Importance of Reels as a Flame artist_final_final

Oh reels! Oh life! Of the questions of these recurring.

They’re just a flaccid hold over from a time long-gone. No one who used to drive Flame Pre-Anniversary can say the reels are as fast or as precise or as relevant now as they were then.

Ask yourself “If I had to lose the reels view would flame still function for me?”

Pre-Anniversary Flame, the answer was an unequivocal “no.”

Post-Anniversary Flame, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Further proof?

No one who responded said “I need the Reel-view” or “I just can live without reels.” The responses were like: “REELS? I love them!” Just add that “Da da da da daaaa” McDonalds jingle.

Smoke was the more viable product tech and workflow-wise—it just needed full batch which it got in Smoke Premium. At that point the only thing Flame had that was better was the name recognition.

In the end, my point isn’t really just about reels. I would love to slim the software down. I would love to make it faster, sleeker and less bloated. I would love to have one way to save, one area where we organize media, one file structure, one project file, etc, etc… complexity for sake of complexity doesn’t make a software special, it makes it more confusing and bloated. The reels view falls into that category of “bloat” for me and it’s not because I “hate the reels view.” Reels view is your ex that just won’t give up the ghost—keeps calling, showing up at random times when really, you’ve just moved on and they should too. And I’m sure it’s only one of many unpopular opinions I have about places where the scalpel would make sense.

Happy New Year folks.


True. When mastering there are too many options to see the edits. It really feels overwhelming at times. It was much simpler with record areas.


I feel this deeply actually and it’s good to hear it laid out cohesively. Well said. I’ll add, for me, the point you mentioned that hits me in the feels, is the “saving” aspect. I think it’s the most visceral- I’ve never worked on any piece of software that had so many different ways to simply “save” your work, and thus, have never really had to think about it. But, man, it is too many, and I personally wish it would just be pared down and I’m happy to accept and adapt to the any one method that might be. There are countless times where I’m looking for someone else’s most recent batch (or my own for that matter) and I don’t know where it’s living because it might be a batch save, maybe an iteration, and if it’s an iteration it’s in a separate little folder and then that folder is filled with things but I don’t even know if the artist (who very well may be just myself) knows why that saved there because I’ve definitely saved just iterations and not known why I did it as it wasn’t a specific choice or personal preference. It’s just there now and if I mess with it I’m causing more problems. It just should not be this easy to make saving and loading into a scavenger hunt by clicking toggles in a specific order. And maybe it’s legacy, or it’s a feature I don’t understand, but it’s alien in regards to most other software.

Also @cnoellert you slayed me with this thread title, because I was 100% sure I was still on the “reel” thread and was thinking “damn, this really derailed, sorry folks.” But nope. LOL. Love it


As a flame artist who talks a lot of shit and happens to be full of mostly shit, this is a hilarious topic, and is perhaps one of my most favorite forum moments so far.

As the forum administrator, I am slightly conflicted. First and foremost, I want to make sure that we all provide the original poster from the original thread a full and complete response. The forums are meant to be our community Library. Think of them as an archive of knowledge and I just wanna make sure that in this batch of replies that there’s no mistake of which is the original and which is the alt.

After this reply gets published, I’ll look through the daily batch, and make sure each one has the right version number. That should clear up any confusion of which is the master and which is the generic.


I never learned to work with reels and idk i dont feel like i am missing anything… doesnt look very procedual to cut togheter filmstrips and whatnot , just i dont know… everytime I accidently open reels I just… close them :rofl:


Reels were originally developed as a construct to make the transition from flatbeds and linear edit rooms that had banks of repeat monitors. Most users these days have never even seen those devices, much less used them. I find having the player open all the time is a much better use of the real estate.


“Reel Estate”


2005 just called, they want their reels back.

I mean honestly, it’s an outdated workspace, making things slow and not structured in a pretty easy and fast way. It’s like that red ThinkPad cursor knob. Only 5 people worldwide are productive using it, many just like it as it makes the latop a ThinkPad, most don’t even know what it’s for. (At least mostly everyone knows reels :D)


To clear up the version confusion between the original and alt, someone (me) has changed the topic name for this thread…


There wasn’t any confusion but I love the title so I’ll allow it :joy:

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I love reels. They are a great combination of tactile and orgainzational, and are one of the centerpieces of why I like Flame.

There is no more enjoyable way to edit in a computer than ripping apart two clips and attaching them together. All more modern editorial methods are glorified tape-to-tape video editing and those will never be as cool as tape-splicing strips of film (virtually).

Also fun to think that the new frivilous debate isn’t, “reels: horizontal or vertical” but “reels or no reels”.

Also, also, Auto Key should always be on.



this is a small note, but I don’t like the :stuck_out_tongue: emoji as it renders out here. It looks like a horny face and not a cheeky face. Leaving it in the above post but I am making a note to search for less “heavily excercised dog” variants of the tongue sticking out emoji.

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (too extra)
:disguised_face: (Groucho Marx not super well known)
:cowboy_hat_face: (dumb for all the right reasons)
:innocent: (maybe the best, if a little assholey)


Yup not a fan of reels, and it’s annoying that it defaults to reels view. Also annoying that if you click on reels it switches to reels view, but if you click on a folder you still have to use a fiddly hotkey combo to switch to freeform view. That should be changed.

Do people have their masters up in their desktop? I don’t really understand why. For me desktop is only for batches and everything else lives in my library. I never have to save over anything or have anything in 2 places. I essentially never save anything from my desktop to my library.


I definitely save my masters in my desktop and I save my desktops to my library in a folder specifically for saving desktops. I think a lot has to do with they type of work one does. For me, a desktop is a good way to compartmentalize jobs. (90% of my work is tv spots and I am a single seat in an editorial company. I’m the lead, the 2nd chair, the assist and the roto guy.) Jobs in which all the spots are variations of the same thing usually get just one desktop. It contains all the masters, batches, and a copy of all the footage with segment connections. If there are multiple spots with very little in common, I make multiple desktops. In my library, besides the folder for desktops, are folders for all the elements that are handed to me from editorial such as edls, gfx, roughcuts, etc. all in dated folders.

I’ve never noticed that the system defaults to reels. But then again, I use neither reels nor freeform, prefering to keep the player up all the time with my timeline on the bottom. However, when my player is closed for whatever reason, it is very rare that I see reels. Just a lot of empty space with all the clips stacked in the bottom corner. Admittedly, if I’m doing a job that is just shot work, the same compartments don’t really apply.

Yeah love the desktop. Infinitely easier to edit timelines on the desktop than in the library. When I worked somewhere with dual monitors it was pretty easy to work out of the libraries, but on one monitor its painful. Not having to open the edit for every change is a huge timesaver.

Also just makes a great place for things to live for a bit before you throw them away. I keep all my latest audio, slates, 2pop, legals, etc on the desktop when mastering and then when they’re built I throw it all away.

On the other hand I throw up a little in my mouth when I see the freeform view and my hand moves to jab my eyes out with a wacom pen when I come across folders. I don’t care that they exist though. In the end its really just preference. Never met two Flame artists who organized their stuff the same way. Somehow we all seem to be getting to the finish line just the same.

Edit: forgot to mention that at some point(almost certain it wasn’t always this way) adsk made the order of the clips on the reel in the desktop inside of your library view independent from the order of the clips on the reel in the desktop inside the reels view. Really really bummed when I discovered that. It admittedly makes the reels view significantly worse.


This might be the way you have the sort setup in the library vs the desktop.

Take a look at the localised sort options to see if they match.

As someone who started in Flame, got decent in Smoke (I still use the smoke hot keys), and then got dumped back into Flame when the merge happened I really like reels. I stuck with free form or whatever it’s called for a second but then moved to reels and have stayed with it.

I think in my case though I am disorganized enough that forcing even the minimal neatness that reels provides is healthy for my brain.

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