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Anyway, let's get that model into after effects. Just drag that C4D project into your AE project and put it in the comp. Put other layers in front of it or behind it. Now just a few caveats. There is no formula available anywhere for the relative scales of your two projects. So tweak that. Just go back and forth between the two software suites -- I hope your computer can have both up and running at the same time! It shows up somewhere strange in C4D unless you use a workaround unless you are also camera tracking in AE in which case you can't.

But they are drastically different sizes. If you import your C4D camera into AE it becomes tiny tiny tiny, if the scale of commercial C4D models is to be considered at all standard. And if you tweak your camera in AE or C4D, you have to junk your imported camera and re-do that step. Your C4D model will only reflect items in your C4D project, not the, um, scene it's going in.

Transparent C4D items will indeed show your AE items behind them. But you can't add refraction. I've saved the best for last. Say you want your actors in your bus shelter, meaning part of the model is in front of them and part behind them. You used to place them shot on a greenscreen or roto'd in the bus shelter model.

Put both under nulls. Give the front null a C4D "tag" called compositing. At least its name makes sense. Then go into the tag and enable a numerical "object buffer. Next simply go into "render options" in C4D and into "multi-pass" there and then enable object buffers again there, so intuitive! Make sure to enable the same numerical object buffer you enabled in your compositing tag. Now, all you have to do is place two copies of your C4D project heirarchically in your AE project. You're still almost done!

Now all you have to do is go into "multi-pass" in your Cineware plug in in the instance of it that goes in front of the actors and specify your numerical object buffer again. Just switch it to the much slower-rendering C4D opions and you're good to go! And don't worry about two copies of your C4D project in your AE one meaning it will now take twice as long to render, because it will.

But, as a bonus, you've probably learned a lot of ways to render C4D models really well when learning C4D because Adobe made you. So you can use those to make your AE comp really shine You can however render it in that flat ugly video early Pixar style, but life is full of trade offs, no? You end up rendering out the layer you need in C4D and comping it into AE exactly as effects artists have done ever since always. Which is to say AE gave up even trying to do 3D and sent you into the waiting arms of a more-capable competitor, their seeming specialty in the world of video.

Maybe it's better this way. AE was only ever for comping. It briefly got a swole head. Now it's back in its comfort zone. The end.

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I am not looking forward to moving into the CC world at all;. We migrate our Macintoshes to new Pros in a few weeks and all of our legacy Adobe products will get trashed. New toys, new challenges, new delays, new learning curves, new creative possibilities; shoot, I even get a new MacOS. I think your rant is actually perfectly reasonable and justified. The ray traced render features in After Effects were originally marketed as a major new feature, and users were justifiably excited by them.

True 3D built right into After Effects was a real game changer! Sadly, because it's usability was hamstrung by being entirely hardware-specific to one brand of GPU technology, and even then required specific support to be written for each and every GPU, for which the poor AE engineers clearly weren't provided adequate engineering resources to support quickly, the whole project frustrated users enormously. Many users were horrified to discover their expensive new hardware wasn't supported, and the CPU rendering was so abominably slow that it was basically unusable.

I must confess I got a decent amount of work being hired by designers who had got themselves into trouble with AE ray trace render times and deadlines! It's a shame Adobe couldn't develop the ray traced renderer more, but clearly it was just too much of a drain on their resources to continue extensive development. But I understand your anger that such a highly touted feature was so quickly thrown aside for an alternative.

Thanks, you just saved me from both moving to CC and MPro. Well you CAN do this. It would be easy for AE to import the camera and a null keyframed to the crane but sorry! You just get the camera. Which just sits there, because the crane was doing all the moving. There is a nice video online called "The Story of Adobe Illustrator. Then they did the same thing with photography. Then they tried to do the same thing for video.

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But they had no real feel for video and so we got balky, unintuitive and unreliable programs like premiere pro and after effects, which will go to their graves buggy and unintuitive and in many respects plain useless. Here's another 3-D rendering I'll jump for aftereffects. Best hundred bucks I ever spent. Say you have a reasonably large-scale effects scene for a run of the mill action film. Admittedly, the problem with Ray-Tracing in AE was that it would choke on such scenes and give you an error message, whereupon your options were to scale down your scene or give up.

But now, with Cineware, for all its faults, all that has been solved! Say you gave up on that comp in AE and maybe even deleted it. But you kept the. Suddenly though even simple key-pull shots are taking forever to render, and the whole machine bogs down. There is no way to know what is happening within after effects, but Activity Monitor will show you that for reasons known only to Adobe, that c4d file in your project -- even when not used in any comp -- is grinding away at something to the tune of all your cores.

You just summed up my buyer's remorse. I know this is almost a year old, but any progress? Also -- what are your thoughts on Motion? I personally love Motion. Motion was designed around real time playback and editing, and it's pretty incredible to be able to loop playback and adjust countless sliders during playback. At this point I do as much as possible in Motion and only swap to AE when clients specify it.

Even then I will prototype in Motion to get my timing and sizing figured out, then "port" that over to AE. Behaviors aren't quite as capable as Expressions, but get extremely close, and Motion now has an integrated native 3D renderer although it's currently limited to type. Adobe ripped them off with their "Edit AE text in PR" feature last year, but it isn't nearly as powerful as the rigging and publishing engine on the Apple side. Your editor can adjust any parameter that you publish for them, and practically all FCPX effects are Motion documents that can be opened and edited. I love this whole thread.

Justifies my own frustration, very well communicated. I have been a long time user of Motion just because it just never seemed to let me down. I am not versed enough to say one way or another. I don't know I mean at some point there are only so many hours in the day to learn Thanks for your comments Nick I thought I was the only one who still liked motion.

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I must say though with both apps. I am getting a little tiered of drilling through a mountain of layers. One final comment and I know this probably isn't the venu for this discussion but you guy's seem pretty cool. We do all this stuff Is anyone else just tiered of the meaninglessness of it all. We are so caught up in making things look cool, what I call photo-un-realistic that meaning and purpose seem to become lost.

Don't get me wrong I am as guilty as the next guy. It's just, I guess as I get older I am just beginning to ask the question "does this scene really need graphics or composites? Does it really communicate anything in the scene better Many times I am afraid of my answer because inevitably it's "Hell yes if you want to get paid! What happens When the 2 seconds of praise you get from someone saying wow that's really cool no longer pitches a tent in your shorts?

The thread is a few years old, but now there is the C4D renderer which has the same or similar functionality to ray-traced 3D compositions. It no longer matters what kind of GPU you have. Error: You don't have JavaScript enabled. This tool uses JavaScript and much of it will not work correctly without it enabled. Please turn JavaScript back on and reload this page. Please enter a title. You can not post a blank message.

Please type your message and try again. This content has been marked as final. Show 24 replies. From what you are saying it is quite hard to do a simple logo and it uses Illustrator masks and not paths. I just left a reply to Ed and I have decided to buy either Invigorator Pro or ProAnimator as I found it so simple and intuitive to use, amazing software. As you mentioned you can create something very quickly and it automatically extrudes the Illustrator file for you which you can edit. When I managed to do it I was blown away by how quick and easy it was as I have no experience of 3D, so it has opened up a whole new world for me.

I didn't know it could bring the Colours in as well from Illustrator that is great. I am working through the tutorials now to decide on which software from Zaxwerks to buy. The only thing which I am not sure about with ProAnimator is that you animate within the plug-in with preset behaviours and not on the AE timeline. I am not sure how much you can customise the animating but will have a go at the tutorials.

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Thanks again for your help and replying to my post. I'm happy to help. And I agree with you, Element 3D is a great plugin. I use it frequently in conjunction with Zaxwerks ProAnimator for one reason or another to composite together different types of elements. One great thing about both of those programs is that they can use the After Effects camera, so everything stays together in the same 3D space. I also like to use Zaxwerks 3D Flag, and 3D Serpentine in this way too, mixing them in with the scene.

Another great feature of both ProAnimator and Invigorator is that they can import 3D files, like obj and 3ds files, so if you need to bring an airplane into After Effects, you don't have to have Element. You can do it with Zaxwerks too, making either ProAnimator or Invigorator kind of an all-in-one solution. I'm glad you were able to check out a Zaxwerks demo, and have found it easy to use.

They really do make it easy to dive into 3D without knowing anything about 3D to begin with. Edward's right, there is a little bit more of a learning curve with ProAnimator, but that only applies to the timeline. Everything else is very easy to pick up right away. The only thing about the timeline is shifting how you think just a little bit, but not drastically.

It uses poses instead of keyframes, but you can think of a pose as kind of a container for a whole bunch of keyframes. Basically, you get your object where you want it in one pose by using the position, rotation, and scale controls. What you've done is essentially set keyframes for all of those properties all at once.

Then you move down the timeline, and double click to add another pose.


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Now you move your object to where you want it to be. All the parameters you change are held in that pose, once again kind of like setting a whole bunch of keyframes, but it does it automatically. And now you have your animation. At the base level, that's all you have to do. You can end up doing a lot more with your animation by using the controls that are in the transition that is created between the two poses, and with the controls inside of the poses themselves, but you don't have to.

If you want it to stay simple, keep it simple. And you are in complete control of how long an animation is by dragging the poses back and forth. It's just like moving After Effects keyframes around except you don't have to select a whole bunch of them, it's just one pose. There are some presets that you can choose if you want, but you don't have to use those.

Personally, I always create my animations from scratch. And, yes, this is all done inside of the ProAnimator interface. But there are a couple of things you can do in After Effects. I already mentioned using the After Effects camera. But you can also link tracks in ProAnimator to an After Effects null or other layer.

Definitely check out the tutorials. Zax and Alex have put out a bunch of good ones lately that explain the basics very well. You can't go wrong by choosing either Invigorator or ProAnimator. But as you get more comfortable with things, ProAnimator will give you more options for different kinds of animations. Some of which are very cool.


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  6. Did I mention fragmentation? Hi Brent Thanks for you message and useful information. I think Zaxwerks is great for someone like me who has never done 3D before and just starting out. As I said before it has opened up a whole new exciting world for me. I started using the CS6 extrude feature and was amazed but it is quite slow and then I could not find a way of mapping a texture onto my object and I found it limiting.

    It is Ok for simple shapes and text but then I am not an expert. I then decided to look at plug-ins so I was quite pleased to discover so many plugins out there, thank goodness there are people who make this software. I have also bought several plug-ins from aescripts and aeplugins which is great and they are quite cheap as well. I have mainly be concentrating on the face and I am soon to try the Freeform Pro part of the tutorial so will post what I have found.

    I have never done scripting and although it is hard even I have managed to get it to work, well sort of. Dan Giles makes it look so simple. I have never done scripting either in AE. It is also good to know that these plug-ins work well together but unfortunately I can't afford to buy them all but who knows in the future if I get into it I may well do.

    That is something that I am keen to have - being able to animate everything in the same 3D space but within the AE timeline as I know how to use it which is why I am not sure about ProAnimator but I am still going through the tutorials so will post what I have decided to buy once I have done that. I think poses sound good but not sure how much you can customise them and as I am animating the scene in After Effects including characters etc I am not sure how that will work for me at the moment. I like the idea of creating the 3D object and then being able to bring it into the AE timeline where I have animated the rest of the scene.

    It is quite a long animation I am doing for the 2D part of the film - around 5mins. If ProAnimator could do both then I would buy it as you have the best of both worlds. You did mention that you can create a null to control it so I will try that as well. It is important to me to be able to control everything so you can animate it exactly how you want it. Thanks for explaining the poses, it does sound very good so will have a play and let you all know what I think. As long as I can put it back into the AE timeline to incorporate it in the rest of the animation then that would be fine.

    And that sounds good about fragmentation. I would be interested in seeing some of your work on how you combine Zaxwerks and Element to use the camera and keep everything in the same 3D space. Have you done an online tutorial of this? I have not looked at Zaxwerks flag or serpentine but will do. Just thought do they do add on texture materials you can buy for Invigorator and ProAnimator?

    Thanks Brent and will let you know how I get on.

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    It's great to hear that you are having a good experience delving into new plugins. That's what I have always loved about working in After Effects. It such a versatile tool, especially with all the 3rd party plugins, scripts, and presets that really open up the creative possibilities. At first glance, ProAnimator might seem limiting since it's timeline is apart from the After Effects timeline. But it's easy to go in and out of the setup window. And after you get used to it, it really does offer more possibilities. You could think of the setup window kind of like a pre-comp.

    In After Effects you could have a comp with a bunch of things animating that you have nested inside of another comp. To adjust the animations of the items in the pre-comp, you have to go into that comp to move the keyframes around. The workflow for ProAnimator is very much like that. But like I said in a previous post, you can't go wrong with either ProAnimator or Invigorator. And it's great that you can try them out to see which one will work the best for you.

    And at the end of that open I incorporated some instances of Flag with the ProAnimator elements. And in the part where the camera flies through the tube as the logo comes together, I used ProAnimator's fragmentation capabilities to break that part of the logo up and have the pieces fly together. The shiny "ribbons" were all Serpentine. There are other examples in there too. Feel free free to poke around. It's something I've though about doing, but I've never gotten around to it for various reasons.

    Once, a long time ago, I ran into a site that had put together a bunch of materials for Zaxwerks, but unfortunately I don't remember any more where that was. Other than that, I have never seen anywhere that has Zaxwerks materials either for free or for sale. Luckily their materials are very easy to make. You can find lots of free textures available on the internet, and it's very easy to create your own materials using any image you want. Good luck with your continued exploration!

    It looks like the link to my YouTube channel didn't show up in the post. To find my channel, go to YouTube, do a search for my name - "Brent Willett" - and look for the logo you see at the top of my posts. All of my videos are motion graphics; mostly show opens. Hi Brent Sorry for delay in getting back to you. Wow, I looked at your website link and your work is amazing, you are clearly very talented and it is good to see what software can do. I hope one day I can do motion graphics like this. I think you should do some tutorials as I think a lot of people would be interested in how you create your work.

    I think tutorials are an excellent way to learn. Thanks for the info about Animator Pro. I am still ploughing through tutorials but had to stop for a while as been so busy. Ed also sent me the tutorial guide which is really good to start with. I really like the interface as it is so intuitive.

    Not tried AnimatorPro yet but will do. When I have done all the tutorials I will post what I have decided to buy and why. Thanks again for all your help and support. This really is a great forum and people are so helpful and I have learnt so much. Will be in touch. Hi Anastacia, Wow, this post has really taken off! It's nice to see all the discussion on the different products that are available in After Effects. Like Brent said, there are so many creative options to choose from and really makes it a lot of fun being a 3D artist.

    It's great to hear that you're having fun with the stained glass piece you are working with! If you need help with anything, just let me know. One thing you were talking to Brent about was shattering the glass. ProAnimator will allow you to apply fragmentation to any of the Object Tracks you are working with. The great thing is that once you apply fragmentation, it's very easy to apply a random spread on the Object Track and have the pieces fly out in different directions.

    One other thing I wanted to bring up about ProAnimator is that you are not editing blind while you are in the ProAnimator Set-Up window. We have a feature called the Editor Background. This means, you can line up your ProAnimator objects with the After Effects elements without having to go back and forth from After Effects.

    The cool thing about this is that even though the ProAnimator objects are tracking After Effects layers, you can still apply some Actions such as rotations, etc. One other thing is that everything you set up in ProAnimator is completely customizable. So, if you ever need to make changes to the animation, any of your shapes, any of your materials, you can do so without having to worry about re-creating the entire animation.

    You brought up that you were not sure how customizable the ProAnimator Poses are, so rest assured, you can make any change at any time. You can even make changes while the animation plays back and the changes update on the fly! You may have already noticed this, but if not, we have over materials that we provide with ProAnimator. This includes a lot of metals, wood, and other textures that may be helpful for your projects.

    As Brent mentioned, it is also easy to load any image to use as your texture map. Also, you can use Pre-Comps as a texture map as well. What is really nice about using Pre-Comps is that you can load the Pre-Comp as the texture map, and make as many changes as you like to the Pre-Comp. You don't have to worry about re-loading the Pre-Comp and doing anything to the material.

    The material will update automatically and you'll be able to see the changes to the object. So, with your stained glass project, you can also load the stained glass into a Pre-Comp and apply that as a Layer Map onto the object you created. Lastly, you mentioned working with a 2. One feature you may not be aware of is our Layer Cycling Object. A Layer Cycling Object allows you to import multiple layers from Illustrator similar to how old school animations were created.

    This means, you can change the look of your Illustrator object layer by layer and the Layer Cycling Object will change frame by frame. Think of it like the program is flipping through, or playing back your Illustrator layer frame by frame. Then, once you have imported the Illustrator file, simply scrub through the ProAnimator timeline and you can see animation play back.