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Old 01-18-2006, 03:51 PM   #1
ehoch
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Combustion 4 vs After Effects 7

Last night I attended a demo for Combustion 4 and was very impressed. So impressed, in fact that I am considering switching from After Effects. It's time to make a new purchase anyhow.

We do a lot of compositing of CGI layers (from Maya) and motion graphics, but relatively little of compositing CGI onto practical plates (all on OSX). Which program will give better workflow and performance? What do the AE users think?

I sat through 2 hours of hype for Combustion, so I am turning to AE enthusiasts for some counter-hype.

ps- is anybody in the position to make a direct comparison between the two? Some benchmarking would be very helpful.
 
Old 01-18-2006, 04:25 PM   #2
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You use the MAC the Shake is a good option for Compositing. The Combustion have a good tools for compositing and 3D post effects. More apparently the MACOSX is not the best environment to use the Combustion

Last edited by Vympel : 01-18-2006 at 04:27 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2006, 06:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehoch
Last night I attended a demo for Combustion 4 and was very impressed. So impressed, in fact that I am considering switching from After Effects. It's time to make a new purchase anyhow.

We do a lot of compositing of CGI layers (from Maya) and motion graphics, but relatively little of compositing CGI onto practical plates (all on OSX). Which program will give better workflow and performance? What do the AE users think?

I sat through 2 hours of hype for Combustion, so I am turning to AE enthusiasts for some counter-hype.

ps- is anybody in the position to make a direct comparison between the two? Some benchmarking would be very helpful.


I'm sure you're gonna miss AE if you're motion graphics stuff in combustion*. From my toying around with the demo versions I found it limited compared to AE for that type of work. The text tools are nowhere near as intuitive as in AE, nesting and sub-comps are quirky to use IMO, what they call expressions is rather underpowered and there are severe integration issues (using Illustrator files is extremely prone to crashing).

Funily when looking at combustion* I see a tool that is more meant for combining real plates with CG - it has great keyers, wonderful color correction tools, masking and painting is much easier and more powerful and on top of that you get the cool particles (but it could be argued that one can always get such functionality as a plugin or the standalone particleIllusion). So maybe you are really looking in the wrong direction and have the marketing talk let go to your head....

Anyway, just my opinion and I'm definitely biased towards AE.

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Old 01-18-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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Unless you want tight intergration with 3dsmax, which obviously is not on Mac platform, I would stick with AE, or as mentioned go with Shake for a node app.

Also have heard that Combustion suffers on the Mac, but have no first hand experience on that.
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:38 AM   #5
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no brainer

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehoch
Last night I attended a demo for Combustion 4 and was very impressed. So impressed, in fact that I am considering switching from After Effects. It's time to make a new purchase anyhow.

We do a lot of compositing of CGI layers (from Maya) and motion graphics, but relatively little of compositing CGI onto practical plates (all on OSX). Which program will give better workflow and performance? What do the AE users think?

I sat through 2 hours of hype for Combustion, so I am turning to AE enthusiasts for some counter-hype.

ps- is anybody in the position to make a direct comparison between the two? Some benchmarking would be very helpful.


As was mentioned, Combustion is cool if you are using Max due to the direct integration, but short of that I WAY prefer AE. I've used both pretty extensively and from a workflow/intuitive tools perspective AE definitely wins. I liked certain elements of Combustion, but some are not too practical. For example, the integrated partical illusion is nice but people are gonna start getting REAL sick of seeing P.I. "shwings" on its default settings.
Just doing basic tasks in combustion seem more complex to me, but maybe that's my longer history with apps like AE talking. Setting up effects and keyframing are far less intuitive, at times downright annoying for anything more complex than start/end keyframing. Combustion seems like it wants to be as complex as it's older brother Inferno, but without the actual features such apps give you for all that added learning curve.
Finally, the node-based environment of combustion (which I do like) is a definite change in workflow that one cannot just adopt overnight. It will change how you work, like it or not, so give yourself some lead time to adapt before leaping feat first into serious productions.
 
Old 01-20-2006, 01:41 PM   #6
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The Combustion is a layer based like the After Effects, the schematic View of Combustion is a "bonus". You can work using the workspace tab equal in AE (timeline). The toolset of Combustion have tools that facilitate some tasks like color correction, mask/paint and others tasks available in AE only for plugins that no always they are integrated with interface of software like the Color Finesse

Last edited by Vympel : 01-20-2006 at 01:43 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2006, 03:25 PM   #7
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I appreciate everyone who has responded.

My plan right now is to work through one sequence on the demo versions of both, once the AE7 demo comes out. In the meantime, everyone's opinion is important to me, so please keep them coming.

my thoughts so far: I think I will enjoy the workflow of Combustion more because my weapon of choice is Shake, and they are more similar. But I am concerned about what has been mentioned about Combustion "suffering on the Mac". More to follow...
 
Old 01-20-2006, 05:25 PM   #8
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as I heard, Discreet did a lot of improvements to speed up combustion on a mac. version 3 was so slow on my powerbook ... oh god, but 4 should be as fast as AE on a mac. But as anybody said before, try out Shake, it´s a top and easy comp software
 
Old 01-20-2006, 09:30 PM   #9
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I have just ordered AE7 and have just installed an upgrade for Combustion 4.... on OSX.4

I love the Combustion interface and speed in 4 is a little bit better on the whole...

However AE is still faster overall and can import Maya camera data once the camera move is baked in Maya.

I just wish AE had a process tree of Combustions calibre and the ability to work in that node kind of way that us Maya guys love.... but hey the lack of tree in AE maybe what makes it faster?

I think the best answer is to use both... it's fairly easy to switch between the two... it's horses for courses really!

Regards Garry

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Old 01-20-2006, 10:53 PM   #10
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Oh yes... the other thing that can give AE a speed advantage is that you can make layers 3D or 2D layers independently of each other....

In combustion the whole workspace/composition has to be 3D in order to animate layers in that way.... this slows it down considerably.... working in a 2D workspace is much faster.

Garry
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Old 01-20-2006, 11:04 PM   #11
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Fusion 5 anyone?
 
Old 01-21-2006, 02:36 AM   #12
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Fusion 5 anyone?


I have heard many good things about Fusion 5, never used it but I want to.

Last edited by mlmiller1983 : 01-21-2006 at 04:21 AM.
 
Old 01-21-2006, 03:30 PM   #13
ehoch
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Let's please limit our discussion to After Effects 7 and Combustion 4 (or anything at the $1,000 US price point). Although I would love the consider Shake and Digital Fusion, price is of the essence, and I need to biggest bang for a lower-tier price.
 
Old 01-21-2006, 05:51 PM   #14
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ehoch,
are you familiar with Photoshop's interface?

Well that alone is one of the most important reasons AE has such a broad user group.

When I got into mograph, I wanted a Photoshop in action.
Well that is After Effects.

As for Combustion:
Although I've been using 3dsmax for years and feel at home with its interface(3dsmax one), and although when I first saw screenshots of Combustion with that dark-gray minimal uncluttered interface I went WOW! this is serious stuff...
You know, I cannot work in there... dunno why.. it seems to me, unesessery hidden items, that make it difficult for me to be productive.

If I had known Combustion before AE and had got acustomed to it... maybe I would hate AE window/palette clutter- which now in v7 is a non issue, 'cause the fixed it.

Bottom line:
Download the demos of both.
Try them.
Buy whichever suits you...
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:07 PM   #15
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i work on AE best ever compositing system for PC
more users beginners learn it easily
less complication for creating amazing stuff
Adobe shortcuts rule everywhere
no plugin compatibity issues
realtime sound preview and sound fx/editing integrated
almost every file gets imported and exported
best for mograph

I agree with AFX
 
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