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Andrew Sweet
07-15-2004, 06:27 AM
Hi All

I'm about to purchase some POST software, what would you guys recommend? and I'm not rich. Would like mac software but PC is fine also!!! below is what I've looked at!!

Shake
EYEON Digital F
Combustion

Cheers

Andy

Librarian
07-15-2004, 10:10 AM
I love Digital Fusion. You can get DFX+instead of the full blown DF. It has some limitations, but for most work it´s fine. It has a super cool and easy node based workflow which gives you all the flexibility you need. Give it a try and testdrive the demo.
Same goes for Shake, which is very powerful but as far as I know Mac only and 3000$.
Don`t know about combustion.

Fusion ist PC only, Shake Mac only and Combustion both.

Titus
07-15-2004, 11:25 AM
Well, that depends on your needs. Those three programs are similar but not exactly the same.

I work with Combustion+Video Toaster, it's a good combination. Combustion costs $999, and the upgrade is arround $300.

Shake is really expensive but comes with Primatte, this alone cost more than $1000. As librarian pointed, Shake for PC isn't been developed anymore, and the Linux version is more expensive than the Mac counterpart.

Maybe you want to try cinelerra (http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3)
first.

gjjackson
07-15-2004, 12:00 PM
I kinda like After Effects.

harlan
07-15-2004, 12:02 PM
Umm...Final Cut Pro is a must have for Mac based POST. Editing, composition, grading, etc... all in one kit. It's a jack of all trades, so to speak, but only a master of one, editing.

If you want to do some serious comp. work, then you'll need one of these apps on the Mac:

Combustion is muy excellente for compositing, and it's cheap.

Shake is, in my opinion (and not up for debate), the best Compositing app on the market, but it's pricey. BTW, Shake is absolutely killer on the G5 in terms of performance.

After Effects is okay, but I really don't like it. The workflow is rather 'half-assed' in my opinion.

Mirage from Bauhaus, is terrific, my only complaint (and the only thing preventing me from purchasing it right this second) is no OpenEXR support, which is what my entire pipeline is based on, but as a general app, it's phenomenal. I use the prior version called Aura (it's part of the Toaster) on my VT system every day.

There's also an app called gFX from Curious Software that is supposed to be pretty powerful; I've only played with the demo, but find the GUI to be a bit retarded.

Hope that helps.

theo
07-15-2004, 05:58 PM
DFX+ and Bauhaus Mirage!!!!! Yeah baby!!!

Also get the entire Monsters plugin set from Speed Six for DFX+.

With this setup you can make your CG become anything in Post.

Steve McRae
07-15-2004, 06:49 PM
AE for me

jevinstudios
07-15-2004, 07:34 PM
I personally use AE (studio bundle) + Mirage. Top notch set-up. Won't be upgrading my AE anymore, tho, 'cuz 6.5 caused me some nasty problems. Will most likely keep AE 6.0 as it is (with all my "trapcode" plugz and Knoll Light Factory), then beef up Mirage as it evolves.

policarpo
07-15-2004, 08:51 PM
What kind of Mac are you on?

AE is the equivalent of Photoshop and is the defacto standard for Post Work on the Mac and PC platform.

I personally own 6.0 and use 6.5 at work and love it...Adobe has a good product in After Effects...and with the Orphanage releasing it's free (noncommercial/priced commercial) plugin for Floating Point work (AE Production Bundle comes with a commercial grade FP plugin) AE is a great all around tool for POST and PRINT work.

Mirage is based on Aura..and personally...the workflow is really peculiar and non intuitive...I have Aura 2.5 and I hated using it...I felt like I was constantly fighting with it (note: if you use Photoshop and feel comfortable with it, Aura/Mirage will make you hate life...why rethink the wheel when you shouldn't have to).

My personal feeling...steer clear of Aura/Mirage if you value your sanity and creative spirit.

Combustion 3 is really great, but without a relatively fast Mac it is pretty annoying (i worte a review for C3* on http://www.cgfocus.com if you are interested).

If you have a G5...I would maybe wait for Apple Motion to materialize...it looks impressive...and the price is amazing.

eyeon Digital Fusion fricking rocks...I personally love it and love using it...the workflow and speed is amazing...but it's pretty pricey considering you don't have the cash to blow. DFX+ is a great introduction to it's powerful toolset...especially if you enjoy its stellar workflow (once you use it...you will love node based workflows...a la shake). :)

Do yourself a favor...and get AE for the Mac (don't think about it) or C3* if you have a Dual G4 or Dual G5.

Now...tell us what your goals are with purchasing a POST tool and we can better help you.

'Cause...if you are looking to get hired...do yourself a favor and at least become proficient in AE or C*...because these tools alone help establish the foundation to move on to tools like shake & DF.

Hope that helps.

Cheers!:D

harlan
07-15-2004, 10:04 PM
Not being argumentative, but what speed issues did you have with combustion Policarpo? I use it on my PowerBook all the time with no issues (have pushed approximately 4800 frames with correction, layering, etc... just this week alone).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a combustion purist or anything. I prefer Shake, but I am curious to know what speed issues you had.

theo
07-15-2004, 10:14 PM
Policarpo-

Your read on Mirage is COMPLETELY subjective. And to posit that it cannot stand on its own next to Photoshop is a reflection of the fact that you obviously have not spent much time with Mirage- long enough to draw a proper persective that is.

You cannot animate brush strokes within Photoshop- And the painting side of Mirage blows Photoshop out of the water. This program is POWERFUL much more powerful than Aura ever was.

I would not recommend Mirage as a replacement for Photoshop but it has enough firepower to pretty much carve out its own chunk of the field alongside PS AND my personal favorite DFX+.

Digital Fusion has a crappy paint module and everybody knows it which is why Mirage is so perfect when used in tandem with DFX+.

policarpo
07-15-2004, 10:34 PM
Hrmmm....that's cool.

Glad you like Aura/Mirage and enjoy using it. Power to the user. I stand behind the work I create because of the toolset I have chosen (PS, AE, C3*, DF, LW, and C4D...just look @ my web site).

He asked for opinions and I provided mine from the perspective of use and experience.

We can each learn to push and pull our software to make it do what we want it to do...but I just look at things from the standpoint of workflow and usability...'cause at the end of the day I want to get things done quickly and efficiently without too much "reinventing of the wheel" behavior (tell me that Mirage is easy to use after using Photoshop...go ahead, I dare you :p )

C3* and AE are very close in logic to Photoshop so it fits to use these instead of Aura/Mirage. Aura and Mirage are good tools...but in the end you have to learn how to use them because of the way they are architected (does Mirage inherit Aura's "Destructive" nature? Or are all of it's effects now parametric and animatable or removable on the fly like they are in AE, C3*, DF and Shake???)

And as far as C3* being slow...I reviewed it on my PB 1ghz and it just felt sluggish when I got into higher end compositing. Don't get me wrong...C3* is a great value for it's money and it is a great tool and I highly recommend it, but I think AE is a better app on slower configs on the Mac platform.

From my perspective, for the money on a slow Mac, AE is the right choice...on a fast Mac C3* rocks...and with bank...no question...DF for the PC and Shake for the Mac!

Shoot the software, not the artist I say.

:D

Hervé
07-15-2004, 11:25 PM
I have an old G4 450mhz, and I still use AE..... 4... works like a charm....;) :D

Carm3D
07-16-2004, 12:15 AM
I'm lovin' DFX+. While it's the only one I've ever used, I'm still lovin' it. :cool:

policarpo
07-16-2004, 12:32 AM
OK.

All that matters in the end is the art you produce.

Use the tool which makes you happy and satiates your creative urge.

Art is endless.

Use the software which upgrades based opon your needs.

:D

munky
07-16-2004, 04:14 AM
Hi there,

I'm a C3 munky on the mac and I much much prefer it to AFX just from a personal point of view as it suits me and I hate all those little afx panels. I think it's a hangup from my Quantel Hal days.
The best thing is to get the demo's and find what's right for you as we all like different things. Check out what plugins are available for each as you always need a "make shiny and extra sexy button" and a "drag my butt out of the fire, so I can make my deadline button" (that's the big round button marked emergency!!)



regards

paul

eon5
07-16-2004, 08:05 PM
I'm not rich

i like DF, but cost u$ 4500 - is a 2.5 composer (DF can use AE plugins)

Combustion cost u$ 999 - is a 3D composer (camera + lights)

buy C3 and use your money to but VToaster3 board,

with VT3 board you can play and render .rtv files (propietary yuv 24 VT fileformat) and you use VT3 framebuffer (you can see and play C3 edition in your video monitor)

WizCraker
07-17-2004, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Sweet
Hi All

I'm about to purchase some POST software, what would you guys recommend? and I'm not rich. Would like mac software but PC is fine also!!! below is what I've looked at!!

Shake
EYEON Digital F
Combustion

Cheers

Andy

If you are looking at Fusion and Shake you might want to take a good look at D2 Software's Nuke (http://www.d2software.com/nuke_Screens.html). Check out Tutorial 10 and 9 from CIM Studios (http://www.cmistudios.com/training.htm) it shows that Nuke is a true 2D/3D Compositing Software package.

Lightwolf
07-18-2004, 05:56 AM
Well, let me chime in here:

It basically depends on what you're after:

AE is something I'm not very fond of to be honest, but seems to have a solid toolset for motion graphics and video post work.

DF/Shake have a completely different worfklow structure, and I see both as a workhorse for heavy effects and motion picture work. They might not be spectacular, but they get the job done in no time. (I admit, I use DF for motion graphics as well).

C3 has some nice points, especially the rotoscoping, tracking, colour correction and keying toolset rocks. I find it a bit quirky to work with, but your mileage my vary.

Aura/Mirage is imho a great product, but should not be compared to a compositing package, nor to a single frame image processing and retouching package like PS. Great for painting though. I like to use it to paint textures, but wouldn't be caught dead using it for post work (basically due to its destructive nature). Downside for film work: No 16bit processing (which is a shame, it would otherwise be a great tool for single frame retouching).

So, my recommendation at the moment: C3 for price/performance (even though it seems to still be the slowest renderer of the lot, but has a very complete feature set).

Cheers,
Mike

Tom Wood
07-18-2004, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
Aura/Mirage is imho a great product, ... I like to use it to paint textures, but wouldn't be caught dead using it for post work (basically due to its destructive nature).

Not necessarily true, at least for Mirage. I render TGA image sequences out of LightWave, composite in Mirage and render out RTVs from there for use in VT3. The original images are -never- changed by Mirage. Once an effect is applied to the images, all changes are contained within the Mirage project. The images are effectively repainted anew with the effects added. So you can reload the original image sequence again and it will be pristine. The only real downside to this is the ever expanding file size.

Just to clarify on the word 'destructive'.

TW

Lightwolf
07-18-2004, 08:27 AM
Hi Tom,

I stand corrected.

This sounds great, must have changed with Mirage then, since in Aura it is virtually impossible to just swap out the source images and re-apply all efects without hassle.

I still wouldn't be caught dead using it for post ;)

Cheers,
Mike

lunarcamel
07-18-2004, 09:37 AM
Shake is terrific - plain and simple. Having done many a comp with 200+ layers I would go with this any day.

But C3 is very good as well and for the price it can't be beat.

AFX is for kids ;P

archiea
07-18-2004, 11:44 AM
You'll get paid more as a shake artist.. at least compared to a an AE artist as far as comparing marketable skill sets.......

Shake can now be had for $3000 at the Apple store.... its pricey, but its fast...

AE has TONS of plugins, and they are cheaper than the same plugins for shake, so consider that....

Mirage is clunky, but sweet, so its a matter of where you patience is... I just feel that if you are going to invest in an app, consider how marketable your skillset in it would be....

AE artist artist are always in demand, but the pays isn't all that great...

Combustion aretist are in frequent demand too...

Shake its seasonal, but it usually pays better. Although, there are people who call themselves shake artist because they can connect nodes, and then there are proper shake artist... learning shake means having to learn things about color and film, as its a modular program.

I recommend this as a great books for artist who want to learn proper compositing
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0121339602/qid=1090172503/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/103-2657151-6614250

SBowie
07-18-2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
I stand corrected.

This sounds great, must have changed with Mirage then, since in Aura it is virtually impossible to just swap out the source images and re-apply all efects without hassle. Don't stand up too quickly Mike. ;)

Mirage has changed a lot in the last 18 months, but in the respect that you are referring to (i.e, for working in typical compositing fashion -- tweaking FX and layers while working in previews and saving the layer/FX settings in the project file to be modified later on a AD's whim -- albeit with a full re-render) it has not changed - yet :)

I think Tom was referring to the fact that both Aura and Mirage are (of course) non-destructive as far as image quality. Back in the day, we had many a long thread about the different workflows between a comp app like, say - AE, and Aura ... those differences still obtain (though plans are afoot...)

So - at the moment - Mirage has some limitations as a straight comp application; but as a paint, animation or texture tool it is very sweet.

tmdag
07-18-2004, 01:38 PM
Zeus by Prizm !
SHAKE

theo
07-18-2004, 02:45 PM
So - at the moment - Mirage has some limitations as a straight comp application; but as a paint, animation or texture tool it is very sweet.

This is pretty much my view as well. No way I would use Mirage strictly by itself on a post job but in my opinion you would be hard pressed to find a better program that has the paint and 2D animation capabilities of Mirage for animation purposes in its price range.

And this thing about Mirage being clunky is really incredibly subjective as I don't get this sense at all.

I do wonder if Aura is a bit of an anchor around Mirage's neck....

Tom Wood
07-18-2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by theo
And this thing about Mirage being clunky is really incredibly subjective as I don't get this sense at all.

Neither do I, but it did take a 'beam of light from on-high' moment to suddenly grasp the workflow. Select the effect(s), arrange keyframes, select the frame range, apply the effect(s).

TW

theo
07-18-2004, 03:59 PM
Tom- Yeah, that's more or less what I experience too.

Lightwolf
07-19-2004, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by SBowie
Don't stand up too quickly Mike. ;)

...

I think Tom was referring to the fact that both Aura and Mirage are (of course) non-destructive as far as image quality.
Lol, I'll sit back down then :)

Of course, Mirage is only non-destructive if you stay in 8bit per channel, so it is unfortunately fairly useless for film work (CinePaint to the rescue) ;)

Cheers,
Mike

SBowie
07-19-2004, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
Of course, Mirage is only non-destructive if you stay in 8bit per channel, so it is unfortunately fairly useless for film work I wouldn't invest too much emotional attachment to that limitation. ;)

Mirage is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, and this is one of many dominoes that will topple before too long.

Lightwolf
07-19-2004, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by SBowie
I wouldn't invest too much emotional attachment to that limitation. ;)

Mirage is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, and this is one of many dominoes that will topple before too long.
Well, I already, did. I was quite happy to find out it loads Cineon... but the only thing it currently boasts in 16bit is the alpha channel for the brushing engine...
It would be a neat tools for those people out there that still do single frame retouching, I know a guy who got a brand new SGI just to work with the old Matador/Illusion system, since it apparently still is one of the best combos out there for that special kind of work.
15Mins / frame, hundreds of frames to retouch... Not my kind of work I tell'ya ;)

Cheers,
Mike

theo
07-19-2004, 06:21 AM
Man Wolf- with all due respect man broaden your perspective a tad.

Film is just one section of the media field. I am heavily into multimedia work and Mirage is a perfect tool interactive media animation.

FAR beyond just a lowly frame-retouching tool.

Lightwolf
07-19-2004, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by theo
Man Wolf- with all due respect man broaden your perspective a tad.
... Oh, I do, no worries. This is just my perspective from when I looked at Mirage the last time (like I said, I met that retouching guy, watched him work and thought: Hm, Mirage wouls be really good for him). Heck, Matador has been dead for 6 years now and is still being bought for $$$$. It would have been nice to see Mirage their, and, as SBowie wrote, we will probably see it there sooner or later...
As a side note, frame retouching can't be that lowly if people still spend good money for it, and still have a hard time finding adequate, modern systems to do it on. I was surpised too to see how much of that is still going on, and I'm talking major VFX movies with $$$ budgets (not trying to show off, since I wasn't involved...).
I do use Aura, but only for a limited range of work, since the other tools I have access to seem to be more suited for me.
I'm not slamming it in any way, I really like it, I just haven't had much reason to use it yet.

Cheers & Peace,
Mike ;)

SBowie
07-19-2004, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
I was quite happy to find out it loads Cineon... but the only thing it currently boasts in 16bit is the alpha channel for the brushing engine... In addition to high bit, I'd kind of like to see OpenEXR in there...

Originally posted by Lightwolf
15Mins / frame, hundreds of frames to retouch... Not my kind of work I tell'ya ;) Now there's a statement I can agree with. I know a guy who is using Mirage basically to 'sweeten' Flash animation in similar fashion ... some people have a LOT more patience than I do. :)

Lightwolf
07-19-2004, 06:56 AM
Hi y'all...
..just to sum up my thoughts on the whole thread...

One thing seems to be obvious: there is POSTwork, ad there is POST work ... and there is POST work. ;)

It not only depends on what you intend to do, but on how you intend to do it as well...

Cheers,
Mike - back to do some... post :p

theo
07-19-2004, 03:29 PM
One thing seems to be obvious: there is POSTwork, ad there is POST work ... and there is POST work.

Hmmm.... exponential or iterative?:D

Lightwolf
07-20-2004, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by theo
Hmmm.... exponential or iterative?:D
recursive! ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Zach
07-20-2004, 02:42 AM
I prefer After Effects (AFX), maybe only cause I know it. Combustion is comparable but, it is an entirely different "workflow".

If you are in the "bang for your buck" mode, (I hate to say it) then you could easily get into cumbustion and be wholly satisfied.

AFX is great, but if you want a compositing app only, then Combustion is the way to go. AFX is better for a more "well rounded" app category.

It comes in 2 ways. Animation(, and Animation plus Compositing.

Combustion can animate as well, but AFX (if you're like me) is more intuitive in a sense than Combustion.

If your going to buy an app for compositing, then forget DFX+, and AFX, go Combustion. While AFX can support many kewl things, DFX+ can only do 8bit compositing.

If you're doing anything beyond tv (Standard Definition) then at least get an app that can do 16-32 in the same price range.

theo
07-20-2004, 07:04 AM
Hey Zach-

I understand the 8bit part about DFX+ but WHAT in the world are you saying about DFX+ lack of compositing ability? Have you even USED DFX+ with all of the modules?

In my opinion DFX+ is briliance in a binary jacket. I have dinked around with AFX and respect it but DFX+ won me over completely and the power in that program is phenomenal.

Which makes me question the fact that maybe you have not posted that reply....maybe your computer is engaged in an illicit love affair with AFX and has turned itself on and is complimenting its latest attraction by hijacking a Newtek thread...who knows?

Zach
07-20-2004, 11:40 AM
There really should be a breathalizer test on my computer before I'm allowed to post such things!

Ok, luckily, the only thing I mentioned about DFX+ is that it is only 8bit. Didn't say anything else about it (whew!)...

I'm just saying Combustion is definately more bang for your buck over the other two I mentioned, and with the exception of AFX, DFX+ does not run on the mac where Combustion does (not that I care really).

You don't have to buy modules to get rotoscoping, painting, keying, color correction in Combustion where you do respectively with the other two. The Discreet keyer and color corrector as well as the particles and great motion tracker alone are worth the moula. But, the kewl thing that DFX+ is lacking besides the integration with all its modules and 8bited-ness is the fact that it is 2d only. I must say, 3D in compositing is really rather nice.

I'm just saying, if you're going to spend all that money on DFX+ and buy all of its individual modules, you might as well get the full Digital Fusion. Otherwise, if your wanting a well rounded compositing app that does more than just compositing and has phenomenal integration with (IMHO) what should be everyones favorite image editor (Photoshop), but is about 13 hundo then get After Effects.

Otherwise, Combustion is where its at and when you end up compositing in a high end place that has flame or inferno, you won't be completely lossed.

theo
07-20-2004, 12:11 PM
That does make sense.

Zach
07-20-2004, 12:22 PM
I'm in less need of a breathalizer at work.
Hmmm.... I wonder if I have a problem?

theo
07-20-2004, 12:30 PM
I wouldn't trust that breathalizer as far as I could throw it buddy-boy.;)

andromeda_girl
07-20-2004, 12:40 PM
i suggest Digital Fusion.

it has a FULL set of powerful tools, meaning you don't have to purchase additional, 3rd party applications to make up for what is lacking in other apps., such as having to get a tracking program and a keying program. it is all there and best of all, entirely, fully functional.

also has a great GUI that is uncluttered and doesn't slow down your workflow.

3D space particle fx, excellent tracking, and because it is node based it is just plain faster and more efficient than a layers- based app. can ever hope to be.
takes photoshop files into seperate elements as well, which is cool cuz when you do cartoon work like i do a lot of, it comes in very handy.
paint, wire removal, it's all there.

not on the mac just now, probably will be some time or another.

it also has a very efficient caching setup, a wide range of filetypes are supported, and will even do z-depth fog with 3D rendered files.

highly recommended.

DF4 full is pricey but still well worth it, DFX+ is a good deal if you are strapped and can live without a few tool sets.

(oh yeah- very stable as well, and wow does it render fast)
ok, one last one- fully integrates with the toaster.

Zach
07-20-2004, 12:46 PM
lol

WizCraker
07-20-2004, 07:49 PM
Has anyone noticed you can save your self $500 if you buy DFX+ all modules then buy the upgrade to DF or you can save the money + $1000 and buy NUKE.

riki
07-20-2004, 08:49 PM
Wow Shake has really come down in price if it's only 3k now.

I like the idea of Cinepaint for editing HDRIs, but I think I'll wait for the Aqua build.

Mirage is currently on special for LW users on $349. But even still I'm pretty picky where I invest these days, since money is tight and the shopping list never-ending.