FrameCycler Professional 2007 – the best sequence player!

loocas | software | Monday, April 7th, 2008

fc_pro_2007.png

Some time ago I was looking for a specific software that’d allow me to review, convert, manage and compare my footages, be it frame sequences or AVIs, MOVs etc… I was really getting sick of RAM Player available in Max. First of all, you had to have Max running in order to load up a few files in the sequence viewer and secondly it didn’t provide the necessary tools that I needed. So I jumped on Google and searched for some sequence players/viewers. After some time I stumbled across several options, which names I don’t recall, unfortunately, so I reviewed some of them and found them kind of lacking in features or difficult to operate or way too resource demanding (for a simple program that loads up sequences, 200MB isn’t really necessary). I wished there was a single piece of software that’d merge the best features of those I reviewed together in a simple, yet powerful, user interface.

Then I found myself browsing through Iridas‘ website and looking at the range of software they offer. Interestingly enough, when I downloaded the trial version of FrameCycler Professional I immediately fell in love with the software! It provided ALL the features and functionality that I required and much more, which I eventually started appretiating along on different projects I put FrameCycler to use on. First of all, it provides a very fast, robust and simple way of reviewing (playing) sequences and/or video files. That was the top priority on my list. Then, it also provides a very flexible and useful comparison and revision tools, which was also mandatory. As a bonus (in comparison to the primitive RAM Player in Max) I got local zooming abilities, timeline, color spaces, LUT support, histograms, note and review system and, which I really dig, command line scripting! Especially the scripting features are very useful if you want to get rid of the RAM Player and use FrameCycler as your primary and only sequence viewer. You can simply write some simple code to send variables to FrameCycler from Max or any other CG package and load up the sequences you just rendered or all the sequences in your project! Really useful.

The program, aside from sequence playing, also supports LUTs as I mentioned before, further on, it supports rendering into any other format (video, file sequences etc…), it supports sound, Iridas’ Review Link connectivity (system for logging into a review server for downloading director’s comments and sketches on your sequences for example, super cool feature!) and is, obviously, compatible with Iridas’ more specific, robust and expensive systems, like SpeedGrade for example.

There isn’t much more to say about FrameCycler, it’s “just” a sequence player, but at that, it’s the best one I’ve ever seen and used. I couldn’t recommend it more! To me, it became priceless in my work and a very handy and useful tool for animation production. A cherry on top is Iridas’ user centric licencing. Of course they offer floating licences, great for facilities, however, the coolest thing is, they also think of freelancers and people on the move! Iridas will grant you a personal licence that will work with 5 user names you choose (you can even change the names as many times as you want, but it’s still limited to 5 names). In reality, it works this way. Let’s say you have 2 computers at home/at your studio and then you also work as a freelancer for a company where you use their computer. The first two computers run Windows with user names “Joe” and “Joe2” and you log in to the company’s workstation as “JoeSchmoe”. So when you purchase your licence, you specify these three names and you’re done! FrameCycler will work from your USB drive, flash disk or even copied locally on any of these computers with the single licence. This is really sweet and, to be honest, this was one of the key factors that made me purchase the licence immediately as I didn’t have to worry about licence at any time at all, since it’ll simply work wherever I specify in the on-line licence manager.

So, to sum it up. FrameCycler Professional 2007 is the only sequence player software that I use nowdays, it has all the power, and more!, that I and projects I work on, demand, it is cheap (only $299 USD) and is based on a very good licencing policy. Besides it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, so no worries there. I very strongly recommend anyone who’s ever needed to review their sequence files to purchase a licence or persuade your employer to do so, really well worth the price!

Edit (12-04-2008): FrameCycler isn’t ported to x64 systems and also isn’t officially supported by Iridas on these systems. I’ve had a problem on Vista Business x64 with FrameCycler that couldn’t be solved otherwise but re-installing the program. Not such a big deal, FrameCycler is a small piece of software with backupable settings, so it wasn’t a problem. I thought I’d let you know this little issue. Iridas, however, is planning to support FrameCycler on x64 systems sometime this year, so, fingers crossed, because a x64 FrameCycler would really be a great upgrade for huge frame sequences (i.e. requiring more than 2GB of Ram).

Prices:
FrameCycler Professional 2007: $299 USD
FrameCycler DDS: $5400 USD
FrameCycler DI: $8799 USD
FrameCycler VenueSystem: probably extremely expensive

Links:
Iridas website
FrameCycler website

4 Comments »

  1. You should look into ChaosGroup’s PDPlayer. It’s in beta right now; but when it comes out, it’s gonna be a real kick-ass image-sequence player.

    http://www.pdplayer.com/

    Comment by 818Apero — May 12, 2008 @ 04:08

  2. Thanks for the tip, 818Apero! I’ll be looking forward to a final release as from the description it sounds promising. However, FrameCycler, by the time, should be x64 compliant and that’s gonna be a huge plus for me ;) Anyways, competition is always good for the consumers.

    Comment by loocas — May 12, 2008 @ 10:22

  3. Hello could someone help me, I have tried the trial licence of Framecycler. When I convert a few sequence everything is ok but when I am trying to convert 38 000 frames, the final sequence is black … Thank you

    Comment by coyota — May 5, 2009 @ 22:57

  4. coyota: I’d love to help you out, but I have no idea what might be the problem. Have you tried contacting support[at]iridas[dot]com? They’re usually pretty responsive.

    Comment by loocas — May 5, 2009 @ 23:20

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