The new AfterFX 6 - pros and cons?

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  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by dans
No it doesn't work in Combustion 2. You can import a single PSD and split it up in layers (most of the time). But if you use a seqeunce of PSD files and import them (so you cann acces the individual layers) you can only see the first frame. This is still the same in Combustion 3.

The only way to get it to work is to use huge uncompressed PSD files (like the ones produced by the demo of psd-manager, this is a restriction of the demo). But umcompressed PSD files are not really an option, because they are huge and not many applications can create them. Even Photoshop doesn't save uncompresed PSD files.

Daniel


O.K here a simple tut for importing multilayer psd sequences in combustion . as I said i did it before and to let you know Iīm doing it right now.
1. do not open the footage directly as a composite, this doesnīt work, it does exactlly as you stated. you have to make a New> Composite and then Import Footage. Then combustion will ask you if you want to import it merged, grouped or nested. Chose either grouped or nested as both work fine.
2. result: animated sequence with all layers accessible and individually tweakable.

PS: as I stated I am doing this right this moment as I type this, I see the individual layers: shading, raw colour, shadows, reflectioncolour, etc. and as I scrub the timeline I see my renderer 3d animation moving miraculously. wow.
so there are multiple possibilities:

a. I am a liar ( that would be stupid, now wouldnīt it, as everyone could prove Iīm wrong.)

b. You didnīt know about the import-footage-thing and made a quick but wrong statement.

c. I am a wizzard and can put features in applications noone else has, just by swinging my magic wand. ( now that would be cool.)

live long and prosper

guillaume
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  10 October 2003
Mhhhhh you made me thinking, maybe my Combustion 2 Demo doesn't like the PSD files I give it. Which application do you use to create your PSD test sequence ? Can you upload 3 little PSD files somewhere, so I can try the same files here ?

Lets figure it out,
Daniel

EDIT: Until now it looks like option C to me
 
  10 October 2003
Hi,

I use After Effects 6 Pro and Combustion 2.1. I began with AE a few years ago (version 4) and I still love it but, as others have said, for real compositing I would recommend Combustion. Here's my list of advantages of both apps :

The color correction workflow in combustion is better, i.e. you apply one filter and you have all the tools at your fingertips, in a very organised way. In AE, you have to apply lots of differents effects (Levels, Hue/saturation, Color Balance,...) to do the same thing, which is awkward. Sometimes it's not easy to know which filters to apply in what order.

Tracking is still better in Combustion. There is a big improvement in AE 6 though but it's still not up to par. I recently made tracking tests with the same footage in the two apps and the tracking is instantly perfect in Combustion (depends on the footage of course) and in AE I can't get a decent track. That's really a big dissappoinment for me.

Masking is also better in combustion. Masks have transform properties as do each vertex (they can be tracked also) Hard to explain but editing mask is easier in Combustion.

The timeline : I don't like the timeline in combustion because it shows too much information (and I don't like the auto context option) but the curve editor is much better than in AE. I prefer AE's timeline for animation work, it's clearer to me, you can set it to display only animated channels, only changed channels, you can color code the layers,...

Painting Is still better in combustion. Adobe upgraded the vector paint tools in AE but they did some serious mistakes IMHO. The workflow of the clone tool is a joke (try to precisely define the clone source...) When you deal with lots of brush strokes Combustion is speedier than AE.

Combustion has a shematic view in which you can work and edit things, AE has one too but you can only look at what you've done..... useless.

What I like in After Effects :

The workflow when you do motion design, especially related to the timeline.

The expressions are great, very easy to use with the help of the pickwip (basically you can create simple expressions without knowing the language)... I wonder if it will be that easy in Combustion 3.

Stability : I found AE to be more stable than Combustion 2. I hope Combustion 3 will be better.

The new text tool in AE is very original. I seems to me that this is an exlusive feature. You can make letter by letter animations with just a few keyframes without breaking up the text in letters.

In short, and as others have said, I prefer Combustion for compositing work and AE for motion design although I hope Adobe will improve that side of things in future releases.
 
  11 November 2003
Hi,
sorry, but I was wondering that nobody mentioned digital fusion in this conversation. Maybe it is only a C-AE fight? Then forgive me, but I have to tell that (strictly IMHO):
We are using C2.1 at work, and I must say, C is very VERY slow, and unstable. Haven't got so much experience with AE, only a little, so I don't want to compare them. But learning the df demo, I'm in wonderland) I must tell I haven't used it for production (obviously) but it has all the features (I think) that was mentioned here:
Personally I prefer node based hierarchy than layers, so it is great. In C I think the schematic view is almost useless. U can bind operators, and footages, but why? It is a layer-based application at the core, so schem view is only for fancy, imho.
there's no layers in df, only nodes, a'la shake.
In df 4.03 U dont need to recalculate the whole flow (comp in Comb) if U changed only a little thingy on the end, I think it could really speed up the work!
For money df not a cheap thing, (was 5k$) but U can buy only its modules that U need, for example basics, netrender, 3d, paint, etc...
I think it can track more than 1 point
Paint is very fast, and feature-rich. U can record the brush-strokes in realtime, which is cool, and that one I really miss in C. If I remember correctly AE does this, too.
One of the best thing that U can connect a parameter for almost everything, not only parenting transform, as in C (ok, R3 maybe)! U can drive a node brightness with an other node's tint angle, for example.
It has a great particle system, but not so great as in C. U have to tweak the look of the particles, doesnt have many cool presets, but has a lot of capabilities.
Unfortunately mainly 2d software, so U can't have 3d composition, only via plugin. But has Z-depth for particles!
Floating point color space, good keyer, scripting and many cool other feature. Used in many feature film production.
This is my opinion, but maybe somebody who is using it for production, can explain the exact pros and cons of df.
Bye
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  11 November 2003
since iīve played with the digital fusion demo for the last few days i love the nodebased workflow. i think shake 3 can even top that as far as i know. but here itīs not that helpfull as the two are in no way in the pricerange of Combustion or AE. both cost about 1000 $ and DF and Shake cost nearly 5000$. so itīs hard to compare the four of them. itīs not the same league itīs not even the same f***ing sport ( to speak in pulp fiction terms)
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  11 November 2003
Quote: Originally posted by MrWyatt
since iīve played with the digital fusion demo for the last few days i love the nodebased workflow. i think shake 3 can even top that as far as i know. but here itīs not that helpfull as the two are in no way in the pricerange of Combustion or AE. both cost about 1000 $ and DF and Shake cost nearly 5000$. so itīs hard to compare the four of them. itīs not the same league itīs not even the same f***ing sport ( to speak in pulp fiction terms)

Actually yes they are in the same league. For compositing DF and Shake are easily 3-5x faster(much faster when it comes to film or Imax) than Combustion and AE. That=1/5th the time to get the work done which is = to it costing 5x as much.

Just think of Flint Flame and Inferno. They cost 20-50x the cost of Shake and DF, but many people are doing the same work in the back room in Shake and DF that the FFI artists are doing.
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  11 November 2003
i believe he was separating ae+combustion into one camp, and df+shake into another camp... and making the sports analogy between the 2 teams

 
  11 November 2003
Quote: Originally posted by opus13
i believe he was separating ae+combustion into one camp, and df+shake into another camp... and making the sports analogy between the 2 teams



you got it.

while AE and Combustion are "semipro" apps mostly used for video, Shake and Digital Fusion get used in film quite a lot so you could call them "affordable pro"
And flame, inferno, henry etc. you name it
i would call "insane big production pro" as 570 000,- $ for an inferno suite isnīt the kind of money little postproduction houses have in their pockets.
and for the sports analogy. i only used a phrase from pulp fiction (the movie). didnīt know nobody would reccognize it.



to say it clearly now. beaker, we share absolutely the same opinion here. what i meant was exactly what you said. the thing i wanted to make clear was the fact that it doesnīt make sense to throw in a bunch of apps in a discussion over two other apps, as you stated, shake and Digital Fusion can do so much more than combustion or AE. you could have brought inferno into the discussion as well and compare it to c3 and AE , thatīs why i sayd c3 and AE where not in the same league as DF and shake ( and certainly not in the same league as inferno)

peace
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Last edited by MrWyatt : 11 November 2003 at 08:12 AM.
 
  11 November 2003
Hi,

I've been reading this thread for a while now and I would just like to pick up on a few statements made here.

I don't believe that combustion and after effects are "semi-pro" applications for video only. Both applications are being used on a number of feature films. Take a look at the customer testimonials from discreet and Adobe for the proof.

All desktop applications are more or less on the same footaging these days.

"shake and Digital Fusion can do so much more than combustion or AE" --- This is false.

Both Combustion and After Effects can do what shake and Digital Fusion can do. If you compare all the applications then you will see that feature for feature, all the applications can get the job done just as well. The only difference is that operations used to achieve the result are different from application to application.

The main thing people forget is that the true talent is actually the artist and how well he knows his tools to get the job done

I also feel you are judging the competency of the packages based on their price rather then what the applications can really do.

My 2 cents

Regards
Grant
 
  11 November 2003
Quote: Originally posted by GrantKay


1. The main thing people forget is that the true talent is actually the artist and how well he knows his tools to get the job done

2. I also feel you are judging the competency of the packages based on their price rather then what the applications can really do.

My 2 cents

Regards
Grant



dear grant,
why so negative. if you really read the thread you should have seen how much i was pro combustion. but there are better tools on this planet as well.


1. absolutly true

2. no sir.
I used Combustion2, AE and recently pushed the demo of DF to the max to find out how good it was, also Ive dug into shake 2.5 on a mac at a friend of mine, so i do not judge the competency based on the price. i found that the nodebased workflow (a feature a friend of mine has seen in a tradeshow for flame and inferno, i hope thatīs correct as i wasnīt there) of shake and DF are more straight forward than the workflow of C2 and AE ( layerbased). sure there are films made with AE, but have you tried to do a multylayer, multifilter comp in 2k filmres in AE or combustion. when it comes to fast computing DF and shake are much faster, resulting in getting the job done faster. if you have not much money but a lot of time, then i guess AE or combustion are perfect. if you donīt have the time and can afford it, then DF or shake would be more it i suppose. if you have an insane amount of money and you need the job done until yesterday, i bet youīll call for a flame artist. in all cases it is about the artist knowing his tools, sure, but above that in some cases it also depends on how fast the artistīs tools get the job done.
again iīve used all four apps more or less extensive, enough to know each ones strengths and weaknesses. and when i say AE and combustion are used for tv and videoproductions, i mean by that they are mostly used for that, not that nobody uses it for filmwork. After all i think AE is mostly (not only) used for title work and motion graphics, as this is AEīs strength no other of the above apps can quite compeete with. by the way i do not often work in filmres, but some students in the uni where i am, do stopmotion animation using a nikon d1 camera and i had the "pleasure" to do the comp and rotowork on one of those. i did most of the rotowork (wire and rigremoval) in commotion and some set extension in comp with combustion, and it was hell, but it was possible.

i just wanted to give my oppinion, not trying to judge any app in any case. if i didnīt make myself clear, then sorry. it wasnīt my intension to make anyone feel bad. if my so called facts are false, blame the sources that iīve consulted, not me. if you have other informations, share them.

just my 3 cents.


by the way I loooooove Combustion and canīt wait untill i can afford combustion3 here at uni we have a seat of combustion2 and it seems likely that the school wont upgrade to 3 because only a handfull of students use it once in a while. here combustion runs out of memory fast ( 1.5 GB ram) i hope the cache management is better in version 3. does anyone know that?
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Last edited by MrWyatt : 11 November 2003 at 02:17 PM.
 
  11 November 2003
As an official representative of discreet Grant, I am surprised to see such an attack on an opinion by one of your own users.

The vender role in a forum such is this is very clear, we are supposed support the community, not influence it.

My 2c.

Adam
eyeon
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Adam Zolis
eyeon Software
 
  11 November 2003
>>>i found that the nodebased workflow (a feature a friend of mine has seen in a tradeshow for flame and inferno, i hope thatīs correct as i wasnīt there) of shake and DF are more straight forward than the workflow of C2 and AE ( layerbased). sure there are films made with AE, but have you tried to do a multylayer, multifilter comp in 2k filmres in AE or combustion. when it comes to fast computing DF and shake are much faster, resulting in getting the job done faster.


Workflow debates are subjective and if I understand what you are saying you are basing your opinion on your friend's experience not your own??

I wouldn't compare AE's layers to Combustion.. they aren't very similair.. and if one were to make such a comparison I would argue that AE's layout is far more intutitive and useful for a larger number of purposes. But for certain uses like strictly keying and compositing other applications may have an edge either based on raw speed or aand interface gearded towards for those specific functions


>>>if my so called facts are false, blame the sources that iīve consulted, not me. if you have other informations, share them.

Well you have made several erroneous statements abut AE in the thread so far based on an old version of the software that you said you used but that has allready been discussed.

I don't think Moroten ever answered the question of what he was mainly needing to do himself needing to use such an application for. Clearly though if he wants to do more design and animation based work AE would be a natural choice. If he needs to color correct, pull keys and cut mattes all day then maybe Shake, C3 or DF would be better... C3 being the least expensive choice of that group.
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  11 November 2003
grr

i love AE, all versions, but one thing i cant STAND is trying to get the correct motion of a layer...lets say I want to introduce a post camera move, one with an eased start and stop (no jerkiness at start and stop) I open the position property and get that stupid graph...i want a normal graph, not one that doesnt behave properly. I want it to behave like a function or animation curve in any 3d app, not something that looks like a mountain range after moving keyframes.

if you dont know what i mean, just open the position property on a layer, and try to give it smooth starting and stopping motion...( and i mean sloooooow, smooth motion)

and, if anyone knows a better way to achieve that slow, smooth movement without using that graph, enlighten me!
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Last edited by Antilles : 11 November 2003 at 06:59 PM.
 
  11 November 2003
I shouldn't have even gone there with comparing apps, so this is partly my fault for adding too it. This whole thread is going off topic. So I'm going to close the thread. Atleast the first few pages are usefull. After that it has just become another software vs. software war.
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