Creative tools feature request

During IBC we had a great chat with @Slabrie and @LouisM. I would like to thank once again for all the time and effort our developers put in. Now that we have a solid infrastructure of Flame, I am dying for new or improved creative tools. Here are some of them for my Christmas list:

Spline based warper in Action:
Ideally, this tool would bring the warp/morph capabilities in the batch distort node into Action, like Elastic Reality. I would like to have a control spline with weights adjusted like gmask softness to control the weight of deformations. Like the magnet tool in extended bicubic but with more control. Something like the puppet tool in After Effects.

Intuitive color tools:
I really like the color curve tools in the Image node. But I would like to have a more visual representation of the effects of manipulation. Maybe a color swatch under the curves to show what would change when I modify the curve.
Even better would be a grid-based color manipulator (and visual representation) like 3D LUT Creator. I got the developer of this application into contact with Autodesk, to make it work as an OFX plugin for Flame, but things didn’t pan out I guess.

3D modelling tools:
We have a very simple implementation with the 3D shape in Action and yes Blender is free, but I don’t want to go out sometimes.

  • A lathe modelling option as in 3DS Max,
  • Maybe a vertex manipulation tool, with finer control than the deform cage.
  • Ability to apply multiple deform nodes to a geometry…
  • Or even NURBS modelling

I would love to have something between Python scripting and expressions. I know @ytf has great ideas about Expressions.

And the obvious one: Text

I won’t even name the other one. You all know what I’m talking about.

Last but not least a node-graph-based approach to versioning.

Drop your ideas, let’s discuss. Then when we cook them, they can turn into valid feature requests.


leave the 3D stuff to the 3D stuff.


I’m still holding out hope that they’ll fix Undo and keyframes in the timebar before moving on to anything else.

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I also feel that there has been a lot of infrastructure work in recent years, which is crucial.

But it has been a while since we’ve seen innovation on the creative tools aspect. I’m not getting all nostalgic or anything, but in years past, releases had some “cool” factors of “wow, I could do this and that” with these new tools. Tools which I did do this and that, and much more with.

I hope we see something in this realm soon. Is there a creative project manager thinking of and developing such things, after Philippe left? I asked this question then, who is the creative to take over? Anyone?

I would agree with the unnamed request of the “P word.” But in my opinion, most users do not need high-end text tools in Flame. Slates and supers is all Flame is mostly called for there. Nice graphics always comes from designers.

A robust and modern and fast particle system, I could use regularly. I’m not sure why this perennial request from so many users is still unaddressed.



Not sure I need to be able to do full on modelling in Flame, but an update to the 3D engine would be soooo useful… something close to Blenders’ Eevee would be extremely high on my list.

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How about USD or VDBs? @Ton



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USD sure!! But I think VDB’s is stretching things. :grimacing:

i spend too much time re-working really poor work from designers who have no understanding of motion… I don’t have the luxury of sending out to external designers and do all my work in Flame so decent Text tools would really help with this

As would a Lathe tool in the 3d stuff - not everything can be crafted from a Primitive or a teapot.

If you need to do any kind of 3D modelling beyond basic geometry, wouldn’t it just be easier to learn a bit of Blender rather than expecting any kind of decent tool within Flame? Any modelling tools in Flame would be basic whilst getting a basic understanding of Blender really doesn’t take long in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome having tools such as IBL & PBR to work with imported geometry but I’d prefer it if Flame developed tools like these to integrate imported geometry rather than modeling it.

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Would love true Depth of Field within action.


I can and do use C4d for 3d, but the ability to occasionally create a lathed shaped within Action would be very useful. Its not as if we don’t already have some 3d tools - there are just some odd ommissions from the tool kit. I guess AD just want to ensure we buy Maya licences as well.

Personally, I’d like to see a whole lot of creative tools to aid individual artists be more efficient and make Flame a better compositor.

The ability to create STMaps and be able to do lens undistort/distort directly in Flame.

In-built Flame equivalent to DasGrain.

AI assisted in-paint tools

Integrated AI tools to do the sort of stuff you might use something like for, AI matte generation with more control than the existing ML toolset. Same goes for depth mattes. New particles would be nice but what about an AI texture & particle generators but with adjustment controls? AI spill suppression? AI keying aid?

Now here is my “That would be so fricking cool that everyone would want to use Flame” tool:
I’d love some kind of crazy Nerf-like photogrammetry tool that can build a 3D environment by analysing moving footage. That could create textured meshes & geometry, plus calculate the camera movement. Hopefully it could create highly accurate depth & normal maps as well as allow depth based keying/masking & grading. Potentially it could calculate what is moving elements within the shot. Whether or not the computational power required is feasible or not is another thing, but the Nerf demos I have seen are incredible. There are so many use cases for this kind of tool that the mind boggles. Adding/removing objects to/from the scene alone would be incredible. Compositing one moving camera take onto another would also be incredible (No more dealing with parallax on tricky splitscreens). You just position the 2x environments in relation to each other then work out what you want to use from each. Thinking about the application with something like Sim Trav when fed positional and camera metadata. That seems like a compositing evolution to me. How feasible it is is another story but would love to see someone create an entirely new approach to what we do.


Expanding on the above.

You’d load in a clean plate. Possibly three or four clean plates actually from slightly different angles. Then you could film different elements with different camera setups and some clever AI could position everything within the one 3D action scene. Then you’d simply select what you wanted to keep based on depth.

The possibilities would be many

As Greg-Paul mentioned (and as you probably already knew) we spent a lot of time on infrastructure stuff in recent years but I can confirm we are now working on some tools for Flame 2025.

To be fully transparent, we are starting with some more “technical” tools that were brought up often in here (some are mentioned in this thread) and in the different validations we have done with customers.

Hopefully we should be able to move to some more creative tools in the future so make sure you list your requests here and even better make sure they are in (along with your votes).


Thanks Fred.

I’d like to see something like an “Output” tab added to the other tabs at the bottom of the interface. In that tab, sequences could be treated like nodes, allowing things to be done with them that often are a source of pain using a traditional export panel.

Below are a couple of screenshots from an old app (2006-ish) called Traffic. It was a standalone app but meant to be a companion to Final Cut. I think they had some interesting ideas.

The loop function in particular was very powerful. That compass looking area (see below) was draggable/adjustable and would loop through whatever was contained within it. I used this on one project that had 100+ unique tags that had to be cut in at the end of each spot and, of course, the same number of unique slates at the head of each spot. I remember Traffic making pretty short work of it, looping through a folder of TIFFs for the tags and another folder for the slates. Output was an XML file with each unique spot as a sequence that I loaded back into FCP and was able to output in one go with a batch export.

If Flame could address sequences this way, I think it would be able to solve old problems in new/better ways than what we have now, opening up new ways to do tasks we are often saddled with. Not only would this be another way to tackle versioning, but if a new output node was added that allowed for specifying file type, compression, frame rate, etc. then it could be a nifty way to make a variety of deliverables directly from Flame while making it easy to make changes and run it through the pipeline again.

Just my thoughts for some new features that are perhaps not creative tools, but tools that I bet the community could get creative with in ways that are also important for the Flame artist — especially the Flame artists who see a project through to the bitter end.

I’ve attached the complete user guide for Traffic if you want to read up on how it worked. I think there is a lot of… inspiration… to glean from it. :slight_smile: FWIW, Maxon has implemented something kinda similar in the last couple of versions of C4D – kind of looking at the project from a node perspective from a level above applying filters and such. This feels like a very natural progression for Flame, imho.

Traffic User Guide.pdf (5.3 MB)


Thank you for this insight @mattriley. This is what I meant by node-graph based approach to versioning. I vaguely remember Traffic and it seems to have a procedural approach like we all want.

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Here is a link to my Nerf/Photogrammerty Feature Request. I think this would be groundbreaking to have and the possibilities are extensive for this kind of groundbreaking tool within a compositor.

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