View Full Version : AE or Combustion,which route

Ben Lumumba
01 January 2004, 02:48 AM
I do mostly 3d character animation,Motin Builder for character aninmation and Houdini for procedural modeling(and ocassionally for some complex animation ,too)
But now I need to be able to integrate my characters with live footage background by myself,because I go as self contactor/freelancer,indepedently or for other 3d house swhen no job in
studios.Some clients ( most of them) donīt like raw animation but
finished footage,so I have to do all by myself
Of course,Iīm here in C3 forum and no at AE,but I need to ask
pro and contra
A friens of mine suggested C3 as compatible format for other discreet products,as flint,inferno... so if I work as self contractor for other studios could be a plus.I donīt know
So basic composing,motion tracking,rotoscoping,adjusting contrast between my charaters and footage (the bigest problem)...just to sale
my character
And yes sometimes some basic effects...
But I like to stay away from this.I īm just new to this

So any objective comparation

Best regards,

01 January 2004, 11:18 AM
yes i'd suggest you to go c3

01 January 2004, 11:59 AM
Well, asking this in a Combustion forum, you can pretty much guarentee the answer you will get...

I'll try and be objective as I can - as someone who has used both in the past, but doesn't use either any more.

After Effects' strong point is when it comes to motion graphics - a lot of design companies use it for just this, and this is where it excels. However, for compositing work it's not ideal - it can feel very klunky when you're trying to do larger composites...
Personal opinion: I found AE very intuitive at first - it was easy to find what I was looking for, but as I got better, I found this slowed me down - there didn't seem to be a faster way of doing things...

Disclaimer: I've never used Combustion 3, so my comments are based on version 2...
Combustion is a great combination between the motion graphics and the compositing. It has some great compositing tools (partly taken, I believe, from the FFI family) and it also has a good graphics toolkit. If you're going to be doing a little bit of each, then definately go this route. A major downside of Combustion when it comes to compositing is the lack of a proper node system. It has the schematic view, but this is purely a node-based view of the layers that Combustion uses. When I used to use Combustion, I would occasionally try to actually work with the schematic view, but this gets very painful (there's a reason why it's called a schematic view and not a schematic workspace)

Personally, I mainly do compositing, and for that, I don't think you can really beat Shake... (although Digital Fusion, and it's younger brother DFX+ come close)

I hope this has been useful - for the kind of thing you are after, I would go with Combustion of DFX+ (DFX+ is the 8-bit version of Digital Fusion with a cut-down tool-set which can be expanded by buying seperate modules)

Quick blurb on Digital Fusion/DFX+ (both of which I will just call DF...)

DF is a proper node-based compositor set to rival Shake. I don't find it quite as flexible as Shake, but with Shake being discontinued on Windows, Digital Fusion does seem to be being introduced to a lot of film VFX houses. DFX+ is the more TV-oriented version (only supporting 8-bit images), and comes with a smaller tool-set. More tools can be added by buying addon 'modules' - so DFX+ with all the modules is, I believe, just an 8-bit version of Digital Fusion.

Try out the various demos - there's a Digital Fusion demo available from Eyeon's website ( and there's a Combustion one from Discreet ( I'm not sure about an After Effects demo, but check out the Adobe website ( if you want...

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