Before moving on to other things, a brief note on some stuff I saw on my dashboard. People still seem desparate for finding a review of Element 3D vs. AtomKraft and which one is better and all that…. The short version is, it’s not coming. Now I could go on endlessly and make up excuses about not having time to do it or whatever, but the simple harsh truth is: The more I toyed with these tools, the more I realized how inadequate they are for my kind of work and rather than going out on a limb trying to use them just so I can show fancy clips, I’ve decided to focus on other things. That doesn’t mean that either of these tools can’t be useful in your work and enough people may use them 20 times a day, it’s just not my kettle of fish. It was fun geeking out a bit and I’ll gladly continue sharing one or the other 3D model here on my site, but which tool is best for you to render them and make it look pretty, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
Speaking of geeking out, I’ve long been a fan of elaborate scientific illustrations, diagrams, info and data graphics and I always wanted to do one of those relationship circle thingies that show who is connected to how many other people, how many times a word appears in a song, how many genes different species have in common and all that. Now I could long have drawn myself one such thing in Illustrator, but I’m actually quite lazy in that regard, so I never did. Now that Plexus 2 is out of the door, I could no longer put it off and indeed it is the (almost) perfect solution to this. So I sat down and crafted some expression-driven project that as a matter of fact makes this so ridiculously simple, I could probably do 20 of these diagrams every day now without breaking a sweat. So without further delay, have a look at the tech demo video.
Everything you see there is based on just keyframing some of the expression parameters and a few basic keyframes for position, rotation and opacity. No additional editing there, which you can easily see on the jumpy changes here and there and the motion being quantized. Of course for a final production one would change a few things and make the motion smoother by disabling some of those expressions, something which hopefully will become clear when I get around to putting together a screen capture to show you how it works along with some more ideas on how to use this stuff.