Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

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Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 4:41 am

I know nothing about what softwares or machines are used for Feature films. But this guy "My housemate" and I and some other friends were talking about films and effects. So my "Housemate" told us that After Effects is not recomanded to be used in Feature films as he said it is not that powerful system. It is only reacomanded for TV and low to no budget films. In my opinion and what I have seen After Effects is very powerful and you can do great and incridble stuffs if you combine it with 3d Applications.

If my friend was right and it is not recomanded for feature films, "What is wrong with After Effects"? What After Effects can't do that other Applications can do? and What are the other applications?

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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Sascha on 02/3/2009, 4:53 am

The main thing is that AE is not NODE-based. You can take a look at Nuke, Shake and Combustion. These things are node-based and have many more things you can work with.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby codemonkey123 on 02/3/2009, 5:32 am

Perhaps an explanation of the term Node based to clarify?
Last edited by codemonkey123 on 02/3/2009, 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 5:33 am

NODE-based? First time I hear this term.

Can you explain more about Node-based and layer-based compositing in visual way? Cause I tryed to search about NODE-based in wikipedia and I found an article about it in a theory view, and I couldn't get it.

Here is the link and the article I found in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_compositing

Node-based and layer-based compositing

There are two radically different digital compositing workflows: node-based compositing and layer-based compositing.

Node-based compositing represents an entire composite as a tree graph, linking media objects and effects in a procedural map, intuitively laying out the progression from source input to final output, and is in fact the way all compositing applications internally handle composites. This type of compositing interface allows great flexibility, including the ability to modify the parameters of an earlier image processing step "in context" (while viewing the final composite). Node-based compositing packages can often handle keyframing and time effects poorly, as their workflow does not stem directly from a timeline, as do layer-based compositing packages. An example of a node-based compositor is Apple Shake.

Layer-based compositing represents each media object in a composite as a separate layer within a timeline, each with its own time bounds, effects, and keyframes. All the layers are stacked, one above the next, in any desired order; and the bottom layer is rendered first, progressively moving upward until all layers have been rendered into the final composite. Layer-based compositing is very well suited for motion graphics and relatively simple compositing projects, but becomes awkward for more complex composites, often entailing a large number of layers as well as numerous "pre-composites" that together will produce the final composite. An example of a layer-based compositor is Adobe After Effects.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby aroot on 02/3/2009, 9:06 am

While most feature film compositing is primarily done is node-based compositors like Nuke and Shake, that doesn't mean that AE isn't used at all. In my experience based on speaking with people who either currently or have in the past worked for VFX studios like The Orphanage or ILM...etc., AE is used quite often to tighten things up, add finishing elements to shots...or in some cases handle all the compositing. In this case I'm talking specifically about work on Iron Man and The Phantom Menace.

I feel like your friend isn't speaking very intelligently in saying that it's recommended "only for TV and no-budget films". That's just flat out wrong. Also, who's making this recommendation? And lastly, while it may not be the preferred compositing tool in some cases, some of the most memorable title sequences have been made in AE, and that's a caliber of work I feel is far above the description "low or no budget."
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Peter Rongsted on 02/3/2009, 9:08 am

Here is an excellent article on the subject by Mark Christiansen:
http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/mchristiansen/story/mythbusting/

Cheers,
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby graymachine on 02/3/2009, 9:27 am

For the longest time, After Effects simply lacked the color resolution to even be considered as a tool for use in feature films. This ability was only integrated recently (AE7? I think). Before that, there were workarounds using eLin from The Orphanage. But, overall AE just wasn't taken seriously by the film community as so many critical things like color depth, cineon support, and well integrated multimachine rendering were an afterthought.

Inevitably when this discussion comes up, and I am not saying this is happening here, people half-knowingly throw around the phrase "After Effects is not node based, and therefore is limited."

Whether a software package is "Node based" or "Layer Based" like After Effects has no effect on the output. After Effects can composite just as well as any other package one can name. It's just that the workflow that many compositors look for (that of course, usually didn't cut their chops on AE) is different within After Effects. So, it's a bit like saying "I've always driven a Ford, therefore a VW won't work for me."

The thing with After Effects is that certain things ALWAYS render in a certain order. Compositions render from the bottom layer upward, and layers always render from source to mask to effect to transformation. That cannot be changed. So to get around this, compositing in AE becomes a artful melody of precomposing, adjustment layers, etc. Node based systems have absolutely no fixed order of rendering. The whole point of the nodes is to dictate the exact order of rendering. If you want to blur first, then mask, then rotate, then mix that image with another image that has another blend of effects, you can do this however you want, in whatever order you want. Some people prefer this. Those that have pretty much always worked in After Effects are just accustomed to the AE way of things, and can do just as good of a job. Hardcore node-based compositor folks look at AE layers and precomps and let out a hearty chuckle.

And for the record, Combustion tends to get lumped into that "node based" group, but really shouldn't. Although it does have nodes, certain things are still fixed on each layer. Truthfully, it's a screwball interface and I am not surprised it didn't catch on. Toxik on the other hand, is pretty good.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby ineedrevelation on 02/3/2009, 9:41 am

It's probably because major effects companies (ILM) make their own software ION's beyond Adobe After Effects. Just look at Transformers. Do you really think they can do than in AE? Really?
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby codemonkey123 on 02/3/2009, 9:45 am

ineedrevelation wrote:It's probably because major effects companies (ILM) make their own software ION's beyond Adobe After Effects. Just look at Transformers. Do you really think they can do than in AE? Really?



Don`t be silly. They used Windows movie maker! :D
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 9:58 am

Thanks so much graymachine for your post. I got alot of valubale information.

Thank you again and I really appreciate your time for posting here.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 10:03 am

ineedrevelation wrote:It's probably because major effects companies (ILM) make their own software ION's beyond Adobe After Effects. Just look at Transformers. Do you really think they can do than in AE? Really?


Mybe you are right that major companies make their own softwares. But the questions that I am always thinking about why these companies waste their time and effort by making their own softwares while there are powerful softwares in the industry and they don't need to make one?

Is it because going to be cheaper for them by making it their own or there is another reason?
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby graymachine on 02/3/2009, 10:07 am

ineedrevelation wrote:It's probably because major effects companies (ILM) make their own software ION's beyond Adobe After Effects. Just look at Transformers. Do you really think they can do than in AE? Really?


Well, let's make sure to apply the right tool to the right task. There's a slew of software that goes into the process, not just one program. ILM uses proprietary software like Zeno, but it also uses Maya. Same goes for Pixar, they use their own Marionette, but they also use Maya (and Lightwave, whatever else.) R&H has got their own "Icy", but uses all kinds of stuff off the shelf.

As to AE being capable of compositing something like Transformers, it's completely capable. Is it the best package? That's open to debate. Each facility uses the best software that works with their needs and workflow.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 10:10 am

aroot wrote:While most feature film compositing is primarily done is node-based compositors like Nuke and Shake, that doesn't mean that AE isn't used at all. In my experience based on speaking with people who either currently or have in the past worked for VFX studios like The Orphanage or ILM...etc., AE is used quite often to tighten things up, add finishing elements to shots...or in some cases handle all the compositing. In this case I'm talking specifically about work on Iron Man and The Phantom Menace.

I feel like your friend isn't speaking very intelligently in saying that it's recommended "only for TV and no-budget films". That's just flat out wrong. Also, who's making this recommendation? And lastly, while it may not be the preferred compositing tool in some cases, some of the most memorable title sequences have been made in AE, and that's a caliber of work I feel is far above the description "low or no budget."


I didn't think about it that way. I get your point now.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Mox911 on 02/3/2009, 10:15 am

Requirements for ILM's Compositor position. just an fyi.

Minimum of 3 years of digital compositing experience in a feature film or commercial production environment.

Ideal candidate has a strong sense of composition, color and design.

Strong fine arts foundation skills, such as photography and photographic lighting.

Working knowledge of Shake required. Ability to create complex macros and/or plugins in Shake is a plus.

Proficiency with UNIX and shell scripting.

Programming experience a plus.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 11:04 am

Thanks to all of you for helping me understanding this matter.

Anyway. I didn't really get what it is a NODE-based and layered-based compositing untill lucado guide me to an article at creativecow.net . I must thank him for that.

Anyway here is a very nice video I found it at creativecow.net introduced NODE-based composition. Chick it out:

http://library.creativecow.net/articles ... torial.php

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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby johnnyAE on 02/3/2009, 11:11 am

I dont know if this was posted already but check this out...

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6011
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Mylenium on 02/3/2009, 11:58 am

Samurai Leader wrote:But the questions that I am always thinking about why these companies waste their time and effort by making their own softwares while there are powerful softwares in the industry and they don't need to make one?

Is it because going to be cheaper for them by making it their own or there is another reason?


Nuke was one such in-house software before it got released publicly and it wouldn't be so sophisticated and powerful if it hadn't years of tailored development under its belt. A similar story would be true for Shake (way, way back for v1 and v2 when it wasn't an Apple product). You can come up with a ton of other products that fit into that scheme (lustre*, RenderMan, MentalRay a plethora of plugins for 3D and compositing apps etc.), but to cut a long story short: It's certainly not a "waste", not for the effects facilities nor for us as potential commercial users. The whole point is, that these tools can be tailored specifically to a given task and optimized like hell, so can do a job fast and more efficient than off-the-shelf software. And simply put, some things simply don't exist as commercial products, so something has to be invented to make it happen. You know, a few years ago doing hair, smoke and crowd simulation in 3D programs was a major black art, it's only recently that more 3D programs have these tools built in. Beyond that it's all about competitiveness - if company A has a tool that can do something, company B hasn't, company A gets better contracts.

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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 12:09 pm

johnnyAE wrote:I dont know if this was posted already but check this out...

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6011


No one has posted it. Thanks for sharing the link. I'm reading it now and has alot of useful information.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 12:18 pm

Beyond that it's all about competitiveness - if company A has a tool that can do something, company B hasn't, company A gets better contracts.

Mylenium


Thanks Mylenium for your post. It was really helpful to me.
I understood your point of view. I agree with you for all what you said specially with the last part.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Rafael Guerrra on 02/3/2009, 12:42 pm

Wow, I have learned so much in this topic. Thanks for posting and thanks for all the links. I have Apple Shake but I never bothered to use it because "I had AE". But now i see...I was just wondering if any famous movie was edited with AE? And probably AE should be still the best tool for intros and logos, right?
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 1:20 pm

I learned so many things today. Specially with the links and the articles was shared and posted here by the members.

Rafael Guerrra wrote:
I was just wondering if any famous movie was edited with AE? And probably AE should be still the best tool for intros and logos, right?


I agree with you Rafael that After Effects is a great tool for intros and logos. As I have seen with complication that feature films have I think it is possible and could be done in after effects but it would much easier with other applications like Shake and Nuke. That's just my point of view and of what i have learned today.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Rafael Guerrra on 02/3/2009, 1:38 pm

Speaking of Toxik and Nuke...which one of those Node based sofwatres are available for mac? I have Apple Shake but I am pretty sure there are better ones to buy.
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby narenn on 02/3/2009, 3:41 pm

They aren't necessarily better, but that might have different features that may appeal to some. Anyway I believe they are both available on Mac OS X. It's amazing what a quick google search can pull up..
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Re: Why is After Effects not recomanded for Feature films?

Postby Samurai Leader on 02/3/2009, 3:57 pm

Nuke does support Mac. As for Toxik Autodesk are releasing a 2009 version soon for Mac but I don't know when.
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