I am not even "brand new" to Avid. Getting ready to take classes at video symphony at the end of the month. I have MC 5.5 because of the crossgrade deal due to FCP X. Question: Do I spend the 500 bucks to upgrade to MC 6 or do I purchase Avid symphony for $1000. Don't know what the difference between the two are. I typically cut Indie features and docs.

I left a message with Avid but haven't heard back yet.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

Jeff
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 13, 2012 08:57PM
I haven't worked with Symphony, but IMO, it's like having the Avid version of Apple Color.

The price is tempting. I'm just wondering 2 things- future upgrade costs and compatibility with Avid MC.

The upgrade costs is straightforward. The compatibility bit, is because I would like more finishing options built into my NLE, but still allow the flexibility of sharing bins and edits, just like you do in MC.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 13, 2012 10:09PM
Thank you for your input Strypes. Greatly appreciated. You bring up some interesting points. I am strictly an editor who just cuts. I don't perform color correcting/finishing - not my bag. So I guess it doesn't make sense for me to purchase symphony other than having the boris effects. Not sure if that is worth me spending an additional 500 especially when you bring up the unknown upgrade costs and compatibility.

So much to think about. Glad we have options hot smiley

J
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 13, 2012 11:59PM
I read a bit into it, and it seems that you can port Symphony projects into MC.

Am I thinking about it? Yes, I am. I am primarily an editor, but I do a bit of color correction work, and I would like nothing more than to have good color correction tools at my disposal so I can finish it in the same software.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 17, 2012 03:31AM
I work on MC and Symphony every day. If the box attached to either is a NitrisDX (which it usually is for me) - then the difference you'll notice between the two... so negligible to be almost non-existent. Same goes if neither have NitrisDX (they are just slower).

Occasionally I wish I had source-side colour correction in MC (i.e. where you can apply a grade to every instance from this tape / master clip / sub clip). But that's it.

Personally I never use Symphony secondary colour correction, I find it imprecise and will use another layer and key to get a better result.

I never use universal mastering.

If you asked me at the end of the day if I was on Symphony or MC I mostly couldn't tell you. Projects / files / settings etc are completely interchangeable in my experience. Lots of folks have called for the merging of the two products for many years now as 99% of the Symphony features have migrated down to MC.

If you don't already own Avid then it's a **great** deal.

If you have Avid pre v5.5 then it's a pretty good upgrade price. From v5.5 then you might want to hold off for a deal to v6.5
<speculate>Q4 12 or Q2 13 based on previous releases</speculate>
as there aren't that many folks using v6.x in anger yet.

But then Smoke was a great editor and finisher when it was $100,000 turnkey.... now it's going to be $3500 with less of a learning curve (plus the cost of the rest of the system plus the cost of upgrades plus the cost of sparks...)

And if you a standalone edit bay then Avid DS is also a fantastic editor, with much better effects than MC/Symp...

CS6/Lightworks/Edius I don't have experience of
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 22, 2012 07:08AM
It should be noted that while for many people, Symphony and Media Composer are essentially the same thing, Symphony comes with Boris Continuum Complete--something that's not bundled with MC anymore. And while I'm an effects guy, I've found BCC to be very useful. Not to be overlooked.

- Justin Barham -
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 22, 2012 07:31AM
That's a good point. Boris is useful, the problem is that I dont know what the upgrade costs are. I'm on MC6. Boris will cost $500 for the upgrade. Symphony will cost $1000, but it comes with Boris. I'm not sure if I'll be required to upgrade Boris in the future for more $, or if purchasing Symphony will result in future Boris upgrades. A $1000 upgrade every year (Boris & MC is pretty hefty). This model would actually be pricier than previous Avid MC upgrades (which used to include Boris and Squeeze).



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 22, 2012 09:52AM
Another good point Strypes. I'm not sure what the recent history is with the Symphony upgrades. Certainly that should be considered too.

- Justin Barham -
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 29, 2012 09:29AM
We had a discussion about Symphony vs. Media Composer at our recent Atlanta Cutters meeting. First off, keep in mind that right now Symphony is $500 LESS than Media Composer if you use the Cross Grade.

Second, apparently Avid has no plans to discontinue Symphony and in fact plans to enhance that tool moving forward. I guess the idea is to create more of a differentiation between MC and Symphony. One big question I get is "Is Symphony really worth the extra $3500 for just a color corrector?" Honestly, I'm not sure, especially with Smoke now being $3500.

My plan for today was to get the Symphonies because I saved $2500 over 5 workstations. That was a no brainer. Next year, I will either upgrade the Symphonies or simply purchase all Media Composers if I don't need the extra features of Symphony any longer. Weighing the Upgrade costs vs. the full costs of Media Composer wil make the final determination.

My point being is if you're worried about the future upgrade costs, I think this will all even out even if you just bought Symphony this year for the cross-grade offer and then paid full price for MC next year.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
biscardicreative.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 29, 2012 02:15PM
>One big question I get is "Is Symphony really worth the extra $3500 for just a color corrector?" Honestly, I'm not sure,
>especially with Smoke now being $3500.

I don't know. My idea of an NLE is a good storytelling machine (audio and video edits) with robust tools to deal with lots of rushes and do multicam edits easily. Does Smoke have all that? I'm not so sure. My idea of a finishing machine is one that is able to roto, track very well, key very well, color correct, run optical flow, do sky replacements, comp some explosions, comp in 3D titles and output open exrs in half float in almost real time.

My impression of Symphony is that it is some kind of finishing tool built upon MC. It started out when edit machines couldn't color correct for nuts, and DVE was a standalone hardware box that looked like this:



Some of the color correction tools in Symphony were ported over to MC after Apple released the 3 way color corrector in FCP, but I'm trying to get more information into how one color corrects on Symphony (can you easily drop power windows and track them like in the Resolve). The idea that the CC tools are within Avid, means that you can CC and not have to worry too much about the client coming back with edit changes the next day. It is a very simple, but very powerful idea.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 29, 2012 02:19PM
Smoke does not have MultiCam at this time. Definitely going to be one of the most requested features I'm sure.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
biscardicreative.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 30, 2012 09:58AM
Boy I hope SMOKE develops a cross-grade deal. I am ready...just did the shiny new Symphony 6 upgrade and CS6 Production Premium is next. Would love to learn smoke...it is fairly specialized smiling smiley

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 30, 2012 10:05AM
grafixjoe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Boy I hope SMOKE develops a cross-grade deal. I am
> ready...just did the shiny new Symphony 6 upgrade
> and CS6 Production Premium is next. Would love to
> learn smoke...it is fairly specialized smiling smiley

$14,999 to $3,495 is the deal I'm pretty sure. Nothing beyond that was announced at NAB. Honestly not all that specialized any longer. If you know After Effects, Motion, Color, Resolve, etc... you're already mostly on your way to Smoke 2013.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
biscardicreative.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 30, 2012 10:55AM
>you're already mostly on your way to Smoke 2013.

With the exception of batch, which is the single most powerful feature on Smoke 2013, IMO. Joey should take to that easily since he has prior training in Nuke.

Speaking of which, I kinda wonder if the price point of SMac will cause Nuke users to switch. It's a great time for post guys.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 30, 2012 10:57AM
Maybe not in your market Walter...it is specialized down here in the fact that only one place in my market uses it (AFAIK). I have only seen ONE AD for an operator in my market and it's the same studio over & over. AE has been my bread & butta for 16 years and like strypes mentions...I have had NUKE training thumbs down

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.


Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 30, 2012 11:01AM
strypes Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Speaking of which, I kinda wonder if the price
> point of SMac will cause Nuke users to switch.
> It's a great time for post guys.

How do the compositing features in Smoke compare with Nuke? I'm still using Shake and was planning to switch to Nuke this year, but your comment has intrigued me.

My software:
Pro Maintenance Tools - Tools to keep Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro running smoothly and fix problems when they arise
Pro Media Tools - Edit QuickTime chapters and metadata, detect gamma shifts, edit markers, watch renders and more
More tools...
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
April 30, 2012 07:21PM
I have to state first that I'm not a compositor, so I know quite little about the internal workings of both platforms.

Between the two, Smoke is able to render up to half float, Nuke, up to full float. Smoke is known for having more real time power (meaning that it uses GPU extensively). Nuke has almost never been known for real time effects. So there is some difference in render precision between the two, and also performance.

Batch, Connect FX, node trees. If you ask me, it's the biggest thing in this release of SMac, minus the price drop. And the beauty of nodes is they all function the same way, except that you need to get used to looking at node trees from left to right, which isn't a big deal. Connecting nodes is very fast in Batch. You grab a node and swipe it across to connect to another node or a few nodes at a time. Not sure what they changed in Batch.

Sparks/Effects/Plugins... SMac seems a little limited. Furnace is only available for the Linux cousin. Hopefully they port it over to the Mac. Nuke has pretty cool keyers (Primatte, Keylight, IBK), but I've never heard a Flame or Smoke guy complain about the Master Keyer.

In Nuke, you work shot by shot, in Smoke you can import footage via XML, and importing footage and sequences is quite robust. Smoke has a work desk, so you don't clutter up your timeline. Not sure if they changed it.

Smoke's reputation has always been in being an all-round finishing tool, and is known for speed. Nuke has always been a VFX tool. It is very interesting now that Smoke has batch, and I would wait a bit to see how the new features work out. It's just strange that Autodesk is trying to market Smoke as an NLE, or maybe they are trying to head in that direction, and have Flame take on the heavy VFX work. I'm also not sure what will happen to Flame now that Smoke 2013 is Mac only. Will Autodesk eventually streamline their product offerings onto one platform?



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 01, 2012 12:59AM
The new Smoke pretty much IS an NLE. It's quite different from the old version, and all functions happen in the same window setup now, pretty much. Before, it wasn't really designed for cutting in. Now it is, from what I've seen, and it's very similar to the NLEs we're all used to using.

Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 01, 2012 08:25AM
I haven't seen Smoke 2013 in person or tried it out, so I only know what I know about Smoke and Flame from their slightly older distant relatives. And I only make inferences from what I see in the snapshots of the UI. And it doesn't seem like that much has changed as far as user operations are concerned. Pretty much they re-did the edit desk and added batch. As far as an NLE is concerned, Smoke is probably more effective for shortform jobs than Adobe Production Premium, because everything can be done in the same machine without roundtripping. However, what I consider a robust NLE isn't about having fancy finishing tools, but robust media management for anything from offline/online workflows, good search tools, and a system capable of handling a large bulk of rushes. And that is on top of a precise editing system with good audio editing tools.

For finishing, you usually don't like a two up editing interface (eg. Smoke's edit desk), but you want a large window if you're doing roto and a node tree to see the interaction of effects (Eg. Batch). You also don't want effects piling up unnecessarily on a long enough timeline, so you work off the work desk. And while FCP or Avid editing shortcuts may be cool for editing, nothing beats holding spacebar and dragging the image while you draw a mask, and hitting apple + and - to zoom in onto the details without exiting the pen/masking tool. You also want to be able to marquee select a bunch of keyframes and slide them to another position, or delete them.

For editing, I like cutting with a bunch of open bins, a Brolls bin in icon view, rushes from one or two scenes, and usually i'll have them open on a second monitor. And I like having keyword tags so I can call up a search across a bunch of bins to search for a couple of shots (eg. INTVs of Shane Ross on shoot day 26).

Avid for all its virtues in being a good NLE, is a horrendous front end for effects work, with the 2 up window cluttering screen real estate:


Smoke on the other hand is a better effects environment:


There is a batch window so you don't get lost in your effects and you can easily see the relationship between your effects and layers. While I have heard of some guys who talk about buying fancy plugins so they can pull off a good green screen key in FCP, I am not convinced by any of that, because in most cases with green screen, you need trackers, a bunch of masks and a good keyer, alongside good techniques, and most of it isn't one touch key with slight adjustments on a few sliders in the effects node. Grafixjoe can tell us a lot about pulling a green screen key on a subject's feet, and he won't be talking about using merely one keylight node.

The same thing is true for color correction- you want everything accessible with buttons on your control surface, and you dont want to do secondary corrections, masking and pulling qualifiers by duplicating a clip with your CC filters, slapping on a mask and controlling your mask by sliding levers in the motion tab (yea, I'm talking about doing CC work in FCP). Even the three up window where you can see the previous and the next edit, is only useful to a certain point. Because you want to watch your colors on your broadcast monitors, nothing beats hitting the lever on the control panel for a quick color comparison. To many colorists, a lot of speed and precision is in the buttons, knobs and wheels on the control surface. Apple Color is a good CC environment, the DaVinci Resolve with the full Resolve panel is even better, but I haven't seen Smoke go at CC with a good control surface.

While some change is good, there are certain differences in the working habits of a compositor and an editor. And while I think that someday we can see a good marriage in software, it's not going to happen too soon. We're more likely going to get a decent editing surface for shortform edits with good finishing ability. Also, there is that question on talent- whether we can find a very good compositor who is great at storytelling, who can do very good color correction and audio touch ups, while having the discipline to not work on color correction before the story is told.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 02, 2012 12:46PM
Damn Gerard, we should publsih this in article form. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Michael Horton
-------------------
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 02, 2012 01:33PM
I agree... Nice to see someone else talk about Smoke for a change ;-)

Marc-André Ferguson
Smoke Industry Manager
Autodesk

Follow me on Twitter: @iluminance
Read my Blog : Smoke & Dagger (http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/marc-andre)
Register for the Smoke 2013 Pre-Release Trial : autodesk.com/smoke-trial
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 02, 2012 02:28PM
Me likey the way smoke looks. Looks like an editor built for me and all the other stuff I do along with editing.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 02, 2012 04:08PM
Joey is probably a graphics person first, then an editor. Whereas, Shane Ross, is probably an editor first, then maybe a graphics and effects person. Editors tend to like one click effects to show proof of concept, even better if they render really fast. Green screen shimmers? I don't care. I really just want to see how the speaking guy cuts to the Broll footage. Joey will probably love Smoke, because he gets to work in a node tree, and he has the convenience of having a timeline with the edit in it. Or he can even start cutting in Smoke.

Back to Jon's question, Nuke, Flame and Shake are one shot environments- you work on one or maybe two shots. Flame with good hardware and a render farm, is probably one of the fastest machines for visual effects. The difference between Flame and Nuke, is that Flame is where you can have sit in clients, and they can see you work the changes on the spot. Nuke is where you would want to make the changes and send it to the client later in the day.

Smoke on the other hand, was built for finishing with speed, with sit in clients who can watch and request for changes as they watch the show, although, since Smoke now has batch, it should be pretty powerful environment for compositing. And fast. Depending on your hardware.


There's a pre-release trial coming up in June, and it's probably worth a pop:

[usa.autodesk.com]

I'll probably download it, although, I'm more of an editor than an effects guy.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 02, 2012 04:13PM
Probably? thumbs down

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 02, 2012 04:27PM
Never say never. winking smiley



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 03, 2012 09:17AM
Michael Horton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Damn Gerard, we should publsih this in article
> form. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

We could do that.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: $999 FCP to Avid Symphony crossgrade offer
May 03, 2012 11:59PM
A point.

There is a tendency on this forum for most of the moderators to look at the entire post production world from the viewpoint of the
workflow they are used to, where labor is divided among specialists.

You have to remember that one of the best things about Final Cut's entry into the market was to allow the individual/small shop access to the same
tools as the bigger production companies or post facilities. That was the "democratization" of the tools idea.

The Smoke/Flame/Inferno/Quantel, etc. products were built for the projects that require fast turnaround with budgets that could afford those tools.
Where the agency people and/or clients are in the room and the spot needs to be to network tonight.

Those high-end post products and workflows are still viable business models for many clients.
Here in LA these systems are used all the time for spots and effects for television and film.

There are fewer of these systems that there used to be as the mid level business switched over
to After Effects, but they are still busy.

And a large part of the draw is that there is usually an exceptionally skilled artist running them.
These people ARE editors/compositors/motion graphics designers.
These are people who have loyal client followings.
Their names become known around town.
And they get paid well.

Over the last couple decades, the artists running Flames/Infernos/Quantel have shown that the
multi-skilled operator can be very much in demand.

And it's not really "many" hats. It's just one when you come from that mentality.

If an editor doesn't want to learn multiple tools then, well that's just them.

But there is no point dismissing the wearing of multiple hats, or let's just say a "bigger hat", be it on Smoke or just a small town
guy using some combination of FCP/Avid/PP/Adobe Creative suite/.

The separation of editing vs. finishing is somewhat artificial and tends to be invoked by individuals who want to be one or the other
but not both.

The wall between the two fell in the '90's at the high end with Quantel and Discreet.
This NAB the wall fell again with Smoke, CS6 and Symphony for the rest.
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