16 comments on “Smoke Media Storage: Ghetto USB drive & Macbook Pro

  1. Just wanted to chime in and mention that 8-bit proxies are a smart workaround but in general i’d discourage that since any color-critical work will lose it’s settings once you switch from 8 to 10. This applies to keyers, CC and CW and other color-critical nodes. So if you choose that path never ever configure your effects while in proxy mode.

  2. Excellent Post ! I am just setting up a little Smoke machine with a similar config. Just bought a 2TB Lacie Thunderbolt, an Apple 27 inch TH and 8GB of Ram. I am gonna be working in SD so it should be more than enough !

  3. brian, excellent tip! i just made the switch to an existing framestore on a 17″ MacBook and its working. follow up question – since its JPG, do you think processing speed will be slightly affected because it has to process the effect(s) and also compress each frame before writing to disk?


    • I didn’t do a lot of testing with processing. I am going to bet that the difference between processing and creating a .jpg frame at 1920×1080 is significantly less than a .dpx frame.

  4. It could be a kind of stupid one though,

    Can I ask you something? If the source is 8bit and the output need to be 8bit as well, then is it good for ust to set project to 10bit?

    For example, I am making some clips for TV program and the source is from P2 camera, do you recommend me to use 10bit dpx framestore or just 8bit jpeg is ok?

    • I too work with P2. It’s fine to stick with 8bit, but I would still use DPX over JPG. You could go 10 bit, but you won’t gain anything on your footage. All processing of clips is 12bit 4:4:4 internal, so your 8bit will stay clean throughout.

  5. one might argue if you are going to do lots of keying and color correction (in either order) then you might benefit from bumping up to 10bit. going from 8 to 10 is roughly four times the information in each RGB color channel so if color is important, its a way to preserve more latitude. if you’e “just editing” then 8 bit source working in 8 bit would be just fine.

  6. Hey Brian!
    Thank you for a brilliant “trick” for those of us learning Smoke!
    I do have an issue though – Smoke doesn’t process onto USB, and when I look at the USB location in Network, next to folder name (USBFS1), it says – Cannot access volume dir.
    Any advice would be very much appreciated!

    Oh, and keep up the good work 🙂

    • Not sure. It almost sounds like a permissions issue. In a few weeks Smoke 2013 will be out in the free public pre-release trial. You will be able to setup a framestore and process in various flavors of Prores. So that will help running on slower systems and storage right away.

  7. Hi Brian, first off thank you for all your awesome posts, they have really been helping me wrap my head around Smoke for Mac.

    I have a question for this blog… You say that doing this Jpeg frame management setup is beneficial for evaluating only. So in a actual project, what would happen if I did this Jpeg managed setup as I worked in Smoke, then switched back to Dpx at the end of my session to output at higher quality. Would that make any difference? I realize that what I want to be doing is working off proxies in the project. I just want to understand this a bit better.


    • If you are linking to your footage and not hard importing, which will result in putting these frames on your framestore in Jpeg, then it should work in theory. The issue is if you do any module processing with the clips. So any CC or tracking or Action stuff would then become a jpeg render. Which isn’t great. But if you work with history and all of your history is accessible then you could reprocess those shots. Again, this implys that they are linked files.

      You could just stay in DPX and work in proxy mode. This would speed up usage, even form a USB source, this is how I work all the time. Full DPX on my fast array from render. but from linked sources on USB. Proxies are also on my array.
      But if you don’t have a fast array for your framestore, then in theory it would work. I would just try a small project test. Set the framestore up for jpeg, edit, do some soft effects, then set the framestore up for DPX, Unrender/re-render and then export.

      2013 version does give you the ability to work with prores as an intermediate on your framestore if that’s helpful.

  8. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog
    when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

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