Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let's talk about the Gateway

It's not a node, so it's never going to get listed in my goofy top 5 lists, but the Gateway is awesome. It's got a few issues still, but by and large it's so much nicer than the old "import image" command.

First off, it's generally pretty smart about things, so you have to spend less time setting up your aspect ratios and the like. The one issue I have here in PAL-ville is that image sequences still default to 24fps. I've been burned by that once or twice.

Mostly though it's very awesome. You can set up user and project bookmarks, and even establish autoconnects to wherever people are dumping footage.

The best part of it is that you can import your clip and start working with it off the server immediately (and even leave it on the server with no local copy). If you want a local copy the Gateway will send the import off to Burn (which you can set up to be your local machine if you don't have a burn farm). The non-local copies and immediate working are excellent. Once you get used to working this way, it becomes very annoying to have to go back and import the 'old' way.

Yes, the Gateway is scary, but it's a much nicer way to work. I did a whole job recently that involved very little actual flame (some grain and lens flares) and it was very easy to do the revisions without importing any media. Find the new clip, run it through the setup and we're done. Just make sure to check your framerates--haha.


  1. I really hate the Gateway. Yes you can import more formats and yes you can start working right away but sometimes it's just not importing your footage at all and working with soft clips is kind of slow. I also hate browsing through the network with the gateway. The old import was much faster, the layout was more clear with less things hidden. Too bad the new flame anniversary (which is a actually smoke not a flame!) dropped the import.

    1. I agree on all your points. I still like a lot of what the gateway improves, but it is a big step back in a number of ways.

      Lately it's been killing me that it's tied to a single machine. We move from machine to machine a fair amount, and if you build a setup with GatewayImport nodes and that machine gets pulled off the network you have to re-import them via your new machine. Nuke trounces flame in the "getting CG off the server" department.