Filmmaker Von Sonntag: Autodesk Flame Emphasizes Consistent Look

Flame is the core of my personal post boutique, I use it for VFX and compositing, and also as a fully functional NLE. I’ve been in post and VFX for many years, and started using Flame when it became available as a software-only solution. There are several new features in the 2019 release that allow me to complete almost every aspect of post on my commercial and broadcast projects in Flame.

My broadcast work includes many genres and types. I was recently hired to shoot and finish 23 interviews for an international broadcaster that was an in-depth look at the life of a soccer referee. Every interview clip was approximately 2:30 minutes, and was shot in front of a green screen. 

We had about 20 days to edit and finish the 23 clips. Only Flame’s exceptional speed and workflow options made this job possible. The 45 minutes of green screen compositing alone could have been a year-long task. Everything was done in Flame, including sound and broadcast mastering. For another project I had to produce content that had to be delivered across multiple mediums. Flame’s capability to deal with high resolution pictures, and delivery of consistent and predictable results in different color spaces, made this production very easy on the post side.

Before Flame 2019, color grading in Flame was doable and OK but far from what I would consider streamlined. With the Effects Tab and MasterGrade, this changed so much for the better that I now consider Flame as a serious contender in the color correction realm. Because Flame is all about choices, it takes some time to understand how color management is implemented and how to customize it to your needs. Flame’s new color management also allows me to work in ACES. MasterGrade is ACES optimized with log and lin optimized maths. You notice the difference instantly when working with MasterGrade. I get much better results compared to my old workflow in legacy video mode and CC/CW nodes.

The new Timeline to Batch workflow is a huge time saver and the new Connected Conform, an industry first and only, is a god-send to all of us who have to create tons of versions and need a fast way of producing them.

More and more I experience the need to produce high-level video content that must perform consistently across vastly different media platforms. This is a massive challenge for producers, writers and creatives and the postproduction back-end alike. From shooting high-resolution material for HDR productions, to the delivery of square social media in standard-video, to all that must be accomplished and archived for later use in a short time frame.

With the Facebook Logik group, I have access to a very active online community with many seasoned and smart Flame artists who are always helpful and insightful. Newbies are welcome, and the tone is friendly and open-minded. The Autodesk dev. team is also part of this community and has helped navigate how to maximize use of the new 2019 features; Grant Kay’s brilliant tutorials are a gem and a necessity.

The benefit of working with Flame is that you can see it as a fast compositor and finishing tool for client attended sessions that allow conforming timelines and sophisticated project management, or you can see it as an NLE with unbelievable possibilities. I use Flame for both, and I gain a lot with the new features that Flame 2019 is offering.

Hans Von Sonntag has been working as a filmmaker, editor, VFX, compositing and finishing artist for over 20 years. In addition to many awards including the ADE, Spotlight, Eurobest and World Media he has also been a lecturer on the subject of filmmaking. He can be reached at