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Discreet Streamlines the Creative Group


Creative Group is a full-service editorial/design facility that also houses three surround sound mixing rooms. We specialize in graphic design and editorial for on-air promotions, title treatments, commercial and in-house productions and our primary clients are networks, cable companies and advertising agencies.

With our many jobs for ESPN, In Demand, ABC Sports, USA, Outdoor Life and others, we have to be able to produce visually interesting, broadcast-quality work in an instant. Discreet smoke and flame systems have been our mainstays since 2000, allowing us to edit and finish projects on a single system in any format and resolution, including high-definition.

We can also streamline the process and the completion of projects within the facility by cutting, effecting and compositing the piece end-to-end from a single edit suite.

Moving to smoke 6 on the high-performance Silicon Graphics Tezro 4P visual workstation was a natural progression, because our clients expect a level of quality, delivered in a timely manner, that these systems allow us to achieve. We also continually increase our high-definition workload and the latest hardware upgrades help us meet these new challenges.

At Creative Group, our artists often flip between smoke and flame software within the same project, depending on the complexity and editorial needs. This fuels both our creativity and turnaround speed. Also, the ability to access any project's setups (color correction, DVE and text) among our five networked systems adds to our overall flexibility.

In terms of specific smoke 6 advancements, smoke 6 gives us real-time 10- and 12-bit editing with uncompressed HD and SD material, as well as 2K files. Running on the Tezro, our smoke 6s can play up to two real-time streams of 10-bit/component, uncompressed RGB, 4:4:4 HDTV that gives us great picture quality. It also gives use extremely fast processing for editing and effects.

The creative feature set in this release provides our artists with detailed control over keying with the new Master Keyer, and the Colour Warper technology significantly enhances our color-correction control.

One capability we look forward to exploring more is the multiresolution timeline support in smoke 6. There is a definite learning curve in becoming familiar with the way you mix multiple-resolution source material inside of a high-definition project, but it is one of the unique features that makes smoke 6 a great upgrade for us.

Discreet has always responded well to user functionality wish lists, which the company compiles through staying connected to its client base on the flame/fire newsgroup. This responsiveness to the market, as well as the ability to produce systems with the power and performance to help artists unleash their imaginations, is the reason Discreet systems overall are the finishing tool of choice in the high-end promotion and commercial world. ¦

Joe Castellano is a senior partner/smoke editor for the Creative Group and can be reached at 212-687-3800. The opinions expressed above are the author's alone.

For more information, contact Discreet at 800-869-3504 or visit