Basic things flame has but really should not

Ok twist on this very popular topic:

Ill start:

  • Anything to do with Tapedecks

  • A licensing reminder popup that starts on every flame start telling me I have 29 days left on my subscription.

-The clock in the lower right corner reminding me my subscription is running out.


I’ll be shunned but fuck it. Desktop reels.

Smoke was fine with the free form. So was I.


WTF?! Devil’s advocate, muchly?!

Desktop reels are beautiful with the scrolling, and thus the quasi-infinitising of space along either x or y axes, whichever your choice! One can easily stay in Smoke-classical-view and forgedabouReels.

I came from Smoke and love/d the desktop/freeform view for resizing and preferential hierarchies of looking/peeking (which is what you can restrict yourself to, obv and never darken the doorstep of reels*) but the move across to Flame was not just welcome in terms of the increased nodes, but almost equally moving into its desktop reels. Love 'em and felt right at home right away with them and love the comparison that can be achieved by scrolling comparatively between its “layers” and levels. I thought that Scratch was similar, but the ability to duplicate and then move between reels and quickly un/hide reels is such a treat. I liken the nodes to playground structures of different pathways, but the reels are a kind of similar idea of being random and playaroundish. Nothing in any other software is close to it and though Premiere gets a little close to Smoke, the reels of Flame would be taken away over my dead body.

I don’t ever really use the uncollapsing and cutting-splicing of reels but it’s a nice idea. Apart from this latter disposable-USP, I love all the other functions of the reels and adds another distance from NukeStudio which I’ve played with but really hate the feel of. Flame rocks as an editorial space and the reels just add to its atmos.

Cross-poiinating this thread with the M1-Mac thread, I am finding the use of the Effects tab (and GapFX layers) to allow for play-grounding of duplicates of clips and sequences that do not “waste” framestore/diskspace, but allow for comparisons on reels. I think someone needs to showcase reels more to really make them “sexy” and give them a stronger sense of presence and mindshare. Now that Flame is getting some real-time-liness and live-ness on faster computers than older Macs (my new laptop is like super-faster than the MacPro2013) then spaces such as the reels start to feel like interative spaces where you can throw things around and talk quickly about stuff before throwing it away. I was showing a student on MSTeams some keying stuff in realtime and I used some large reel views (three reels) to demo some points quickly, and I am sure that client-centered (I don’t do client work but related student work) paradigms should make great use of reels as demo-nstrative imagery. Similarly, I feel, the Marker system has stalled (it could do some great looping between markers/layers/versions) and the Mux-mixing could surface to the timeline in very imaginative vision-mixing ways. I am often shocked that those of you who work in client-systems do not push to have these spaces given greater complexity of “showing-ness” and likewise the multithreaded interface that Scratch seems to be so good at (and they, strangely, hardly show/case that off as a notable feature).

All for paradigm questioning and revisiting of seeming sacred cows, but Flame=reels imnsho.


*When you close Flame in freeform view, it does restart there so reels can easily be reeled out of the way to never darken the doorstep of those who wish to reel them out.


…By which I mean the AudioDesk needs a ser-ious revisit and a ser-ious redesign, and the audio tool paradigm revisiting also.
If this were Smoke board and editorial finishing message board, there’d most certainly be a big sh*tload of requests in that dept but, sadly, the welcome collapsing together or hybridisation of Flame+Smoke seems to have come at the cost of swallowing Smoke’s paradigmal possibilities that were far from exhausted and useless. Sure, there was the cool move to versioning hyperlinking and connected conformities, but many other editorial additions have really stalled in the name of Flame’s fame and the stalling of Smoke-esque aspects was far from necessary. Very little is heard here in that regard, but the voices outside of this board speak to the importance of editorial. I recently stated filling in a questionnaire from RedShark that didn’t even mention Flame as a possibility. Imagine that in 2014 when Smoke was on a number of messageboards (what became-eth?)

As outlined above, I loved moving to Flame, but as an editorial type I should not feel ashamed of being interested in sound. There, I said it: sound is something I work on! I find sound very difficult to work on in Flame and would love many added extras. Why can’t there be cool patching of sound in a sense close to Batch? I used to be a beta tester for Pinnacle Liquid (and before that Fast Purple*, Silver*, Chrome*, etc.) and it made some great inroads into sound paradigmal stretching and made many inroads. Sadly it became targeted as a quasi wedding/event videography piece of software in terms of crappy marketing, but underneath that crappy redesign was a really nice engine (background rendering, mixed timeline codecs/framerates without rendering together, colour grading) and if Avid had not bought/dumped it, then I wonder what could have become of it through generations of subsequent udpate. Anyhows, besides this nostalgia for what could have been, it had some great audio features, and Flame’s visual effects paradigm seems to have drowned any interest in audio. I think I’m well into the minority, but I wish it would get just a bit of love, just a bit of attention.

Dump the audio desk but bring in something waayy better…


PS, it was the first part of Smoke/Flame that I noticed, however, that had good multithreaded interaction in being able to interact live with the interface whilst playing back. That was a nice corner of its use, outside of its clunky olde-fashioned-ness. Again, Resolve seems more resolute in its ability to fold in paradigmal possibilities.

PPS Who says audio tools and tools beyond VFX-editorial are necessarily dead and buried and beyond rethinking or extending? “We have other things to worry about” “if we had a larger team,”: Truthful and representative this might be in terms of the existing world picture, but the “management” (h8 terms such as this, but nevermind) of the larger macro picture need to seriously revisit their funding and visionary model. Micro/restricted economics means you have to shrink your vision to fit, but you have to think in terms of touching the void and stop protecting the core and think about how you can stretch your legs a little bit. On this one has to admire the audacity of Resolve’s resolve. It’s worked wonders. This shrinking and shirking and tendency toward consolidating rather than big and bold rethinking, well, these are things that prevent Flame from going at the rate of Resolve/Premiere/AfterEffects relative knots. This is a larger point than the audio desk frosting-over, but Flame needs to open itself up more and get a better “explosion” of imagery to help get itself some larger mindshare, otherwise it might be slowly slowly sink, not like a seconds hand, but an weighty hour hand. Seems to me that it needs a bit of a “spark” a bit like Resolve did. Who’d heard of Resolve when it was sold on to the saviour of Blackmagic? All of my students know about Resolve, and Flame takes ever such a lot of selling, and some clever PR and rethinking would really help. There was some nice PR behind Smoke changing everything, but the speed-dating and giving up too easily, was really strange to my eyes. I don’t know about the politics of big companies, but Flame feels like too much of small fish and needs to be treated more like the possibilities that it is clearly capable of.

If Flame didn’t exist it would be a great invention, and the inventor would love it.

PPPS Avid Liquid 7.1 Video Editing Package Review | Trusted Reviews
It had some great functions such as background saving and background rendering (on a Pentium/Geforce256) and the classic interface and secondary colour corrector made were nice buttony interfaces. I often wonder what might have been if it had carried on being developed as they were very good at updating quickly (I remember making some points the beta on the keyframes in comparison to LightWave and then in version 6 they updated it: I think I’m not breaking the NDA from back in the day). I remember making some points on HollywoodFX plug-in to work that into the DVE as it was 2.5D and then I discovered Smoke and Action and never looked back.

A particle system.

/ducks. :stuck_out_tongue:


User/project bins are good but could be so much better.

Rethink that and make it sexy and cool and maybe make it more networked to pass stuff around (user-network-bin?). There was a piece of software called Inscriber that had a nice bin system (back in the days of specialist software innit).

Maybe GeneticsBins or GraftBins that you can add or append things to? When I found out, back the day, that you could add bfx aspects to existing bfx aspects by copying over on the timeline, it made me think that you could perhaps should be able to do something similar with the bins. Be good to make more use of them in a more multi-dimensional way and also make more use of preset folders to store and recall in a sexier way (soz to sound like The Fast Show’s “Swiss Toni” but my name is Tony, pUKe Tony. A preset bin should be like making love to a beautiful wo/man, and they’re not bins, they’re “Todgers” and Flame should have the best “Todgers”…


Pre-Anniversary I might have still agreed. Post? Nope. The speed, precision and general use case got muddied to the point that I just don’t see the point anymore.

They’re a relic of a bygone era.

Strange thing is, it’s the view or clip-“perspective” that I use the most, and the freeform view is one I use less-so and, as a previous editorial Smoke user (and Fast:Liquid, that I used before FCP, and had a desktop quite similar in terms of scrubbable “picons”), I loved the Smoke desktop. The last post did get me thinking, and I appended a “general improvement” post to this as a kind of hybrid temp space:

I really like comparing clips/sequences and the reels are a great vertical/associational way of “hovering” clips paradigmatically* “against” other ones on other reels. I hope my “****” attention quotes make sense in ways we can intuit? I am afraid I never used Flame Pre-Anniversary PreMac, as am a SmokeOnMac convert but I sure did hear a lot of complaints about slowdowns when the Anniversary Reels dropped, but I am not sure what the new Flame has lower, after fixes, than the olde Flame had going for it, and would welcome some insights so as to pile on some improvement pressure. Why are the reels now worse than the reels then?

Outside of that “improvement/movement pressure,” I really don’t see how reels are a relic, a bygone technology and a frustration to working that is dinosauric. I love them there reels, and not in a romantic Shakespearean retro way, but as a useful everyday function that I go to, and not as a turn-off. I just this moment copied a sequence, moved it into a different reel and then changed some Effects tab colour grading. If I had a hybrid reels/freefrom it would be better, but as it stands I cannot think of a better way of organising stuff and shuffling around a busy project, apart from bins and desktops but they don’t allow for shuttling comparisons.

I h8 Minority Report interface cliches imagery, but the reels are a nice kind of parallel way of digging into comparisons really quickly and they don’t feel like a ink quill or typewriter against a computer or time portal jumper; prapps could be updated but I don’t feel it should be binned. Again, in other software these feel like unready-to-hand absences. I find myself wanting the reels, trying to drag to the bottom to delete, and using the scroll bars. It is all part of Flame’s touchy-feely world that should expand and not contract/retreat…

If, however, one wishes to do so, to consign this view to a EOL, then I am all for turning off what you don’t wish to have on and feel that Flame should really be about customisation and customer-isatin, as it were, rather than hardwired “my ways.” Flame is at its best when it flexes in ways you want it. Prapps there could be a preference (@fredwarren) to switch it off for those who wish to circumvent?


*For those who like their semiology and de Saussure, in linguistics he had this notion of a paradigmatic axis of choice and a syntagmatic axis of combination and the cine-semiologists like Metz saw film as a language organised along the same lines. Very quickly this gave way to post-structuralism (my own more comfortable home) but, nevertheless, it provides some nice heuristic models for organisational thinking. Along these lines, one can organise a Batch and/or Reels to think things through that are both associational “and” combinatory. I don’t know if I’m a simple Simon (but I’m not a shrinking Violet) but I find thinking out load with various throw-away comparisons to be a great way of working. The reels are one tool that feels to me to be something that I feel like I’m reaching for but not finding in other software. Assimilate Scratch comes the closest when I think of a space that allows for playground play. Again, with renderless spaces, I cannot help but think that this is only going to open up, rather than being a bygone paradigm for the museum?

- Be able to stream more than RGB or A in a single Batch node connection. The whole Matte separation feels so last century :upside_down_face:
- Be able to expose internal parameter in group nodes
- Pixel expression node

this belongs in the other thread * things flame doesnt have but really should* haha

Ha! true!

Sparks, what are those again?
Also 10 different ways of doing gmasks each of them special in their own way depending on the module


I don’t mind them. However I would like all the views of the reels ganged as I’ve mentioned ad nauseum elsewhere. Right now it feels like a merger of two products trying to please two camps.

It would be lovely if gmasktracer had a gmask spline option. I’ve tried the workarounds and they still lack that snappiness for complicated roto.

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How about some simple modularmkeyer when it’s inside an action, while being inside a bfx, that’s inside a batch?

I am talking about really basic things like inclusive or exclusive, if you draw a gmask in action its exclusive (black) if you draw a gmask in the tracer its inclusive (white) basic stuff like that should be unified.


For what it’s worth, I shouted about that when the action gmask was introduced in Flame 2012. Given the situation today, “what it’s worth” is clearly zero. I’d imagine it won’t get changed because it could fuck up old setups.

I for one am totally okay with a lack of backwards compatibility. Nothing I’ve ever done has required a shelf life of more than six months. And if that ever changes, I’m more than happy to load my old setups and hit the “invert” button on any action gmasks within.


I complained about it on my onyx in the terminal but still waiting to hear back.

Totally agreed. I complained I’m about this in beta when tracer came out— it doesn’t make any sense, and the answer I got was a real head scratcher. I’d be fine with no backwards compatibility on this.

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