I currently have the free version that came with AE 6.5 and am looking to upgrade. I do not have Illustrator, although there is a user in the building, and am under the impression that one of the newer versions does not require Illustrator. My work does not call for tons of 3D but from time to time we need it and the free version seems to have reached its limit.
Knowing more about your needs would help us provide a better answer.
First off, to get the most from either Invigorator or ProAnimator, you really should have Illustrator. True, the pro version of Invigorator and ProAnimator can create text without Invigorator. True, you can generate primative shapes. And yes, you can get minimal shapes out of Photoshop, but Illustrator is almost a must for anything else.
With that decision out of the way... If I had to choose either Invigorator Pro or ProAnimator, I would choose ProAnimator. Its motion controls are unmatched by anything else out there.. plus, it's a stand-alone app as well as a plug-in.... so you don't need to deal with After Effects if you don't want to.
Hope this helps.... by the way, feel free to download the demos from the Zaxwerks site.
The third sentence should read: First off, to get the most from either Invigorator or ProAnimator, you really should have Illustrator. True, the pro version of Invigorator and ProAnimator can create text without ILLUSTRATOR.
Thanks for the response Jon. My needs as stated are very minimal. Text mostly althought the currnet project is a rotating coin that I can not seem to do in the free version. But really we only need it for text.
ProAnimator is the one that I was focusing on but if they both can do basic 3D text than either might suit my needs. Is there a huge difference in that aspect of the two?
The ProAnimator looks very fun and I think I will push towards purchasing it.
Question though...I have a coin that was made in Illustrator that I want to do a slow turn and then a fairly fast rotate to the back and then repeat. I brought it in to the free version and it looked horrible. The coin never looked like it does in Illustrator. First, is that something that is even possible in that version? Second, will ProAnimator work for this?
The coin has a seperate front and back in Illustrator, do I bring it in individually or as one element?
All of the versions of Invigorator and ProAnimator would model the coin in the same way and should be able to make a very believable coin.
The fastest way would be to create a simple coin shape with a power bevel edge and apply bump maps to each side for the artwork. You could also build the shapes on the faces of the coin using Illustrator.
I guess I'd have to see the file to give you more specific guidance. You can send it to me at jokerstrom 1 (at) mac. com.