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Best EFX plugin company RG or BCC?

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Larry Watts
Best EFX plugin company RG or BCC?
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:21:34 pm

I need to create lens flares, lightning, particle effects compositing and motion tracking and more.
Sapphire is out of my budget. Boris and Red Giant seem comparable.
Anyone have any opinions on which company has the better plugins, ease of use, support etc?

Other players?

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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Best EFX plugin company RG or BCC?
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:37:51 pm

I have the Boris Continuum Complete set and it's a great bang for buck-kind of set. Red Giant's Particular is pretty much the standard for particle effects in AE.

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John Cuevas
Re: Best EFX plugin company RG or BCC?
on Jul 5, 2012 at 1:16:05 pm

Hate to throw another wrench into the works, but I'm partial to VideoCopilots Optical Flares

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Best EFX plugin company RG or BCC?
on Jul 5, 2012 at 5:31:33 pm

Considering Sapphire to BCC, the value of both of these sets is two-fold: the breadth of the toolkit and their multi-app availability. A lot of the functionality in Sapphire and BCC overlaps AE's native effects, but if you learn the Sapphire or BCC set in AE, you can apply the same knowledge to the same effects in other host applications like Avid or FCP. Personally, I prefer working with Sapphire rather than BCC, but the sets are pretty comparable and can achieve similar results.

That said, I think the Red Giant Software plugins will be more useful for some of the specific effects you're asking about. I generally consider them to be must-haves for AE workstations. I do have licenses for all the packages you're considering, but I'd say use Red Giant effects the most often.

[Larry Watts] "lens flares"

I agree with John on this -- I prefer Video CoPilot Optical Flares over the other options. Optical Flares' interface is a lot more intuitive and interactive, and there are some very high-quality presets available for use out of the box or for further tweaking. You will almost certainly get much better results much faster with OF.

[Larry Watts] "lightning"

AE's built-in Advanced Lightning (tweak the settings to reduce the cheese) + Optical Flares (subtly applied and tracking luminance).

[Larry Watts] "particle effects"

AE has a decent bundled particle system (CC Particle World), but I too highly recommend Red Giant's Trapcode Particular for more advanced work. I use Particular in one way or another for all different kinds of looks and effects on nearly all my projects.

[Larry Watts] "compositing"

You can do a lot with AE alone, of course, but either Sapphire and Boris's key and matte effects or Red Giant Software's Key Correct can be very useful for speeding through otherwise tough composites.

[Larry Watts] "motion tracking"

Built into AE. CS5.5 and earlier have a point tracker, and CS6 introduces a new built-in 3D camera tracker.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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