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Anyone playing around with Newton?

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Joseph W. BourkeAnyone playing around with Newton?
by on Oct 22, 2011 at 4:10:57 am

I just downloaded the demo version of Newton (it was tough - the link on the site appears to be dead, but if you right-click it and do a "save target as..." it will give you the demo version), and I'm amazed at its' ease of use and power.

Granted, it's 2D, but the physics capabilities, even in 2D, are just mind-boggling if you want to do, for example, a whole new type of kinetic text animation, which follows real-world physics (or that of your own creation, for that matter).

The demo only allows you to output 25 frames in AE, but in the software window, you can preview the full solution. A couple of hours worth of playing had me doing stuff I've never been able to do in AE, and sure, I could do it in real 3D in Reactor in 3DS Max, but not anywhere near as quickly. It really allows you to sketch out your ideas quickly. And no one is paying me to say this, by the way.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anyone playing around with Newton?
by on Oct 22, 2011 at 1:48:07 pm

Coincidentally, I was looking at Newton again prior to your post. It's something I'd like to have at my disposal - once I find some time and use for it. But I've got some ideas - just need the time to push it through.

It's unfortunate that most of AE's most interesting things are from 3rd party developers. I actually get a few of my students who use higher-end software/hardware harking on this issue.

EH! MACRODOBE!!! Wassabout you guys actually put some heads together eh?!! Pff!

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Anyone playing around with Newton?
by on Oct 22, 2011 at 2:43:13 pm

Newton is pretty amazing, granted it is only 2d. I have a few ideas that I am working on right now to combine it with other plugins and get some 3 dimensionality to it... I'll post what I came up with.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Walter SoykaRe: Anyone playing around with Newton?
by on Oct 23, 2011 at 4:36:05 am

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "It's unfortunate that most of AE's most interesting things are from 3rd party developers. I actually get a few of my students who use higher-end software/hardware harking on this issue."

Actually, I think that the flourishing third-party ecosystem is one of AE's biggest strengths -- and kudos to Adobe for building a product that is so easily extended. There's no way you'd get the breadth of tools that AE has from only a single developer.

I'm curious as to what software/hardware is used by your students that complain about this -- Nuke, perhaps? Nuke is extensible, though The Foundry does the lion's share of development, but I think it's also much more narrowly focused than AE is.

By way of counterexample, I'd suggest that Autodesk Maya is as much a platform as it is an application, and this openness is why it's so widely useful, and so widely used.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anyone playing around with Newton?
by on Oct 23, 2011 at 7:51:36 am

[Walter Soyka] "Actually, I think that the flourishing third-party ecosystem is one of AE's biggest strengths -- and kudos to Adobe for building a product that is so easily extended. "

Don't kid yourself Walter! Every major product has an accompanying SDK. What you see as an eco-system, I see as a support system. Mothership is seriously lacking in terms of pushing the envelope and allowing their users to work more creatively and more productively.

If Adobe was so open they would have supported a more open plugin architecture, perhaps OpenFX or even helped the industry to write one. The fact that AE's 3D architecture is a piece of crap with no progress since its inception, other than the removal of the Standard and 3D Render Engine shows how much of the app is made of glue.

The only major tool that has come about in the last 5 years has been the Puppet Tool and the Rotobrush and even then the latter has been shrugged off by power users.

Every other truly useful plugin or script has come from 3rd party developers.

Nuke is awesome and I can't wait till I find the time and the cash to dive into it. Come to think of it, I'd actually like to bother them for an NFR.

Students of mine who are not very keen with AE are those working on Smoke and Flint systems. Seriously, those already on Nuke wouldn't wan't to waste their time with AE - they have a good thing going for them.

BTW, there is little point with counter-examples, it is what it is, as it is. Sorry, but I'm not in the mood to compare apples and oranges. One app is pretty much best-of-breed in its line while the other goes about lunging aimlessly while being the most popular product in its line.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia.


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Walter SoykaRe: Anyone playing around with Newton? -- now OT: AE's dependence on third-party developers
by on Oct 23, 2011 at 10:14:46 am

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "Don't kid yourself Walter! Every major product has an accompanying SDK. What you see as an eco-system, I see as a support system. Mothership is seriously lacking in terms of pushing the envelope and allowing their users to work more creatively and more productively."

I understand your point of view. GenArts aside, The Foundry and Autodesk provide nearly all of the solutions for their respective applications -- but when you compare AE with Nuke, Smoke, or Flame, you are comparing apples and oranges.

Nuke, Smoke and Flame are highly specialized products which are targeted at high-end niche markets and cost many times more than AE, which is a mid-market, general motion application. I don't think of AE first for compositing, but likewise, I don't think of Nuke or Smoke first for motion graphics (and I have a little bit of experience with both of them).

I'm impressed by what third party developers have built on AE. By design, AE was a layer-based compositor with first-party additions for motion graphics. Largely through third-party extension, people also now use it for design, grading, finishing, 2D animation, and even 3D animation.

Personally, I see a lot of value in the platform approach. I like that AE can handle a wide variety of tasks. I like having developers like Lloyd Alvarez et al from AE Scripts, The Foundry, GenArts, Mettle, Red Giant, Trapcode, and Video Copilot around, all extending AE's functionality in different ways.

I think that AE's biggest strength is that it's broad, if comparatively shallow in places; without third-party developers, products tend to be narrow but deeper.

This is not to say that Adobe couldn't be doing more to update AE's architecture. Like you said, I would love to see Adobe (and Apple, for that matter) support OpenFX. I'd love to see AE get true 3D compositing (after all, apparently even FXhome HitFilm has it [link]) and a modern renderer.

I just don't see exciting ideas coming from third-party developers as a bad thing. I didn't mean any more or any less than that in my original post.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Anyone playing around with Newton? -- now OT: AE's dependence on third-party developers
by on Oct 23, 2011 at 5:56:38 pm

[Walter Soyka] "when you compare AE with Nuke, Smoke, or Flame, you are comparing apples and oranges. "

Ah, I don't think I ever did compare AE with the rest, perhaps I may seemed to have done so. But my initial premise has been that AE as 'mothership' has been severely lacking in its development and I would like to add; without the hugely successful 3rd party development, AE can be seen as a failure.

I did however, share that a few of my students do compare apples and oranges and kudos to them cos' they're on more robust platforms. I must add that I think I do a good job selling AE against these more robust solutions. And I often do so by highlighting that just like smartphones, it's the eco-system (of course I used a different phrase, but eco-system is such a buzz word today) and the product that makes the user.

But I don't like selling snake oil. As soon as you apply a '3D' plugin in AE, you're out of whack in the Comp Panel. Try applying another '3D' plugin and you can forget about reaching the 'if you can think it, you can create it' scenario.

3rd party developers should add onto the prowess of an application NOT support it. And that's what's been happening for far too long. The fact that AE cannot develop a true 3D environment for itself or its plugins is a sure sign that something is amiss in their development team.

We all know the technology is out there, and has been for years, but why can't they bloody hell do their job FOR their users???

[Walter Soyka] "This is not to say that Adobe couldn't be doing more to update AE's architecture. Like you said, I would love to see Adobe (and Apple, for that matter) support OpenFX. I'd love to see AE get true 3D compositing (after all, apparently even FXhome HitFilm has it [link]) and a modern renderer."

There you go!

[Walter Soyka] "I just don't see exciting ideas coming from third-party developers as a bad thing. "

I've touched on this and it's one of the best things going for AE. Without the 3rd party developers, AE might really be a has-been. But when 3rd party developers are delimited by development from within 'mothership' then things get screwy.

Not only do users have to pay for additional apps but the additional apps are actually hindered by the ridiculously slow progress of 'mothership'.

Finally, motion graphics/broadcast design and visual effects have been merging in terms of client demands. AE has to truly up the ante and concentrate on the technology and UI that allows it to meet such demands or slowly be left behind.

I can think of 10-15 rather simple plugins (skewed towards motion graphics) that Nuke or Smoke can easily provide, that will make them very powerful tools for broadcast design/motion graphics.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia.


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