Flare vs Flame for Compositing Only system

Hello Flameingos with both flair and flare

I’m interested in hearing from those amongst us who have spent some time in both Flare and Flame. What I am particularly interested to find out is if you are just doing compositing, is there anything you feel you have missed by not having Flame when using Flare? Since the main differences that I can see are conform, timeline, video i/o (when was the last time anyone did that?!!), and the desktop tools (which are all pretty much available within Batch anyway bar anything editing related) is there any benefit of a Flame license over Flare if you don’t need any of these tools? I’m looking into Flare as an alternative to Nuke X in a VFX pipeline if we ever wanted to scale up for a bigger job. For the sort of invisible vfx work we are doing Flare seems faster and cheaper. The biggest roadblock of course is talent, as the large majority of VFX Artists are now Nuke based, but if there was a decent enough Flame/Flare for Nuke users course then maybe we could have a few more people residing in this forum.

Secondary to the above, I am wondering why more studios aren’t using Flare in a similar way to Nuke/Nuke X. Is there some limitations that I am missing or is it simply about lack of talent or studios going with what has become the industry standard? I know the argument that in a pipeline Nuke has a lot more capabilities to say work collaboratively or replace assets, but is that based on fact or that nobody has really tried? The python hooks seem to be there. The metadata extraction/modification can leave a bit left to be desired though…

On the licensing front, I am assuming that Flare would be license server only instead of user assigned? I could ask a reseller but whilst I’m here…
One other thing I really don’t understand from a potential purchaser, why is Flare ONLY available as a yearly subscription? I would have thought that out of all the Flame Family products, Flare would be the most likely candidate to have the highest percentage of monthly or quarterly rentals if they were on offer.

Any opinions/anecdotes would be greatly appreciated.

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I’ve worked in many facilities that used to purchased Flame Assist and Flare separately, and tried to put assists on Flare or Flame Assist depending on their experience. That sounds great in theory, but in practice, in a messy production environment, it’s damn near impossible to coordinate and schedule artists on machines and then software. As in, you have artists, machines, projects… that is three variables. Adding a 4th variable is fine if and only if the person assigning schedules and artists and machines also has a good grasp from producers of what the specific task requirements are in an understanding of the platform fully to be able to put them on the right software license. Which in all my years doing this, I’ve never seen anyone except for a department head or senior flame artist be able to coordinate these kinds of decisions.

At the end of the day, there are so many things that make flame flame and not having access to all the tools isn’t generally worth a couple thousand dollars a year in savings.

And finally, something that sneaks up a lot lately is that I’m not so sure that Flare can run Timewarp ML due to its lack of Desktop.


I’ve used Flare for shot based comping for about 7 years. I have Flame available but I choose Flare. Since there is just that slight bit less of clutter. I’ve never felt a lack of functionality at all, EXCEPT, for as Randy mentioned, Timewarp ML. When I have needed that I do use Flame. For that alone, you do need to keep a Flame license around, as TimewarpML has done some things I couldn’t imagine trying to do with traditional tools. But if you are going for the comp army, then I wouldn’t hesitate to have a bunch of Flares + single Flame (TimewarpML).

Also, remember that floating licenses are basically EOL, everything with be shity-Named User licensing. So be ready for that soul suck.


When managing a timeline other than a shot, you need a flame, but
I don’t think flare is a bad choice when you only want to composite shots.

In the Korean advertising industry, Flame was better because both timeline management and shot composite were required, but after moving to the drama industry, I do not feel the need for Flame.

As an aside, I think the reason why fewer studios use flare is because there are fewer artists.

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Thanks for the responses

I always appreciate having others share their own insight. Helps you to make a more informed decision.

I’m definitely thinking of Flare in an environment where there would be at least 1-2 flame seats so ML Timewarp could definitely be baked in on a Flame and supplied as an element if required. Considering the fact that I’d likely bake that element into a pre-rendered clip regardless, it shouldn’t be too much of a hole in the workflow.

I’m just looking at the cost of potentially scaling a team in future. In a Nuke based facility… and considering that Flare is on par with Nuke X for features… the cost difference is OUCH!! The Autodesk figure is way more palatable than that of The Foundry.

Considering 2x Flare seats is only a tad more than a single Flame seat, it makes a lot of financial sense to use Flare over Flame within a compositing environment. If you have 2x flare seats vs 2x Flame seats for instance, you’ve effectively saved enough for a Houdini or CG seat in addition to your 2x compositing seats (forgetting about Hardware costs of course).

The hardest element of this approach of course is finding talent, but I managed to teach myself Nuke in a period of a couple of weeks to be proficient enough to undertake all the tasks I was doing in Flame. Can’t see why it wouldn’t be a similar learning curve the other way round… Plus we need more Flame/Flare artists in the world.


ML Timewarp does work in Flare, first chmod -R 777 as root the shared/python folder, then install, and use a open timeline in batch. Flare as you know does have reels but not represented in the same way as Flame, but you have access to batch schematic reels and desktop reels via the media panel

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