View Full Version : AFTER FX vs COMBUSTION

02 February 2003, 03:45 AM
I'm a Lightwave 3D user looking to start my own little CG workshop in the next few months. I'm trying to decide which compositing software will be better for the type of work I want to do After FX or Combustion. Right now I use After FX at my full time job. And for the price of Combustion it seems to be packed with features, whereas the After FX production bundle seems over priced and underpowered. For the company I want to start, I would like at program that can do Motion/Broadcast Graphics, realistic visual effects and compositing. Are there any people out there that have used them BOTH and can offer me any sound advice.

02 February 2003, 03:54 AM
I've used both. I bought Combustion, I'd still buy Combustion if it was at its old price. I dont know what more to say - Combustion is just an awesome & elegant program to use, I find AFX kind of, well, clunky by comparison. :shrug:

02 February 2003, 04:34 AM
depending on how long you've used after effects you may consider sticking with it. One piece of software isn't really better than the other and a skilled artist can achive the same results with either after effects or combustion.

What you have to decide is whether or not you can afford the time to learn a new application and because of this possibly not meeting deadlines for clients (or meeting the deadline but with sub par work) or on the other hand, using an application that you know well, and can produce great work in efficiently.

I've used both programs for years and my choice is combustion, and you are right, comparing the price of the 2 packages and what features each has that come standard with the package, then after effects is overpriced and underpowered. since the release of combustion2 the only thing I use after effects for anymore is mesh/grid warp. (There is a workaround that allows me to do this in combustion, but it is so much quicker and more intuitive to do this in AE).

You also want to consider what exactly you are going to need out of your compositing software. For example if you will be doing a lot of keying then you would probably choose combustion, because the keyer that ships standard with combustion is the based on (if not the same one) used in FFI systems. Whereas the standard keying in the After effects really pales in comparrison. To get equivalent keying in after effects you would have to purchase a plug in like Ultimatte which will run you another $1000 or so.

Lastly I would recommend downloading the demo version of combustion and trying it out before you buy, you may decide that you would rather stick with after effects in the end anyways.

02 February 2003, 11:07 AM
Ive used both and definatelly would choose Combustion. Much more intuitive, much better interface more powerfull tools that you use most of the time. And as far as learning a new program, its so close to flame it would be good for future expansion.


02 February 2003, 02:04 PM
I use both, Aftereffects for final composit and combustion for 3d intergration and special effects...


02 February 2003, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the great comments all. I think i'll go with combustion. I've got the demo installed now so i can learn it quickly. Once again thanks.

02 February 2003, 11:08 PM
righto - Wheres our commission Discreet? :beer: :D

02 February 2003, 06:55 AM
I use Digital Fusion 4.0, it's node based and very fast. There is also a modular version called DFX+.


02 February 2003, 07:19 PM
I have AE 5.5 Prod. Bundle, C2.1 and DFX+ 4 with all modules except net render and I am currently reviewing it. So far I LOVE it...although it's quite different from the other 2 and a bit harder at first.

The only bummer is the price of DFX+ but the great thing is that you don't really need to dish out the full price for DF4, you can start with the base back and grow from that. But since the huge drop in price of C2 I'd say go for it!! :buttrock:


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