One of the less obvious changes that that whole integration thing with Cinema 4D will bring is the ability to import not only C4D files, but also other 3D formats. Why is that good? Up until now anyone who wants to use 3D objects in his plug-ins has had to write his own code for parsing the files and figure out how to deal with this. As a result, most developers have limited themselves to the very limited OBJ format in order to not spend endless time writing file import code because of course this is yet one more potential area for bugs. It also has led to issues where models would appear differently sized or oriented in each plug-in, complicating alignment if you used multiple such effects at the same time. Those times could now be over and in addition we might see a few new features. Let’s look at how some of those plug-ins might benefit.
- Element 3D will obviously eliminate a lot of work in the custom editor. Instead, you will pretty much do that part completely in Cinema 4D Lite and only use the replication and rendering features. Anything else? We’ll have to see.
- Plexus will no doubt replace its internal OBJ object with the new stuff and perhaps learn a few tricks and the same will be true for Form, AtomKraft or the Boris FX 3D object effects.
- Particular may get some form of geometry use such as object surface emitters or of course collision objects.
- Where appropriate, these plug-ins will no doubt add options to replace inputs such as depth maps with the output buffers from the 3D renderer.
The slight shadow on the horizon may be that for some of those updates (if not all) you will have to pony up some cash. Since otherwise the After Effects API doesn’t seem to have changed (at least not where the “normal” parts of the program are concerned), you may be able to use your CS6 versions with it as well, just without the fancies.