Considering so many post house are conforming and grading in Resolve and not Flame, having open timeline support in Flame could be hugely beneficial for any Flame Artists based in a Resolve-centric post facility.
Once long form and episodic switch to conform in Resolve, Flame will truly become the second class citizen, relying on the WFH Mac guy, and TV commercial post houses. The one advantage Flame has had for a very long time is the Timeline. All serious VFX is done in Nuke.
As someone who works on features and episodic, it has already happened at my end, at both my current workplace and my previous one. Both now use Resolve from conform through grade & online right through to delivery.
The main reasons being:
No Dolby Atmos support (essential now if you’re delivering to Netflix)
No native IMF export support
There are still formats you can’t get into Flame that you can in resolve. Drone footage always seems to be an issue in Flame.
Resolve conforms media a lot faster
Central project database
Simpler workflow requiring less storage.
If there weren’t a whole lot of Flame freelancers around that I trust with their own kit, we wouldn’t be using Flame for VFX either.
Flame’s main market seems to be, IMHO from what I can see in my market anyway, a finishing & VFX tool for small boutique facilities and solo freelancers.
Part of me wonders if the boat has sailed a bit on anything else and that the development team should focus on this market? What do you think?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to finish in Flame for longform features/episodic if it was a more viable option. The Dolby Vision toolset is really awesome, I love it, and I prefer compositing in Flame, but Fusion is actually pretty good for the smaller shots you’d do client attended and any bigger shots would get sent to either an internal or external VFX team these days. Plus the fact that you don’t have to export any mezzanine files makes a much more streamlined and efficient workflow so the benefit vs time argument can’t be won.
I hate saying all the above as I love Flame but I just can’t justify it for what we do any more.
I think the biggest threat to Flame’s survival, ironically is Fusion these days. At the price point and with the Resolve component featuring everything you mentioned, if there were a decent freelance base, even in small commercial vfx studios Flame would be difficult to justify.
If there’s ever “real” pipeline support for Resolve that could expedite things.
Commercial people are always looking for “cheaper and almost as good” and the Foundy’s pricing is tough to swallow.
I totally agree. I played with Fusion a few years ago and wasn’t particularly a fan. I played with it again recently, and whilst I don’t like it as much as Flame or Nuke, that could be more to do with familiarity more than anything.
If I was a one stop shop setting up for myself right now, the one off price point for Resolve & Fusion Studio is hard to beat, especially when the savings puts you half way to a full spec Mac Studio or good spec Threadripper system. The cost saving alone would be worth the pain of the transition. Vector warping would be my main concern in terms of what Fusion lacks.
The biggest issue with Fusion is there is hardly anyone out there anymore who uses it as their primary tool whilst there are loads of freelance Flame Artists I know and trust. That is what keeps me on Flame for now. The fact I can send them shots to do and that they can send me setups back that I can do small tweaks on myself quickly with a client in attendance when necessary.
Yep. And the often overlooked aspect of “unlimited” render tokens is a value add. Combined with aws it’s difficult to ignore.
As much as I love Nuke, things can get very slow at times and a fast farm means the difference in either ideation or even delivery. With that comes the Foundry’s rocket science tax again making things even more expensive.
I love the notion that licensing fees are almost an afterthought in the fusion universe.
And ultimately this whole conversation is about trade offs, but I think Fusion sits in the middle of the price, performance, quality Venn diagram for a lot of comp work thrown specifically at Flame—especially when bolstered with the same other bits and bobs we duct tape on to flame to make it really sing. The downside is ultimately the talent pool.
Interestingly enough the incentives have seemed to have reversed. For larger shops the cost and pipeline issues make Fusion interesting, talent pool presumably being a fixable issue.
At the same time Flame has become more affordable than it used to be, making it attractive to freelancers and boutiques to stand out of the sea of Resolve users. By some account there are now more than 3M Resolve users. Makes it hard for a freelancer to differentiate from the next guy down the street or the uncle who has his own copy of Resolve. It’s too available.
There is no denying that Resolve has become an unbeatable Swiss army knife realistically is freeware at this point and has managed to distort the industry. Grant got his revenge after all.
On one side it was exciting to read all the NAB coverage of Resolve 18.5. On the other hand you frown because you know it will further limit choice and diversity in the industry, which is deflating. It is a legit runaway train at this stage.
All true I agree, … but 2 reasons where flame can stay on top 1.Speed., 2.most users have 20yrs+ experience (but of course there are less compared to Nuke/Resolve). Therefore we are still a rare and exceptional. …in more cases than Fusion/Nuke… .
For example or on a different tangent, (sorry)… I find that Flame artists are in a different category than the usual Nuke compers, when you hear the monthly stories of facility abuse of VFX Artists its not really about flame artist right? always about Nuke compers or 3d right ? a Flame artist seems to get more respect we are not usually part of a factory and usually gets paid better… especially in commercials, …yes times have changed but having your own runner, your own suite, fridge, hifi, sofa, games console, restuarant catologue, etc, is not what Nuker compers have experienced. . BUT yes Nuke is capable of maybe more, but not as fast.
So i get it we are behind with conforming and timeline etc compared with Resolve ever since Resolve has had a timeline, but for VFX Flame always for me.
Just read this to my self again and sounds like BS, … but i will post it anyway… someone may relate…
Just like to add, which has been said before, its more about people than tools and this has become more and more the case post covid, these days IMHO. Plus thanks to Flame still having that Jedi-ish, magical brand, …or is that just in my old timer mind,…
Grant Petty (CEO of BMD) has/had a chip on his shoulder about Hollywood for a long time. His low cost tech has made inroads for a while, and now Resolve runs some of the biggest studios and feature releases. That was the reference to ‘he got his revenge’. (You can read more about him and his journey here).
And you’re right, it’s as much about the people than it is about the software. That said, Fusion is actually older than Flame ('87 vs. '91) and there may be people with just as much experience. They’re probably just hiding out in a different corner of the Internet. So we shouldn’t presume. Also Fusion and Nuke have definite parallels and been emulated. While there are many differences, in theory an operator should be able to cross over more easily than Flame and Fusion (I was on Fusion before Nuke, and on Nuke before Flame).
The caveat is that you can do most things with each of these tools, the question is how fast and how well. When budget are everything this ‘total cost’ is a critical variable which can change over time and is also a function of tenure of the artist. The cost of a flame is a fixed cost per year. The billable hours and rate of the artist is a variable cost.
That said, giving the software away so you are locked into some hardware purchases (BMD’s model for a long time), even though they’re are slowly expanding into cloud offerings which include subscriptions is a model that is hard for software only companies like Autodesk and The Foundry but also Adobe to compete with. It’s a cut throat move that mirrors the beginnings of BMD. Resolve as BMD’s software platform grew from one bankrupt company (DaVinci) and then had additional cheap grave yard finds bolted on (Fairlight and Fusion). Combined with an army of developers in Singapore, thought to be as much as 1,000 at times it has enabled Resolve to evolve at breakneck pace and quickly became a darling of the bean counters and YouTube content creators. Grant is also said to be writing code to this day.
Now it has a considerable lead in terms of features that it will be hard to catch even for the other big players.
However, all the people I know who use fusion inside resolve say it sucks and look at me jealousy of flame’s integration between timeline and vfx. …specially in terms of stability and crashes. Something that bmd never seems to get right
My resolve’s colleage sometimes wants kill everybody.
On the other hand, yes, add support to opentimeline would be superb-great.
That’s why I’m on Flame and Nuke and not Resolve - even though I own 3 Resolve licenses, using them sometimes for color and as a transcoding/dailies tool, DCP generator, etc.
The standalone app of Fusion is better than the Fusion tab inside Resolve. But it’s still a patience tester you only put up with, if you’re on a budget that doesn’t afford Nuke or Flame. It’s like driving a Yugo and not a BMW or your flavor of nice car. There are some Resolve die hards that will differ. And that’s ok.
So count your blessings if you’re driving a Flame.