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xm|edit is now shipping Traffic

Although a little hard to "get" initially Traffic, adds non-linear functions to Sequences and Bins based on nodes like the processing nodes used in Apple’s Shake compositing software. Each node adds some functionality or processing to the source. As the creator, Forrest Maready, says "The traditional timeline interface presents the editor with the question ‘When do you want to do something?’ Traffic takes a different approach and asks ‘What do you want to do?’.

The case studies they demonstrate on the website are to automatically add lower thirds to a Sequence based on the clip name and duration, so the right Lower Third is added to the appropriate clips, with automated fade up, fade down and length durations as set. Or to shift through a Sequence to separate effects clips from non-effects clips, to send to the appropriate parts of the post-production chain. But my favorite automation step was to automatically add pre-rendered tags to the same spot, outputting the completed spot into one long Sequence or individual Sequence for each tagged spots.

Before Traffic, these tasks would have been delegated to an Assistant Editor, so in many ways Traffic can be considered to be an automated Assistant Editor with functions based on logical "if this is true" "then do this". If there’s another tag in the Bin then add it to the spot and create a new sequence named after the tag’s clip name and output it to an XML file.

As well as this logic-based workflow, Traffic also allows for quick and easy updating. For example, if the font is wrong in the Sequence of Lower Thirds generated in Traffic, changing it in one place will change the font for all the Lower Thirds; if there’s a typo, changing the spelling once will correct all instances.

Traffic requires OS X 10.3.9 or later, 512 MB RAM and 350MB of hard drive space for install, and a compatible XML application, like Final Cut Pro; Autodesk’s Smoke, Fire or Lustre or Media 100i or 844/X. Avid, Combustion, Quantel iQ and Premiere support is available using Automatic Duck. Traffic is now available for US$299.

Traffic has an open architecture for the nodes, so expect to see more functionality added over time.


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