Will it Blend?

Does anyone remember how 2 or 3 years those YouTube videos were all the rage where some American company would shred anything from mobile phones to shoes in their kitchen machine to prove its robustness? Today I have this strong urge to shred something as well, but you can’t exactly do too many imaginative destruction orgies with downloaded software, can you? Of course the eternal source of aggravation is – tada – After Effects CS6. Having a streak of dareful madness (and a serial number finally) this afternoon I actually attempted to install it here at home on my Windows Vista 64bit machine. Though not officially supported, it actually worked which I guess is good. The rest? Read on!

First, of course, the obvious. With regards to the 3D raytracing stuff the only words that come to mind: Never ever, not even over my dead and decaying body after it has rotten for 2 years! Turning it on and then my machine revving up all its fans while doing nothing for 2 minutes almost made me nervously hit the reset button! And mind you, that was just turning it on without actually having anything to render yet! Now I will admit that my GTX 285 barely made it on the list of qualified cards and that there may be other things at play here, but sweet gsus, how does anyone expect to get anything at all done under these conditions? This only confirms my worst fears reading posts on forums and the little heated debate we had on the After Effects Mailing List. ‘Nuff said.

Moving on to the 3D camera tracker, I actually had quite a bit of fun with it. It is reasonably fast and the solves look consistent so far, which is the important part. I’ll have to install my plug-ins and then see if I can put together some stuff with sparkling Particular fountains or whatever – that is, if amongst all those colorful track markers I can find the one I want to use as my source. Apparently someone thought making them huge would somehow be interesting and having a bullseye mouse cursor that is quarter the size of the comp is cool, too. If anyone knows how to make them smaller and less obtrusive, ping me. I haven’t discovered any super secret option in the prefs file yet, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Speaking of slight UI issues I’m also still a bit undecided on the feathered masks stuff. It would just be nicer if the falloff edges had their own color and the dashed lines wouldn’t flicker so much while you edit the shapes.

So by all means, thus far the results are mixed. You can pretty much forget that 3D extrusion stuff and I only hope that Freeform Pro, Shapeshifter, AtomKraft, Element, Zaxwerks and others will save us and provide better alternatives. It’s funny how they all will massively gain potential from the camera tracker even if that may not have been Adobe‘s plan. On that note, Moritz jotted down a few corrections regarding AtomKraft and there’s no doubt more news from otehr vendors soon as well…

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