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Leke Mustapha
Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 3:49:12 pm

Do "i" need third-party plugins in adobe after effects ?


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 5:31:59 pm

No


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Eric Santiago
Re: Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 5:57:14 pm

There should be a rule that beginners need at least 120 hours of After Effects use before installing a plug-in ;)


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Leke Mustapha
Re: Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 6:53:33 pm

Well.. "i" is not always a beginner. he/she can be even an expert. for me personally i see a lot of professionals use third-party plug-ins like redgiant, trap-code and what not. Hypothetically, as a professional , is it necessary?..... if i am an intermediate looking to go commercial is it important ?


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 7:45:55 pm

If you aren't doing something that needs a specific plugin then you don't need it. Using a plugin doesn't make one more or less professional.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 9:33:26 pm

And designing motion graphics around some new plugin only adds to the "noise" of a billion others doing the same, so your work tends to look like everyone else's. (remember the iPod 3D stroke sweeps commercial? and the 500 copycats that followed? Really, it was only 498 copycats - the two I did were completely original.... I honestly tried to say that with a straight face)
Design first, then figure out what plug ins, if any, you need to achieve that design. Don't predict the future - invent it!



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Leke Mustapha
Re: Plugins
on Jun 15, 2018 at 10:34:39 pm

very well said steve and tero😃😃. Thanks guys, its been a thorn in my brain😥😥. i watched a tutorial video in which a 3rd party plugin was necessary, it was on 3d animation after effects. it is still not very clear how to particularly go about it, almost as if complex animation on AE requires third party plugin


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Steve Bentley
Re: Plugins
on Jun 16, 2018 at 2:49:34 am

To be fair, using 3D models in AE does still need a plug in (like Element 3D, and Zaxwerks).

The 3D world in AE is actually a cheat so we call it 2.5 D and I will do that here for clarity.

However the pipeline between AE and C4d (and even maya) has become fairly painless. You can bring renders in from your 3D world and use them as though they are part of AE's 2.5D world. The C4D renders are in 2D in the end but you can send project assets and objects positioned in 3D back and forth between C4d and AE so that you can position stuff for rendering elements in C4d or line up your 3D renders to objects in AE's 2.5D world. In the end it all looks 3D.

We're working on project right now that I initially thought I was going to use Element3D and use real 3D geometry inside of AE. But because of the stylized look needed, we couldn't tease that out of Element, so we ended up using 3D "flats" for some elements in AE and then rendering the 3D objects in C4d and bringing those renders into AE to intermingle in 2.5D space within the flats. And all of that is native to AE (except C4D of course). So it was the style required that determined technique rather than a tail-effect wagging the dog. And given that we were given only 2D art from the client, they keep saying (gratifyingly) "how did you do that?, its 3D!"

Let us know if there a specific thing you are trying to do and we can steer you in the right direction.



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Angie Taylor
Re: Plugins
on Jun 16, 2018 at 7:48:54 am

Hi Leke,

You don't need third party plugins to integrate 3D objects into your comps in AE.

You can use Cineware to integrate a 3D object into your comp without any need to render it in Cinema 4D.

Simply go to Layer > New > Maxon Cinema 4D to add a Cineware layer to your comp. This will open C4D Lite where you can import a 3D object, build your own, or use one of the free presets you get with C4D Lite. then just save the C4D file. (There is no need for rendering your file in C4D)

When you jump back to AE the 3D file will be there in your scene. If you want to use and AE camera you can switch this on in the Cineware effect options, this way you can incorporate new elements in AE that will follow the same camera movements.

After Effects also has the ability to create real 3D now with the Cinema 4D renderer. If you switch this on you can extrude text and other vector objects to create real 3D objects right inside AE. You can't import models this way but its suprising what you can build using this technique. Animators can be used to change the surface color of edges etc. it's fun to play with :-)

cheers,

Angie

Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices

http://www.angietaylor.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Leke Mustapha
Re: Plugins
on Jun 16, 2018 at 4:36:07 pm

i don't use cinema 4d,.... but am guessing that's gonna change. so if am understanding what everyone is saying its just like using a psd file in AE directly from photoshop


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Steve Bentley
Re: Plugins
on Jun 16, 2018 at 5:02:24 pm

Good point Angie. Like a man with a hammer I was only looking for some nails to hit. I was thinking purely about true 3D objects that you could rotate around and slide existing 2D assets between multiple 3D objects.

To be clear for the OP: using Cineware creates a 2D layer of your 3D C4D scene. This is a huge time saver over sending data back and forth between the two packages - make a change in C4D, and it updates immediately in AE.

However, there is a catch for all this elegant integration:
Lets say you are doing a solar system in AE, and lets say you do the planets in C4d but you want to do the sun in AE. And you want your camera to view the planet orbit "rings" obliquely (the way Saturn is usually depicted) - the orbits become ellipses.
If the Cineware layer is on top of your sun layer (an AE layer remember), when the planets pass in front of the sun, all will be well, but when the planets need to pass behind the sun, they will still render in front because the Cineware layer is on top of the Sun layer - even if your sun layer is a 3D layer.

This is true of Element 3D as well. Even though you can move your objects around in what feels like 3D space, the layer that Element 3D is on as an effect, still renders as a 2D layer by itself before it is stacked with the other 2D AE layers.

You can however use a separate layer for every 3D object in your scene (with both Element and Cineware) and stack those layers in the correct order so that they overlap as they should, with each other and with other AE3D layer "flats" that are interspersed in depth.



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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Plugins
on Jun 16, 2018 at 6:47:50 pm

This discussion made me ask the question "is there a way to generate a z-depth map from the native AE layers to aid with compositing 3D effect layers?" which lead me to this interesting post:

https://www.provideocoalition.com/z-depth-from-3d-after-effects-layers/

Sounds like worth exploring.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Walter Soyka
Re: Plugins
on Jun 19, 2018 at 10:59:16 am

[Leke Mustapha] "almost as if complex animation on AE requires third party plugin"

I agree with the others that any beginner should learn the basics of Ae first, and I also think that an advanced Ae user can do a lot more with stock Ae effects than any beginner would expect. However, it's also true that the third party ecosystem adds a ton of capability to Ae that you can't practically replicate with stock features in a reasonable amount of time.

As an Ae-savvy creative director who hires Ae artists, I do expect a degree of proficiency from our freelancers in common plugins like Particular, Form, and Element 3D.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Steve Bentley
Re: Plugins
on Jun 19, 2018 at 6:11:34 pm

Walter brings up a good point.
As much as you shouldn't design for the latest neat plugin, I'm trying to remember the last time one of the Trapcode suite of plug ins wasn't part of a project we had done. They have become so ubiquitous and so well rounded I think people might look at you funny if you said "I don't have Trapcode.", or at the very least Particular. They also fill a much exploited niche (at least in 2.5D) that no other plugin really measures up to. To get equivalent effects you have to go to a 3D package.



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