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Discreet Ships Combustion 2.1

New version sees price reduction to $995, loses dongle By Dave Nagel
Discreet has released a new version of Combustion 2 and also reduced the regular price of the software to $995. Combustion is Discreet's desktop-class compositing suite that incorporates several high-end features. It was originally introduced at $5,000. The new version, available now, is a free update to users of Combustion 2.

Combustion 2.1 includes a huge number of new and improved features, especially in the area of compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2.x. In our initial tests, hardware rendering in OpenGL was fixed in Mac OS X 10.2.3. The new version also eliminates the need for the hardware key (dongle), though we did have to enter the Combustion 2 hardware key ID number in order to install the 2.1 updater. (This new feature is not documented anywhere.)

Aside from these, other new features and enhancements include:

  • User preferences are now kept and saved based on the user login. This includes all preferences set in the Preferences dialog, the last opened workspaces and other historical data.
  • Ability to edit the path at the top of the import or open dialogs.
  • Network paths are now expanded properly in the Thumbnail File Browser.
  • Added the option "No to all" when asked to replace multiple footage.
    * When a referenced footage is deleted from the footage library, a warning message appears.
  • Line emitter is now built like the paint polygon.
  • It is now possible to select a line emitter in the viewport when editing control points.
  • It is now possible to move control points of an unselected emitter because it is automatically selected on the first move.
  • Assigning ASCII tracking data to control points are now fully supported for the Garbage Mask.
  • Added the default Paint object duration mode "Current to end frame" applicable to all Paint objects.
  • Increased speed for manipulation of polygon control points.
  • When users delete custom paint swatches, mixing area, and/or brush palettes, the default swatches, mixing area and brushes palettes are now accessible.
  • Masks no longer default to a duration set to All Frames.
  • The animation of tangents is improved and is more intuitive.
  • It is now possible to select and modify individual letters in Text operators.
  • Once the attributes for a group of text are changed, it is now possible to go back and change individual attributes.
  • A new option was added to show only animated channels in the timeline.
  • Users can now add a keyframe using Shift-A.
  • Tangent channels are now displayed in the Timeline when selected in the viewport.
  • Timeline zooming improved.
  • Moving keyframes in the Graph view of the Timeline is now smoother.
  • There is now a preference option to specify if the first keyframe of an animation should be automatically added.
  • There is a preference option to overwrite keyframes on paste.
  • Network rendering of nested and multiple outputs is now possible.
  • Field rendering is now allowed when no 3:2 pulldown options are selected.
  • Added support for 32-bit floating point RPF format for compatibility with upcoming 3ds max 5.1.
  • OS X mouse wheel is now supported.
  • Wacom tablet pressure used with OS X is now supported.
  • The Application System menu for combustion is now fully functional.

The new version also includes a huge number of fixes, which are documented in the Read Me file included with the update.

Combustion 2.1 is available now for $995. The update is free for users of version 2. For more information or to download the update, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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