discreet vs adobe


yes I understand the artist is the person who does all the work, and someone using adobe can create something better than someone using discreets products, however, the tools discreet have created, seem to be more “professional” then adobe’s, just wnat to know what others think, discreet or adobe (just those two, I know there are others)


Well, I think I still miss many of the features and unified interface feeling of discreet Flame. I have always felt AE was cluttered and felt like many apps, as apposed to just one streamlined app. I use AE 100% of the time now, and have ditched flame/flint due to the price…now it looks like combustion is finally up to par. Should i switch back??? Not yet, I can do everything in AE that I need to and its not worth the switch for the few features. Main things I’d Switch back for: Discreets color tools (I usually do color in telecine or Editing tho), Discreets tracker (although I love using 3rd party apps for tracking now like commotion or 2d3 or realviz). So I think I’ll wait until there is a major reason.


I think it depends on what the project entails. Personally for “effect” work I find AE to be easy to use, and perfect for what I do. Photoshop for video. On the flip side I think Combustion is far better at keying, matting, and color correction, but it lacks a bit on the “effect” side. (those fancy things)


i think in this Discreet wins hands down, because of the realy strong fx standard tools Flame fire combustion.
But AF should not be ruled out , it is very easy to get into.


Course then at the high end with Flame and Inferno you have the Henry system that cost a bazillion dollars. :slight_smile:


i recently saw a demonstration of Combustion 2 and let me tell you it kicks a$$. There is this new 2d particle system which is plain awesome , and i liked the workflow a little better than after effects. The interface looks much better too.

But i dont know about the learning curve.

And oh by the way it supports after effects plugins which is a big plus in my opinion i cannot live without filmdamage and cinelook :slight_smile:



Well I have never used any of these tools but have been looking for a composting tool and I like AE because of it’s integration with the other adobe tools. Plus you can get an academic version of Adobe Video production bundle with AE, Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere for $495

You ask me the price tag says it all.


As always it’s always who’s behind the wheel. But for my money I really like the Combustion interface and workflow better. It is really a pleasure to look at as well. Most AE filters work with Combustion and 2.0 has really fine particle effects, using sprites, they are realtime and there are abour two hundred presets that you can jump off from. If you have ever seen the particles in Illusion, these are them. You have several types of emitters ( point, line, circle, area) you have a lot of control ofer the emitters and the look of the particles themself. You can also simulate colision detection by using “deflection curves”. All in all it’s worth a look.



Don’t forget the killer Text tools. They’re sooo fast.
Also, Adobe copied many tools in 5 and 5.5 from Combustion. They’re playing “catch up” but really haven’t caught up at all. (3d space, 16-bit, etc). Have you seen the speed of 3d compositing in OpenGL? It’s like Flame fast!

and can you really use AE’s paint system for anything useful? I doubt it.


Although I have never used After Effects personally, it has never the less an impressive track record. It certainly has proven its value more than once in some very high-profile projects. And for the price, it’s an awesome value. Probably the perfect production tool for the small to medium size production facillity.

But for those with a slightly larger production volume, combustion may be a more mature product simply because of it’s blood-line; Big brothers and sisters called Inferno, Flame and Flint (IFF). These systems were there way before After Effect was even born. discreet has been developping these tools for over 10 years.

And now that combustion’s future development will be developped right in the same building as the guys behind the IFF systems, you can expect that combustion 3.0 will have a lot more new tools directly inherited from them.

At $5,000 a pop however, some may find combustion too expensive for their needs, but again, someone with enough production volume will pay for it in less than a week.


I use both Adobe and Discreet products (FFI) at work but not Combustions since we don’t need it.

I’ve known Combustion through a demo here in our office but it’s more of like AE but better (much better).

Discreet FFI is for really serious online work–meaning it’s on the spot compositing/editing with clients behind your back. We’re working using uncompressed format (d1/PAL/film) with realtime playback averaging 450-1800 frames per presentation. MTV’s? no sweat palying 5 to 10 minutes of uncompressed video.

If a clients doesn’t want the fx you did a while ago, he’d request for a revision in minutes and the pressure is there to make it worse.

Using AE is for unsupervised compositing which is usually days ahead from schedule (prework). Unfortunately, AE just play a very small role in our production setup like generating fractals of client specific fx who uses AE (like additive/multiply fx, lens flares, etc). The rest is done on the Discreet boxes.

If you ask me, AE is good to use for its numerous sets of plugins but it’s a dum dum software and is dependent with other Adobe products like Photoshop and Premier. To get uncompressed video, our clips has to go to wsd since it cannot control vtr machines unless you use other software. It’s much better using the old Discreet Effect with Paint 2.1 than AE (IMO)

The bottom line is you can’t compare AE to FFI but only to Combustion which is slowly becoming like its big brothers. They in the hevyweight category while AE/Combustion is on the Flyweight division.


Funny though; the flint operator much prefers to push jobs through combustion now. Flint is quick for edit type jobs, but for effects heavy comps a flint running on an octane is no match for a seat of combustion, and 8 dual 1ghz machines as a render farm. If it’s a 3d job that we can push out of max as rpf’s, not even an inferno could approach the speed with which we can make changes in combustion. Relight that text, retexture that object, adjust the depth of field… no problem.

Strange that one of the biggest threats to discreet’s flint/flame/inferno line is from discreet itself… =)

We’re impatiently waiting for our seat of combustion 2 to arrive!



Ah, that’s the other thing I was gonna say; combustion’s network render system works brilliantly, AE’s one is a joke. That was one of the key reasons for us going down the combustion path, being able to swap colour grades with flint was another.



Well, I beg to disagree. You might only be talking about stacking up cpu’s for a renderfarm. Well, you could be faster outputting on a per frame basis-you’re actually refering to nt cpu speed vs sgi’s mips processor.

I don’t know if you’re familiar enough with Inferno to say you can beat it. Possible in some aspect but if your talking about ONLINE COMPOSITING, man you should have Combustion version 5.0 to do that with lots of ram and a renderfarm. Another thing is IO-- how the heck could you get you clips from a source vrt/telecine with combustion. For me, being fast is not faced with headaches.

FFI is built around the concept of integrated modules where you don’t have to go outside the software to do other processing (ie edit, paint, composite, 3d, etc). If Combustion has a ‘batch processing’ module then I want a copy of it. However, it’s just a software you can compare to AE but better.

Combustion has lots of development to undergo (as well as the nt platform) but eventually will get to where its big brothers are right now. I don’t know how FFI also developed at that time.


its my impression that adobe are really marketing themselves towards the graphic/web design niche. discreet on the otherhand have declared themselves as visual effects outright. this is reflected in their prices & the points in which the two packages differ.

Ae is intuitive & full of photoshop filter type effects & combustion is far superior in handling 3d space, colour correction, keying & so on. im not in any means suggesting that ae is an inferior product. i love using it & i know fx houses that opt for it too. I guess it just comes down to preference.

As for me I prefer to spend as much time in combustion as i can, just in case one day i might be lucky enough to get behind one of those bazillion dollar machines!!:stuck_out_tongue:


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