Some thoughts on Autodesk…

Just thinking (sorry about that)…

As much as I don’t like corporate juggernauts, Autodesk have done a lot of good for Flame too, as much as they get bagged.

They have continued to keep Flame alive and fund its development, even if it is a small fish for them.

They have transitioned what used to be a very expensive financial investment into something affordable enough that there are a whole bunch of freelancers with their own kit now. Could have been easy for them to throw the Flame Family into the too hard basket and killed it but they have kept it alive and going throughout that transition. Sure, support has diminished but if companies are prepared to pay the amount of money support used to cost in subs, there are third party services on offer that offer similar. Whilst not as immediate as it used to be, support is still good compared to other offerings.

Autodesk are still investing in Flame’s development too. I’m really thankful that we have such open communication with the R&D team too. They are as much a part of the community as the artists which is truly fantastic. I really appreciate them spending the time to be so engaged with us.

Seeing Resolve given away or as an incredibly cheap alternative, once again they could have put it in the too hard basket and killed it but they haven’t. Oh, and for those who aren’t happy with Flame support, have you ever tried to get support for Resolve?!!

Autodesk haven’t bought Flame and put it in the too hard basket and killed it because development was going to cost too much and be a hassle after purchasing it e.g. Apple buying Shake or Color.

The fact that it has its main revenue stream outside the M&E division means that it theoretically gives Flame longevity (until it doesn’t become profitable). Whilst Resolve is essentially a clever marketing tool for Blackmagic to sell hardware, Flame & the M&E division is a side hustle for Autodesk that also aids its main products. So business model is different but still sustainable.

The licensing model may piss some people off, but it has also been incredibly helpful for a lot of other people. I have had my own issues with licensing in the past, but I have equally had so with other bits of software so it is no better or worse than the majority (I must say, I am a fan of ye olde fashioned license dongle).

Finally, I may have written a contradictory post previously about Autodesk selling off the M&E division to a cooperative of Flame users, but to be honest, I am kind of thankful it is currently under the Autodesk banner. I think if the business model was more akin to The Foundry, Flame would not have survived due to the volume of users. The product would be defunct.

All of this isn’t to say that certain corporate culture restricts what we’d like to see happen with Flame family, on the flip side, with the corporation this user group may never have existed as it wouldn’t have gotten this far.

Am I frustrated at certain things in Flame? Hell yeah!!! Am I more thankful that I get the amazing tool that Flame is to do what I want to do? Absolutely!!!