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Your Pro Source for Autodesk Smoke on Mac Training


Handy resources for Autodesk Smoke on Mac.


Smoke 2013 Software


Download the Smoke Trial

This is the link to download the Trial of Smoke on Mac. There’s no reason not to give it a try … see the system requirements page if you are unsure whether your machine will be able to run it.


While Smoke has a lot of features including those found in many plug-ins, there are not a ton of third-party plug ins available for Smoke on Mac yet. At any rate, here are the ones that are available that I know of. If you know of more or are a plug-in maker, please feel free to resp0nd in the comments below. A good place to buy plugins (and where I got the information below) is Toolfarm.

Genarts Sapphire

For years Genarts’ Sapphire plugins (knows in the autodesk world as ‘sparks’) have been the go-to package for that over the top eye candy needed to take your visuals to the next level. The price for Sapphire is currently $2,800 for a node-locked license and $4,200.00 for a floating license. This does include an unlimited number of render client installs and free Render-only licenses. The price to upgrade from v6 to v7 is $849.00. See Sapphire 7 examples here:

Genarts Monsters GT

Genarts also now provides the venerable Monsters set of plugins for Smoke on Mac OS X. The Monsters GT pack consists of over 50 plug-ins, including many that are physics-based such as particles and natural phenomena. It’s currently priced at $999, for either a node-locked or floating license. Render licenses are free, and the render client can be installed on any number of machines. See examples of Genarts Monsters GT in action here:


Smoke 2013 Support and Discussion


Autodesk Smoke 2013 Documentation

This is the link to the online wiki that serves as the documentation for Smoke 2013 for Mac. Keep in mind that this is an ever-changing document that is continually being updated, so if you encounter a problem and don’t find an answer then ask it here or in the other forums below.

Autodesk Smoke 2013 Forum

Here is the forum for Smoke 2013 hosted on the Autodesk AREA website.

Creative Cow Smoke Forum

The forum on Creative Cow for Smoke… a widely visited site for video professionals for a number of years, they now have a pretty active forum on Smoke for Mac.

FXGuide Forums

Forums on FXGuide, a site for effects professionals.

Smoke on Twitter

Follow Autodesk Smoke on these twitter feeds:

@discreetuk (Grant Kay)



@Marc_Hamaker (Marc Hamaker, Sen. Product Marketing Manager)

@iluminance (Marc-Andre Ferguson, Smoke Evangelist)


Smoke 2013 Training and Tutorials


Smoke 2013 Learning Channel on Autodesk AREA Blog

An excellent, up-to-date place to watch video news and tutorials on the most current features of Smoke 2013. Be sure to check out the superb ones by Grant Kay.

Smoke 2013 Learning Channel on YouTube

Creative Cow Smoke Tutorials

See some great video tutorials over at the Cow.

FXPhd Course on Smoke

A trio of visual effects artists run this site, which sports a full curriculum of software training courses.

Larry Jordan Video Tutorials

Larry has a great professional style to his presentations, and he has a few Smoke tutorials to check out.

Premium Beat blog: Smoke Tutorial Posts

Brian Mulligan blogs regularly with tutorials and blog posts about Smoke. He has some great ones on there where he breaks down ConnectFX nodes, supplemented with lots of screen shots.

Joel Osis tutorials

Artist Joel Osis has posted a number of great intermediate and advanced level tutorials for you to take a look at.

Some nicely done video tutorials and resource links.

Smoke Videos on Digital Tutors

Digital Tutors now has a Smoke course up in addition to their large selection of video training, available with a monthly subscription.

Ken LaRue Blog on AREA

Ken is the Technical Marketing Manager for Smoke, and he has a set of great videos on his blog.

Marc-Andre Ferguson’s blog at AREA


Smoke 2013 Hardware Links


Apple iMac

The new Smoke 2013 release will work on various models of macs, but I believe the best tradeoff for cost vs. performance has to be the iMac.

Promise Pegasus RAID Storage

A very fast Raid 5 solution for uncompressed video. I believe it is the best option for storage currently for Smoke Mac.

Wacom Intuos Tablets

A Wacom tablet has always been my go-to input device for all the years i have used Smoke. I have never had repetitive motion injury trouble since using it. It is also the best way to control your paint strokes and fine-tune a bezier curve.

Aja Video Systems

Home of the Aja Kona, Kona 3G, and Io XT products, which enable you to conduct video I/O with Smoke on your Mac. These allow uncompressed HD workflows at 4:2:2 or 4:4:4. If you’re using a thunderbolt port equipped Imac (2011 models and above), you can use the Io XT to connect and daisy chain it with your thunderbolt storage array.

Logickeyboard Mac Keyboard for Smoke

They make a custom keyboard with the Smoke Mac keys neatly labeled. Please note, the keys are for the 2012 version of smoke, some of the newer keys for Smoke 2013 may be different depending on the hotkey preset you use.

Smoke Keyboard Stickers

This company (“4Keyboard”) is selling Smoke keyboard stickers on Amazon that you adhere to your own mac keyboard. Again, may not have all the functionality of the new 2013 software, and the picture they provide doesn’t show all the keys. But at 7 dollars, it’s much cheaper than buying the full keyboard even if it helps you for a little while to learn the hotkeys.


Other Useful Links


The Scruffy Smoke Challenge

Do you have what it takes to test your smoke keying chops and pull a key on this intentionally poorly shot footage? Take the challenge!



What kind of resources would you like to see posted? Let me know and I will find it and either review it myself or get it from a trusted source.