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unc1e meat
02-03-2005, 10:25 AM
I have been using Lightwave along with an old version of After Effects and also Apple Motion. I can now choose to upgrade After Effects 6.5 Professional which is the latest or instead switch to Discreet Combustion. Which is a better option and why?

Beamtracer
02-03-2005, 04:53 PM
A.E was the original compositing application. More people know it. It has the best plug-in support (even though some new plug-ins work in multiple compositing apps, a lot of the older ones are still AE only). There are more books about it. Adobe hopes to have AE7 on sale in Q4 2005 if they run to schedule, otherwise it'll be Q1 2006.

Combustion's main advantage is 32bpc color space.

Motion is a great "bag of tricks". A box of effects. As a compositing app it's limited to 8bpc color space, and has no 3D space.

One of the major hurdles is moving camera motion data from Lightwave to any of these compositing apps. It can be done but is time consuming and difficult (for more info refer to Transmotion (http://www.ats-3d.com/transmot/) plug-in.)

unc1e meat
02-03-2005, 09:09 PM
Thanks beam, I actually already have Motion and have been using it for a while with great success. Very nice software. I just wanted to update my aging AFter Effects 4.1 to something more modern. So that's why I was wondering the diff between AE and Combustion. I think I'm just going to stick with AE since I already know the software. I like that the Pro version has motion tracking for 2D and also some other nice features. But then again so does Combustion. Just wasn't sure if the difference/advantage between the two was enough to spend the time learning new software. The price is very close so that doesn't matter much.

Beamtracer
02-04-2005, 03:39 AM
It's a good time to upgrade your standard AE to pro AE. It costs a lot less to do it now than it did some years ago (when I did it!). I think AE7 is still far enough out to make it worth upgrading to 6.5 now.

I tend to use Motion as a cool effects generator, then import that Quicktime into AE for compositing.

trison
02-09-2005, 08:42 AM
Combustion is a fantastic program but it's workflow is VERY different from AE. It is node based like most high end compositors. Try downloading the 30 day demo. It will take a while get used to a new way of thinking but it's pretty good. The color keyer and rotoscoping options blow away AE but Ae does have great plugin support.

lesford
02-09-2005, 11:20 AM
If you are using AE 4.1 you are in for some big surprises with any new version of the program.

It is now a 3D compositing app with 16 bpc color. Expressions can control pretty much anything, and you can save out any combination of effects and expressions as a preset which can be applied to any future project. It now ships with all of the Cult Effects plugins, all of the Evolution plugins, all of the Final effects and Studio Effects Plugins, Grain Surgery, Color Finesse (A full featured color matching app), A new tracker, a fully integrated paint engine based on Photoshop... The list goes on and on and on.

Compared to 4.1, After Effects 6.5 is an absolute Gorilla. This is the app they used on Van Helsing, and I think they would have had the money to go to a higher priced option, should they have felt the need.

If you happen to be running Cinema 4D, you can export your entire 3D world directly into After Effects 3D compositing space, Cameras, depth... everything comes in just as it should.

I am sure that Newtek, if they have the gumption, must be working on providing this functionality to Lightwave users, as After Effects is the most popular compositing app out there, Especially in the area of motion graphics. I work in playback graphics for television, and where I work, After Effects is the only compositing app. I do the playback for Smallville, DeadZone, 4400, Dead Like Me, and numerous other TV shows, mini-series, and mid size features. It is all After Effects for compositing and animation, and I know that the other companies doing this work are using it too. Even the houses that are using Flames and Infernos have a lot of seats of After Effects which they use for their day to day television work.

If there is one feature that I need from Newtek, it is integration with After Effects and the other Adobe applications, which are at the hub of every art department that I deal with. Photoshop and Illustrator are the language that art departments speak. After Effects is completely fluent in this language. Lightwave should be as well.

I would expect that Newtek would be all over this, as After Effects and Lightwave are a natural fit for each other, being as how they are both about full features at reasonable price point.

Les Ford

unc1e meat
02-09-2005, 11:29 AM
Thanks very much for your responses. After much contemplating, I went ahead and got AE Professional 6.5.

Before I did this, I did go to the Discreet website and read and reread the features of Combustion and watched the videos. Seemed very impressive indeed.

However, AE had many things going for in my case. I live and work in the midwest and in this area AE seems standard and used by most in the industry. Also since I was already familiar with the interface, it meant that I didn't have to spend any extra time learning a new interface. I don't plan to live in the midwest forever so it's good to know that when the time comes to move on to bigger and better things, knowledge of this software will serve me well.

Now, I'm going to have to make a serious commitment to playing with all these great new features in AE......

Man, that would be so nice if Lightwave spoke the same language as AE as Cinema 4D does. I really hope also that Newtek is working on this.