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Puppet Tool - finally!!

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Tangier Clarke
Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 2, 2019 at 7:15:19 pm

Puppet Tool!!!! Yes! I am torn. I am happy it's available, but I can't help but wonder if anyone at MotionVFX has inside info and knows Apple will not be implementing this in the next version of Motion or anytime soon.

#trailer'>https://www.motionvfx.com/store,mpuppet,p2886.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=motionvfx&utm_content=mPuppet+-+Real+Puppet+Tool+for+FCPX+and+Apple+Motion&utm_campaign=#trailer


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:10:01 am

mVFX simply know there's (understandably) absolutely no way Apple will develop something like this as a standard feature since it's something maybe 0.2% of users actually NEED as apposed to would lust like to have to play around with. Never mind that a measly 69 bucks still puts you hundreds if not thousands below the alternatives. So if this is, in fact, something someone NEEDS, then they won't think twice about whether this is "worth it". Even if Apple DID come out with their own version in a year or two. Which, as I said, I don't see ever happening.

Just like a camera solver, another something that mVFX are working on for the same reason.

- RK

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 3, 2019 at 8:23:31 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "it's something maybe 0.2% of users actually NEED"

The puppet tool in After Effects is probably the most commonly used feature and it has limitless possible applications. It's a feature that, once you discover it, you will use all the time, even in cases where the audience won't be aware that you've used it.

[Robin S. Kurz] "Even if Apple DID come out with their own version in a year or two. Which, as I said, I don't see ever happening.
"


Agreed. It's not something it's remotely plausible to think that Apple would ever offer. But if that tells us anything, it tells us about Apple's approach to Motion.

As ever, this is a beautifully designed, very powerful and very affordable plug-in from the amazing team at motionvfx that any serious Motion user will definitely want to grab.

Simon Ubsdell

hawaiki


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 4, 2019 at 11:11:33 am
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Oct 4, 2019 at 3:28:04 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "The puppet tool in After Effects is probably the most commonly used feature"

Most definitely something I would beg to differ on, especially since with (already) MOVING pictures it has a FAR more limited use case. But sure, many may well use it in AE as a quick and easy(er) fixer for something that they could easily have used something else just as well, no doubt. But that doesn't make it indispensable or necessary for everyone. For me, it's one of those IF you ever need it, i.e. it's actually the most effective approach for a task, then you're extremely glad you have it.

In fact, I've seen it used many times where it was arguably the WORST possible choice for the task at hand and was just used out of laziness or plain ignorance to alternatives, so there's that.


[Simon Ubsdell] "But if that tells us anything, it tells us about Apple's approach to Motion."

Yes, that it isn't and never has been intended for any higher-end VFX work in the league of AE & Co., as so many would love to see it, but really only because it's CHEAP. But then it's certainly my go-to tool for fast and effective rotoscoping, cleanups, mid-level compositing, and the likes. But first and foremost it's a MOGRAPH tool. Though Apple may well have pondered making it a gateway drug to Shake (or other rumored apps of the time, a lá iLife) in the first couple of versions, but clearly canned that idea quickly.


[Simon Ubsdell] "this is a beautifully designed, very powerful and very affordable plug-in from the amazing team at motionvfx that any serious Motion user will definitely want to grab."

Agreed. At that price definitely something one can easily justify having as an ace up one's sleeve for whenever that special use case arises where it will very quickly make up for its cost. But again, very limited niche cases for the vast majority of Motion users IMHO.

- RK

____________________________________________________
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Tangier Clarke
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:56:28 pm

Although I am excited this is available I too agree that it's a limited use tool. It wouldn't make my regularly used tools, but definitely something I'd want to have in my arsenal. I can't help but wonder two things:

1) Did mVFX and PixelFilmStudios achieve this using tools and features already built into Motion that somehow are less known/used; in this case applying the mesh to an object? I suspect it's somehow more along the lines of plugins that use MOCHA like mMessage.

2) Per the conversation above, how much of Shake actually made it into Motion do you think? Granted I was no Shake user, but at the time only heard about how amazing it was. Do you think Apple really bought it to leverage some of it's features, then kill the rest as a business move? Did we gain most of or lose most of Shake's features as applied to Motion? I'd hate to think it's the latter for whatever reasons Apple had.

These things being said and the seemingly lack of development for Motion, I can't help but wonder if Apple decided to kill Motion, would that essentially be the death knell for FCP X? They're tightly integrated and FCP X is for more used, but I hadn't considered this notion until now. Discussions have often been about what if Apple killed FCP X. Perhaps killing Motion would be more telling.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 5, 2019 at 1:39:27 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Oct 5, 2019 at 8:06:56 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "Did mVFX and PixelFilmStudios achieve this using tools and features already built into Motion that somehow are less known/used"

No. I can't speak to PFS (since I don't care and they're in an entirely different league anyway), but in the case of mVFX, it's just "regular ol'" proprietary C++ coding packed into FXPlug.


[Tangier Clarke] "how much of Shake actually made it into Motion do you think?"

Nothing. At least technically. Intellectually a bunch, since Apple bought Nothing Real and that team went to work for Apple… creating Motion.


[Tangier Clarke] " I can't help but wonder if Apple decided to kill Motion, would that essentially be the death knell for FCP X?"

So basically you're not asking anything different than "Will Apple kill FCP?", since they both pretty much cancel each other out. In which case I could only ask "By which logic could they possibly want to?". If they actually didn't care, why would they even bother COMPLETELY redesigning it (and FCP) from the ground up in the first place? If there was ever a perfect time to kill either, then certainly BEFORE making 5 or X, which entailed completely scrapping everything up until then anyway.

Wouldn't it be far more likely that AVID kill MC, considering the current state of affairs of both company and software?? I sure would say so, but oddly I don't see anyone asking that.

I'd argue that Motion is exactly where Apple both wants and needs it to be. Nothing more, nothing less. If that's not where I want or need it to be… oh well. 🤷🏼‍♂️ There are numerous alternatives out there. Motion has never and will never be positioned or intended as some sort of competition to the After Effects and Nukes of this world, as seemingly so many think it could or even should be. If that's what I need, then that's what I need to be using.

For me, it's like Pages vs Word. If I need massive tabbing options, macros or whatever else it is that Word does that 95% of users don't ever need, I'd be an idiot to use Pages, no?

- RK

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Tangier Clarke
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:16:40 am

Robin I actually agree with you and don't have any suspicions of Apple killing off FCP X. I think it just came to mind because I often hear about the [seemingly] lack of development for Motion often related to new features; some wanted, many needed, and others merely a 'why don't we have that too built in' perspective. As a result of these types of perceptions about Apple's care/interest toward Motion, along with its integration with FCP X, I wondered what if Motion really was dying a slow death. That's all.

I agree though. I think many people (including myself) want it to be something perhaps it never will be and partially because for those features where it and (for example) After Effects intersect, Motion does things so well and efficiently. Perhaps we don't want to have to go to After Effects, but such is the case. You can't have everything. For the most part it does everything I need to do though.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 6, 2019 at 9:53:05 am

[Tangier Clarke] "For the most part it does everything I need to do though."

I'd even guess it does far MORE than you'll probably ever need. I know it does for me. Starting at probably a double-digit number of behaviors that I don't know I will ever need or simply don't understand well enough to put to good use.

And yes, while I'd LOVE to have things like a mesh warp tool or camera solver etc. built-in as much as the next person, I also understand that a) they're not easy to both develop and have work consistently i.e. meet expectations (i.e. are an inordinate amount of work) and b) you open yourself up to potential instability or just general issues, in turn resulting in even more work, disappointment, frustration, unneeded complexity etc. And really… for whom? For only a fraction of users? I personally like the idea of making the app a one-time, super cheap purchase and leaving niche functionality up to third-parties. That way no one is paying for functionality they don't even need, and if they do, they just buy it on top.

If there's anything I would appreciate to see much more advanced/optimized, then that would be the EXISTING functionality as well as massive improvements and expansion on the existing FXPlug API. Because there are just so many basic UI and UX things that have plagued Motion for a very long time. Some things literally since day one! And I report them over and over. Add expanded FXPlug functionality, then it would be that much easier and less frustrating for 3rd parties to pick up the slack (and in turn diverting work and expectation away from Apple). Only, as it stands, I know that people like motionVFX would love to do MUCH more, but are extremely limited by the current state of FXPlug. Many of their plugins are in large part literal HACKS to even get them to do what they do, which also adds unnecessarily to further potential problems and instability. It shouldn't be that way. Improve the API so others can do what they want, then the interest in supporting it, and with that, the interest in Motion rises accordingly!

But, if you ask me, as it stands you'll never see anything added to Motion (built-in) that doesn't benefit/translate to FCPX first and foremost. And something like a mesh warp tool or camera solver would be that much harder to get working in FCPX in a relatively usable way. In which case… don't bother. Something I can actually understand. But, as I said, don't limit the APIs to the point where no one can jump in if they want to or simply give up because they hit too many walls!

But as far as built-in, where do you draw the line with a ONE TIME $50 app? Add all that in and charge more? Start charging for updates? Because it would seem that everyone only ever expects a GIVE, but never a TAKE. That somehow is completely unacceptable. So, damned if you do, damned if you don't. So… don't. 😛

- RK

____________________________________________________
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Tangier Clarke
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 7, 2019 at 1:23:04 am

If I could get a built-in planar tracker and more options for setting up parameters (and separating them), for publishing to FCP X I'd be very happy about that.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 7, 2019 at 7:44:20 am

[Tangier Clarke] "and more options for setting up parameters (and separating them)"

Ironically that's exactly one of those things that I meant by advancing/optimizing EXISTING functionality, yes. Add to that things like selection behavior and motion blur and a slew of other things that need serious improvement before anything else is added IMHO, and I'd be even happier.

Of course, the subject of a planar tracker plays into the whole 3rd party thing I mentioned, seeing that there are endless options to be had there, too. Especially since I think Apple's version of that tracker would probably compare to the others like 3D text compares to mO2. Would that really help i.e. actually be a better option? Because if it isn't, why bother?

- RK

____________________________________________________
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Mark Suszko
Re: Puppet Tool - finally!!
on Oct 9, 2019 at 4:05:36 pm

Fifty bucks is a "sweet spot" for me regarding things like templates and plug-ins. That's low enough that you just roll it into the cost of one job that needs it, a client's not likely to complain, if it makes their product awesome, and then you have it available for future jobs.

I'm only sorry I wasn't able to jump on the discounted price in time, and I have projects in mind that would be well-served with this tool. But they're home hobby projects, paid out of pocket, so now I'll have save up for a little while, but this looks way easier to use than the puppet tools in AE.


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