The new AfterFX 6 - pros and cons?


#1

Hi all,
I’m curious about Adobes’ new AE6 and would like some feedback from advanced AE users about what they like and dont like about the new version, especially in contrast to other post apps. How does the new features stack up to similar features in its competitors? Are there unique features in AE6 that other app users envy? Are there significant feature omissions that todays’ post professionals expect to have? Has the workflow been improved or is it like Photoshop where quite a few users sticked with earlier versions because they think PS workflow was degraded in later versions?

Looking forward to your comments!
-Daniel


#2

After Effects 6 is awesome. :buttrock:
It retains the similarities to the previous versions except this time it has some new preview tool called the adaptive degrade view right? basically lets say your editing a bunch of elements within your layers, moving them around or rotating. Now, all these changes are made in realtime via OPENGL on your video card, allowing amazingly fast changes and revisions to your work. Once you are satisfied with the motions and transformations you can just hit the full quality button and off you go.

there are other new functions as well like the fully editable text function… you can edit text in any way possible, you can even change what the text says in the middle of your animation with out making a new text layer…

I say give it a try. its great!:thumbsup:


#3

What type of work do you do? AE is a fantastic motion graphics design tool but lacks some necessary features to be a robust compositor.


#4

The workflow has not changed much from previous versions so much that it is unfamilair and if anything it has improved. There are more ways for advanced users to get things done. Rendering is faster.

Two new features that wre to die for if you are still working in 5.5 are continously rasterizing layers and the text tool. You do alot of vector and broadcast design work these two items are mindblowing.

Continously rasterizing layers meaqns that you can import an EPS file and apply a filter and scal eit up and after the layer has been rasterized then the filter is applied… in the past you had to make a precomp and create a gigantic layer which slowed everything down.

The text tool is awesome… instead of doing your text lauout in illustrator or withthe the text filter you can use a PS like text tool and it has a very nice and very flexible text animetors. You can select characters to animate and apply an animator … you can layer these animators over one another to build complex animations with only on layer of text instead of having to chop your text into a million pieces which again slowed everything down.

Another plus for AE6 Pro is that it comes with Keylight which is a great keyer.

You can also now use AE6 with renderfarm software.

There’s a bunch of more stuff… AE6 is definately a must have.


#5

It sounds like you really like your AE… Have any of you experience of other current post software? How does AE stack up? Is it comparable to apps like Shake, Premiere and Combustion? Or is it like comparing Poser to Maya? How widespread is it in the post industry?

Anticipating further enlightenment…

-Daniel


#6

>>> Have any of you experience of other current post software? How does AE stack up? Is it comparable to apps like Shake, Premiere and Combustion?

>>>How widespread is it in the post industry?

It’s extremely popular in the sectors of the industry that deal with broadcast and motion graphic design and less so with film but there are many places who use it for film output and I have done some projects with it for film myself.

Premeire is mostly an editting program that can do basic compositing… I would not compare it to any of these programs for compositing.

It has been awhile since I used Shake… however it’s advantages then where that is architecture combines effects more effeceintly than many packages and therefore is fast however it uses a node based interface primarily which even though I understand and wish that AE had I prefer the layout that AE uses. Shake also more or less requires knowledge of scripting to get the most out of it. Shake is great for hardcore effects compositing. It however costs way to much for Linux and is not available for windows anymore. It also has limited audio support which is an advantage that AE has.

Combustion is probably the most comparitable to AE but I have never used it. I would say it’s main advantage is that it is well integrated with Max.

>>>Or is it like comparing Poser to Maya?

Arghhh… are you crazy???


#7

Originally posted by gmask
[B]>>>
>>>Or is it like comparing Poser to Maya?

Arghhh… are you crazy??? [/B]

:shrug: I know AE is a great program to do whatever I have needed it to do during the last few years I’ve been a user, but its hard to compare any program to stuff you’ve never seen. Similarly, Win XP is great for me but is not up to snuff for operating failproof stuff like nuclear power plants, or ER equipment, ot the space shuttle computers. You know, the absolute hardcore stuff. Likewise, AE is great for my needs but since i dont KNOW the competition of ultra-capable systems (Quantel, anyone?) , its hard for me to actually make a judgment whether AE is the ‘Poser’ among post apps. And not that it would be a bad thing, either… :slight_smile:

-Daniel


#8

Premeire is the “Poser” of compositing and editting programs for that matter but on the latter I would say that it does actually work well enough to be useable for some typ sof work. y’know like wedding videos and corporate crap… anyway I know alot of people who make silk purses out of sow ears but that’s not what you asking is it?

Anyway I can’t really answer any more questions unless you clarify what you plan to use it for. Are you askign because you wan tot be a fulltime compositor for film or because you want to be a motion graphics designer?

Quantel… those systems are hugely expensive and to be honest the interface is kind of bizarre… I’m not knocking them but I think they have less of a place in broadcast than they used to and as far as I know they never had a place in film production. There are people who al they do is Chyron operation which means they super text over video… yippee! I guess the pay is good… not exactly the most creative profession but somebody has got to do it.


#9

isn’t the motion tracking thats in AE6 using 2D3 technology,
ie. boujou.

Thats big if what I hear is correct. boujou is the motion tracking king.


#10

Originally posted by roguenroll
[B]isn’t the motion tracking thats in AE6 using 2D3 technology,
ie. boujou.

Thats big if what I hear is correct. boujou is the motion tracking king. [/B]

Where’d you hear that? I don’t think so.


#11

ah, it was premiere

http://www.2d3.com/2d3/press/2003/07_07_30.shtml

I don’t have either, mixed 'em up!!!


#12

Originally posted by roguenroll
[B]ah, it was premiere

http://www.2d3.com/2d3/press/2003/07_07_30.shtml

I don’t have either, mixed 'em up!!! [/B]

huh? I had not heard of that plugin before…not that I need either…

“With the addition of 2d3’s SteadyMove, Adobe Premiere Pro users will receive an effective, user-friendly solution to deal with one of the most common problems plaguing videographers—shaky camera moves,”

You can do image stablilzation with AE 6


#13

moroten, to answer what I think you are trying to ask, I think that the most comparable program to AE is Combustion and as it was staded by others before AE is the best if all you want to do is motion graphics, especially with the new features in 6.0. But it lacks the tools for any real compositing, whereas Combustion is more geared toward that(compositing). It is hard to say which one is better, because they are both good at what they do, but if I had to make a one or the other choice I would say Combustion. Version 3 is awsome
:buttrock:


#14

>> But it lacks the tools for any real compositing, whereas Combustion is more geared toward that(compositing).

How so?


#15

Originally posted by gmask
[B]>> But it lacks the tools for any real compositing, whereas Combustion is more geared toward that(compositing).

How so? [/B]

Yeah, how so? I always judged AE a competent compositer with most - if not all? - of the functionality you need for pro looking results. One thing I do know Combustions has is some sort of direct link with the 3dsmax render engine for a seamless work environment. Im not too sure what it does exactly, but isnt there any 3rd party plugin that enables the pretty much the same feature with AE?

Anyway, what “real compositing” can Combustion do that AE 6 cannot?

Awaiting further enlightenment,
Daniel


#16

Originally posted by moroten

Anyway, what “real compositing” can Combustion do that AE 6 cannot?

A few thoughts ( I have not upgraded to AE 6 yet so these comments are based on AE 5.5, although i know/hope a couple items may have been remedied in v6).

  • Keying in AE is a nightmare at best. The Combustion keyer is derived from the IFF line of products and is one of the best I’ve seen. Granted, third party keyers exist, but is a decent keyer too much to ask?

  • Paint/roto. Roto tools are only in the Production bundle and are extremely unrefined. The spline based roto tools in c3 are among the best out there, albeit a bit slow. C3 also has an extremely powerful vector paint toolset.

  • Tracking. I’ve personally found the tracker in C3 to be far easier to use, better integrated, and more accurate than the offering in AE.

  • Color Correction. Same deal as the keying section above.

  • Integration. C3 has more tools that allow you to create footage or elements right inside the package, rather than having to jump out to Illustrator or Photoshop (or a 3d soft) for every need. Vector paint, integrated Illusion engine, flexible type engine, etc.

  • Accuracy. True float space support.

  • 3D. True OGL driven 3d compositing environment.

  • Backburner. Kick-ass network rendering manager…not ghetto watch-folder approach.

Just a few, but these are items that are crucial. Although, key strengths of AE over C3, which underline it’s advantage in motion graphics…

Keyframe assistant

Timeline view is easier to work with when you have lots of layers

Vast plugin community (although most work with C3 as well).

Great integration if you’re a Cinema4D user.

anyway, use what you like…

just my $.02


#17

Originally posted by moroten
[B]
Anyway, what “real compositing” can Combustion do that AE 6 cannot?

Awaiting further enlightenment,
Daniel [/B]

Well,

  1. Rotoscoping and wireremoval, as it´s got an integrated painter. just track a point you want to remove and clonestamp over it and the stamped area will stick to the tracker. by the way combustion has unlimited trackingpoints AE has only one.

  2. the colourcorrector kicks AE right up the ass. sorry for that, but it´s true. It´s about the same as the one in flame or inferno.

  3. combustions keyingtools compare to AE´s like, well just read point 2. it´s about the same.

  4. combustion 3 now has nle abilities.

  5. combustion comes with everything AE pro bundle comes, (only better and with even more features) and costs about half as much as AE pro bundle.

  6. AE without the pro bundle is so limited you can use it for title animation and motiongraphics and that´s about it.
    no fancy keyingtools, no 3d tools, no tracking, no warping tools.

  7. if you use Lightwave and you render in multipass psd fileformat, saying a sequence of multilayerd psd files. and you want to tweak colours, shadows, reflections and so on in compositing, then just forget AE. adobe forgot to support their own fileformat. you can import a psd as a comp with all the layers accessible and individually tweakable but only as a still frame, when you import it as a sequence you have to chose a layer you want or you merge layers, then you have the animation but you cannot access the different layers for post tweaking which as you all know is the essence of multipass rendering. combustion can handle multilayer psd sequences. but that´s just interresting if you use lightwave as i do not know of another 3d app that exports to multilayer psd file.

So if you think you´ll ever need things like rotoscoping, fourcorner pin tracking, the best available colourcorrector ore keyingtools who actually deserve the name, and you don´t want to pay 5000$ for something calles shake, you best contact your nearest discreet dealer and give combustion a shot.

P.S. : please no flaming. I own AE and soon I will buy combustion. I used both extensivelly on various studentfilms at uni and after fights and hassles i figured out that AE is really cool and unbeatable when it comes to motiongraphics and title animation, but when it comes to serious compositing, well, it´s like writing a letter in photoshop. It might be possible, but don´t even look after the autocorrect button . nobody would do it just as nobody would do serious photowork in windows paint. I found that combustion is the most complete compositing package out there and the cost of it is verry low compared to what you get when you buy AE. but AE´s still a really cool app.

edit by the way you can use most of AE´s plugins in combustion too.


#18

Both of you, thanks for two great replies! :beer:

The new AE 6 does have 3D OpenGL support for much faster manipulating and playback in the work environment. So maybe some of the other caveats have been fixed as well?

-Daniel


#19

Originally posted by moroten
[B]Both of you, thanks for two great replies! :beer:

The new AE 6 does have 3D OpenGL support for much faster manipulating and playback in the work environment. So maybe some of the other caveats have been fixed as well?

-Daniel [/B]

nope. just looked on the new featurelist. and from what i´ve learned by now is : if they do not mention a new feature it´s more than likelly they don´t have it.


#20

oh yeah and as of verion 3.0, integrated re:Flex warper at no extra cost! :buttrock: