ProAnimator or Invigorator
We want to make various logos into 3D (basically through simple extrusions) and fly them around in After Effects. In some cases we want to take one completed 3D logo and move it around, and in other cases we want to break a logo apart in to its various elements and have it build together in 3D to become the complete logo. Still, preferring to work in our familiar AE environment.
It was suggested to us that we should get Zaxwerks ProAnimator for this purpose. I've downloaded the demo and taken a first few looks, but now from what I'm reading, perhaps what we actually need is Invigorator. I realize that each program can do much more that what we're currently looking for, but for the tasks I need to accomplish (including the fact that I think it would be convenient to do my animations and camera moves within AE because I'm already familiar with that) would you suggest one application/plugin over the other? And it seems that both programs overlap in some ways so what are the main differences between their primary purposes (as in "why are there two separate programs")?
The applications share common modeling and texturing abilities. They differ greatly in motion control. you can use either one inside of After Effects.
ProAnimator is the best choice for creating complex motion easily. It's perfect for flying lots of pieces together to assemble your logo. Take a look at the animation presets to get an idea of what it can do.
Invigorator gives you a more direct, hands-on approach to animating the elements. It does include some limitations that become important if you want to animate many objects separately.
If I had to choose only one app for logo animation, I'd choose ProAnimator. For a more detailed comparison, visit the Zaxwerks web site.
I like to use invigerator to model imagery to use both in after effects AND export models into my favorite 3d program for more advanced capabilites. Very flexible :)
Animation & Visual Effects
Los Angeles Ca
Right on, Scott.
Either Invigorator or ProAnimator can create certain kinds of models with amazing ease, compared to the steps it takes in some of the typical "high-end" applications. I have a feeling lots of artists are doing as you suggest to get the best of both worlds.
I had the same question a few years ago and wound up getting ProAnimator. It is a great product and solved many of my needs repeatedly. As time has gone on though I have found some limitations that are solved in InVigorator Pro. I purchased Serge's excellent training DVD and discovered the difference in this nugget, in InVigorator you can have objects linked to each other where you can set the anchor point as the object. This can sorta set up some kinetics with your models.
ProAnimator on the other hand can be used as a self running app. So when you just want to work out the issue of the models your making you don't have to have AE open. Both plug-ins can share models.
It really depends on what you are intending to do. You can't go wrong with either one, but for the self running nature of ProAnimator, I still favor it.
One fact which can not be overlooked and which is a very big difference between the two programs is that Invigorator uses KEYFRAMES inside of AE to animate the model (logos for instance), Proanimator does not use keyframes to animate, so the animation is done in proanimator with POSES (not keyframes). Both programs though can use AE cameras to fly around the model etc.
The proanimator poses are very easy to use and you can make very complex animation by just modifying one of the presets. You can make all letters of a 3d logo move indepently etc.
To do this in Invigorator (animating letters separatly) can be way more time consuming as you will have to keyframe every move of each letter separate, incl. motion paths ease ins & outs etc. But then again, if you choose to do this you can keyframe more precise movements then in proanimator.
For logo animation (where letters move separatly) I would use proanimator, for single 3d objects I would use invigorator, or logos where the word as one moves (not separae letters) I would also use invigorator.
I also would like to mention that if you know how to work with keyframe in AE the working inside of proanimtor with the pose system should not be a problem, I actually find the pose system much more users fiendly then keyframing.
Best would be, GET BOTH! They are great!
I have ProAnimator. I wish I had Invigorator Pro. I am used to working with keyframes. I can't get ProAnimator to do, what I want it to do because of the method without keyframes.
You have to pose objects in time, that is nice and fast, transitions from pose a to b are automatically made. But to have an object split and bend and fly in a certain way, that is hell. I can never get exactly what I want, just allmost. Camera animation makes me lose objects forever and start all over again. It is taking me more time in the end, than when I use Lightwave 3D.
There are many presets to make things fly. Press at random until you get something you like. Problems rise when your customer wants it a bit like this or that. Then you have to look for ages which slider could do that. There is no keyframe to change.
Also skinning and extruding is done with a nasty spline interface. You must bend your mind to change the thing you want to.
It is very fast to get a 70% result. It is very slow to get a 90% result.