View Full Version : which one is the best compositing software?

11-10-2009, 04:47 AM
combustion 4, boris red or after effects.

i'm looking to buy one of the packages above. which one is the best among them. i only want to learn one software.

did anyone work with all 3 before? what are your opinions about them? thanks.

11-10-2009, 04:49 AM
after effects without a doubt !

11-10-2009, 05:59 AM
toxik..that's what i'll be using come 3dsmax 2011 in april 2010!

until then i'd still run with combustion as it's neat...btw im on combustion 2.1 not 4
as it does what i need.

if you want to do 'motion graphics' or 2d animated characters then after effect is a good choice
However if you want to go with compositing mainly and color correction/green screen/rotoscoping
for video/film then combustion is a better choice i believe...and a #better# choice is Toxik!...which is currently part of maya and probably soon part of 3dsmax

11-10-2009, 07:15 AM
Well, what are you looking to composite?
What is the kind of materials and process you are needing to do?

Even NLE's these days can do some compositing.

It also goes with how you want to work...and the kind of through put and formats you are needing to deal with.

There are a couple of compositors that you didn't mention...Fusion from Eyeon software...and Nuke from the Foundry.

Then there is also Shake (which is a dropped product from apple) and Toxic (being bundles with some Autodesk 3D products)...

Even though you like combustion cresshead...you do have to admit...this is also a non updated product..and will most likely be another autodesk app that just vanishes...

Are you looking to deal with 3D elements, Live action, chroma keys, color grading, and are process based rather than time based...then you want a node based compositor...which is Fusion, Nuke, or Toxic.

If you are doing mostly motion graphics with FXs and overlays, and needing a time line...then I would recommend After Effects or Apple's Motion. Now After Effects has also been used for movies etc...but it isn't as well suited...but it can be done....

My recommendation:

Choose between Fusion and Nuke for your main compositor....then learn After Effects as well...you may need both at times...depending on your needs or your employers needs.

If you are more a video editor...and looking to round out your NLE suite....then deal with After Effects and Boris Red.

Good Luck,


11-10-2009, 07:28 AM
combustion's not a dead app...combustion 2008 seems current.
i'd agree it's not aggressivly developed as say toxik or flame/inferno
but it's being updated each year.


11-10-2009, 08:09 AM
For me its Fusion all the way. Why, 1 I love the non-linear workflow and two its now the one I know best. If not Fusion then I'd go Nuke. I admit that AE has its place and time as all things due but there's nothing that can be done in AE that I can't do in Fusion. In fact any and all AE plugins can be used in Fusion can't say that about Fusion plugins inside AE.
The one major issue, the price difference.

11-10-2009, 08:14 AM
Fusion, Shake or Nuke (I've little experience with the later). I just gave up with Combustion.

11-10-2009, 08:29 AM
Hi Cresshead,

Combustion could have been a great program...but autodesk...just didn't give it the love and attention it needed. (when I was looking for a compositor, it was between Fusion and Combustion...it was when Combustion was first released...and cost the same as Fusion at the time.
I'm so glad that I went with Fusion...it is a much better app with growing support and seats...combustion is a dying app (IMHO).

Even though it is still around...with minor updates...it is really not a developing product these days...and is more of a oh by the way kind of thing.

For mainstream compositing...it is Fusion, Nuke, Shake and now Toxic (though there really aren't that many using it yet as a main stream app)...also AE has the most seats out there...but not for film production.

Thus my recommendation of going with Fusion...and also AE to get a well rounded toolset...also Fusion works great with LW...if you are using it.